Bega district letters to the editor, April 18

Equal treatment

While the Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) was a vocal critic of Cr Mitchell Nadin for having abused his position as a councillor in making a political attack on the Victorian government during the last ordinary meeting of council, it also believes that Cr Fitzpatrick should be accorded the same treatment.

While the BVSRRA understands there is widespread community concern over the management of the new regional hospital in Bega, it is of the view that the issue itself is no more the concern of Bega Valley Shire Council than are the actions of the Victorian government. Ironically, while Cr Nadin’s behaviour during the last council meeting drew a public rebuke in newspaper editorials, Cr Fitzpatrick was treated as a source of front page news.

The fact of the matter is that both Cr Nadin and Cr Fitzpatrick were allowed to abuse their positions as councillors during a formal meeting of council, by being allowed to promote their partisan views on issues not the proper concern of council to the wider community, while Cr McBain, chairing that meeting as Mayor, failed in her duty to call both councillors to order.

While the BVSRRA has commented separately about the substance of Cr Fitzpatrick’s remarks on the SERH issue, it believes it is appropriate to remind everyone that the fundamental source of the community’s concern and anger was the appalling treatment publicly visited on Dr Phoon and his family by SERH management and not the plethora of other “issues” manufactured since then, with the apparent intention of muddying the waters and ensuring those in our health system deserving of sanction remain unaccountable.

John Richardson, BVSRRA

Matter of priorities

The Bega Valley Shire is the only local government area area in NSW without filtration systems on its water supplies. As a result, it requires high dosing of other chemicals, particularly chlorine, to compensate and make our water supposedly safe to drink.

I know personally that when I turn a tap on at home quite often the stench of chlorine is overwhelming and I am reluctant to drink it. The other issue I notice is the bluey green ring of confidence that forms regularly on the bottom of my basins which is residual copper from my house pipes. Chlorine is highly corrosive and at high levels will corrode copper pipes.

The Brogo water supply which provides for the northern towns of Cobargo and Bermagui, as well as Wallaga Lake, have recently been on a boiled water alert for the second or third time in the past 15 months, while the Bega -Tathra supply has had ongoing issues with many complaints from the public over a long time with water that can be so discoloured it looks filthy.

The Yellow Pinch-Tantawanglo supply which feeds the southern part of the shire also has its own issues requiring high levels of chemicals to make it acceptable.

To rectify this situation the council will need huge dollars, perhaps up to $60million, to install filtration systems on all of our water supplies. This is something the ratepayers obviously cannot bear but the state government and Mr Constance who are always highlighting how cashed up they are, now need to be come to the party for the sake of the community’s health and wellbeing. 

The council is about to undertake the installation of a filtration system for the Bemboka water supply which the state government has agreed to fund at an estimated cost of $2.5m.  

This while the government is trying to add the toxic chemical fluoride to our water supplies because it claims it has health benefits.

To my way of thinking  and I would suggest the majority of the shire’s residents, it is time the council and the state governments got their priorities right and focussed on providing us with filtered high quality water supplies without the chemical add-ons that are anathema, and totally unacceptable to our modern way of life.

Fraser Buchanan, Merimbula

Clarification needed

With reference to the environment page article “Building homes for gliders”.

Oh dear! At the risk of being boring, a glaring error and vital omission should be mentioned. The photo shows a yellow-bellied glider and not a squirrel glider (the picture of the former seems to be taken from the Australian Museum book of Australian Mammals).

The omission is a failure to point out that logging, mainly for woodchips, also destroys habitat and continues to do so. Is it too much to ask for accuracy and honesty here?

Pauline Buck, Candelo

Editor’s note: Thanks Pauline. That article is in the Town and Country liftout, not one of ours, but I will pass your concerns on to T&C as well.

MEET AND GREET: Craig Richmond of Bega gets his book signed by Federal MP Anthony Albanese at last week's event.

MEET AND GREET: Craig Richmond of Bega gets his book signed by Federal MP Anthony Albanese at last week's event.


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