Today saw another reminder to the Council Mayor that she has NOT heard it all before when it comes to the Rural Lands Strategy.
Many in the community are enraged by her statement on ABC South East that suggested, in relation to submissions around the Rural Lands Strategy, that Council had "heard it all before" and that the Minister had signed off on the strategy and it was now just a matter for the councillors to vote to adopt it. ABC South East reports that the submission by Fisheries warns Eurobodalla Council that such actions could affect the Oyster Coast's international reputation for quality and lead to a state government review of the industry. In an earlier report this month ABC South East informed its listeners that the office of Environment and Heritage and Local Lands Services had also submitted scathing submissions saying the proposed changes are incompatible with conservation and put wetlands and swift parrot habitat at risk. Full of certainty that the Rural Lands Strategy is "done and dusted" and simply now a matter of having it endorsed by councillors the Mayor advised Simon Lauder that "we have heard all those concerns before … there is nothing new" "If the majority of councillors agree it will be done" Mayor Liz Innes on ABC South East Radio When asked Simon Lauder if the Mayor was satisfied that these State Agency concerns have been addressed she replied "Absolutely – it is appropriate that government agencies at times bring up their concerns – we have addressed those concerns and the Minister has agreed with us." The Beagle has received numerous emails suggesting that the Mayor's comments were "cock-sure" and "arrogant" in light of the fact that submissions had not closed and that it was known there were over 600 submissions on the table for councillors to review before making their decision. Deputy Mayor Anthony Mayne is one of the new "Class of 2016" councillors who "have not heard it all before".
Above Members of the community including members of 350 Eurobodalla on the steps of Council offering a very strong message to the Mayor that that the Rural Lands Strategy is, in their opinion, not done and dusted.