Bega District Letters to the Editor, August 21

Privatisation puzzling

I am beginning to wonder if the patients are in charge of the asylum that is all levels of government. 

First they wanted to amalgamate TAFE with universities, which was tried a while back and was a $1.2billion dollar disaster. Now they want to put many courses including trades online and have private companies running them.

There are two major problems with this. Over the last 20 years I don’t know one thing the government has privatised that hasn’t turned out badly and cost the taxpayer billions. Just look at electricity, gas, NBN – I could name enough to fill a book.

Secondly would you like a plumber, electrician, builder, mechanic and so on, who did their entire course online, working on your house/car? They would have no hands-on experience, just online learning. In reality, book or online learning is just theory and just because everyone has a theory on something doesn’t mean they can do it and do it well.

Basically the whole privatisation thing of anything is government firstly divesting itself of any responsibility so it can always say it wasn’t our fault when something goes bad. Secondly it is about saving mega bucks so they can have better pay and conditions. I feel sorry for all the poor disadvantaged politicians of all parties, don’t you?

One thing that really puzzles me is many of the things they sell off bring in big “continuing” profits. So why sell it in the first place for a short term gain during their terms in office?

Frank Pearce, Bega  

FIRE AND ICE: Jillian Hayes snapped these two contrasting images on her Sunday drive, one at the top of Brown Mountain and the other at the bottom.

FIRE AND ICE: Jillian Hayes snapped these two contrasting images on her Sunday drive, one at the top of Brown Mountain and the other at the bottom.

Long-term vision needed

Mike Kelly is right in saying that a comprehensive, long term plan for the Princes Hwy is desperately and urgently needed, and that it’s disappointing the NSW state government has failed to produce one (BDN 10/8).

But Mike is only partly right.

What is even more desperately and urgently needed is a plan, a vision, for the (sustainable) future of the South Coast. One that will cater for the needs of the area, and looks forward 50 to 100 years – which includes plans for likely population growth in the area (including the provision of housing and employment opportunities), and plans for the provision of necessary infrastructure that will include, among many other things, adequate roads.

And that is something much, much bigger than current planning that seems to only go as far as planning for a new bridge at Batemans Bay or expanding some wharf facilities in Eden.  

Council seems disinterested in planning that far ahead.  The state government, as Mike suggests, seems incapable of doing so. And our local state Member seems totally distracted by a problem 500km away – Sydney’s train, bus and tram woes.

Perhaps Mike is the person in the best position to initiate this now-overdue conversation with the community about the area’s long-term future.

If he called a public meeting to initiate planning for the area’s long-term future, I’m sure he would be bowled-over by the number of locals concerned about our future, and would find that everyone attending had sensible ideas on what we need to start to do (to borrow someone else’s phrase; sorry!) to “make the South Coast great again”.

Peter Lacey, Quaama

Fan of FOGO

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw an advertisement about FOGO (a kerbside Food Organics Garden Organics bin collection service, converting scraps to compost).

I was just watching War on Waste and thought this was such a great idea, so I jumped for joy as the advertisement said FOGO was coming to town from October 29.

But I then sat down very quickly, as it was just for the Bega Valley. I think Eurobodalla Shire Council should be in on it as well. Let’s get this rolling immediately, Eurobodalla Shire.

Emma Carr, Narooma