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Good on those who stand up to bullies


The Beagle Editor, Good on the Batemans Bay Chamber standing up for themselves and being prepared to hold the powerful to account, to question the status quo and to seek truth when withheld, concealed or twisted. Lazy journalism has chosen to report on personalities and street-fights rather than to contribute to the understanding of issues and why the fighting started. What we have seen are examples of lazy journalism and commentary solely focused on the messengers instead of focusing on what enables our politicians and senior council executive to behave the way they do. It is very obvious that there is a serious divide between the business houses and council. Why? Because the chamber has embarrassed council by being visionary, dynamic, challenging, open, transparent, giving opinion and calling it as they see it. They have forced council to admit that it has no foreshore plan, no CBD vision, no control over the RMS designs for the bridge and highway bypass and no control over the chamber for their imagination and vision of the very sucessful Scupture on Clyde events that Council has not supported other than becoming the owners of the legacy donated art pieces that are beginning to transform the town. What vision did Council have? None, and that has embarrassed them and continues to embarrass them because they realise that they are there to cover roads, rates and rubbish and after that anything that happens in Batemans Bay comes down to a financial risk taken up by business people. The Council wants to build the Mackay Park centre and have gyms and childcare and cafes that they will rent out but with all the existing private sector empty spaces is it fair for the council, using rate payers money, to become part of the real estate market of Batemans Bay? Isn't their job to build public pools and public libraries and public halls. No wonder they don't get on with the business chamber. They want to be competitors. They bought the Bay bowling club and declared they were sitting on a goldmine to develop seniors accommodation and shops and a conference centre in competition with the private sector. What happened to roads and rates and rubbish. When did they add realestate speculation? The chamber is also focused on tourism which is often at odds with the ideas that Council has. The tourism people in council come up with ideas using ratepayers money that have a direct consequence on the profits of local business. Last week we had a cruise boat in the Bay. Did Council tell the businesses the boat was coming? No. Our loss. Council is at loggerheads with the Bay chamber but at the same time is best buddies with Narooma Chamber giving them $20,000 for their oyster festival. Even the Moruya Chamber is buddy buddy even though the tourism people totally forgot to put any mention of Moruya in their glossy tourism magazine but Moruya is pretty chill and didn't even notice for six months. Then they spat the dummy. So when you hear that Council are having "difficulties" with a local group such as a business chamber or swimming group or Arts group or Festival group, or developers, have a wonder at what is behind it all because this confidential Council won't reveal what is happening and will willingly cry it is all somebody else's fault and that they are the good guys being misunderstood, bullied and mistreated like any petulant child is out of favour. Council, go back to roads and rates and rubbish and stop messing with things beyond your abilities. Names and addreses supplied

#Opinion

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