top of page
Screenshot 2023-06-13 180949.png
  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Editorial Aug 13th 2022

Welcome to this week’s editorial, Last week’s editorial was about the bureaucratic financial imposts that Council imposes on community gardens that do little to improve the bottom line of Council but instead present a major hurdle for volunteers trying to do something positive for their community. The editorial gained a mention in the Council debate last Tuesday over the annual licence fee that was being charged for the Tuross Head Community Garden. They face a $545 per annum licence fee that climbs by CPI. Added to this is the requirement that they be incorporated and have $20 million in Public liability insurance. Anyone in our community, looking at the current model and the imposts that Council places on groups such as the Tuross Head Community Garden would think twice before suggesting that they could establish such a community focussed facility in their own town or village. Until the model changes there will be all too few community gardens and we will be all the poorer. The Tuross Head community garden is not just about vegetables. Like SAGE in Moruya it is also a place where people can come and learn, engage and flourish, taking what they learn home and inspiring friends to do likewise. The gardens link people, it is a social place that nurtures the spirit and feeds the soul. There is as much therapy in the gardens as there is food produced. But to Eurobodalla Council the gardens are little more than a cash cow to suck a fee from and to ensure that there is paper to be shuffled. But what if it could be different? How could it be different? Maybe a pro-active Council might look at each of its local communities and recognise a suitable area of Council owned community classified land that is underutilised. There are a plethora of grants available so the first thing would be to declare and resource the project. This means it would be at no cost to the ratepayer and be funded under a resilience grant. Next would be to establish an umbrella wing under Council (as was once done with Landcare and Green Army). The wing might be called Eurobodalla Community Gardeners. Council could proactively insure them all under a single $20 million public liability policy as they do already for their Community Transport volunteers. They could formulate a manual that outlines expectations and compliances such a use of PPE and induction to tools etc. They could add sign in sheets and any other requirements to assist in limiting litigation as they already apply with their own workforce. All very straight forward. But it must come from a proven desire by the community in the first place. A desire to have a community garden in each village or town, a desire for it to be an education place, a social place, a networking place that fills the needs of social inclusion and promotes food security and food independence. Somewhere there must be a champion who steps forward and says “I’ll do it”. But until then we have the old adage of “There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.” In the meantime Council has advised that the licence fee could be paid for via a grant application to Council. Just fill out the paper work and they will pay themselves. Simple. Create the licence, do a report to Council, write up the minutes, wait for the grant application, process it, move money from one ledger column to the other and the job is done. Estimated cost in staff time $5000 to recover $2725. But just imagine if they didn’t charge the fee in the first place. Imagine what we could have if Somebody stepped up. Better still if Everybody did. Anybody? Until next lei


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

bottom of page