The Beagle Editor From the purchase of the old bowling club in April 2016, we have heard of all sorts of fanciful ideas of what might be provided for the community in the Mackay Park area and the saga continues without any firm concept of what will be done for the community's benefit. The bowling club site seemed to be out of the equation even before the RMS came to the rescue temporarily leasing it while the bridge is built. So why was it purchased in the first place? We can't go back though and must make the best of this past folly. Since the focus shifted to the location of the existing Olympic length pool, and the sadly doomed mini-golf tourist-attracting icon, even more fanciful concepts have been dreamed away as the consultants jostled for the next lucrative assignment, all the time causing much frustration and dismay within the community especially those parts most likely to be the facilities' major users as they see "their" components whittled away allegedly because of affordability, or lack thereof. The matter of unaffordability cannot be denied but on what basis are such assertion made by council? The case put by consultants, Odium, adopted by council in February 2017, contained many assumptions and some numbers that were clearly wrong, yet, contrary even to Odium's saying that their business case was incomplete, it seems to have been blindly accepted and promulgated by council to obtain grants from state and federal governments (more fool them and their political masters for not having done proper due diligence!) Meanwhile some in council maintain the pigheadedness denying the facts and the clear wishes of potential users of a decent facility as they bull-doze on with what, instead of being a true gateway development, is likely to be a white elephant unloved and unused and therefore, due to lack of user income, a mill-stone around the necks of the shire's ratepayers for generations. As days go by, it must be becoming harder for whoever has been the most pigheaded to admit mistakes have been made even if they could point a finger at the breeze-in consultants who were paid to know better! While on matters porcine, councillors should be aware that they can't make a silk purse from a pig's rear! Draw the line now councillors before it's too late. Jeff de Jager Coila
Councillors are still to view the geo-technical report commissioned to advise the suitability of Mackay Park, known to be on sand with a looming water table, that sits adjacent to the Clyde River which itself will be impacted by sea level rise.