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taking care of business …


Dear Beagle Editor, Your Bega Valley Shire readers might be interested in out latest media release which is calling for the NSW Minister for Planning to intervene. taking care of business … The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) notes the report included in the agenda for the Ordinary Meeting of Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) titled “Commercial Centres Strategy - Review of Merimbula/Pambula/Tura Beach Catchment”, advising council that “A review of the Commercial Centres Strategy for ‘Tura Beach/Merimbula/ Pambula Catchment’ has been prepared and is recommended as a draft for public exhibition purposes.” Having reviewed the report, the BVSRRA immediately wrote to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Anthony Roberts, calling on him to intervene in the matter & direct BVSC not to proceed with its partial review & to defer any further consideration of the Bunnings planning proposal pending completion of the full review of the Commercial Centres Strategy planned in 2018, that would give consideration to all commercial centres & their hierarchy, including Bega as the regional centre of the shire. The BVSRRA advised the Minister that it is deeply concerned by council claims that its actions have been taken as a result of advice furnished by his department, in particular as that advice is clearly contrary to its repeated advice over a number of years that stipulated that any action by council to pursue a planning proposal involving business zoning of land in Tura Beach Drive, Tura Beach must be preceded by a full review of the shire’s Commercial Centres Strategy. The BVSRRA believes that BVSC’s action in pursuing a partial review of its Commercial Centres Strategy ahead of a full strategic review of that strategy planned for 2018, is plainly designed to pre-empt that full review, with the clear & sole purpose of serving the commercial interests of Bunnings. The BVSRRA believes that the evidence for its contention is plain to see in that BVSC has advanced no other cogent reason for conducting a partial review, which clearly suggests that in the absence of the Bunnings proposal, it would not have initiated a partial review of the Commercial Centres Strategy. Further, the BVSRRA believes that by pursuing a partial review of the Commercial Centres Strategy, BVSC has acted to serve the commercial interests of Bunnings, while ignoring the larger interests of the community. The BVSRRA also believes that it is entirely improper for significant public resources to have been expended in promoting those commercial interests ahead of those of the entire community. The BVSRRA has also advised the Minister that the actions of BVSC has caused many in our community to have serious misgivings as to the integrity & independence of the shire’s planning processes & to question the motives of those who have supported the partial review, including the Department of Planning (if the BVSC report is to be believed in that regard). Finally, the BVSRRA has advised the Minister that it believes that the partial review conducted by BVSC is contrary to the public interest & urges him to intervene in the matter & direct BVSC not to proceed with the public exhibition of its partial review & to defer any further consideration of the Bunnings planning proposal pending completion of the full review of the Commercial Centres Strategy planned in 2018. John Richardson Secretary/Treasurer Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association


#Opinion

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