The Beagle Editor,
We have been shattered by the events of the last eight months and appear to be set for more.
The droughts, fires, floods, and pandemic have hurt us all and caused many scars upon people within the community.
The possible second wave of the pandemic is not far away and unless we watch what we do we will be caught up in lockdowns, loss of jobs and more problems than we already have.
One good thing going for us is the place where we live. It is beautiful, tranquil, and relatively free from the major problems seen in major cities.
We do have problems with homelessness, violence in the home, abuse of all sorts and a lack of great economic development.
These problems need to be addressed and there are many good organisations working within our area to assist, and there are some who wish to expand.
Our community is blessed that so many wish to help others and we should support all of them.
But there must be a balance.
Those in need should be assisted but those who are trying to assist others need support and not thrown out because someone can pay more.
The Eurobodalla Shire Council needs to support its community. They need to seek ways to lift each of us up and they need to support those who are trying to help the Council do just that.
The Batemans Bay Community Centre is the focus for such efforts and so many community groups use this facility to support others whether they be young and need specialist educational training or a sports group teaching the young; the older community who meet in a group to support each other, community groups who host their members and the wider community to a function or U3A who provide educational stimulation to our older community, just to list a few.
At one-point last year a Petition was presented to Clr Mayne for presentation to Council which highlighted the use of the community centre by the community.
The number of groups using the facility was huge and passed what most would have thought possible.
However, it appears that they are all going to be thrown out so the Shire Council can provide one group exclusive use of the Batemans Bay Community Centre because they will pay for the Lease of the centre for next two years. Money is more important than the community needs, it would appear.
No more will U3A provide lectures there or Probus meet, or Rotary host ANU Year 1 Doctors visiting the region or Meals on Wheels provide Group Social Support. No more Counselling, family gatherings, Christmas parties or meeting rooms for the organisers of Australia Day 2021!
The new facility at McKay Park will be great and it should be welcomed. However, none of these groups will be able to afford the cost of hiring a room. It will not be like for like and if we are fortunate to get regular entertainment, the promoters will need the rooms set aside for the community, so once more groups will be searching for affordable spaces.
Our community and its needs matter and the group seeking the Lease should be encouraged but encouraged to look elsewhere so there is not mental anguish for the rest of us.
Surely the Council and its staff can do better and care for its community-all of it! Alan Russell,Manager, Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels 9 July 2020 EDITORS NOTE: Councillor Anthony Mayne, at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 28 May 2019, submitted a petition provided to him by Dr Sue Mackenzie, on behalf of the Batemans Bay Performance and Exhibition Centre Working Group Inc and signatures concerned for the future of the Batemans Bay Community Centre. The petition specifically stated: This petition of May 2019 draws to the attention of the Council a wish by the community to maintain and keep for community use the present Batemans Bay Community Centre. We therefore ask Council to cease and desist from moving forward with any plans to sell, dispose of or demolish the present Batemans Bay Community Centre, and hereafter to retain and maintain it in perpetuity for the ongoing use of the community of Batemans Bay. This petition is a request from concerned residents and wider community, and draws to the attention of Council and Councillors the community desire to retain the present Batemans Bay Community Centre along with the proposed Mackay Park Aquatic Centre and Theatre Arts Complex. 983 signatures at handover. There are almost 1000 signatures on these pages, 1000 or so voices raised in outrage at the prospect of losing a facility built by community funds, serving core community activities and adding benefit year round’ below are the minutes that indicate the motion adopted.