Letters to the editor

PIC OF THE DAY: Cameron Rouse snapped this beautiful shot of the upper Shoalhaven River. Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au
PIC OF THE DAY: Cameron Rouse snapped this beautiful shot of the upper Shoalhaven River. Submit entries via nicolette.pickard@fairfaxmedia.com.au

RATEPAYERS FOOT BILL FOR Costly eco-extravangance

At first glance it seems so reassuring to hear from the “community” members of council’s climate change committee (they’ve since updated to some more flowery nomenclature), that they “are very concerned about how older, disabled and economically disadvantaged people will be able to cope with more frequent extreme temperatures and associated health issues”.

Well, I’m more concerned about how all of these people and the rest of us will be able to afford to pay for these expensive political programs that have no quantifiable outcomes attached to them.

For some time now, there has been widespread and rightful concern about environmental protection. 

This is reflected in recycling programs, reductions in electricity usage, on the ground planting programs as well as litter reduction initiatives and more. 

In the Shoalhaven, where we all enjoy our truly awesome natural environment, we aren’t too bad at supporting all of this and more off our own bat (OK, we’ve had a few dodgy moments on waste to landfill in the past… but generally).

Almost everybody in our community is a responsible conservationist but now, by the imposition of the Greens-Gash council, we all must instead be eco-warriors… and we must pay for it.

Last week, available councillors (they never hold these things on weekends when working people can attend) and senior staff took a day out to plan the next extraordinary rate increase to build on the last extraordinary increases. 

As I review the “confidential” documents presented on the day, I’m anything but surprised. The controlling bloc of council and senior staff are lock step in tune to provide more programs, more staff and higher charges.

So bring on the personal attacks, the code of conduct complaints and every other tactic that these people will use to try and shut me up on unaffordable rates increases. 

Every time they report me to the Office of Local Government or try to toss me out of meetings it confirms that the ratepayers of the Shoalhaven are fed up with paying for the eco-extravagance of this council.

A. Guile, Councillor for Ward 1

REGION LEFT WAITING ON THE RAILWAY PLATFORM

The NSW government has announced 1500 extra train services to begin on November 26.

Unfortunately for the South Coast Line, no extra services will be added to our timetables between Kiama-Bomaderry and Bomaderry-Kiama.  

Although announcing infrastructure upgrades and new trains for suburban Sydney, the NSW government has indicated that it has no plans to duplicate the South Coast Line or electrify it.

This announcement lacks foresight for our region.  Transport to and within the Shoalhaven area is a major issue.

The rail line that provides a service terminates at Bomaderry, while the major population and shopping areas are well south of this point.

Transport from the rail terminus at Bomaderry to other parts of the Shoalhaven is extremely limited on private bus services, with some villages having no bus services on a weekend.

The impact on the community is that private vehicles are required and this can be a disincentive for young and elderly residents, to be able to get out and about during these times.

The Shoalhaven is a major tourist destination and to have an inadequate public transport system does this area an injustice both socially and economically.

Unions Shoalhaven believes and urges governments, both state and federal, to seriously consider this region’s needs and to genuinely start funding the upgrade of this vital link.

P. David, secretary, Unions Shoalhaven