Diverse council elected
Personally, and on behalf of the Huon Valley Residents and Ratepayers Association (HVRRA), I congratulate all the newly elected Huon Valley councillors and most particularly our new mayor, Bec Enders and deputy mayor, Sally Doyle. I feel confident they will lead council effectively using their combined skills and knowledge of the local community. We now have a diverse council with a representation of ages, backgrounds and genders, from all around the municipality. Now, more accurately than ever before, the council reflects the makeup of our community.
It will be good to have nine heads around the table exchanging views and contributing their varied knowledge and experience. Commissioner Adriana Taylor did excellent work in getting the council back on track after its sacking, but she is just one person with her own perspective and experience to draw on when making decisions. Like all of us, she has her strengths and weaknesses.
While benevolent dictatorships may be useful in the short term, they are not a good, long-term substitute for democratically elected governments, as I’m sure
Cr Taylor would agree.
I would also like to congratulate all the candidates who put their hands up but weren’t successful. Each candidate has something to offer the community and I hope they will continue contributing to keeping this part of the world the very special place that it is while ensuring that future generations also have the opportunity to enjoy the same privileges we sometimes take for granted.
Finally, I would like to congratulate us the voters. We were confronted with an unprecedented 27 candidates to choose from and managed to elect a balanced, representative council which has every chance of being able to work together cooperatively to do the best they can for the community. You can’t please all the people all the time, and there will be times when they make decisions which, as individuals, we may not be happy with.
The HVRRA supports good governance, and we will do what we can to assist the new council in establishing and maintaining standards which become a model for other local governments.
Pat Synge
Public Officer HVRRA (Inc)

Mountain River fire risk
I attended the public bushfire meeting on Sunday 4 November at Mountain River Hall. There was the usual talk about residents leaving their properties early, where to go, and how to get your animals out, etc. But not once did anybody address the fact that we might not get any warning, and we may not be able to leave early or make it to the designated shelter at Huonville PCYC for protection. The PCYC is the only designated emergency meeting place in the Huon Valley. Just a small oversight I know, but to most of us it is a blindingly obvious fact. The people in Kinglake and Dunalley got no notice that a bushfire was approaching, and didn’t stand a chance of leaving early.
Mountain River and Crabtree have been identified as high-risk fire areas, yet there is not one emergency shelter closer to home. If we can’t get to the PCYC, that pretty much leaves us all stranded and on our own thanks to Huon Valley Council’s lack of foresight and their unwillingness to spend the money to make a venue like Mountain River Hall safer and available to us. It just isn’t good enough.
A hall like the one at Mountain River, which is made out of besser blocks, could provide a far safer shelter than most wooden houses in the bush. It just needs the trees taken out between it and the river. It has a car park on one side,
a paddock on the other and a river behind it. If cement sheets were installed over the windows along with ventilators, at least we would have somewhere close by to go.
Thanks Huon Valley Council, what are you doing with our rates?
Fern Vella

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