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  1. Last week
  2. The response of council to the Tathra bushfire disaster in March, 2018, with the announcement by council of the establishment of its Mayoral Appeal Fund the day after the fire was nothing short of superb. The egregious failure of council & elected councillors to respond to the tragedy confronting the families in Numbugga & Bemboka who lost their homes to the Yankees Gap bushire with the same interest, energy & support provided to the victims of the Tathra bushfire should be a source of great shame for council. Council’s failure is all the worse given that it had previously demonstrated that it is capable of responding when members of our community are confronting a crisis of a lifetime. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---it-s-never-too-late---18.08.2019.pdf
  3. While the association accepts that a majority of the 33,000 residents of the Bega Valley Shire might support a call for the Federal Government to declare a “Climate Emergency” (even though no-one has yet bothered to explain what that actually means & what it will supposedly achieve) & might also support the proposed renewable energy target proposed by Cr Griff, it also thinks that it would be nice to be asked. Moreover, the association believes that where any major policy proposal is being advanced on behalf of the shire, then it is incumbent on council to seek the opinion of residents before doing so, in particular where the proposal is highly political, contentious in nature or will be held-out as representing the views of the residents of the shire. The association also believes that in the absence of any such consultation, it is dishonest for council & councillors to claim community support for any proposition. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---on-overreach---16.08.2019.pdf
  4. It seems that many residents & ratepayers were surprised by Cr Tony Allen’s announcement that council is running a business, as they had thought that it was actually responsible for delivering essential public services for the community. Needless to say, the association believes that Cr Allen’s comment was helpful, because it served to highlight the fact that, like all governments & some businesses, council enjoys a monopolistic position & is therefore free of competition. This effectively means that it can charge the community for services provided whatever it thinks it can get-away with. And if the community won’t or can’t pay, well council can make an arrangement with you (which might cost you another arm & a leg) or it can simply take your property. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---taking-care-of-business---14.08.2019.pdf
  5. I have removed names for the sake of anonymity To the EPA. 13/09/2019 As I have alluded to in previous correspondence, Bayside Council’s record in the environmental area is shabby to say the least. As you are aware, Bayside Council were ordered to spend Millions of Dollars rehabilitating Merindah Park an area only a few hundred meters away from the proposed Netball Complex. That same site in earlier times was that of a Rubbish Tip. The site also abuts that of a former Battery Factory that manufactured lead filled acid batteries, whose waste was dumped at the site and as it is widely known by Locals that large amounts of asbestos was dumped at the site. If you check your files Heather you will be aware of the Affidvit we supplied you signed by the then Health Officer of the then called Sandringham Council that states also that there were some very dubious content dumped at the site. It is also alleged by that Health Officer that there was questionable procedures that may have been afforded to the then Developer by Council of the Housing Estate that we concerned resident reside. This is sandwiched between Merindah Park and the proposed Netball site. It has also been brought to your attention that there has been an inordinate amount people who have been inflicted with serious illnesses. I can assure you there are a lot more. Bayside council has proceeded in a most stealthful and arrogant way in this whole affair and have been most impolite to we residents. If it wasn’t for a few concerned residents this project would have ploughed ahead with complete disregard to we residents and Council have only became proactive in informing residents through pressure from Offices and yours and News Limited. Heads should roll here. We do not live in a Totalitarian State where people in position trample over their constituents . And IF there are more health issues that surface while and after construction it would be most sad indeed. I look forward to your findings and thank you for your diligent work thus far. Regards Www.councilwatch.net.au Subject: Re: Drop in Session at Bayside City Council Hi xxxxx, That's great, thanks for the update, we look forward to hearing from you after the meeting with council in August Kind regards XXXXXXXX On Wed, 7 Aug 2019 Hi I hope you’re going well. Further to my email below, I’m happy to continue to chat about this site if you have any additional questions about EPA’s activities, or if receive any further updates from Council or the other avenues you have been exploring. We are continuing to wait for outcomes of Council’s further investigations into groundwater and landfill gas in relation to the proposed development, but we are still confident at this stage that Council are on track and responding to our requests. We are meeting with Council again on 19 August, so please let me know if there’s anything additional you would like me to raise with them. We will be seeking an update on the planning proposal then too. Kind regards, xxxxxxx. __ Hi xxxxx, How are you? I hope you are going well. Just touching base about the Sandringham Golf Driving Range and to check if you’ve made any progress with Council on the planning process and if you have received any further information from them. EPA is so far satisfied with Council’s progress in responding to our requests for the additional investigations and assessments, regarding landfill gas and groundwater. We haven’t received any additional reports yet, but we are confident at this stage that Council will undertake the investigations soon, and we do not yet need to issue a Pollution Abatement Notice to require further action from Council. I will keep you updated with this though. Let me know if I can help in any way, or if you would like to discuss anything at this stage. Kind regards, xxxxxxx __ Hi xxxxx, Thank you for your email and I apologise for my delay in responding. I was disappointed to read in the letter you attached that the meeting on 26 June was not helpful for the community. I hope that you receive more information from Council soon. EPA had a productive meeting with Council last week where we outlined our expectations for the additional investigations and assessments, particularly regarding landfill gas and groundwater. We are encouraging Council to undertake these assessments as soon as possible. Council also updated EPA on the changed planning proposal (including the indoor stadium), which you had previously informed me about. If the additional assessments are not undertaken proactively by Council, EPA will then require them in Pollution Abatement Notices, or as part of EPA’s formal response to the planning referral when it is referred to EPA. I will keep you updated, but please let me know if you would like any more information in the meantime, or if you have any updates from your discussions. Kind regards, xxxxxx __ I am writing to see how you went with the meeting at Council last week. I have attached our letter for your records to the Mayor and all of the Councillors after the drop in session on Wednesday evening. The Victorian ombudsman investigating also received a copy. Look forward to hearing from you soon Kind regards XXXXXXX
  6. Hello members. The more I learn about the mo of Councils the more disillusioned I become, and that also applies to some so called independent Government agencies. The reason Council's get away with what they do is because of the apathy of we fair minded Aussies. They know only too well that there will be the odd dissident that will rattle the cage to their dubious actions, but it will all blow over in the end. The face of our Country is changing, most of our roads are choked with traffic, public transport is packed, and it face pf our nation is changing. Please pass on our web site to your friends so they can join and be heard: Strength in Numbers is the only way we keep the bastards honest!
  7. Earlier
  8. Last week the association published an opinion piece highlighting its concerns regarding the state of council’s fraud control framework. The association is delighted to confirm that, based on council’s detailed response to its inquiries, most if not all of the issues arising from the 2017 Audit Survey appear to have been addressed; a circumstance that must act as a reassurance to residents & ratepayers & more importantly, a clear indication of the importance that has been attached to this important issue by council management over the past two years. While the association remains a strident critic of council over its management of many issues, it believes that it is also important to acknowledge council’s positive achievements. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---well-done---12.08.2019.pdf
  9. As we all know, Council's are a disgrace, the Country over. Most Council's seem to have a cast of thousands in their employ and the get very handsomely remunerated, starting at the top. I think the Bayside Ceo gets around $300k. The same bloke that oversaw our recycled waste that we paid to get picked up packaged and sent off to Asia. For them to dump in the Ocean! How pathetic! Oh well life goes on.
  10. Zoner

    kerching ...

    Indeed they are a disgrace, the Country over. Most Council's seem to have a cast of thousands in their employ and the get very handsomely remunerated, starting at the top. I think the Bayside Ceo gets around $300k. The same bloke that oversaw recycled waste that we paid to get picked up packaged and sent off to Asia. For them to dump in the Ocean! OMG: How pathetic!
