The Beagle Editor.
I wish to comment on several articles from recent Beagle presentations.
Firstly – sincere thanks to former ESC councillor Allan Brown who so professionally updates and ‘alerts’ us on many of Councils activities, devious or otherwise.
Few would know Allan once tried to get Council interested in his display of old tractors & the like as part of a plan to preserve our unique pioneering heritage – as I understand it – he failed (even as a Councillor ) and it went elsewhere.
Allan understands the need for history retention as a vital part of any tourism program -“scenic drives” do little to appease thirst for knowledge of out roots – particularly in inclement weather, and you can get many weeks of it down here, – I’ve been around here since the 1930’s and should know.
On the scrapping of the ‘pensioner rebate bit’.
As for the “other Brown” – does he really know what sought of a tiger he has by the tail? He’s just now standing on its ‘toe nail’ – but when someone gives him the ‘nod’ that many very proud & high profile retirees are already joining the queue of the ‘hard ups’– he’ll be treading right on its paw and there won’t be a pair of ‘shades’ dark enough to shield him from the glare coming from the “eye of the tiger”!
These are the ones -that saw their kids achieve a reasonable degree of education - scrimped & saved – invested what spare money they had at a time of high interest return that they themselves ‘should’ be safe in retirement & not be a burden on the various systems of support needed by others and allowing in return - a happy and stress free life.
For What ? Interest rates have collapsed -some investment schemes (including ‘super’) have proven to be rip offs. Once proudly owned boats & caravans cashed in to cover unforeseen medical expenses- ‘demeaning’ sources of employed taken up at a time of life when the burden and ravages of old age have struck.
The lucky ones may be taken in by their mature siblings - with their bodies cared for, bums wiped, cleaned and washed (as has been traditional in the age old Greek - Italian custom) but for many Aussies it’s the old people’s home, and for god’s sake – I hope you are all up to date about “that scenario”!!
So what’s left? Well – “We thought it might have been the ‘safety net’ of being a Council’s ratepayer” and a little ‘consideration’.
Without enough access to ‘inside info’ we may not have that – but if Lindsday Brown gets to be ‘all powerful’ again and links with the GM -it will be ‘party time’ and that to my way of thinking would allow them access to all manner & means to revenue raising – including wiping the Pensioner Rebate
What’s my take on it?
It’s my understanding (and perhaps you, Mr Editor, could comment here) that the greater the ‘volume’ of all things to be considered in the running of Council such as: - staff needed, (salaries & so on) - management of infrastructure etc. (Let’s call it the overall “profile” and most importantly the “ Budget”) then the greater the responsibility – and with that comes the need for raising of salaries & ‘entitlements’, in the “guise of responsibility” (bonuses & the like - the ‘perks’ – and we know about the “bonuses”!) Not to mention the ’getting’ of a much more powerful ‘social image’.
So then it’s in the vested interests of the Council to use the ‘extras’ from cutting pensioner’s rebates to 'jack things up a bit' and kick out the old ‘adage’ that you become a member of Council for the “Good and betterment of the community”!
Councillor Lindsay Brown and his attitude to community & heritage;
It was my misfortune to sit next to Councillor Brown in a meeting of the PAAC some months ago. That meeting in substance, was to discuss a Heritage & Tourism project - important not only to heritage preservation, but vital in the coming times of unemployment thru advancing technology , and absolutely vital in complimenting the massive undertaking of the South Coast Travel (Tourist) Guide – set up for our community thru the enterprise of Lei Parker & Beagle.
I had asked that each of those attending to avail themselves of some knowledge of our heritage - Councillor Nathan claimed to have it covered - but in truth, did not – (all has been documented previously on Beagle.)
Councillor Brown was not only void of anything remotely important associated with the area- but when I broached the subject of a heritage / information centre in regard to tourism he;
loudly and sarcastically demanded of the others present; “Just how would a heritage centre benefit tourism ? “ – (a petition holding 600 names, acquired from across Moruya’s business centre, had already been lodged with ESC – supporting the concept)
Shame on you Councillor Brown- after all you’re an Aussie- it is your history & heritage too! Get out a few books & read- read-read! Get involved with “your” community”!
Thank you again, Editor Parker, for your work on the Travel Guide & your interest in our community - but as you and I know it needs more -and that must come from the ‘Hands on Stuff ‘- more tangible things that can be seen, touched and ‘felt’!
A place where visitors can browse on blazing hot days or in rainy inclement weather –summer and winter months! “Learn about our community and their achievements”!
We have the means and expertise within our work force & community to carry out any relevant task involved to build a centre – it would be “Ours and Our achievement.” There is not the need by Council to call in the ‘Artillery’ to do the work -including ‘non consultation” with community, useless advice from elsewhere and end products irrelevant in knowledge of the subject that upset so many (i.e., Town signs.)
Let me give but one example of what might be done and how;
Some years ago now –I asked well-known local, Architect & Design Draftsman -Mike Hallahan, to provide a quick concept drawing of a building that would both compliment the environment of our historic river and allow areas for presentation that would display and feature historical happenings associated with it. (I understand Mike’s general work & presentation is revered by Council staff!)
The events of history associated with the river are numerous, many locally based – some even relevant to both State and International levels of history, (i.e., The Declaration of the County of St. Vincent 1828-9 – allowing free settlement to areas relevant to the banks of Moruya river etc.)
Not only was this area once the lovingly cared for home of our First People – but a ‘garden’ where the first ‘seeds of development' carried by explorers, farmers & settlers, planted.
The story needs to be told – and it can be done by our own community thru the building of a Heritage Centre!
The rest has been continually documented – both here, and on CD- played for years over by 2EARFM by Presenter, Kathy Shields, each Tuesday morning 7-45 am.
Norm Moore. Moruya