Saleyards green light raises ire
Very disappointed to read in The Courier the story about the issue of the “Approved Plan” for the Saleyards.
Now I know its controversial and all of that, indeed it is because it is controversial I am so concerned.
We are on the cusp of a new Council and the existing organization should be taking care not to in any way create waves which can be seen as being created to, or for, the benefit of the Current Councillor group (or some of them), and/or having the capacity to be to the detriment of some from outside who are standing for selection into the new Council – even if it is only a maybe.
Some of this campaign has been centred around this issue, and those who support the matter have suffered a significant boost because of this action of Council today, and those who are running on a “No” campaign, have suffered a significant loss and of this there is no question – so much for impartiality.
That is not what is supposed to happen - for Council to have kept back out of sight on the matter would have done no one any harm, either way, and would have affected no one plus or minus.
The fact is, that yes an EPA Works Authority has been issued , BUT before the expiry of the 21 day cooling off period, an objection was lodged with VCAT in accordance with the rules. The effect of this is that the Works Authority is now “Stayed” pending at least the first VCAT hearing which is set down for November 18th and possibly much longer. No works may commence and any works which have commenced must stop.
The second thing that has happened is that Council can be seen as having now taken sides in the VCAT matter against the Community and with Riple who can now front up on Nov 18th waving a Council approval – an approval I say you had no right to issue BECAUSE you do not have a currently active (or at least unencumbered) Works Authority upon which to base your Approved Plan.
It is no wonder the Community of Miners Rest believe this sorry saga has been a set up right from the start and no wonder, now the questions in the minds of some candidates.
No doubt you will have gleaned from this communication that I am very upset over this issue. Whether as a candidate I get elected or not, is not the issue, the issue is the performance of our Council, “The City of Ballarat”, and its dealings with the Community, in this particular case the Community of Miners Rest.
Make no mistake they have been treated very poorly.
Grant Tillett, council candidate for North Ward
The Council is currently in caretaker mode and is therefore bound not to make any major decisions that place obligations on the incoming Council in November; it can only deal with day-to-day matters.
For some reason, the Council CEO has seen fit to approve the Central Victoria Livestock Exchange Plan late last week. I do not support the plan for the Saleyards at Miners Rest. The endorsement of this plan should not have happened given that the residents of Miners Rest have an application before VCAT.
Nothing should happen until that hearing on 18 November. There is a sense of desperation around this current Council that is not only questionable but also unacceptable.
I call on current Councillors to speak out on this matter.
Ron Egeberg, Council Candidate for Central Ward
The decision made by Council to rubber stamp the saleyards relocation to Miners Rest is abhorrent in the extreme. A regionally significant decision silently made in the middle of a Council election and caretaker mode. No respect or courtesy to those of us who have worked tirelessly for years on this issue. No more than another press release.
I put my hand up to stand for Council because I wanted to build on positives. I want to contribute to a new way forward.
New staffing changes, the possibility of fresh and new ideas blending with the experience of those councillors who may remain were, for me, signals of that new positive direction and a hope for doing things differently. Today, I struggle to remain positive.
What we need is a complete cultural change in our Council. Improved communication, transparent processes, fair and equitable decision making. Council appears to have learned nothing and it needs to have strong people on the inside to bring about a new era of change.
If you haven’t yet voted, I implore you to make your vote count and get community minded, fair and respectful people into this organisation before its too late so we can make sure that these questionable practices stop and people with sufficient collective gumption can challenge and change what’s been going on.
Pauline Fay Council candidate for North Ward.
OPPORTUNITY AWAITS ON RENEWABLES
I was very encouraged to read in the Courier (14/10) that the Committee for Ballarat has opened dialogue with manufacturing around Ballarat to produce wind tower parts. I have for a long time been an advocate for Ballarat becoming a pioneer in developing a renewable technology manufacturing hub.
I have studied the impacts of climate change and alternative energy sources at Melbourne University, and, being part of the younger generation, have a vested interested in mitigating the catastrophic climate change that has already begun. With the recent announcement that Timken will leave Ballarat, a transition to other types of manufacturing is critical and renewables are the obvious solution. Parts can be made locally and, due to the favourable geographical features of the western region for wind capture, used locally as well.
We need to push tirelessly to make this a reality. I believe partnerships with local organisations to fund solar indicatives (as Melbourne city council has with the North Melbourne Football Club has recently done) are a must do. If Ballarat does not take advantage of the shutting down of the coal industry surely somewhere else will.
Will Bennett, Central Ward Candidate