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Araluen Road: an Open letter TO COUNCILLOR POLLOCK

Audio: Listen at 15:01 for the section in regards to the Open Letter below


I write in regard to your interview on ABC SE radio on Wed 2nd June. I wonder if you realise the damage you have done to your own credibility and mayoral ambitions.

I sent the following text to Simon Lauder for your comment:

“I would like to know your thoughts on a council statement(in Council News 31 May) that the 2nd landslide at Merricumbene will remain closed for the foreseeable future, considering residents at that end need access to Araluen and Braidwood for work, school and other commitments.”

I’m sure I could hear the sound of hackles rising as you prepared to launch into your verbal tirade on the complexities of this controversial and troublesome matter. I don’t know if it was the issue, the fact that I brought it up, guilt on your part for lack of action/representation or spitefulness towards your colleagues that did.

Your lecture, however, was merely a regurgitation of that which council has been disseminating to the public, and to residents, for the last several months - “no easy fix”, “incredibly complex”, “very steep hills and batters that are grossly unstable”, “we are using absolute expertise”, “have to construct new road.”

And your parting ‘dig’, “but it’s not going to happen within the next week or two. To think otherwise is whistling Dixie”

Well, Clr Pollock, your little rant focused on the 1st landslide at Knowles Creek, not the 2nd landslide at Merricumbene as identified in my question - such a blatant oversight equates to arrogance, most unbecoming of one aspiring to a Mayoral position!

You spruiked, “it’s looking very much like we will receive considerable state funding for the construction of the new road.”

That’s very odd, considering Minister Constance’s silence on this issue has been deafening (no responses to resident emails either). The only public confirmation of funding for our road, that I am aware of, came from our federal member, Fiona Phillips.

Minister Constance has always proved himself very proactive when pledging state funding for various proposals, like the $5.25 million for the Bay’s Coastal Walking Trail. That funding was not even asked for, yet he remains silent on funding for vital infrastructure repairs.

And then this little gem illustrating your level of empathy towards the plight of residents,

“you can’t expect, if you’ve got an unstable situation, to send out workers and machinery at high risk of them falling straight down the low side of the road. I don’t think anybody would expect us to put our staff or anybody or contractors at risk.”

Well thanks for thinking of us, Clr Pollock!

Perhaps, as a community representative you should think first before opening your mouth and inviting your ‘clod hoppers’ in.

So, back to my original question. Were you actually aware of the 2nd landslide, the plight of residents at the far end of the shire and the fact that council has stated, “the road at Merricumbene is closed for the foreseeable future,” before you started flapping your gums?

Do you realise that these residents need access to Araluen and Braidwood for work, school, social/sporting activities, appointments and other commitments?

Do you realise that they have a 246km round trip to get to school, work etc?

Is it acceptable for council to say that this ‘encumbrance’ is to continue for the foreseeable future?

From your response, it appears you do not give a ‘monkeys.’

Councillors are elected to represent their community. Therefore they need to be able to listen, to understand, to empathise and to act in their interests.

You, however, are devoid of these attributes.

You are just an inconsequential little bampot, and if you think you are Mayoral material, you may as well ‘whistle Dixie’. Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley