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BVSRRA

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BVSRRA last won the day on August 10

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. “… 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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