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Editorial July 6th 2018

Welcome to this week’s editorial, Local politics is always interesting when you have players like our own council to observe. This weeks sees them back in the limelight starting with the Mayor giving her councillors a bit of a serve for publicly voicing an opinion during a Council meeting that the funding for libraries provided by the NSW Liberal Government was “an absolute disgrace”. In a follow up media release the Mayor “expressed her grave disappointment that accusations of library funding cuts made at Tuesday’s Council have potentially jeopardised the working relationship Council enjoys with Bega MP Andrew Constance.

“I’m actually quite angry about the manner in which this was raised. We have built a fantastic working relationship with Andrew and we’ve achieved a great deal together for the benefit of this community. NSW government funds are flowing to this shire faster than ever before and this is thanks to Minister Constance’s influence and his commitment to our region.

“We’re well within our rights to ask questions about budget matters, particularly when it looks like it might impact our shire, but the way we go about asking those questions has significance and this is a timely and serious reminder for all councillors.” Now we look at today’s media where we read that Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes is calling on NAB to reconsider the decision to close its Narooma branch.

“It’s disappointing that a valued national institution such as NAB isn’t supporting local communities.

“Our Council has $15 million of investments with NAB, and we do our day-to-day banking with them. We want to do business with those who support our local community. We hope they’ll reconsider the decision.” Of interest was to read one headline “Shire plays loyalty card’ and to read the editorial “in a thinly veiled warning Mayor Liz Innes has reminded the bank of its $15 million relationship…” Now that is BIG on two counts. Firstly revealing the $15m has breached Council’s Commercial in Confidence obligations revealing to other banks the extent of their local banking details. That is pretty naughty and no doubt the councillors and the Director of Finance will have a bit of a word to the Mayor. The second BIG one in this is the revelation that the Mayor wasn’t listening to the response given to Councillor Pat McGinlay last week that very clearly stated that TCORP, who hold Council’s purse strings are the ones in control of any decision Council makes in regards to its finances and where it banks and as such the Mayor’s “Thinly veiled warning” is as toothless as Council is when it was also reiterated by the Director of Finance that Council “was always beholden to the State Government”

This too came to the surface this week when, put to task over the way she handled the well and truly defeated Mayoral Minute around Council co-contributing $10,000 with a private consortium to draft a new report looking at Wharf Road inundation the Mayor, via a Facebook posting acquiesced and admitted that it was, as she had been advised by her fellow Councillors, a State issue. In the meantime we have heard that Councillor Brown has been declared innocent of bringing the good name of Eurobodalla Council into disrepute. Until next Lei

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