An acrid, musty smell with a hint of petulance by Lei Parker It was more than evident on several occasions today that, even though there are new carpets, a new layout and now new seating in the revamped Eurobodalla Council Chambers , there lingers a hint of something sour, left over as a vestige from the last Council, like a acrid, musty smell with a hint of petulance that just won't budge. Mayor Innes nailed it today. Her motion to remove paid parking was well formulated and delivered with a strategy that leaves the "keep paid-parking" nay-sayers floundering. While some might still argue that there needs to be more consultation and a closer look at the fiscal bottom line Mayor Innes advised the meeting today that her electoral campaign was consultation enough to realise that the wider Batemans Bay community did not want paid parking. In her summary before voting, Mayor Innes estimated that the community had already contributed over $1 million dollars from the parking meters. She cited the inequity of Moruya and Narooma communities having facilities funded from the General Fund while Batemans Bay residents, contributing their rates as well, then had to suffer a double-dip and pay for parking as well in order to enjoy access to new community facilities while Moruya and Narooma parked for free. Councillor Patrick McGinlay managed to exposed the flank of the arguement and reveal that the net loss was actually slight by his insistence that the figures that had been made available to Councillors during their briefing became part of the pubic record. Once the figures were paired down and the cost of loans and maintenance on meters was factored in the return of the paid-parking represents just 0.1% of the Shire's revenue. The motion to remove paid -parking in Batemans Bay was won 5 to 4 with Councillors Anthony Mayne, Rob Pollock, James Thomson and Lindsay Brown opposing. “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War There was no battle today in the final determination - the Mayor was committed, prepared, and supported. The motion made sense, it was long overdue; and now the decision goes out as a positive for both the community and the traders who have been disadvantaged by impost for too long. And while observers of the debate in the gallery and at home thought they saw dark clouds on the horizon - it turned out that it was just rumbling fluff. Happy Christmas Ms Mayor.