Candidate support for Voluntary Assisted Dying
There was a good attendance of over 200 at a “Meet the Candidates” meeting organised by Friends of Bowral at the Mittagong RSL on Monday evening, February 4.
All the candidates spoke on their aspirations for Wollondilly Electorate - particularly with regard to our hospital, schools, more policing, roads - including the Bowral Bypass, the water crisis - including the Murray/Darling, protection of animals and the environment, controlled development with infrastructure first and the need for better, faster public transport to the area. In fact only one question from the audience resulted in a significant difference of opinion!
Judy Hannan (Independent), Charlie Fenton (One Nation), Jo-Ann Davidson (ALP), Clive West (Greens), Heather Edwards (Animal Justice), and Jason Bolwell(Shooters, Fishers & Farmers) were all unanimous in support for end of life choice for the terminally ill enduring severe suffering with even the best palliative care. Such Legislation is now law in Victoria.
Nathaniel Smith (Liberal), was the only candidate to say he would vote against that choice. When asked by the questioner why he would vote against Voluntary Assisted Dying when a majority of the electorate would support it, Mr Smith simply stated that it was his opinion.
Call to protect our heritage
Attending a SH Combined Chambers of Commerce meeting recently in discussion of WSC’s Draft Rural Tourism Policy, I was struck by two things.
One was, that within this wide ranging group of people with vested interests in SH agribusiness and tourism, so few knew about the public hearing this month held by the state Independent Planning Commission re the proposed Hume Coal mine. The date is Tuesday February 26, 10am, at the Moss Vale Services Club in Argyle Street.
It is a vitally important meeting for this community to attend if it has concerns about a proposed mega coal mine just outside of Berrima. Agribusiness, tourism, and coal mines do not mix.
The second thing that made me gulp was the sanguine mention by an official that this shire is seen as perfect for aged care developments.
In reality, this has become big business for developers, as huge as Lend Lease who currently have a contentious DA for a massive nursing home within one of Bowral’s heritage-important streets.
My concern is we aren’t building these aged care facilities merely for our own demographic but are actively encouraging placements from outside the shire such as Sydney and Canberra. ‘Bowral, Come Die Here’ could well be the next marketing catchcry.
I have a vision of our Highlands as a vibrant and lovely place to live, full of opportunities for young and old, for families to enjoy our rural settings and well equipped towns, our wonderful local foods and wine, and where visitors come week in week out to explore the great offerings of this shire.
We need to showcase, and protect, our unique regional heritage, one which does not embrace coal dust, or nursing homes on every corner. Let’s keep the Southern Highlands a great place to live!
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