Come clean on rail
Can someone please put paid to the rumour that the NSW government has also sold off - privatised - the South Coast railway line from Kiama to Bomaderry, to a local manufacturer?
In the South Coast Register of May 30, 2018, $40 million of taxpayer money was injected to upgrade the strength of the line for freight.
On March 19, 2019, just days before the state election, another $125 million was promised to construct a four kilometre crossing loop at Toolijooa, between Gerringong and Berry, just long enough for a very long coal train.
We were told by Joe Hockey, in 2013, that "The Age of Entitlement is over!"
Does this mean that secret backroom dirty deals and clandestine meetings are still making social entitlements and 'Commercial-in-confidence' channels available to those in-the-know?
C. McCallum, Cambewarra
Amanda Findley is the popularly elected mayor for all Shoalhaven residents, including teenagers.
Following the 2018 Climate Change rally, the mayor opened the council meeting, congratulating the students on their efforts. Councillor Mitchell Pakes stood up and berated the mayor: "How dare you encourage students to miss school? There are only two reasons why students should not be at school. One is illness and the other is death."
I was so angry and disgusted, I walked out.
The last council meeting was transferred to Friday, September, 20, because two Shoalhaven Independent Group (SIG) members were unavailable for the regular Tuesday meeting. This was the annual meeting where council committee members were to be chosen.
Generally, there is not an extraordinary meeting called when councillors are unable to attend. This meant the gallery was almost empty as the alteration was not widely known.
This coincided with the Students' Climate Change Rally, organised by three local 16-year old students.
I had attended this rally earlier that same day, and was amazed at the organisational ability of these three students. There were around 1,000 participants at the Nowra event.
They asked the mayor if she would read their statement at the council meeting. The mayor obliged, opening the meeting with this request.
This upset some of the councillors. Councillor Andrew Guile, rudely talked over the mayor for the entire few minutes of the reading. He asserted that the mayor had not asked his permission.
His behaviour was abominable, and should be called out.
At last year's committee election meeting, Councillor Mitchell Pakes took it on himself to propose that three committees be abolished. These included the Sustainable Futures, the Flood Plain Risk Management (FPRM) and the Early Childhood committees.
Apart from presenting his own list of members to be elected to committees, Councillor Pakes condescendingly announced that he would nominate the mayor to one committee, as the rules determined that this was compulsory.
At a future meeting, there was a rescission motion regarding the FPRM, as it was brought to the attention of the council that such a committee was legally required.
At this year's meeting, Councillor Pakes had a pre-ordained list of councillors, once again, for all the committees, almost totally excluding members of Country Labor and The Greens, including the mayor.
Amongst these excluded members we have two nurses, and I hope that if their services are needed by some of these other 'born-to-rule' Machiavellian councillors, they will be conveniently unavailable.