'Were they aware of the detail?'
In recent articles and comments on the Eurobodalla Shire Council's recent decision to pass the proposed budgets for 2020/21 including the full allowable 2.6 per cent increase to the general rate and other non-restricted increases to some fees and charges, much has been said about the propositions of council budgeting to make sizeable surpluses (aka "profits") and having dividends being passed from the sewer and water funds into the general fund.
These propositions may seem unreasonable at any time, but are particularly so in this extremely difficult year following drought, fire and COVID.
A quick look at the budgets and numbers involved showed the extent of these surpluses and the potential for the allowable 50 per cent dividends from the water and sewer funds back into the general fund - see the table pictured showing figures extracted from pages 76 to 79 of the budget.
Ratepayers should make themselves aware of the magnitude of these details, and more in the full budget documents they come from, approved by councillors at their meeting on June 23 and then ask those councillors were they aware of the detail and why the budget was passed by five of them without any alteration despite some attempts for fairness towards ratepayers?
Jeff de Jager
Help children cope after bushfires
Save the Children Australia is offering a new program to support the emotional recovery of children and young people affected by the recent bushfires in the South Coast.
The Journey of Hope program is designed to help children cope with collective trauma, develop their natural resilience and coping strategies, and strengthen their social support networks.
A new online module is also available free of charge to parents and carers, to provide them with practical knowledge and tools for identifying triggers and stressors, practicing self-care and have increased capacity to support children.
We understand that the recovery needs of the community didn't stop because a global pandemic hit.
We've been working hard to adapt our program to ensure we were ready to support you and your children.
Normally, Journey of Hope is delivered face-to-face in schools by specially trained support workers. But in response to the COVID-19 restrictions they are also being made available online.
Save the Children is seeking expressions of interest from schools in the South Coast region which would like to see the Journey of Hope program offered to their students.
The first online module is now available free of charge to parents and carers.
As schools reopen and health regulations allow, we aim to offer Journey of Hope face-to-face starting from Term 3.
The organisation has advertised a number of positions available for local residents to be trained and employed to deliver the Journey of Hope program in the community.
We know that local people understand local needs best. That is why Save the Children is hoping to find local candidates to help rollout the program in the area.
Between November 2019 and March 2020 Save the Children supported almost 1800 children, parents and carers in 17 communities by setting up Child Friendly Spaces in evacuation and recovery centres and providing mobile outreach services once centres were closed.