I have attended a number of council meetings and have been less than impressed by behaviours that appear to include premeditated politicking, peacocking, filibustering type shenanigans of a number of our elected representatives. The behaviour in the chamber has been embarrassing to witness.
However, news of the last ordinary council meeting has outraged me and confirmed for me an obvious caucus hellbent on blocking a sniff of progressive policy towards the protection of our environment, appearing to act with adversarial intent on blocking motions put forward by anyone else but them or that doesn't serve aligned interests.
I was under the impression local government councillors were to respectfully present themselves, communicate with others and represent the community. That councillors had a duty of care to protect not just residents and business interests of our region, but our environment. To educate, familiarise themselves with issues and policies, foresee and take action to minimise the scientifically projected negative effects of global warming and imminent climate change into the future
Nature doesn't need us, we need nature, to provide fresh air, drinkable water, arable land, provide us with cooling and heating and food and much more and a liveable future for generations to come. We need to protect finite resources and transition towards renewable and sustainable technologies. We need to work with nature, not be so arrogant as to believe we can ignore or overcome it.
Decisions to disband the Sustainable Futures Committee, the Natural Resources Floodplain Committee, and turn their backs on the original stewards of this land, to me reflects a failure of council's responsibilities to sustainably manage our environment, honour our history, the residents and the region they have been elected to represent.
Committed, honourable, local citizens, some experts in their field and broadly experienced, contributing many voluntary hours on a committee, appear to threaten some councillors. Councillors who seemingly lack an environmental understanding and empathy, who seemingly choose to be more engaged with tactical, individual and political pursuits.
The environment is not red, blue, green or in between, its everything to all. It's more important than ever to put individualism aside and work together with the educated, the experienced, the empathetic and the enthusiastic towards the greatest good … and a future for goodness sake.
I, along with others, want to let our councillors know, loud and clear, that we want a progressive council with a sustainable plan for a cohesive and resilient future in the Shoalhaven. We want to live in a region we can be proud of and have councillors with whom we can comfortably communicate, who will encourage inclusive consultation with their community and act in the communities best interests.
J. Deane, St Georges Basin
Car park deadline
Once again a number of Nowra business owners are pushing for ratepayers to build them a high-rise car park costing approximately $25 million. They also still want the car park built on the corner of Berry and Worrigee streets instead of in the logical location of Stewart Place behind the Junction Street shops and next to the bus station.
The business owners know car parks are generally funded and built by private developers who meet the cost by incorporating shops and/or residential units, but this proposal, RA15/1000 through Shoalhaven City Council, would see just an ugly high-rise car park on a prime street corner. This proposal has already cost ratepayers over $100,000 and if built is likely to become an expensive white elephant.
Those who want to see some $25 million of their rates spent on real issues such as road upgrades have until October 18 to put a submission against proposal RA15/1000 to Shoalhaven City Council.