The Orara Valley Community has been allocated $1,000,000 from the Federal Govt for Bushfire Recovery. Have you seen what our Local Council has decided to spend the money on, with very little public consultation?
By Kellie Pearce
Remembering, these grants are meant to be spent on Bushfire Recovery, the council has allocated nearly half of the funds already as follows;
An Interim Program of Works worth $416,784 was agreed. These were:
- Nana Glen Community Hall – installation of solar panels and air-conditioning, $70,000.
- Community Led Recovery Event – a single whole-of-community event with activities and entertainment to bring everyone together, $50,000.
- Business and Tourism Support – Strategies to attract visitors, $68,000.
- Appointment of a 12-month Community Recovery Officer with experience and skills in disaster recovery, $150,000.
- Lower Bucca Community Preschool for the refurbishment of existing amenities and undercover outdoor area, $78,784.
Yet the Lower Bucca Community was not affected by the fires. This is clearly a case of council redirecting funds to cover their own funding needs in the opinion of many in the Valley.
$50,000 for a “Whole-of-community” event when people still have no homes?
We have roads needing repair, bridges that are not passable.
We have an entire town (Nana Glen) with no public toilets, no safe community meeting place, no storage for emergency facilities.
No funds have been allocated to any emergency service, such as the RFS, SES or Heart Start.
Nothing has been to local Wildlife rescue. But funds for ‘strategies’? Nearly $70,000.
Edit update. As of 5pm today (Monday 17 February, 2020) I have not been given permission to speak at next council meeting after asking permission to do so.
I think council need to look more closely at their priorities.
First published and updated at the Coffs Harbour City Council Ratepayers, Residents & Business Owners Facebook page. Monday 17 February 2020. See; https://www.facebook.com/groups/326166850803871/permalink/2700321893388343/
- Slight edits by CCO