April 28, 2018 by admin
Congratulations to Lianne Britten for an excellent letter (BDN, 24/8).
The thoughts expressed in her letter would seem to be the feelings of a lot of the ratepayers in Bega Valley Shire.
Lianne mentioned the contract for traffic lights at the police station corner in Bega, there being no plans or community consultation.
What about the tender that has been called for public toilets in Littleton Gardens, and there are no plans for those either.
How can a builder submit a tender for a job that has no plans?
At a council meeting on July 3, a petition signed by 770 residents of the shire to retain the Bega Town Hall was presented.
The council voted 5-2 to demolish the Bega Town Hall.
This means that five people – Crs Seckold, Allen, Campbell, Wykes and Fitzpatrick – made a decision against the wishes of 770.
Now Peter Tegart, general manager, has advised the Department of Local Government the council is unable to provide management or running costs for a new town hall.
How can tenders be called for a building, when there is no plan for ongoing management of the facility?
The decision-making processes by Bega Valley Shire councillors and staff have not taken into consideration the concerns or wishes of the ratepayers on many issues in this shire.
Now is the time for electors to give serious consideration to the voting on September 8.
Do not just put all the old ones back in because they are familiar faces in the press.
Some of the previous councillors have had several terms to prove themselves and have failed.
Put some new faces around the table, fresh ideas and accountability to the ratepayers, and strong enough to challenge some of the ideas put forward by senior staff.
Number one to five on the ballot paper to make your vote count, and remember to put some new names on the list.
Mr Neville Hughes maintains that the science of anthropogenic climate change is controversial, that the science is “undecided”.
Thousands of peer-reviewed articles are published on the subject each year.
I would like to challenge Mr Hughes to find just three articles that cast doubt on the fact that human emissions are causing the planet to warm.
The trick is those articles need to come from either “Nature”, “New Scientist”, or “Science” – probably the three most respected scientific journals.
To give Mr Hughes a fighting chance, those three articles need to have been published sometime this century.
When I moved into the Valley from an interstate capital city 18 months ago, a local, mindful of my advanced years and decrepit appearance, made the unsettling comment that Bega was a country town and ill health was ill advised.
Well it wasn’t me but my son, some 30 years younger, who recently picked up an evil form of influenza from his visiting sister’s family.
His condition quickly deteriorated and we ended up in the emergency ward at Bega Hospital on a Sunday afternoon.
Quickly diagnosed with pneumonia he was hospitalised for four days.
Although it was obvious they were working under extreme pressure, from the triage nurse through to the attending doctors and ward nurses, the care he received was of the highest standard, professional, sensitive and attentive.
During his stay, he shared a room with an elderly man and was able to observe the compassionate manner in which the doctors and ward nurses dealt with the most sensitive situations.
I may not be looking forward to my first hospitalisation in Bega, but I am no longer apprehensive.
My sincere thanks to all involved.
In the run-up to the unprecedented September poll on the future of Pambula Hospital, much talk around dinner tables and in local pubs and clubs is about whether a fragmentation of regional hospital services is wise.
The argument against “fragmentation” is ill-informed and simplistic.
Of course, it makes sense to concentrate many services in new regional hospitals.
However, most patients come to their hospital with routine problems that the local doctors and nurses, whom they know, can treat effectively and cheaply.
As is the case with many other services such as banks, post offices and pubs, health services should be where the people are, not where it is easy for bureaucrat planners to concentrate them.
Planners must also consider the costs and convenience for patients and their families, not only administrative convenience.
And they must also take account of ambulance costs.
Modern communications now enable medical specialists in the big centres to assist local doctors in diagnosing and treating their patients.
On a recent fact-finding mission to Orbost Hospital in Victoria, I was most impressed by the close collegial interaction between the local hospital staff and an eminent Melbourne-based doctor, who serves there as part-time medical director.
With some administrative adjustments, good will and proper work protocols for Pambula and Bega, the same successful model could be made a reality at Pambula.
If we think in terms of the entire system of health and allied care, a revitalised and viable Pambula Hospital does not mean fragmentation, but co-operation, better cost efficiency and better quality of service.
In my opinion, it is in the interest of everyone in the shire to complement the future regional hospital near Bega with Pambula’s time-tested secondary hospital, served by our own experienced local doctors.
Besides, new hospitals suffer almost inevitably from teething problems that may take years to sort out.
Can they be staffed with the right doctors and nurses, or will they have to rely on costly, transient and risk-shy locums?
How long will it take for clinical teams to become effective?
How long will it take for the new administration to run everything smoothly?
It seems simply unwise to discard a well-worn pair of shoes before we know whether the new pair fits.
Therefore, I urge everyone throughout the shire to tell the government in Sydney about our needs in this, often overlooked part of the state by voting yes at the poll on September 8.
We are writing to alert other owners of small/rural residential holdings that the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water has informed us it is undertaking a review of the minimum size holding for which a commercial kangaroo harvesting license can be attained.
In our area, a licensed commercial kangaroo harvest of 150 kangaroos over three months has begun on a neighbouring property that is less than 40 hectares and zoned rural residential.
We were surprised to find this is possible given that much of the land in the area is zoned in the same way and the holdings are small.
Residents enjoy the local fauna and flora and most engage in some hobby farming.
Currently, commercial harvesting of kangaroos is permitted on blocks as small as 10 hectares.
There is no process for an appeal by neighbours affected by the shooting and the police have informed us there are no regulations regarding how close shooting can occur to a boundary or another house.
Areas referred to as rural residential consist mostly of smaller “lifestyle” blocks that have little if any commercial grazing potential.
Homes are often fairly close to boundaries and therefore can be close to any shooting (in our case only 40 metres).
We consider that shooting in such close proximity is unsafe and is a serious noise nuisance.
It effectively targets the entire local kangaroo population that we and our neighbours enjoy; it is one of the many reasons we live here.
To contribute to the department’s review of commercial kangaroo harvesting on small holdings/rural residential properties, you can write to: Ms Sally Barnes, Chief Executive, Office of Environment and Heritage, PO Box A290, Sydney South 1232.
Karen Cooper and Alex Holland
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