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The Beagle Editor, The disrespect and lack of understanding and compassion recently displayed by Councillor Tait in email correspondence is appalling.

Left: Councillor Jack Tait - photo ESC Contact details HERE

Councillor Tait's attitude and unconscionable remarks impact on the integrity of Council.

On the evening of 6 Feb, after learning of the forecast heavy rain, I flicked a quick email to ESC and cc’d in all councillors:

To whom it may concern,

Council needs to notify landowners to cover/protect fire damaged septic tanks, BEFORE IT RAINS this weekend.

If this does not occur, contamination of surrounding areas will occur as tanks overflow.

Clr Tait replied the following morning (cc’ing fellow councillors):

“Not being rude but I would have thought people on the land would already know that it’s not something new.”

Clr McGinlay then replied to Clr Tait (cc’ing fellow councillors and myself):

“And some people are new to the land and less experienced on the implications of fire damage than older hands. Thanks are due to a community member raising a legitimate concern. Some owners are understandably absent from fire affected properties and may not be aware that their plastic covers on septic tanks have melted away leaving them exposed.” Pat.

To which Clr Tait replied (cc;ing all councillors and myself):

Well pat maybe you and Patricia might go and do some house calls and help out particularly if people are not home.” Jack.

As a result of this correspondence I have emailed Councillor Jack Tait:

Councillor, Thanks for responding with such constructive criticism, Jack.

Not being rude, but it’s unlike you to come up with such on original thought, or to even respond at all. It would be wise of you to consider that: a) it is not only ‘people on the land’ who have septic tanks b) where Septics have been destroyed, so have the homes – the owners have either had to relocate or don’t live there. AND c) when you lose your home and all your belongings, the last thing you’re likely to think of is your septic tank. If you are willing to dismiss/ignore advice from a community member pertaining to a potential environmental threat, and then fail to recognise or empathise with those in your community who have lost so much, then you should resign. Councillor McGinlay’s response to you was an attempt to help you understand the problem and why public notification was urgent and essential. Your derogatory comment addressed to Councillor McGinlay and myself, “Well pat maybe you and Patricia might go and do some house calls and help out particularly if people are not home,” was uncalled for, disrespectful and displays your total lack of logical, rational and intelligent thought. In closing, I would like to point out that Council was obstructive when I was trying to organise a tanker to pump out 3 damaged septics along the Deua (Moruya’s water source). Fortunately, however, they did eventuate just prior to the rain. Friends and I have also managed to construct drainage lines and cover another inaccessible septic for an absent neighbour. I formerly seek a written apology for myself and Councillor McGinlay. Despite the above, I would like to thank Council for their media release, ‘Rain ahead, get ready’, as it addresses the issues that need to be considered should heavy rainfall eventuate on a denuded landscape.. Patricia Gardiner Deua River Valley

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