The Beagle Editor,
There’s growing concern the Eurobodalla Shire's potential growth is being held back by the attitudes of individuals working in the local council system. We have heard Madam Mayor say on several occasions that it is all well and good to get grants for new infrastructure but unless they come with the addition of ongoing maintenance contributions council doesn't want the burden for their community. What it’s claimed is occurring is related to expenditures on new asset provisions and the future maintenance obligations of new assets for the community and to satisfy community needs and future expectations.
The attitude at the moment, as advised to councillors, apparently is to oppose the requests for new public assets to be provided and therefore remove the need to make budget provisions for future depreciation and maintenance. This negative attitude can also be connected to the aquatic centre proposal and recreation areas etc and even to the attempt by council to decommission the Albert Ryan Toilet Block as they claim to have an excess of toilets in the Batemans Bay area. What was interesting was to watch Director Arthur at the last Council meeting rattle off facts and figures about how many toilets there in the Batemans Bay area, advise that she had a handle on how much toilet paper was being used in each and even know how many flushes there were but when asked by Councillor McGinlay how many were disabled and open 24 hours a day seems like she didn't know. The council preaches economic rationalism on one hand but seems incapable of embracing the concept that there are alternates to their being the sole provider. When asked why the toilet block could not be funded from general revenue (an estimate of $200,000 from the $100m account) the response was that to do so would pull staff from another project - guess what Council... there is an entire private sector capable of designing and building who would welcome the opportunity. Why does everything have to be done by Council staff? There’s also a negative attitude being displayed about developing a new Princes Highway Route in the shire by the same councillor advisors. Much to the frustration of Councillors who are becoming aware that staff intervention and opinion is potentially holding back proactive future planning that would bring population and economic growth to the shire. However the people in charge of the levers of power in the State are becoming more aware of the negative economic influences that have been at work in the past which may result in the shire's residents become witness to the delivery of real outcomes that will bring economic change to the region and remove the stagnant growth we have had due to blinkered thinking.
Contributed for the good of the general public. Name and address supplied