Con­grats on trail so­lu­tion

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - David Gal­loway, Mar­garet River

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River pres­i­dent Pam Townsend, coun­cil­lors and Shire staff on their lead­er­ship in the man­age­ment of the is­sues around the walk trail along the Mar­garet River.

This was never an easy is­sue to resolve and there were mul­ti­ple and com­pet­ing in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing the need for an hon­est recog­ni­tion of Abo­rig­i­nal con­nec­tion with the river that was more than just lip ser­vice, en­sur­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal re­pair of the river, while also pro­vid­ing mul­ti­ple forms of pub­lic ac­cess.

Hav­ing watched this sit­u­a­tion un­fold, I was dis­ap­pointed when a few months ago I saw the full-page ad­ver­tise­ment taken out by prom­i­nent cit­i­zens of our town push­ing for the sim­plis­tic so­lu­tion of telling the Shire to “just build the walk trail so we can get on and use it”. I be­lieve these peo­ple were prob­a­bly act­ing out of frus­tra­tion, but I would en­cour­age them to re­alise Mar­garet River is no longer a small coun­try town where de­ci­sions about the com­mon good can be made to suit a lim­ited group of peo­ple.

Mar­garet River is known for its so­phis­ti­ca­tion in wine, surf­ing, food, ar­chi­tec­ture and vol­un­teer­ing.

This has to be matched with a so­phis­ti­ca­tion and thought­ful­ness in com­mu­nity de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

If we don’t raise the standard of our de­ci­sion-mak­ing, we will con­tinue with the out­moded, te­diously bor­ing, and ex­pen­sive splits that have char­ac­terised Mar­garet River lo­cal gov­ern­ment dur­ing the past 30 years.

It’s time we, as a com­mu­nity, moved on from think­ing in terms of de­vel­op­ers v gree­nies, Lib­eral v La­bor, and coun­cil of­fi­cers v elected coun­cil­lors.

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