Letters to the editor | August 9

Fast track to a social, environmental disaster

Be careful what you wish for. Angus Taylor's along with wealthy property developers’ plan for mega cities all the way to Melbourne, linked by very fast rail, will be environmentally and socially disastrous. We and Council should be careful what we wish for.

For a start, where are we going to get the water to service these millions of people living on our doorstep?

Where will these people work? What about the environment, the habitat of animals and birds, crowded out by millions of people? Where will the people come from? Probably China and India, making their overcrowding problem our overcrowding problem. What effects socially will these millions of people make?

Frankly in my opinion this plan is a way to make billionaires many more billions of dollars through land development and construction. We really don’t need it.

What we do need is straightened tracks, fast locomotives and rail services.

Stuart Mawbey, Goulburn.

Putting cart before horse on performance venue

I was very pleased to read in the GP of August 4 that Crs Rowland and O'Neill are trying to get clarification of costs related to the proposed Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

Many in the community would like to know, myself included.

How can our councillors accept the annual running costs for this proposal at $400,000 or $33,333 per month or $1096 per day? That's right, annual running costs which over 10 years becomes $4 million. That is four times the amount the council is trying to procure from the Federal Government grant, except the council keeps falling short of the timeframe. Requirements for Building Better Regions grant says all construction work must be finished by December, 2018.

Someone has to be joking! The article ‘It's all about Money’ (GP Aug 4) says "Council has allocated $400,000 annually for operating costs over 10 years, except for 2017/18 when $50,000 is set aside to employ a centre manager for six months". Who is foxing who? The proposed PAC will not even be built in 2017/18, so how can a centre manager be paid $50,000? 

Why is Mr Bennett saying "a business plan would be prepared before Christmas?” For anyone else wanting funding, the business plan is the first priority in establishing eligibility.

By following the established norm and working out the business plan first, it might well have saved the community the $800,000 already spent and still rising.

The rush was on to gain the million dollar grant which apparently now bends the rules on timeframes. Fortunately the JRPP will not bend the rules on the development application, which does not include car parking and certainly did not accept delivery trucks reversing up the long narrow laneway beside Roses Cafe, hence the request for carpark access management plan.

Tempe Hornibrook, Goulburn

Four-year cemetery fight nears a conclusion

I am writing on behalf of The Forest Cemetery Association Inc to say a big thank you to the Gouburn Post for the role you have played in saving The Forest Cemetery.

Our Association has battled to protect the Cemetery since November 21, 2013, when Goulburn Mulwaree Council first advertised its intent to publicly auction the small Cemetery.

The Goulburn Post was quick to bring this issue to the attention of the community, reporting the anger and dismay of families whose loved ones were laid to rest in this previously peaceful place. The struggle over the intervening years from 2013 to 2017 has at times been very upsetting for us, however at every step along the way we felt that The Post was travelling with us and making the intentions of government transparent to the Goulburn community.

The NSW Government has now legally resumed the cemetery and has initiated the legal process to transfer the ownership to The Forest Cemetery Association Inc for the peppercorn price of $1. This work is almost concluded – it is my understanding that the only remaining step is the issuing of the legal title deed in favour of our Association. We are happy that this outcome has the full support of Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

Our Association considers that the excellent research and reporting carried out by The Post’s senior reporter, Louise Thrower, has been critical in helping to bring about this excellent outcome. Thank you Louise, and thank you Goulburn Post for supporting us on this four-year journey!

Denise McConnachie, Richmond

A matter of trusts

I applaud Bill Shorten for outlining his policy objectives so early in the electoral cycle but that has given all of us a glimpse at just how destructive to rural communities they would be.

His ill-advised tax-grab aimed at trusts is a prime example of failing to understand the complex ebbs and flows of money that sustain rural communities. It’s not just farmers in the southeast of NSW who rely on trusts to smooth their income flow between good and bad years; it is also many rural small businesses that rely on income from primary producers.

Farmers and graziers don’t invest in new sheds, fences, pumps etc when they are earning no money and many of the small businesses that sell and maintain this infrastructure rely on trusts to manage their income year to year. The ALP has effectively labelled these workers as wealthy tax dodgers.

Rural communities across the southeast of NSW will be much worse off if Bill Shorten is given the keys to The Lodge.

Nigel Catchlove, Manton

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