I AM about to break a rule of mine. That is not to comment on current council business as I have “had my go” at managing shire affairs.
However, the current proposal of a three-way amalgamation of Lockhart, Corowa and Urana would be one of the worst and most arrogant decisions I have heard of.
In all three shires, there has been extensive consultation, public meetings and in-depth discussions about shire amalgamations.
I hate to think how much time has been wasted on this issue which could have been better spent trying to improve conditions for our residents within shires.
Not once to my knowledge has such a three-way amalgamation been mooted - such arrogance to pluck this decision out of ignorant bureaucracy.
In each of the three shires there are nine councillors - local residents elected by their fellow citizens to manage their respective shires in the best possible interest of the citizens.
This amalgamation reduces by 18 the input from local citizens - a travesty of justice.
It is hard to see how three citizens of Lockhart could be aware of the best interests of Corowa Shire over 100km away, and vice-a-versa.
Urana has the smaller population in the middle and it seems to me that it manages its affairs just fine.
I would challenge the appropriate minister to show me some concrete economic benefit such an amalgamation would create.
In every case, all the same services of roads, rubbish, water, gardens, toilets and cemeteries still have to be provided.
As I see it, amalgamations create bigger bureaucracy, create more travel and generally soak up any possible savings.
I WAS impressed and a little surprised by your recent editorial urging effective action to deal with climate change.
I was completely unimpressed and unsurprised by the response of your resident self-proclaimed climate expert, Keith Wheeler, in his regular column.
Mr Wheeler needs to get his head out of whatever climate denial blogs he frequents and face facts.
First of all, the earth continues to warm without pause.
This is the warmest year on record, at the end of the warmest five-year stretch on record.
Since 1900, every decade (with the exception of the 50s) has been warmer than the one before.
Ocean levels are rising.
Mr Wheeler desperately clutches at any straw to try and make his case.
Eighty per cent of tiny islands around the Marshalls, Kirabati and the Maldives are growing (by well-known processes that explain how these islands form in the first place), but he doesn’t mention that the larger islands, where people actually live, are being swamped by rising sea levels that ruin gardens, destroy infrastructure and flood roads and houses at peak high tides.
Sea levels are rising by an average of 3.3mm a year, a fact Mr Wheeler could check by typing “sea level CSIRO” into his internet browser.
Not that any facts, or scientific research, or learned organisation will faze your local climate expert.
He is like his hero, the great Lord Monckton, explaining at the Paris conference that it was the United Nations that secretly removed Tony Abbott from office as part of the Great Climate Conspiracy.
Thankfully only about 30 people (mostly old men as it turns out) were listening to the good lord.
The other 40,000 delegates were listening to the real science and, hopefully, figuring out how to get us out of this mess.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.