Cootamundra Herald letters to the editor, May 5, 2017

Forced council mergers

In response to Mary Donnelly’s letter. (Cootamundra Herald, April 28). 

Yes, the Gundagai community was consulted about the main street upgrade and the vast majority of the residents contacted gave their full approval and were informed of the rate rise necessary to meet the cost of the construction. 

This upgrade had been in the pipeline for about 20 years and the residents felt that the time for talking was over. They wanted action.  That covers the community consultation concerns. 

Also, Ms Donnelly says that the amalgamation has been “signed off on, by the NSW government, and will not change”. Well, the vast majority of the Gundagai residents have other ideas. Maybe I should remind Ms Donnelly that the former premier Mike Baird said exactly the same words in relation to his ill-fated ban on greyhound racing. 

If I remember correctly that was also set in concrete and would never change. We all know what happened there. 

So, there goes Ms Donnelly’s argument that “we rarely win against government”.  Our former council was one of the most competent in regional NSW and were in a sound financial position.

Yet, for some inexplicable reason, they were deemed to be not fit for the future by a bunch of lying, conniving politicians who gave a written pre-election promise that there would be no forced mergers. 

And again, as for consultation. When the residents of Gundagai went to bed on the evening of May 12, 2016, they were living in a democracy.  However, when they woke up next morning they were living under a dictatorship. 

There had been no consultation whatsoever.  And our former administrator made Gundagai a “refugee welcome centre” off her own bat without bothering to consult with any of the townspeople.  

And when our “lovely footpath” becomes known as the being the “most expensive in the state” I doubt very much if we will be able to cope with the influx of tourist coming here to view our unique and futuristic main street upgrade. I am predicting that in time it will become as famous and well-known as the Dog on the Tuckerbox. And some uninformed people wonder why we want our democratically elected council back?

Geoff Field

Gundagai

ROLL 'EM UP: Cootamundra High School student Kaede Nicka (right) with the Red Cross Blood Service staff during her first blood donation in March. Picture: Lachlan Grey

ROLL 'EM UP: Cootamundra High School student Kaede Nicka (right) with the Red Cross Blood Service staff during her first blood donation in March. Picture: Lachlan Grey

Thanks to volunteers

Australia’s volunteers are unsung heroes and I’m pleased to say that there are two events this May that celebrate their contribution to NSW and its communities.

World Red Cross Day (May 8) coincides with the start of National Volunteer Week and so we’re using this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who make our society stronger.

It might be by donating blood, reaching out to an older person who lives alone, or spending a day of their week helping run a Red Cross shop.

It particularly comes to light during a crisis. I’ve been overwhelmed by how willing people have been to give their time to help people whose lives were turned upside-down by Cyclone Debbie.

1700 volunteers and staff have supported communities in northern NSW and Queensland, including 200 from across our state.

Thankfully, it is not just during a disaster when we see the best come out in people. Every day around the country people carry out acts of kindness, creating a place where we feel supported and included. Their actions bring us closer together and make us feel more positive about our lives.

Think about when a friend or colleague, or even a stranger, has done something to help you, without expecting anything in return. It feels good, doesn’t it?

This week, as we celebrate volunteers and the worldwide Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, let’s all make the effort to help someone who needs it.

Jody Broun

NSW Red Cross director

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