  11. Speaking to the substantial increases in rates & charges incorporated in council’s 2019-2020 Operational Plan & Budget, Cr Tony Allen last month informed the world that council was running a business & when costs increase in business, they have to be met. Of course, this did not prevent council from agreeing to hand-over another $400K of ratepayers’ funds in another expensive gift to make life a little easier for local development interests in “supermarket city”, allegedly to protect council’s “reputational risk”. What reputation is that you might ask? Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---kerching---09.08.2019.pdf
  12. In recent months, the association has again had occasion to complain to the OLG about the behaviour of council, in particular in placing of a draft Revised Delivery Program 2017-2021 & Operational Plan & Annual Budget for 2019-2020 on Public Exhibition, contrary to the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993, & subsequently presenting & adopting a significantly different Operational Plan & Budget for 2019-2020. In its complaints dated June 24th, 2019 & July 19th, 2019 the association requested the OLG to intervene with council so as to ensure that council met its obligations to residents & ratepayers. Once again the association was disgusted by the apparent willingness of the OLG to abrogate its responsibilities in the proper supervision of local government affairs in NSW & has again pushed back on the OLG, insisting that it intervene in council’s management. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---simply-pathetic---07.08.2019.pdf
  13. Back in 2015, the NSW Audit Office published its Fraud Control Improvement Kit, designed to help councils meet the challenge of implementing an effective fraud control framework, providing guidance on the key elements of the framework & containing practical resources to help organisations implement, review & monitor the framework. The association thinks it is important to note that more than five years after the NSW Audit Office published its Fraud Control Kit & some two years after it conducted its survey of council fraud control frameworks, it could find no evidence of this issue having been addressed by the elected council. Cr Tony Allen claims that council is running a business: some business. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---fraud-alert---05.08.2019.pdf
  14. I suppose Bayside Council is like most Councils Australia wide, mainly seen to be run by incompetent fools. I will no go into the plethora of deals they have bungled over the years. But what gets me is their Street Tree policy. They plant gum trees : while these are beautiful specimens, they are great in the bush, not in suburban Melbourne. Gum Tree's canopies invariably grow through the power lines and then Council are forever pruning them and turning them into ugly deformed monstrosities. And then have to repair the footpaths they crack when the roots get so large. It doesn't end there, the leaves they shed block the drains and cause flooding in the suburbs. Talk about Digging holes and filling them back up again! When quizzed; Council responded by saying they encourage the native bird life: WRONG, most of our native birds have been made extinct by the introduced Indian Myna! WHAT A JOKE!
  15. At the June 12th, 2019 council meeting, Deputy Mayor, Cr Mitchell Nadin, tabled a report on the proceedings of the Board Meeting of the Canberra Regional Joint Organisation (CRJO) that he had attended representing council on May 24th, 2019. Amongst the many issues canvassed in Cr Nadin’s lengthy report was an item “Code of Conduct Panel Reviewers”. Of greater significance to the community was the brief reference in Cr Nadin’s report to the current questionable funding arrangements attached to the Defined Benefit Plan of Local Government Superannuation. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---on-scams---02.08.2019.pdf
  16. Virtue Signalling is all the go this week, with the Bega District News (BDN) publishing a front page story featuring local Labor federal member, Dr Mike Kelly, championing the cause of journalistic freedom. Not content to leave the virtue signalling to Dr Kelly, the BDN offered yet another self-serving editorial on the same day, taking exception to last week’s criticism of ABC Radio South East by then Acting Premier John Barilaro (while the ABC itself said nothing) & then using it as a ruse to give itself “a leg-up” by claiming adherence to journalistic standards evidenced by others. Read more … http://www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/media-games.html
  17. While some in the community might have been surprised by the hysterical loss of control displayed by the Acting Premier John Barilaro during his tirade on ABC Radio South East last week, many would be unsurprised by the thuggish, bullying & embarrassing display. The association would argue that if the behaviour of media over time serves to encourage politicians to think that they can rule the roost & always receive preferential treatment, then it is hardly surprising that those same politicians will arc-up when they suddenly think they are being treated differently. The association thinks that it is up to ABC Radio South East to set the standard. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---ruling-the-roost---29.07.2019.pdf
  18. On May 15th, 2019, the association wrote to council voicing its concerns about the protocols in-place that govern its membership of the Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CRJO). To exemplify its concern, the association referred to a report to council on January 30th, 2019 by the Director Assets & Operations, recommending council support the business case for funding of the Southern Lights Street Lighting Program by the NSW Government, even though the business case had already been submitted to the NSW Government two months earlier & had not been subject to scrutiny by council. Needless to say, the entire proposed Southern Lights Street Lighting Program now appears jeopardised as a result of the NSW state government’s decision to reject the $61.4M funding request for the project. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---short-circuit---27.07.2019.pdf
