For the second meeting in a row, extra chairs were needed in the Eurobodalla Shire Council chambers as ratepayers stood up to have their say.
The Bay Push spokesman, Charles Stuart, reminded the packed auditorium of the need for clear thinking and plain speaking, via an etymological digression.
“Auditorium,” he said, “is made up of two words: Audio – I speak, and taurus – bull.”
“I will try and avoid that today.”
Susan Pryke took the advice to heart regarding the Eurobodalla Pathways Strategy, articulating the need for a pedestrian refuge on the Princes Highway, at the southern end of Narooma.
“I think councillors should try crossing the highway, in both directions, as the students do every day,” Ms Pryke said.
“I want a reference (in the strategy) that you will do your best to get safe access.”
Council should set emissions targets for businesses and households- Kathryn Maxwell
Although approval of the strategy was for administrative reasons delayed, the council’s director of infrastructure services Warren Sharpe confirmed the appendix would be modified to best enable Ms Pryke’s crossing.
Representatives from both Eurobodalla 350.org and the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) applauded the adoption of the Emissions Reduction Plan, but urged councillors to go further.
SHASA spokeswoman Kathryn Maxwell said there was no other area council could gain such a high return on investment and “council should set emissions targets for businesses and households”. Eurobodalla 350.org spokesman Allan Rees said the priority was a feasibility study for a solar farm with battery storage.
We need to be very careful to see if that is the best use of that land.- Maureen Nathan
More contentious was the Batemans Bay dog park, with four advocates addressing the chamber.
After extensive, nay exhaustive, discussion, councillors voted to put the draft plan to public exhibition, but only after Greens Councillor Patrick McGinlay called for a division. He and Cr Anthony Mayne voted against the move.
The vocal advocates had lobbied for a site at Corrigans Beach for an off-leash dog park but, contrary to the agenda outline, Corrigans was not included in the draft plan and the park was initially designated on-leash.
Addressing the meeting, Cr Maureen Nathan said Corrigans was a prime piece of real estate, for many, many purposes: “We need to be very careful to see if that is the best use of that land.”
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