IN JULY 1945 a meeting was held in Tathra so that the townsfolk could vote on whether they should leave the Imlay Shire Council and join the Bega Municipality. The journalist who wrote this story in the July 14 Bega District News had obviously attended many meetings not as well run as this one was.
THE big crowd which was present at the public meeting held at Tathra last Tuesday evening indicated the intense local interest which has been aroused in the proposal to amalgamate the town of Tathra and intervening rural areas with the Municipality of Bega.
The proposal was sponsored by the Tathra Progress Association, the executive members of which had gone to considerable trouble to gather data and assemble a comprehensive list of facts of both sides of the matter to place before the meeting.
Certainly the resultant report, as submitted, left no room for doubt on either side of the question, the details being documented in orderly array and plain language. Mr O E Martin was the author, in collaboration with Messrs V Henderson and G Lindsay. Quite contrary to the usual practice at meetings in this district, where speakers are generally permitted to ramble along lengthy diatribes at their own sweet will, a time limit was placed on speakers at the meeting, and a set of rules which clearly defined who was who and what was what.
Official spokesmen for and against were named and allowed ten minutes, with a short extension if desired; supporting speakers five minutes. There was also observed a strict sequence of for and against alternatively.
The idea certainly cramped the style of some, and the closure bell mostly caught them floundering in a wealth of unnecessary detail far from the point they wanted to stress. It would be a grand thing if the time limit had a wider application.
Public and other meetings would be much more interesting and considerably less boring to listen to, apart from the fact that more can be accomplished with less effort in less time.
Mr Martin read the report compiled by the Progress Association. Unfortunately space precludes a full production of the report here, but summarily it set the advantages to Tathra by way of added facilities to be gained by coming under the control of the Bega Municipality - the affinity of the areas by geographical disposition; the fact that a large proportion of real estate of Tathra by owned by Bega people; the greater prospect of Bega's growth as compared to Eden; and the favourable rate comparison of Bega with Imlay.
Against the proposal was the favourable service rendered by Imlay over the years and prospects of greater road maintenance when increased plant was available.