  19. “… things are a little bit tough out there in ratepayer land & with interest rates the lowest they’ve ever been in the history of mankind, basically superannuation people & people on pensions are really doing it tough at the present time, so it’s not an ideal time to be putting rates & charges up but, our responsibility is to run a business & unfortunately in all businesses today, costs go up & they have to be met.” Cr Tony Allen If Cr Allen & his colleagues really want to run council like “a business”, then the association thinks that it is high time that council’s senior management & the elected council started to demonstrate that they know something about running a business, rather than spending their time playing the victim. The association believes that council is entirely focused on keeping-up appearances, having demonstrated that, after nearly three years, the best it can do is make excuses for its failure to address challenges or opportunities of substance. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---on-excuses---24.07.2019.pdf
  20. Last week the association called on the Office of Local Government (OLG) to urgently intervene in the management of council. Coming on top of council’s embarrassing governance failure in its mismanagement of its 2017-2018 Audited Financial Statements & its failed attempt to conceal its mishandling of the September, 2018 Quarterly Budget Review Statement, the debacle surrounding the adoption of its draft Revised Delivery Program 2017-2021 & Operational Plan 2019-2020 & Annual Budget 2019-2020 is yet another reminder of council’s inability to get the basics right. The association believes that the ongoing public pretence by the elected council that everything is normal is simply an abject admission of failure & damning evidence of its ineptitude. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---on-mismanagement---22.07.2019.pdf
  21. Who said that miracles never happen? How else to explain the fact that our local ABC Radio this week managed to present breakfast radio programs free of word games, trivial pursuits, episodes of “brains trust”, favourite obscure recipes & fruitless calls for its dwindling audience to “text now”, & to present instead some serious journalism? With Sophie Longden taking the lead, this week local ABC Radio has featured some excellent interviews & discussions on a wide range of community issues & should be congratulated for its much improved effort. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---great-job---19.07.2019.pdf
  22. Having all but exhausted its audience with its week long saturation coverage of NAIDOC Week, ABC Radio South East abandoned its self-appointed role & finally turned its attention to other matters last Friday morning. Apparently prompted by further recent job losses in regional media, the ABC introduced Deakin University Associate Professor Kristy Hess to discuss a three year research project she is leading to analyse the challenges regional newspapers face & explore innovative ways to sustain the industry into the future. Ironically the ABC neglected to mention the significant loss of scrutiny of local government that is being exacerbated by the decline in regional media. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---radio-games---16.07.2019.pdf
  23. The association believes that one of the most significant shortcomings of council is its failure to adequately manage the risk of significant financial exposure attached to its activities, in particular when it comes to major projects. The association also believes that council’s inept management in that regard has resulted in significant unnecessary capital & operational costs being imposed on residents & ratepayers. Risk management appears to be a foreign concept to council management. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---risky-business---13.07.2019.pdf
  24. The association supports the view that a free, independent, fearless, but responsible media is essential for the preservation of our democratic freedoms. The association has been a vocal critic of so-called “mainstream” journalism in the Bega Valley for many years, in particular given its openly partisan behaviour in favour of sectional interests, in particular council. For that reason alone, the association has been delighted to see the emergence of what appeared to be independent local journalistic voices in the Valley in recent years, including the online offerings of The Beagle & About Regional. Read more … www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---fair---balanced---11.07.2019.pdf
  25. “Climate emergency motion supported by local councils on national level” yelled the Bega District News (BDN) before going-on to detail how council’s Mayor, Cr Kristy McBain, had voted in support of a motion calling-on the federal government to declare a “Climate Emergency” at the recently held Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) Assembly held in Canberra. The problem with the BDN’s headline is that it was entirely misleading, but worryingly highlighted that respect for democratic process appears to have all but been abandoned by elements within council, if not local government all across the country. The association questions the need for an elected council if the Mayor is free to commit the council & the shire without consultation: surely the height of arrogance & the antithesis of democratic process? Read more … http://www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---alarum,-alarum---08.07.2019.pdf
  26. According to its website, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is “…the primary environmental regulator for New South Wales. We partner with business, government & the community to reduce pollution & waste, protect human health, & prevent degradation of the environment.” The association has had a number of dealings with the EPA over the years & has found it to be largely no different to the many other arms of government that ordinary members of the community have to contend with: more often than not, long on promise, but short on delivery. As is so often the case in dealing with bureaucratic representatives of government, the experience is a function of the attitude & sense of responsibilities of the particular employee one encounters. In other words, one can be “lucky” or not so lucky. Read more … http://www.begavalleyshireratepayers.asn.au/files/Bega-Valley-Shire-Residents---Ratepayers-Association--BVSRRA----Media-Release---go-figure---01.07.2019.pdf
  27. That great organization : Victorian Ratepayers Association that was headed by the tireless worker Frank Sullivan has a very capable and talented assistant in Dean Hurlston. Attached is a Press release that was featured in the the Herald Sun over the last few days. Well done to all involved! rpv media release final draft 1.pdf RPV media release council spending.pdf
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