LETTER | Local election: Time for change

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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Dear Editor,

In order to make the best decision for our future we need to evaluate the past.

To evaluate something means making a judgement based on analysis - not personal criticism

If we look back at the challenges at hand in 2013/2014 the main focus was de-amalgamation.

The current Mayor successfully delivered this administrative process through her skills, experience and her admirable enthusiasm.

However, the Council stopped short of un-dividing the Shire (an expression I like to give credit to Councillor Candidate Lisa Scomazon) and consolidating the community identity.

Consequently, the Shire has disintegrated into several pieces. This has compromised our potential to develop a strong, diversified and future-orientated economic backbone - the consequences of which we are feeling today. Without a strong economy we cannot look after our environment and we cannot fulfill our social responsibilities.

While the current Council has made a range of good decisions and supported valuable projects (e.g. supporting computer classes for seniors, upgrading playgrounds, building new toilets and picnic shelters) I am concerned that the incumbent Mayor has never taken the opportunity to also acknowledge any mistakes she made.

Making mistakes is human and it will happen to anybody from time to time. Not acknowledging a mistake though, means not being able to learn from it and not being able to correct any wrongdoing in future.

Human beings have evolved through constant adaptation to a changing environment. Centuries ago, these incidental changes were adequate for survival of humanity.

Over the last decade(s) however, the speed of changes to our natural and manmade environment has accelerated.

This means, trying to preserve the presence, trying to prevent any reasonable, sustainable development to happen, any change forward at all, will very quickly result in (further) regress.

Our society is facing enormous challenges right now. The signs that this was going to happen have been visible for a long time. In the past, it was a question of personal choice to either acknowledge or ignore them. Today, ignoring them is not an option anymore.

What we need now is a forward-thinking Council with a focus on uniting the community, dealing with urgent problems efficiently and developing lasting strategies to lead the Douglas Shire into a viable and safe future. We don’t have time (or money) to waste on distractions, unsustainable projects and old alliances.

We need to vote for a Council that integrates the expertise of the community, consults when projects are complex and works for the common good of the whole Shire.

When I went to the polling booth on Monday, I voted for Michael Kerr as Mayor.

- Dr Alexandra Bernhardi


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