Letters to the Editor

Permanent Stations needed

In response to the article by Victoria Lee:

As a professional firefighter with Fire and Rescue for 34 years, I am astounded that in this day and age, neither Bowral, Moss Vale, Bundanoon nor Mittagong Stations are not permanently manned, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

The area is expanding rapidly with Renwick, Nattai Ponds and Retford Park adding over 400 more homes to the area, and additionally, with the new fire levies being added to insurance premiums, along with fire levies already paid on council rates, a permanent fire station would be far more capable of attending to incidents immediately. 

This is opposed to waiting for four retained firefighters, to receive the call via a pager, cease the activity they are involved in, whether it be work or recreation, then travel through traffic in their personal vehicle to the station, and upon arrival at there station, change from the clothing they are wearing and don their Personal Protective equipment, in addition to waiting for a further three members, (four members are required for a safe/minimum manning of the fire appliance), before they can attend to incident.  

This includes the house fire four doors from the Scottish Arms Hotel, Boardman Road East Bowral, where the first arriving fire appliance took 22 minutes to arrive. The house was a total loss but thankfully with no loss of life. 

The loss of Better Electrical in Boolwey Street and three other homes within five kilometres of these stations, however, with this continued manning situation, lives and property will remain at risk due to delayed response times, due to the fact the stations are not permanently manned. 

My greatest concern is that I live in the Bowral area and travel to the nearest permanent  fire station (24/7), Albion Park, and therefore the concern for my family and friends is always in the back of my mind.

Tony Mahon

Senior Firefighter, Fire and Rescue NSW

Budget allocation the issue

Imagine a post Easter doomsday scenario where the French-door fridge makes moaning Gallic sounds, the landline phone flashes an angry red light unrelated to any missed call, the NBN loads with four bars instead of five, and DISQUS won’t post my comments.

Oops it says, an error has occurred.

The household is on the blink as I blink back tears. So I’ll try to respond to current Letters to the Editor in letter form myself. The other issues will involve more expensive tech thrown at them no doubt, the killjoy of modern life.

Firstly, may I thank SHN for facilitating this public forum of discussion, to which I note more and more people contributing. Sometimes a wider conversation leads to lateral thinking, and solutions.

In reply to George Lawrence’s letter ‘Where’s the money coming from’ (the question on how to fund basic public needs, and should taxes be increased accordingly), the thought occurs to me that if the noted health care and education and transport services are perceived by so many to be such necessary expenditure items, surely these are the areas to which governments at every level should be directing funding as a first priority?

If these areas were flagged as being of top importance could they possibly be adequately budgeted for from current revenues, without need for increased public taxation? This would of course mean that other items on agendas of government at local, state and federal level move further down the pyramid of human needs.

It’s all about budget allocation isn’t it – do you fix pot holes or build swimming pools? Do you fund TAFEs or relocate arts centres? Do you create national infrastructure or give billion dollar loans to foreign corporates?

There’s only so much money in the purse, I agree – it just seems misspent.

To Steve Horton’s excellent letter ‘ Our tourism will be your loss’ (an application for reconsideration of a recently proposed, and declined, tourism development) – Steve, you are a shining light of common sense and inspiration to our Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ably assisted by Holly Campbell).

Of course this project should go ahead! It’s a no brainer for it not to – a great tourism initiative supported by a beautifully designed development. 

(Editor’s note: The application was withdrawn by the applicant.)

Is it possible to deliver an extraordinary submission to WSC in support of this DA (backed perhaps by the persons of note to whom you’ve mailed)?

Could we, as a matter of urgency, invite TAK to reapply, in consideration of a positive response?

And can those who appreciate the potential of such a development for this region please make yourselves known and assist with public/civic opinion towards its fruition?

Alexandra Springett

Bowral

Bowral Hospital Proposal

I had the opportunity to discuss the project with recent interest at a session with the hospital GM. The issues that impressed me were:

  • A sizeable investment of $50m on the project
  • There will be access for public patients (albeit for o/n patients)
  • The original hospital is classified as ‘heritage’?
  • This structure limits any site development and I question the merit of retaining it when the site is severely constrained for development?
  • The site is contained by four streets and some of the ‘old buildings’ will have to be rationalised
  • It is significant investment that doesn’t come along too often

R Barton

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