Editorial Feb 2nd 2018

I attended the Tuross Head Progress Association meeting yesterday and to my delight found that the Mayor, The General Manager, a Council engineer and a staff member from the planning department were present to take questions. There were also two Councillors in the audience, Councillor Pat McGinlay and Clr Anthony Mayne. It was refreshing to see such a good turn-out and reminded me of the indication we had from our brightly scrubbed new Council that they would undertake to do village visits and truly engage with the various communities up and down the coast. While the Mayor and the GM have already attended several community association meetings it is disappointing to see that they are rarely attended by councillors. The reason I raise this is that during the Tuross meeting the Mayor continued to remind the community that if they wanted something then they should by all means write to Council but they should also approach their Councillors and explain what it is they want and seek their support for projects or outcomes. The Tuross community hasn’t seen hide nor hair of any of the councillors since the election with the exception of Mayne and now McGinlay. While face to face might be difficult, you could expect that councillors would respond to an email or a phone message asking for a return call. Sadly both have proven futile with most of the councillors failing to respond. The issues at hand in the Tuross meeting were BIG. Tuross needs a new boat ramp. This has been long coming and a full report has been carried out with public involvement that has determined that, when funds are available, Option 1 will be pursued. Andrew Constance has reminded the community on several occasions that grants are available. The problem Tuross has is a universal, Eurobodalla wide problem. THIS COUNCIL DOES NOT WANT ANY NEW STUFF. Across NSW there is a plethora of grants made available by the State and Federal Government from our taxes that go to providing new infrastructure. Fishing licences and boat registrations pay for new jetties, sporting grants are available for skateboard facilities, recreation funds are available for footpaths—the list goes on and the reality, as admitted by the Mayor at yesterday’s meeting is that Eurobodalla has not performed very well at seeking out these grants because if you get NEW STUFF you then have to find the money to maintain it. Tuross has asked for a skate ramp for 20 years fully prepared to fund it and maintain it but Council does NOTHING. And says nothing. So instead of many neighbourhood playgrounds we centralise into three regional super-facilities. Less maintenance and running around. The same applies to skateboard ramps—regional is the answer. If you don’t live in BBay, Moruya or Narooma then stiff cheese. Drive. Tuross relies on tourism. It employs, it fills beds and cafes, it keeps our shops going for the rest of the year. Like all the other small towns it suffers in the off-season and relies heavily on a good peak-season. The state of the Tuross boatramp is driving visitors away to THE REGIONAL boatramps. This is quite clearly the intention by Council to continue to regionalise its facilities however the financial and social consequences to the local community are many. At the Tuross meeting the community spoke at length with a passion but alas it all fell on the deaf ears of indifferent staff and of two councillors who are hopefully beginning to see the wood from the trees until next


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