Gift is not about elections
No surprise to see the campaign led by the high taxing Greens Mayor and Cr Gash against Shoalhaven City Council's attempt to provide financial relief to ratepayers in a time of health and economic crisis. It is disappointing, though, to hear some of the infantile and selfish arguments against the initiative.
There are few in the community who have not been seriously affected by the COVID-19 economic downturn. First among many are those who have lost jobs, businesses, tenants (commercial and residential), superannuation and don't forget all those families member depending on these sources of income. If, like Cr Gash, you are on a fully taxpayer funded parliamentary pension for life, then maybe you can't relate to what the rest of us are going through.
In recent years, council has increased rates in excess of 30 per cent. Extra funds have been used to pay staff more and to employ more staff. Despite the unfounded promises of the Mayor and Cr Gash, these increases were not essential. All we are doing is giving just a little bit of ratepayers' own funds back when they need them most.
I first proposed financial relief in the form of a waiver of a quarter of rates - but you cannot do that in NSW under the Act so we sought advice on how to achieve the same ends, settling on this 'donation'. It is not about elections; it is about care for those in need.
To those who don't believe they need these funds; please do not apply to receive them. But do have the decency and grace not to judge those who are in need and worse still, expect that these funds should be retained to be spent on something to benefit you.
For all those who still think this is political - check out the Labor/Green Government in the ACT where they are implementing a rates discount stimulus. All should take this up. Be like Shoalhaven!
Cr A. Guile, Durran Durra
A burden for the future
Surely council has received funds from the Australian or NSW governments in relation to COVID-19. instead of placing a burden on ratepayers for the future, borrowing $17.5 million and then we (as ratepayers) have to pay for total borrowing and interest. Maybe look into how deep the council can assist rat payers without decreasing services and using borrowings. That would be better justified.
J. Svoboda, Sanctuary Point
Fix Shoalhaven roads first
I think the point of us paying rates is so the council can look after the community needs. Fixing things we cannot fix as individuals. Please put this money to fixing holes in the road properly so we can ride our bikes and cars safely. The road to Red Point in Hare Bay needs grading for one.
M. Rostron, Callala Bay
Better than fireworks
I understand Cr Digiglio's objections to fireworks. They are valid. But we all need our rituals and excitement in holiday times, just as our region needs tourism.
Literal pyrotechnics are not necessary if we can use projected imagery (à la Vivid) and/or laser technology to produce customised Shoalhaven-style imagery and music, without explosions, to create unique celebrations. There is a wealth of artistic talent here waiting for the opportunity to create memorable occasions, and plenty of people who will be able to anticipate these occasions with pleasure rather than fear.
J. De Lacey, Greenwell Point
Project will add value
After reviewing the DA Plans and artists' impressions, I believe this is a great project that will add commercial and residential property to Huskisson. The project is sited well and will benefit local economic activity. I'd love to help on the project (I'm a construction estimator for a large, respected commercial and residential builder).