Gabrielle isn?t happy with growth strategy
By UTE SCHULENBERG
WITH twice the State's jobless levels and half the average income, Gabrielle Tindall does not see how the growth proposed in the Bellingen Shire's draft Growth Management Strategy is going to improve the situation.
"All the new people will be competing for existing jobs," Ms Tindall said.
"There may be new jobs in building and retail, but then self-employed tradesmen will come and compete with local builders and plumbers and their families will compete for the other jobs.
"Only the supermarkets, the hardware, a handful of landowners and the real estate agents are going to benefit. The rest of us are stuck with urban sprawl."
Water infrastructure was another aspect of the strategy she was upset about. She said the shire was already at the limit of its water extraction license and she was shocked to see a study quoted, which suggested doubling extraction levels from the shire's bore fields would not have significant environmental impacts.
"I was a member of the shire's Water Augmentation Focus Group and we have not heard anything about this ? it has come out of the blue," she said.
"I'd like to see this study and discuss it, as per council's resolution in 1999."
The council's director of engineering, Mike Edsall, said the 12-month study by Parsons Brinckeroff was completed last year and had been with the Department of Natural Resources since last September.
"We finally met with them two weeks ago and the hydrologists are discussing the effects of increasing the extraction levels," Mr Edsall said.
He said the department recognised the council was only proposing moderate growth and allocations could be increased on that basis.