Letters to the Editor

Parking for the elderly in Bowral

Sometimes I wonder whether council, parked as it is in Moss Vale, really understands the parking needs of Bowral residents where more than half of us are over 50 and a third 65 or older. We’re still mobile and engaged in the community but we do have parking needs.

For instance, two hour parking spaces often don’t allow time enough to get to and from as well as actually attend cinema and other performances and meetings. Would it not be easy enough to extend the time limit in two-hour spaces to three hours?

And, when we use trains to get to Sydney, not for work but for medical and other appointments, stage performances and so on, we may well find that the so-called ‘commuter car park’ at the railway station is crowded out if we don’t get there early enough in the day.

Our problems with parking at the railway station will not be helped at all by what council is currently proposing (for its Station Street upgrade): if it is allowed to relocate most of the parking at the station, there won’t be enough commuter parking spaces there anymore.

As well, traffic in the truncated station car park  could become chaotic because, though only a single entry/exit is proposed, there will be insufficient room there for two-way vehicle movement or for a  turning circle large enough for mini-buses (such as serve Tulip Time), neither of which is contemplated in council’s current proposals.

These problems could be solved simply by removing all long-term parking at the station forecourt, other than for disabled people, and by limiting other parking there to short-term (say 15 or 30 minutes). This would require adequate dedicated commuter parking nearby, a need which will grow any way.

A further problem would be with bus parking at the station: council has proposed a bus bay in Station Street (for northbound local buses) but this will hardly provide parking for Picton or Wollongong rail buses or for  rail replacement buses (often several at the station at one time, southbound as well as northbound).

Again, it would be easy to provide for north-south aligned spaces for bus parking (and service vehicle parking) immediately north of the eastern station buildings (which have toilets for elderly passengers) and to modify the entry/exit to allow buses into the truncated station car park. 

To make it user-friendly for elderly rail (including rail bus) passengers to use the truncated station car park, council needs modify its approved proposals – or do we have to hope that Rail Corp will insist on these changes in order for council’s Station Street proposals to go ahead?

Ian Bowie

Bowral

Thanks to hardworking committee members

I want to thank our hardworking and talented [Economic Development and Tourism] committee, which was selected by the mayor, general manager and myself in February 2017 from a field of 23 volunteers. All are successful local business people, and the 12 who were selected came from a diverse range of relevant commerce. They freely gave up their busy time to serve their community.

Mid last year the Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee requested that council define its Economic Development Strategy and set clear goals.

Eventually, council had a one day workshop in October 2016 and determined five strategic directions for the committee, and instructed that a report come to council this month.

Accordingly, the committee, which is an advisory committee, finally received a briefing on the draft strategic directions report recently.

A motion was passed acknowledging that the strategy has now progressed and supporting its presentation to council.

Going forward:

I say that in redefining the structure and support for this committee, council should consider whether the functions of Tourism and Economic Development should be separated and whether an Economic Development Taskforce would be an initiative for the Highlands.

Funding our new Strategic Direction goals will be part of the budget strategy, soon to start. Our Tourism Division continues to deliver strong outcomes and win National and State awards, the most recent being for “Pie Time”.

It will be interesting to see if the forthcoming discussion regarding Economic Development, Tourism and our regional goals will be inclusive, or simply back to the future for certain interests.

Councillor Ian Scandrett

Know epilepsy. No fear

For Purple Day 2018, coming up on March 26, Australians with epilepsy are encouraging friends, family members, colleagues and the wider community to become better informed about epilepsy to reduce the fear and misconceptions often associated with the condition.

Around 250,000 Australians are diagnosed with epilepsy, and more than 65 million people worldwide, making it the world’s most common serious brain disorder.

More people have epilepsy than have Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined, however epilepsy remains poorly understood – and often feared – by much of the community.

That’s why we’re using the tagline “Know epilepsy. No fear” this year, to promote the idea that knowledge is power when it comes to understanding and assisting someone with epilepsy.

Epilepsy Action Australia has developed an extensive suite of online resources designed to increase understanding and awareness of epilepsy in the community, including seizure first aid advice, with most material available free of charge on our website www.epilepsy.org.au.

Ideas and suggestions for ways to get involved in Purple Day this year can also be found on the website.

On behalf of all Australians living with epilepsy, thank you in advance to the people in your region for supporting Epilepsy Action Australia.

Your support helps to ensure people living with the condition can lead optimal lives.

Carol Ireland

Chief Executive Officer, Epilepsy Action Australia

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