You made your choice, now live with it

The Riverine Herald - - YOUR OPINION - By Tyla Har­ring­ton

MURRAY River Coun­cil is about to be elected for the first time. It has not been of­fi­cially an­nounced yet but all the votes have been tal­lied; the peo­ple have made their choice. To those peo­ple — the ratepa­pers of Moama and the en­tire coun­cil (of which I am not one) — you’ve made your bed. You had your chance to strip it, put on new sheets and change the doona cover. The pil­lows are be­ing fluffed (pref­er­ences are be­ing dis­trib­uted) be­fore you will all get to lie in it. And lie in it you will for the next three years. I am not say­ing you made the wrong choice but I will say you all made it and now it is one (if pref­er­ences are dis­trib­uted fol­low­ing the cur­rent trend) that you will have to live with. It seems last time you got it wrong be­cause in the end coun­cil was sus­pended and put into ad­min­is­tra­tion. The ques­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips is, of course, did you get it right this time? Time will tell. All the can­di­dates in the Moama and Greater Murray wards (I have not spo­ken to all the Greater Wakool can­di­dates) are keen to move for­ward. They all said they wanted to be part of a co­he­sive coun­cil. One that does not make the mis­takes of the past coun­cil. That is en­cour­ag­ing and if noth­ing else a step in the right di­rec­tion. This coun­cil has an op­por­tu­nity to turn things around. To make the right choices and cre­ate a coun­cil of which ev­ery­one can be proud. Of the Greater Murray and Moama wards three of six coun­cil­lors are likely to be former Murray Shire coun­cil­lors. Which isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing. We do need ex­pe­ri­ence in this new coun­cil and hope­fully that is what they will bring. Be­cause his­tory can­not re­peat it­self. There are also three new coun­cil­lors who can help forge the right path for­ward. They will have to find the time and make this a pri­or­ity. There will be meet­ings, ap­point­ments and lots of hand­shakes. There will also be very im­por­tant de­ci­sions made be­hind closed doors and in front of them. To­gether — the old and the new coun­cil­lors — must un­der­stand they have to work to­gether if they want to achieve any­thing. Of course you will not agree on ev­ery­thing. There will be dis­agree­ments and there will be ar­gu­ments. But at the end of a meet­ing, at the end of a day, you have to move on. Don’t get caught in the mess that was the demise of the last coun­cil. Be­cause if that hap­pens again we might not be so lucky to have the op­por­tu­nity to elect a new coun­cil. And that would be the big­gest shame of all.

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