PAM Frost did our community no favours with her article “Scrap school programs says Schwarz” (Bay Post/Moruya Examiner 15/02/2013).
Intelligent and very proper questions about ratepayers’ responsibility – if any – for meeting the cost of providing clever environment education in schools, and providing Art on the Path, treasure hunts and fishing tackle recovery bins, have been drowned out by a separate argument - whether environment education and fishing tackle recovery bins are good things.
There is no argument.
Of course environment education in schools, fishing tackle recovery bins and the other services listed in the document considered by councillors are good things. We all want them. But there are federal and state government departments with huge budgets, large numbers of staff and responsibilities under laws made by our Commonwealth and State Parliaments to look after such matters.
Council has no clear legislative responsibility or agreement from the community to provide such services.
The document our councillors were asked to rubber stamp deceptively avoided providing any information about what this actually costs Eurobodalla ratepayers. Vague reference was made to some funds from the agencies that are actually responsible for these matters.
There is not even an informed guess about the shortfall being met from ratepayers’ funds that must be withdrawn from our roads, pathways and local infrastructure.
Thankfully a few councillors are now asking intelligent questions on behalf of you and me.