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Editorial Nov 17th, 2017

Welcome to this week’s editorial, Last week saw a turning point for the community in its relationship with the local Council. Bolstered by Council’s removal of its announced intention to sell of Walker Park in Narooma to developers an enthusiastic and very positive meeting was held on Wednesday attended by Council open space planning staff and members of the wider Narooma community to begin the process of returning the much loved park to community projects and to being a place to re-establish community spirit. The meeting was attended by Councillors McGinlay and Constable who both raised the issue of the proposed sale and supported the community in ensuring the park was removed from any future sale or development. Albert Ryan Park also enjoyed a reprieve this week when Council, very clumsily via a motion from Lindsay Brown, finally acquiesced and committed to “rescinding” the order to demolish the toilet block. This came about after solid community fighting that required the community to SHOUT at Council that it did not want to see a community facility sold, nor did it want to see community classified land sold to developers. Finally after over 12 months of lobbying, of considerable effort, of social media campaigns and endless community meetings the clumsily and wishy washy motion that was put up had clarity of intention to withdraw added after good, open to the public, transparent discussion was had in Council chambers. Once again the community won the day as a consequence of standing up. At noon today there will be a meeting between community groups and Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, over the proposed Batemans Bay Aquatic and Performance Centre. Here again is evidence of a well intentioned representation of the community insisting that there was little if any REAL community consultation in Council’s determination to not replace a 50m pool into the proposed complex. Such a lack of REAL and whole of community consultation saw Council develop concept plans for a funding submission that was, in the opinion of many, hurried, compromised and disrespectful and disregarding of the clear directions that the community had offered when they were “consulted”. Meanwhile there is a movement building within the community that is asking Council exactly why they are committing staff and funds to set in place a planning policy that has, as yet, any Government legal standing nor any Government direction to undertake such a policy. Across the board there appears to be a “revolt” against Council, it’s misinformation, its secrecy, its “untruths” and its continued attitude of “don’t question us as we know best and will do as we like”. Things are beginning to unravel—and that can only be for the good and benefit of the community. Until next, lei

#LeiParker #Editorial #Opinion

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