a stone in their shoe …

The Beagle Editor, Your many Bega Valley readers might like to catch up with our media release a stone in their shoe …

The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) refers to the recently orchestrated attempt to besmirch its reputation & hinder its legitimate activities on behalf of its members, starting with the tabling of an entirely misleading report at Bega Valley Shire Council's (BVSC) ordinary meeting on June 13th, 2018, allegedly detailing the background of correspondence & GIPA Applications initiated by the association.

In response to a simple & straight forward request for information made by Cr Bain on March 14th, 2018, BVSC’s general manager tabled a voluminous 23 page document clearly intended to discredit the BVSRRA, while the answer to Cr Bain’s original question could be found in a single sentence in that same report.

Back in March, Cr Bain asked the general manager to confirm the cost of GIPA Applications lodged by the BVSRRA over the previous 18 month period, which was coincidental to the period that the current council has held office.

On page three of the general manager’s response, the total estimated cost of processing the 13 GIPA Applications submitted by the BVSRRA during that 18 month period was estimated to be $16,144, or approximately $1,200 per application.

Instead of simply answering Cr Bain’s question, the general manager took the opportunity to use her mammoth 23 page report to misrepresent the activities of the BVSRRA over the past three years in pursuing council for information which, the BVSRRA largely believes, should be readily available on the public record.

What the general manager didn’t bother to tell councillors or the community was that of the 38 GIPA Applications that the general manager identified, 23 had been lodged during a 12 month period to June 30th, 2016 when BVSC simply refused to respond to any correspondence from the BVSRRA. In other words, almost $28k of the $45k cost that the general manager was complaining about (60%) arose as a direct result of BVSC refusing to respond to the associations letters of inquiry.

Ironically, while the general manager’s effort apparently failed to stir the indignation of councillors, it also made them aware that while BVSC had received 38 GIPA Applications from the BVSRRA over the previous three years, council had also allegedly received another 56 applications from other residents & ratepayers which, using the general manager’s calculus, had cost it a further $67k to process.

The full text of this Media Release is available here …

John Richardson


Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association

#Bega #Opinion

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