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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Editorial Aug 25th 2023

Welcome to this week’s editorial, This week we saw representation at NSW Parliament House supporting the establishment of an alliance, Coastal Residents United, to defend small coastal towns and pockets of sensitive and endangered coastal bushland from ‘inappropriate development’ Including the many presented petitions gathered from community groups up and down the New South Wales coast were two from the Dalmeny Matters Group and the Friends of Coila. While I am not supportive of the cheek by jowl, ticky tacky subdivisions we are now seeing being built on pocket sized blocks, I am well aware that by building two storey clusters devoid of trees with a 25m asset protection zone to keep bushfires at bay. I am aware that in doing so maximises the utilisation of existing infrastructure (water and sewer). In filling is a way to centralise population spread. In the case of Dalmeny Matters the proposed subdivision will have to tick all current conditions required under legislation. Yes, there will be trees destroyed. But the development will maximise the use of existing infrastructure and may well spread the rate burden. The reality is that Narooma is growing at a rate that Council has not expected. Their role is to find, and service, land to accommodate new comers. They know the codes and will ensure that are applied by the developer. FACT: There is a demand for land around Narooma. It takes a review of the LEP (a long process) to identify where urban expansion might be best placed. For the minute the focus is on Dalmeny. Question: If NOT Dalmeny then WHERE? If not Coila WHERE? The Coila Lake development has been on the books since 1984. Every newcomer to the town hears of it. For decades it has laid dormant. Legally dormant. But now the market demand has woken it. The development is now progressing. The community has been given an opportunity to have a say and as a result some reasonable modifications have been made to the plans. But there is a faction calling it a Zombie. The fact is the current progress and the progress to date are in accord with the NSW Planning laws. This week’s launch of the Coastal Residents United group failed, I believe, in not declaring a motion that could be voted on in Parliament. Something along the lines of “I move that, from this day forth, Zombie developments and proposed developments deemed inappropriate be reviewed and subsequently halted. We acknowledge that these developments were approved by this Government and as such we have calculated that a notional budget of $19 Gazillion dollars be put aside for compensation to developers and for the purchase of these properties as public reserves to be own and managed by the State.” No budget? Then, are they wanting no compensation to be paid and the land just given freely? So without a Motion to Parliament it is so much hot air with not intent to alter Legislation. And if there was a budget, it would have to be considerable, and be paid by all NSW taxpayers. It reminds me of the recently poorly thought out motion to council last week that sought to have “Vote YES” placards emblazoned across the shire on Shire assets. Dunny Blocks, Sewer Pump stations, community halls, sports buildings board walks and pathways. But the motion came with no budget. Added to that it would have breached Council’s own electioneering code. But didn’t they get narky when Councilors voted on an amended motion that said something along the lines of ‘we have a bloody good website with links to credible information and we recommend every one go and have a read and make their own decision’ Fair enough, but not for the narky with their defeated flawed motion, leaving the chamber with calls of Shame Shame Shame, and with their principle resigning the Council’s Aboriginal Committee soon after. Now there is a stream of hate mail coming in to those councillors who dared say NO to the ill prepared motion. You, I, all of us, will have our vote, and when we do hopefully our vote will be well informed and based on credible data. The last thing we need is for a Council (600 +) who might well not support the YES vote 100% to claim the “Royal WE” supporting the YES camp with a shire wide wash of electioneering placards. Such a placard would falsely state that every single employee at Council supports the YES vote which is rather presumptive. Imagine a equivalent placard emblazoned on your local dunny block that says “Don’ think. Let us influence you.” That’s what they want but were denied it. Councillors made the right call and we should respect that. Now let’s see the YES folk electioneer by following the rules and funding their own campaign. 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

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