Letter to the Editor: Future plans for Medowie centre

DEAR News Of The Area,

THERE has long been arguments on the subject of what governments should use public money for and the Medowie Sports and Community Centre is a prime example.

This project has been plagued with issues since the first sod was turned in 2017.

In an ideal world where a council has covered all its ‘primary’ obligations, such as roads, rubbish, footpaths and keeping rates down, such investment would be grand.

However, in this case it simply reinforces that the pork barreling of the past can come back and bite you on the arse.

Infrastructure projects such as this should be funded by private enterprise, not local government.

Imagine the benefit the entire LGA would have gained if that $6.5 million had gone into road repairs?

According to one of our own past councillors, this would have constructed approximately 6.5 km of new tarred road!

And God only knows how many pothole infested sections of road could have been repaired correctly, improving the safety and driving experience for locals and visitors alike.

Would this extra $6.5 million have meant the entire LGA would have gotten green bins that much sooner?

Perhaps, by not spending this $6.5 million, there would have been no need to raise the rates as much as it is going to, or indeed at all.

Now the council is trying to save face by asking the entire population of Port Stephens to “have a say” in where to go next.

They have offered a number of ideas, most of which seem very localised in their nature, so let’s think outside the box and consider what will get the best return for the entire Port Stephens community.

Option 1: Sell the thing and reinvest the funds into local roads across the entire LGA. Surely, if it cost $6.5 million in 2017 it should have appreciated considerably since?

Option 2: Offer the facility as a local training centre to TAFE NSW, not just a remote learning centre the likes of Salamander Bay.

There are all the facilities necessary to offer on-site hospitality training covering those skills businesses within our LGA are constantly crying out for. Surely, with some creative thinking, there would be room to offer other trade skill training such as hairdressing, upholstery and dare I say (tongue in cheek) pothole repair.

Anyway, all I have to say to council is this: Think of what will benefit the entire LGA and help build an overall better Port Stephens, not just something to put you in good with the residents of Medowie.

Tanilba Bay.

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