What a difference ten years makes.

The Beagle Editor, What a difference ten years makes. Ten years ago we had a general manager in Council who had ideas and directions and was actually open with them. Ten years ago there was much to celebrate and a lot to look forward to. But then the Dark Ages set in where the open doors slammed shut. This General Manager is barely known to the public and rarely says anything that reveals her thoughts on the direction of the Council. When she speaks it is rhetoric. And most of the time that rhetoric comes from the reports and policies that she directs. Here is a reminder of Paul Anderson, ten years ago.... my haven't we slid backwards under the present rule. 10 years on and what's new? Bay Post 23 July 2008 ..... EUROBODALLA council’s new general manager Paul Anderson says he believes the shire is on the brink of exciting times. “After a few years in the doldrums, development applications are picking up,” Mr Anderson said. “Not so much the run-of-the-mill developments but major ones. There are some big subdivisions comprising many hundreds of lots in the approval process, which shows considerable confidence in the area. Once the economy turns around we will be seeing these developments come about.” He said the scope for the development of retirement villages in the shire was being seen, the most recent being the Moruya 120-unit SUMMERHILL RETIREMENT RESORT announced last week. “And as BATEMANS BAY BECOMES MORE WIDELY RECOGNISED AS A REGIONAL CENTRE we will see more government departments relocating here. “The CALL CENTRE, which is going to be built in Batemans Bay behind the Soldiers’ Club, is in the final planning stage, as is THE MARINA. “The SURF BEACH PRECINCT will present great opportunities for the community. It will provide a convenient shopping area, and provide more jobs.” However, Mr Anderson said, all that presented some challenges too. “With a growing community and commerce we have to strike a balance between that and the environment. I’m sure people living here, and coming to live here, don’t want the shire to become another Gold Coast.” He said the impacts of climate change also needed addressing, with the possibility of rising sea levels taken into account in deciding where people should live. “That has to be done without over-reacting, at a cost to the community,” he added. The delivery of services, such as water, sewerage systems and transport was another challenge, particularly taking into account the length of the shire. The mooted regional hospital was another big issue, Mr Anderson said. “Council’s role in that is in lobbying and facilitating, and helping to find a suitable site.” Youth unemployment was another issue where council had an involvement. One of Mr Anderson’s early tasks is going to be some RESTRUCTURING OF THE COUNCIL. “I’m lucky to have found a passionate, highly skilled and able staff here, and they have accepted me well,” he said. He added that he was not sure whether former deputy general manager Peter Tegart would be replaced. Mr Anderson came here from Lithgow where he was general manager for three years, moving there from Tamworth (where he had a brush with the charcoal plant project). He has worked in Local Government for 22 years. He knows the area, having holidayed in Bawley Point and other coastal villages over the years. Mr Anderson had another link with the area, his father’s first appointment as a schoolteacher in 1948 was at Moruya Central School. Now the highlights of our Council are motions about balloons and cat bibs and some couldn't lie straight in bed to save themselves. What do we know of Dale? Not much other than an introductory article “High hopes for new council boss” in the Bay Post March 15 2013 “I like working with communities that are articulate. About 44 per cent of the population is involved in volunteerism and that indicates a community with a real passion for where they live and why they live there. “I enjoy working with diverse communities to ensure access to important services. My current role at Ostara is working directly with communities across Australia – people who have mental illness and disability, and helping them find employment. “My key driver has always been being involved with the community and to assist and facilitate their aspirations. “From that perspective, NFPs and local governments have a great similarity.” “I look forward to working more directly with a local community”. “I am keen to work with the council and the community to make sure Eurobodalla continues to be a highly valued environment, whether that be the natural, the built or the tourism environment,” “The tourism dollar is more and more difficult to attract. Local government has to provide services in a quality way that is not going to continually increase the burden on the ratepayer.” “We need to put strong cases to the state and federal government and also ask, ‘what is our solution to those ongoing issues? (ageing population, unemployment, school retention, health services and transport)’,”. "Advocacy and partnerships are critical.” Maybe in 2018 we might learn more of the General Manager and her directions. Name and address supplied