OPINION: State conference motions a promising start to new council

Accessibility issues in the shire and state emergency funding were the subjects of two motions taken to the Local Government NSW conference this week by newly elected councillors.

The motions were both passed unanimously and both reflect local issues and concerns.

The motion on accessibility calls for the introduction of legislation that would force improvements to be made when new works were carried out on properties.

Mayor Kristy McBain said access to shops and buildings is often impossible for people with a disability or impaired mobility. 

“Our first motion aimed to significantly improve matters by calling for the introduction of legislation that would enforce property owners and landlords to upgrade access facilities both inside and out when conducting improvement works.

“Many of the problems faced by people with impaired mobility are the result of out of date building codes, so to have Local Government NSW backing this first motion of the newly elected council is fantastic,” Cr McBain said.

The motion comes hard on the heels of the Access4All meeting at Pambula Surf Life Saving Club recently where Cr Sharon Tapscott, who has been on council’s access committee with Ron Finneran, among others, for the last four years, has been a strong voice for improvements.

Cr Tapscott said there was need for council to be more strategic about accessibility issues, by looking at access at the start of any planning processes in council rather than making it an afterthought.

The second motion passed about state emergency funding could not have been closer to home where the state government is washing its hands of any financial involvement in Tathra Wharf repairs.

The motion was a call to urgently review state and federal emergency funding currently not covered by the Natural Disaster Relief Recovery Arrangements and received unanimous support.

“The situation we are currently dealing with at the Tathra Wharf is a good example of a state-owned asset that would still be in a state of disrepair had it not been for the council footing the bill themselves,” Cr McBain said.

It is a very promising start to the new council term, but credit should also be given to the previous council which put forward the original motions.

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