Questions for candidates
The Tuross Head Progress Association has prepared questions for candidates attending the forum on April 29 at the Kyla Hall from 7pm.
Hospitals and health: What are your proposals to support state government promised funding for the new Eurobodalla regional hospital and appropriate medical staff in this shire?
Princes Highway: There have been promises of highway upgrades such as new bridges at Batemans Bay and Nowra and a by-pass at Moruya which are very welcome. Bridges and town bypasses don't kill people, the highway in between does. Would you support urgent interim works such as more overtaking lanes and centre barriers to improve traffic flow and road safety on the Princes Highway?
Protection of waterways: In the past year there have been raw green prawns from Asia for sale in some local supermarkets. If these are used for bait, there is serious potential for contamination of our estuaries and prawn stocks with white spot disease which could devastate our native prawn stock and the ongoing economic benefit. Would you ban the import of raw green prawns into Australia?
Electric vehicles: It is claimed Australia only has a few weeks fuel in storage. Should there be a fuel shortage, the South Coast will grind to halt. Five years ago Regional Development Australia Far South Coast proposed an "electric highway" from Wollongong to Bega, with 26 overnight charge points for electric vehicles in tourist accommodation sites. This initiative appears to have stalled. The NRMA has a fast charge outlet at Berry and outlets planned for Batemans Bay and Bega. Would you actively support the increase in electric vehicles and re-charge network?
Vice-president Tuross Head Progress Association
Fix it Now campaign
There's been substantial lobbying to improve the Princes Highway and duplicate it to the Victorian border with the provision of several town bypasses.
At the recent state election, Bega MP Andrew Constance and others commented on the highway and its poor standard. Mr Constance and Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited the area making promises including bypassing Moruya, connecting the Batemans Bay link road to the highway and upgrades between Batemans Bay and Mogo.
It was indicated some of the work could begin immediately. Whether what was said was just electioneering jargon, we don't know yet.
No plans are available for viewing at the moment. With the national election knocking on the door, more want-to-be politicians are making promises about how much they'll allocate of taxpayers' money to the upgrading plans from the Jervis Bay Road to the Victorian border. Roads and Maritime Services has a continuous highway redevelopment plan to 2056. Are all the promises part of the existing planning?
Bird's-eye view of drones
Following articles on the use of drones by surf life saving clubs, I have to say "fare thee well, shorebirds, both local and migratory species", as there will be, to you, predators in the air of infinite and unpredictable maneuverability.
The more drones used, the more we will observe the disappearance of our feathered friends. To birds, drones would be considered hostile, like a hawk hovering for a strike.
Birds can tolerate aircraft landings and take-offs, as they are predictable and on set air paths. Drones are not. If we are to use drones on shore lines, it would be helpful to use them on very specific flight paths, at very steady speed and at set times.
Petition to keep Bay community centre
Soon Perfex will present our petition to Eurobodalla Shire Council to maintain the Batemans Bay Community Centre.
More than 900 people have signed, seeking a definitive assurance that the centre is guaranteed as a viable community asset, uncompromised by the development of the Mackay Park aquatic and arts centre.
Despite several attempts at gaining that commitment, there is still a question mark on the centre. The best we have was in response to a question on notice on March 26: "The council has not made a decision to sell the existing (centre). It has been identified that it could possibly be sold or leased, to offset construction and/or ongoing operational costs associated with the proposed Aquatics, Arts and Leisure Centre."
Why its disposal should be linked to Mackay Park at all is unclear (no such proviso was apparently required for the development of the Basil Sellers centre in Moruya). The main question is linked to meeting the needs of the wider community.
The council has projected some 18 per cent increase by 2035, with those being aged mostly over 60. More and diverse community assets will be needed, not less. These assets need to be spread across the community and its central geography to give wide access to resources, e.g. safe public toilets, diverse meeting and resource areas and easy, affordable access.
We are asking for a clear commitment that the centre be retained and maintained for the community now and into the future.