Editorial November 19th 2021

Welcome to this week’s editorial, You can’t help but noticing that our day to day is being overrun with politics. On the nightly news it is all about the Federal Government with the Prime Minister declaring this and that and the Labor leader countering with offers of improvements. It seems Tit for Tat as if there is an election on but no…. There is no Federal election date announced. Don’t be surprised if one isn’t announced soon though. I’m predicting February 2022. Hopefully by then the promises will see us all getting Fibre to the Premise NBN, an electric car each, cheaper electricity, a Federal ICAC announced and consequences detailed for any politician caught lying or corrupting our trust. At a State level we have the prospect of a by-election if Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, goes ahead with his announcement that he will be resigning on November 26th 2021 to contest the Federal seat of Gilmore. While he might have received the back-pat of the Prime Minister as a show of endorsement the final decision of his pre-selection will be up to Branch Members who are adamant they will pick their own candidate. Today is the closing day for nominations and Andrew Constance has found himself in the barriers with some solid competition. And what if he isn’t pre-selected. Will he withdraw his intention to resign from State politics? Especially given that it provides a very hefty salary that few would turn up. Then you have the alternate that, if he does get through pre-selection he will then have to beat Fiona Phillips, the current member for Gilmore. Should we have to face a by-election for the seat of Bega if Andrew Constance does resign then the good news is that Liz Innes, the current mayor of Eurobodalla, has withdrawn from pre-selection and will not be throwing her hat in the ring. The money is on the local Liberals putting up a southerner from Bega. While the Liberals have held the seat of Bega for eons the sour taste that Andrew Constance has left in the mouths of many for jumping ship midstream might be enough to see a strong Independent win the seat (or even a Labor candidate). There is so much in limbo in the seat of Bega around health, education, transport, housing and environment that needs leadership and representation. The question is “who will next represent us?” Now we come to the next level down. Our own Council. Elections are on December 4th and electioneering is currently underway with a variety of “Meet the Candidate” opportunities. Tuross Head hosted a forum this week with two more scheduled at Catalina and the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club. Rather than the light-weight, self effusive biographies we are seeing and hearing in other media the “Meet the Candidate” sessions being conducted offer candidates some hard questions to answer to prove their mettle. The Tuross Head Forum did just that, revealing the shortcomings of several candidates. Adding to the depth of questioning have been the two radio interview sessions conducted by Daryl Hiebert on 2EAR-FM. I must say that I am surprised, and delighted, at the level of community engagement on what is happening at all three levels of Government. The community appears informed and determined to take ownership of the decisions that are affecting their everyday. From Federal Climate policy to State Health Policy to the failures of our Council to engage with the community on issues as diverse as planning matters to the failure to provide soap in public toilets. Ours is a wonderful community, rich and diverse. It is also a rapidly growing community, and as such, brings immediate needs of housing, school capacity and most importantly the provision of adequate levels of health services that covers our population, from birth to death. For all too long we have been a forgotten corner of NSW where mediocrity has been allowed to fester. The time appears to have come where the community is saying “we deserve better”. Until next lei