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Editorial May 13th 2022

Welcome to this week’s editorial, Things are changing in Eurobodalla. And it appears, so far, for the better. The first thing you notice is the spike in our population. There are so many more sea-changers and lifestyle-changers in the region, driven here by the realisation that they could work differently and live differently. Initially the spike had an impact on our local services and resources but things have settled down a lot more in recent months as winter sets in and the noise and bustle of holiday makers decreases to a burble. What we are left with is our ‘New Normal’. Granted there are more folks about, our schools have become a little more crowded, our doctors calendars are under more pressure and the demands for trades folk and materials have added to the impacts. But steadily we are adjusting. The constant bushfire threat has been lessened by the dreariness of volumes of relentless rain. Our houses that once cracked and moved due to years of drought now creak and groan to the saturated landscape while mould adds its own patina to our walls. While Covid still with us there appears to be a sense of renewed freedom that at least has us out and about socialising, support local businesses and reminding us of the beauty of this stunning region we call home. It appears that our hibernations may have helped us to have a mind shift over the last couple of years. Prior to the bushfires there was an Us and Them in regards to whether you believed in Climate Change. Back then there were possibly more who felt we lived in a ‘Variable and Changing climate’ than those who felt otherwise. After the fires, after the floods, opinions have shifted. So much so it is now a major election issue. Many old ideas and models are being questioned. The way we did things does not necessarily mean we should continue doing the same old same old. Coal power is on the table, as too our electricity bills. Fuel is on the table as too our food bills, rising costs of health and dental are there as well to represent our well being and the increases in cost of living are under the microscope along with transport, education, wages, jobs and growth. The election promises are numerous. But the solutions being offered lack detail when questioned. Refreshingly at a local level we have a new Council who are progressively making changes of their own. They have looked at the past to determine how the Council came to sink to its current toxic state. Having come to the determination that the organisation, in general, is sound, with a passionate professional staff, dedicated to best serving the community within the resources and budgets provided, the focus now for the new councillors should be to remove the blemishes and rotten sections of the core and to restore the community’s respect and regard in local government. The sentiment of ‘WWW’, ‘My Way or the Highway’ or ‘This is how we have always done it’ is steadily being replaced with ‘This is how we will do it, moving ahead’ with inclusion of the community. A prime example of the clash between Old and New came about this week when the discussion of Congo Road North came to Council. The new Councillors agreed that the Council staff had failed to satisfactorily inform and engage with the community on the matter and, as such, voted to defer the matter for three months to ensure all avenues were considered. But there was one voice of dissent. An old voice, a tired voice, a lazy voice, that reflected the Council’s actions of the last twenty years to the issue. Had the vote been with the last term of Council it would have gone through as “do nothing” with a possible 7 against 2 vote. These are new days and with that comes new eyes and a determination to bring a halt to mediocrity, complacency, ego driven decisions, vindictiveness or ineptitude. Hopefully it will be the new Council that recognises the primary needs of the community and delivers, whilst listening to and considering those things that might rise to help restore us to the vibrant, informed and included community we once were. Here is hoping that the same approach can be made, and achieved, at a State level and at a Federal level. The days of audacity, ego, self interest and mediocrity need to be replaced with inclusion of us all. It is our hard work, our taxes, our gambles, our lives, our futures and the future of generations to come that must be on the table. Local, State and Federal. We can be so much better at this. If only those who are in charge are prepared to realise “it is a race” and we are all in it. Until next—lei


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