I have been thinking about how it is that we as a community, can have our thoughts aligned almost exclusively, with what effects us and not our total community.
By Rodger Pryce – Together We’ll Fix It Team Mayoral Candidate
Our Council to me, has a preoccupation with catering for the interests of only one sector of our community, if we consider the investment of a minimum of $81 million for the CCS, with somewhere in the vicinity of $30m – $40m of that being for new Council offices.
Now, even though this Council is governing by default in my opinion, they are now in the process of deciding what and where we should have as an Entertainment Centre, for another $60m.
I fail to understand how our Council does not embrace everyone, as a whole.
I feel so sorry for the disadvantaged members of our community, who have been waiting for years to have their communal facilities upgraded when, as we have seen with the Gordon St project, this Council can get things happening really quickly, when it is something certain elements of council selfishly decide they want.
I have two glaring examples.
One is Sports Central in Bray Street where our Council received a federal grant of $6.3million to upgrade the facilities in 2019 – this is yet to happen. This area has a high level, assisted housing population, the kids around Sports Central would benefit greatly by having a better facility.
Indded there are two further issues here too. When it came up before Council, Councillor Townley moved that the money be taken away from this disadvantaged area and given to the Woolgoolga Swimming Pool, seconded by Tegan Swan. Secondly, the power bill due to inefficiencies, is massive, which was due to be alleviated by it being included in the Council’s solar program. But Sports Central was taken off the solar programme, instead, a massive solar system, courtesy of grant funding, was installed on Rigby House, recently sold, with the funds from the sale going into the Gordon Street Project.
Is that the right thing to do?
The second situation which comes to mind is at Ulong.
Ulong is another disadvantaged community, the hall in the winter is freezing, although it did receive a $100,000 grant from the bushfire regeneration programme to heat the hall. Despite constant lobbying, that never happened for the winter just passed Counil was too busy apparently, but yet not too busy to fast track Gordon Street.
Another small aside about Ulong, a football coach recently moved into the area and saw there was an oval but no goal posts. So the community lobbied Council and were told that they had to raise the money for the goal posts, which amounted to $2,500. Which they duly did.
Bear in mind, Ulong has no sewerage, no link town water and no footpaths.
But they pay rates – for what?
To fund an $80 million building in Gordon Street? To talk about where they might put an entertainment centre, that has just been completed by the ‘ Council by default’.
The amount paid to ‘ Consultants’ for this I am advised was, $200,000. And yet the Ulong community have to raise $2500 to pay for community goal posts!
Where is the inclusiveness for our community? Where is the equality?
Who are the real beneficiaries of now some $140 million being talked about being spent?
Why are our leaders not looking after those who are least able to look after themselves?
I am standing for Mayor at the upcoming Council elections on the platform of inclusiveness. Our Council needs to embrace all of the 77,000 who reside in the Coffs Harbour electorate.
The majority of money spent by this current Council, ultimately directly benefits only a small proportion of the overall community in my opinion.
This is wrong on so many levels.
Together we’ll fix it.
The above is a social media release by Rodger Pryce for Mayor, Sunday 26 September 2021.
Coffs Coast Outlook will publish all media releases by Coffs Coast candidates for the council elections which are now to be held on 4 December so long as they have legally acceptable content.
Lead photo: coffscoast.com.au
CCO editor comment: The tale about the Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) telling Ulong to raise $2,500 for goal posts is such ridiculous behavour by the CHCC on so many levels that it brought to mind Charles Dicken’s famous opening lines from “A Tale of Two Cities’;
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it …”