Patricia Hellier - 22 May 2018
Patricia Hellier made the below comments at the Ordinary Council Meeting 22 May 2018.
Good morning everyone my name is Trish Hellier, I received an email from Council on the 5th May in reply to my presentation on the 24th April on the upgrade Albert Ryan Park, I note in the reply it is stated that there are 6 public toilets in the Batemans Bay area that are fitted with Master Locks for the Disable to enable people with Disabilities 24hr access. NOW I am fully aware of this service. When the new BB Bridge is being built 2 of these toilet blocks maybe affected, and currently some of these toilets cannot be accessed at night as there is no lighting.
I think there are some within this Council who 'just don't get it', that is why I used Lindsay Browns plight in 2015 as an example, as you do not have to look physically disabled to require the needs of a Disable Toilet.
At the last meeting Director Arthur stated that Council had received only one complaint in relation to ARP. On Tuesday 3rd April I stopped at ARP, my first observations was that there was a lot of rubbish on the ground, behind the toilets there was a number of plastic bag containing rubbish. The cleaner arrived and we both noted that there were no rubbish bins in the park. When I got home I rang council and I was shocked to get a recording stating the Council would be closed until 4th April.
I then called the 1800 no. and there was no response. I wonder how many times this has happened to others… Given that cleaner told me she would contact someone in relation to the rubbish and the lack of bins I did not pursue this any further.
At a Community Forum meeting in October 2015 in BB a rate payer asked me if I could ask that an after hrs number be placed on ALL the public toilets in the shire as they had had an unpleasant experience at the public toilets near the Boat Shed in BB. I raised this at the meeting with Lindsay Brown and his words to me were "Consider it done Trish", I kept waiting for these signs to appear in the toilets and after pursuing this for 6 to 8 months Warren Sharpe told me that the signs were in. Only 8 signs were ordered 3 went to Narooma, 3 went to Moruya and 2 went to BB,THAT IS RIGHT COUNCILLORS, 2 went to Batemans Bay. Every public toilet block in this shire should have this after hour contact number displayed.
The presenters who come here to address this Council give up their time to do so, we are not paid to do this, many have put in a lot of time researching various subject and what might seem important to some may not be to others. Lindsay Brown make a statement at the last meeting "It’s disappointing so much time is spent on toilets and a Greens Motion Policy and no one is here to speak on the Delivery Plan, - and that is what Politics is" - well that last statement of Lindsay Brown I can only say "Right back at you Lindsay" please do not belittle any statement by any rate payer or resident presenting in this Council and perhaps ALL you Councillors need to ask yourselves WHY wasn't there any speakers on this item and it will be VERY interesting to see how many submission IF ANY are received by close off today.
I have sat in the Gallery on and off since December 2011, and I have been told that there is 'cultures and clicks" within the ranks of Councillors that has occurred over many years.
In 2015 a Councillor in Batemans Bay was outvoted for a committee position for Corrigans Park with 2 Councillors from the south of the shire being elected to the position. That Councillor quietly packed her papers up and walked out of the Chamber, that Councillor was Liz Innes.
At the last Council Meeting in August 2016 a motion was put forward by Cir Peter Schwarz for $50,000.00 to be given to a Marina Project. The committee for this project had not met for some 8 months and this motion had not been endorsed by this committee, Cir Schwarz did this as one individual on the committee. WELL Councillor this $50,000.00 was not budgeted for, and the $50,000.00 got approved and this was under Lindsay Browns watch, this was after the purchase of the Bowling Club and we did not hear Lindsay Brown say "We don't have the money and what other project is going to miss out".
Recently I went back over Councils minutes from 2014 and I noted the names of some speakers who were very interesting, articulate and knowledge people and are rarely seen presenting in Council these days. While some may think that this indicates that "rate payers are happy', and I know that many, have just given up in frustration due to the fact that we are not listened to.
I have said in Council "What am I doing here, am I being listened to" and I have come to the conclusion that I am wasting my time and my energy, so therefore I am taking on an additional project as I have never seen so much interest already in the 2020 Council Election, normally interest is seen around 6 month prior to the election we are now seeing people coming together for 2020.
Councillor as you may know in 2015 I drove the petition that achieved nearly 11,000 signatures against the SRV, at the same time I drove the petition against the traffic light on the cnr. of North and Perry St. which achieved 1,200, signatures, then there was the petition for the NBN Tower at North Batemans Bay, and of course there was the 1,800 signatures on Albert Ryan Park and copies of the petitions were kept, collectively over 14,000 signatures, I have yet to check if copies were retained of the 5,300 signatures again the 2012 LEP.
Councillors I am now in a process of setting up a data base with these names and address which could be used for the 2019 State and Federal Election, and will be used for the 2020 Council Election, as for the first time there is a unitedness is being seen in this shire of Liberal, Labor, Greens, One Nation, Animal Justice Party etc.
It is acknowledge that this Council has inherited some issues, people have come together over a number of issues, the proposed Re Development of the McKay Park Precinct, the purchase of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club without a business plan and the interest that is being paid on the loan, the removal of the 50 mtr pool without community consultation, the proposed aquatic centre, the draconian policy on Wharf Road, the new Batemans Bay Bridge, rumours of the closure of the Batemans Bay Hospital, lack of transparency in regard to the General Managers Contract and the dismissed attitude toward the 3 speakers that presented at that meeting and the result of the OLG findings on this issue, the uncertainty of the Rural Lands LEP, the SRV and the general veil of secrecy surrounding many issues in the Council.
Patricia Hellier - For an on behalf of Eurobodalla Concerned Citizens