Council turns out to be superfluous
Dear Councillor Constable and anyone else in the community interested in the future highway corridor through the Eurobodalla, Phil, you moved a motion for a meeting meeting of all levels of government and councillors be organised to talk about the next forty years. What happened? You were ignored. Instead Director Sharpe knocked up a document that he called the Eurobodalla long term strategy and posted it off without even seeking the endorsement of councillors or the community. Makes me wonder why you are even there if staff can ride roughshod over you and do what they want and have their own opinions. And to top it off they ignored your motion all together and then told you in uncertain terms that they had satisfied the motion by organising random meetings at random times - so suck it in Phil. They were laughing at you. But you stood up to them and said "Oi, I asked for the meeting, we all voted on it. Just Do it !! Well done. It won't go unnoticed that Mayor Innes had a go at you and asked if you had attended a meeting between Council staff and councillors with one of the players you mentioned (no not all at the same table as you specified). The Mayor knew damn well you hadn't been at that meeting but asked you anyway implying that they had "the meeting" and you chose not to show up. The sneer and the venomous way she asked is now captured forever on the Live Streaming archives for all to see. Easy to see that she is on the side of staff now days. Just a heads up Phil. The RMS doesn't need any input from Council or SEATS or the Director because they already have a long term plan that doesn't require any further consultation. You lot are all superfluous. Even the know it all. You might be interested in a generic reply letter I received today that says,
Thank you for your interest in the Batemans Bay Bridge replacement project.
In August 2016, the NSW Government published the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy, which sets out the Government’s 20 year plan to manage and guide the development of the road corridor to improve safety, traffic efficiency and sustainability. The strategy was prepared by a multidisciplinary team from Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services with expertise in road safety, traffic, asset management, land use, environment, planning and development.
The strategy sets out short term, medium term, and long term priorities to manage the highway. Planning the Batemans Bay Bridge project was identified as a short term priority. We are working hard to complete this project in 2021 to reduce traffic delays and improve access to the Batemans Bay area, including freight access.
Some of the medium and long term priorities identified in the strategy include investigating the suitability and need of a bypass corridor through Milton and Ulladulla, continuing to manage traffic issues within Nowra and upgrading all narrow bridges to facilitate efficient freight movement and improve safety. You can read the full report on the Roads and Maritime website at www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/south-coast/corridor-strategies
Future traffic and transport has been a key element in identifying a preferred route for the new Batemans Bay Bridge.
In June 2017, three options were taken to a Value Management Workshop that brought together a wide range of technical specialists, * project stakeholders and community members to review findings of early investigations and recommend a preferred option. The preferred West Option was rated best for ‘future planning and local connectivity and functionality’. A four lane bridge is being provided for future growth in traffic.
The Batemans Bay Bridge Preferred Option Report explains the options that were considered and outlines the selection process. The report can be viewed here: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/projects/south-coast/batemans-bay-bridge/batemans-bay-bridge-preferred-option-report.pdf EDITORS NOTE: Stakeholders as referred above have been defined by the RMS as "landowners, residents, businesses and other stakeholder groups directly impacted by the road corridor" So there you have it Phil, and your other councillor mates. It seems that the RMS have a very clear idea of what they are doing in the short, middle and long term and while you and your staff and SEATS and anyone else thinks that having a round table discussion could have any sway in how it might all go down then that is just a bit fat NUP ! But the sandwiches, the business card exchange and the pleasantries will be nice. The Know it all might even make some new contacts to boast about during future council meetings. The best thing for this council to do is to hand itself over to the State Government because it is the State Government that is pulling all the strings. It's obvious that Director Usher is bound up in State Planning string. Have a look at what they are doing with Sea Level Rise and the Rural LEP and Flood zones. The Eurobodalla planning department may as well not exist because all they are doing is ticking State Government boxes. "Yes Sir, No Sir, Three Bags full Sir and paint us with your broadbrush Sir but we will pretend to seek public consultation and then do whatever you want anyway and then say, "Sorry Madam, That is a State requirement, if you have an issue take it up with them." Even the Office of Local Government is looking down at Eurobodalla Council wondering what the hell is going on with all the petty politics that don't amount to a pile of hay in the scheme of THE BIG PICTURE. But if it keeps the masses distracted then that is good. "Oh, look a shiny thing ... and another over there." So Phil, the mayor and the other councillors, you are all just wasting your time while you are puppet strung by the staff and the countless policies that you keep rubber stamping and the Act (both the Real Act and the General Managers various versions of it). Have a look at what happened when the council couldn't act on flying foxes. The State and Feds watched the bumbling on for long enough and the buck passing and then finally stepped in when it became clear that Council had no idea. The same is beginning to happen with the Batemans Bay But don't put off going to the conferences, attending all the meetings and workshops, reading the agendas and the minutes and actually thinking that you have any role to play. The dinners are always good and it is a nice opportunity to rub shoulders and develop networks and meet the Big Wigs so that you can name drop them in future Council meetings as if they were your best friends. Just a final word about the last council meeting. Pollock, try to vote for a motion now and then instead of not raising your hand and therefore voting AGAINST the motion. And Mayor Innes, YOU should have demanded that Pollock withdraw his remark to Mr Bernard when he said BULLSHIT while Mr Bernard was speaking and YOU MAYOR should have asked for Councillor Pollock to apologise but you didn't. THAT is DISGUSTING and if you can't control your chambers you should step down. enough from me wave to the cameras next meeting and I'll wave back and Not one of the "Usual Suspects" Name and address withheld because of fear of becoming regarded by Councillor Brown as One of the Usual Suspects he so readily dismisses.
Editors Note: Under Council's draft media policy it clearly states: "Staff must not make political or controversial statements in or to the media on council affairs, decisions and or events or about councillors." Staff and councillors should support council decisions and refrain from using the media to make negative personal comments which are likely to undermine public confidence in the council or local government generally. Staff must not make political or controversial statements in or to the media* on council affairs, decisions and or events or about councillors. * Includes print media such as local or national newspapers, magazines, newsletters or journals and radio and television broadcasters and internet publishers (Editors NOTE: Facebook ranked as the "most social" media publisher on the internet - as such Council staff MUST not make political or controversial statements in or to the media* on council affairs, decisions and or events or about councillors - seems like the staff, councillors and even the Mayor might not know this)