Newsletter Number 29, November, 2012
NUMBERING OUR NEWSLETTERS
Those who like filing our newsletters to read again (and we hope you all do that!) will no doubt have wondered about their numbering and frequency over the years.
Computers like to do their own thing with numbers and have indicted they dislike our using the issue system and the year. The earliest newsletter we have on file dates from March-April 2002 so we have chosen to call that our issue ‘Number 1’. Before that the publication prepared jointly by the Community Hall and the Progress Association was known as ‘The Brisbane Water News’.
What you are reading now is Newsletter No. 29 and follows the tradition of recent years in having three issues per year, in May, August and November.
‘NO JUNK MAIL’ SIGNS
Do you have a sign like this attached to your letter box? If so, are you clear as to what you DO NOT WANT put in your box?
As President, I really enjoy my walk around our area delivering over three thousand newsletters and you would know that I do put one in your box even with the above mentioned sign. It is my earnest belief that I do not write ‘junk’ and that you need to know what progress, if any, is being made in our community.
Other non-welcoming signs have proliferated in recent years too. Examples are NO CIRCULARS, NO ADVERTISING MATERIAL and most confronting of all : AUSTRALIA POST ONLY. Well, after this issue I guess I’ll have to abide by that last instruction and no longer leave you our newsletter. Thank you for reading this one, anyway.
Generally I find our local citizens are very welcoming as I deliver the newsletters and it is good to be able to pause for a chat. You can always mention your community concerns to me at times like this.
Sadly, though, there are a couple of residents, only a couple mind you, who, when seeing me coming, appear to be lying in wait so they can verbally abuse me for my efforts.
Such is life, I guess.
1. Council is awaiting the rezoning of crown land in Fagan’s Bay next to Uratta St Playground. We hope this will be forthcoming and in 2012 we will celebrate the naming of the whole area as Bungaree Reserve.
2. Members have asked for more information about siting and safety of the proposed digital communication towers planned for the City Rail corridor. Current comments from several sources are quite contradictory.
3. Another community survey is planned for April 2013, using website, Facebook and local media.
4. The Association is working with the Point Clare School committee to expedite the traffic management improvements seen as necessary for safety of children, parents and vehicles. Chris Holstein, local State Member, has asked for details of any accidents that have already taken place.
5. We trust you were able to add your signatures to the petition that has been circulating about the need for the footpath along Brisbane Water Drive between Lorraine Ave and Tania Drive.
SCOTT JOINS OUR CAUSE
There was good attendance at our meeting earlier this month when members and residents gathered to hear our guest speaker, Scott Levi who presents the daytime shift on ABC radio, Central Coast.
Scott told us a little about himself, starting at 2KO as Koko the Koala, and his 20 year background in radio and community affairs. We soon learnt of his love of the coast, especially its waterways and cycleways. We heard fascinating stories about where his job has taken him in recent years including a graphic account of his being on ground and then flying over the Grantham flood devastation two years ago.
Scott stayed on through our meeting, gathering, as he said, at least five new local issues he would include in his daily talk-back show.
Such matters, where the power of community groups is in evidence, are dear to his heart and many at the meeting were happy to talk informally with him over supper.
Note: Details of his show and the man himself can be found on the ABC website.
BUSH CARE AT GOODAYWANG
For several years a few of our keener members have worked with Council’s Gary Palmer to plant, nurture and weed the developing areas of the reserve. More recently, extra funding has allowed the employment of contractors. Young people from Resource Training have also been able to join us in the ongoing upkeep and maintenance.
Most areas are established now, so during 2013 the Association’s role will lessen and we will be organising occasional, perhaps quarterly, working bees cum barbecues in the reserve. Watch out for the announcement of these. The first one will probably be an early evening event towards the end of summer.
CROSSING THE CREEK ONCE MORE
Tascott Creek is ‘bridged’ once again with the completion of a handsome new culvert, pictured, a footpath and a smooth road surface. It is good to know that the old and dangerously deteriorating concrete work has been replaced with a strong lasting construction.
Users of Glenrock Parade may also be interested to know that the pavement width over this culvert is the same size, six metres, as tentatively planned for the reconstruction of this significant through road from Havendale Close to Berala Avenue.
There will be a footpath on the eastern side for the entire distance and parking indents will be included at various locations. Our main concern has always been the sharp corner of Nimala Avenue and we understand this section will be widened to nine metres. We are hopeful that funds will be forthcoming to complete this long overdue development.
WATER RATES: REPORT FROM RENDALL
On Monday, 12 November 2012, I attended the public hearing for the Gosford City Council's submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to raise Water, Sewerage and Stormwater rates a massive 59% in 2013. The intention to raise the rates was first announced by Gosford City Council on 19 September 2012 in various newspapers.
IPART received 25 submissions against the proposed rate rises. Some of the important points raised at the hearing were:
· Around 40% of the income received from the rates cover all the associated costs, the rest becomes an income stream for council and "costs need to be recovered from somewhere".
· These rises will equate to an extra 140% increase by the fourth year, so residents can be expecting to pay $500-$600 more a year for their water rates.
· The pensioner rebate has remained the same since 1993 and not risen with CPI, therefore pensioners will be further disadvantaged.
· Council does not allow access to Centrepay for these rates, a system through Centrelink to help low income earners and Centrelink clients manage bill payments.
· Council does not have a Payment Assistance Scheme for consumers struggling to pay their water bills due to sudden financial hardship.
· Council has no published statistics on hardship or defaults, therefore Council is unable to determine effectively how the rate rises will affect the community.
· The 'user pays' component represents only 37% of the bill, with the other 63% fixed rates that will rise. Therefore, consumers with the lowest amount of usage will have, proportionally, the highest bills, and this system of billing provides no incentive for consumers to change their usage behaviour.
Our Christmas Meeting on 13th December will commence with a Sausage Sizzle at 6 pm followed by a History Night and supper.
We hope you can join us at Point Clare Hall. A local citizen with links to the original landowners has been invited to be our special guest