The Known Unknows

Dear Beagle Weekly,

Once again, the Beagle Weekly has put its finger on what is in a great many residents’ minds if not on their lips as we approach the coming Local Government elections.

Its Weekend Editorial is an excellent forensic dissection of Council Management conduct in respect their most recent act of sanctioned pillage concerning the Broulee Community’s own ‘Commons Land’.

The deflecting excuse of ‘affordable housing’ is as credible a smokescreen as any real estate developer’s commitment to deliver properties at less than the maximum achievable market price. Who do those peddling such tosh believe they are fooling? And what cynical disrespect to the many hopeful young families facing impossible rental prices or unaffordable property.

This is nothing short of an absolute disgrace; and yet another own-goal for the current gaggle of AWOL Councillors. The honourable exception to this being Cllrs Pat McGinlay and Anthony Mayne who over the Council’s life term, have often been almost alone in being consistently responsive to community concerns: And, for their pains, have persistently been made to feel isolated as outsiders within their own and OUR Council. Those responsible for this despicable bullying should hang their heads in shame.

To those it concerns, who in truth have been busy since even the end of last year plotting their nominations for the coming Local Council elections: do not think for one moment you are the only ones with a memory, not by a long chalk.

The Broulee Community Commons scandal is in every way a vindication of larger community sentiment: That, with this current Council, no precaution is too excessive nor vigilance too great.

It also conclusively proves to the Tuross Head and Turlinjah Community that its furious pushback to the feared threat to its own much-loved ‘Commons’, THE TUROSS HERITAGE GRAZING LANDS, during Council’s attempt in 2016, on a Motion proposed by Cllr Pollock, to change a part of its Heritage status, and then the shameful conduct of the so-called Rural Lands Strategy in 2018 and associated zoning changes of the Amended (2012) LEP, was in every way justified and unerringly correct.

And to those it concerns, be under no illusion. As then Head Petitioners representing the community’s crystal clear wishes to an unwelcoming Council: Council’s carefully phrased subsequent ‘Letter of Comfort’ to the Community, with an unmistakable size 12 legal footprint all over it, which in real terms delivered no such thing, is still very much unfinished business as far as the community is concerned and those, in particular Cllrs McGinlay, Mayne and Constable, who have proved themselves to be in tune with overwhelming community sentiment. The matter of the continuing existence of the illegal gate at Coopers Island public road will be a final litmus test of that observation before Councillors’ retirement ahead of the elections.

Even her closest allies on Council wisely took cover in the face of overwhelming Community anger on the issue and, coincidentally, of a Council election around the corner. Cllr Innes’ extraordinary display of public petulance at not having her way is a spot upon her character, like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, that will not easily wash away. In voting against the patently overwhelming wishes of the community, her ‘decision’ not to renominate for the next Council had effectively already been made for her whatever her remaining ambitions and her unchallenged self-serving ramblings on-air over ABC Radio.

In the meantime, through negligence, Council has been allowed to run away from any proper oversight or controls, and from the wishes of those who, through some of the highest rates in rural NSW, fund its administration and senior staff’s amply generous pay-packets. Let no one say that Eurobodalla’s rate-payers are not heavily committed to charity.

In the commercial practices of the business world, a milieu to which frequent genuflecting is made by current Council management, any executive and Board displaying such propensities these days would be sharply censured and pulled up by their shareholders (read ratepayers) with a one strike warning, and any associated salary increases and/or bonuses briskly voted down. Further repeats would, by law, appropriately attract a mandated Board (and associated executive management) spill.

The imminent Council elections will give everyone the opportunity to vote for change and for a thorough housekeeping spring-clean.

For the sake of the community’s best interests and of our beautiful region, both could not come soon enough.


Fitzroy and Mylène Boulting

(ex-Honorary Vice-Presidents THPA and Head Petitioners TUROSS HERITAGE GRAZING LANDS)