Letters to the editor

More details needed

I find it rather ironical the District Council of Cleve is asking for public comment on the Cleve Sporting Bodies’ proposal to replace its existing badly damaged facility. There has been little detail released publicly on what this proposal actually is.

Talking to residents throughout the district it soon becomes obvious many are unaware of the details in this submission. A major concern is the $250,000 the Cleve Sporting Bodies is asking the council to grant them to build a new, $1.5-million multipurpose sports facility.

There has been little talk of the $500,000 the Cleve Sporting Bodies has offered to the community to contribute toward this huge improvement of our district’s facilities. There are significant grant monies available for major projects like this one proposed ($750,000).

For the Cleve Sporting Bodies to access these funds, the owners of the land (the council) needs to be seen to be in full support of this proposal financially.

To loan the money to the Cleve Sporting Bodies does not satisfy the criteria needed to access this grant money. Another significant point in CSBs proposal is the $250,000 grant by the council is on the provision that the $750,000 grant money is successful.

With the $500,000 (33 per cent of total costs) cash contribution from the CSB, the $250,000 (17 per cent of total costs) donation from the council and the $750,000 (50 per cent of total costs) in grants, is in total $1.5-million project which will set up our communities’ needs for future generations

For the council to spend $250,000, which equates to under 17 per cent of total project costs, it would be creating a $1.5-million multipurpose community facility.

For every dollar the council spends, the community gets $6 going to improve our district’s facilities. A return for our community of $6-$1 spent is unbelievable.

If any of our sporting bodies or other organisations within our community were to submit to council with the same criteria as the Cleve sporting Bodies have applied for, they should expect a positive result.

The Cleve Sporting Bodies has advised of possibility a loan may be needed even on top of the $250,000 from the council even if all grant application are successful.

The time delay in the approval process has possibly changed the tender price, along with the practicality and need for solar power with battery backup may create the need for a loan.

The Cleve Sporting Bodies would have no issue in seeking this loan and has confidence in its capabilities to service that debt.

Another important issue that has had limited discussion is the council’s requirement to set up an Emergency Relief Centre (ERC) within our township.

The council has already discussed this ERC and it’s establishment, which was suggested to cost the council  between $150,000 and $250,000 to setup. The suggestion was the Town Hall would be the nominated ERC site.

The Town Hall would need substantial alterations to bring it up to the requirements to accommodate the ERC. This location has major limitations as in no showers, no full kitchen facilities, etc. The CSB have in its proposal penciled in additional requirement needed to accommodate the ERC.

Their proposal has the additional toilets and showers, air conditioning, change rooms commercial kitchen, meeting rooms and much more.

With our council already committing to creating an ERC within our town, the Cleve Sporting Bodies proposed facility upgrade seems to tick all the right boxes to combine these two important functions our community so desperately requires.

For our council to only spend $250,000, assist in setting up a multi function sports centre for our community and incorporate the ERC (which may cost council $250,000 on its own) in my opinion is a huge win for our community.



Consider costs for all

Consideration of the cost, to all sections of society, needs to be given when changes are made to items of a basic need or a human right. A few years ago, the ideologues who promoted the increased consumption of health food were pursuing a medically proven and recommended path.

Their intentions were genuine, but unfortunately some were over zealous in their actions, almost demanding that everyone should be follow their example. It even lead to the ludicrous situation where some schools were even checking students' lunch boxes to ensure that they were consuming healthy foods. 

A comparison between healthy and ‘normal food’ clearly showed that there would be a significant and unaffordable increase, for most,  in the weekly food budget if they were to pursue the consumption of ‘healthier foods’. 

Today we have the same situation in relation to the supply and affordability of our electricity. The pursuit of renewable power sources to generate our electricity is commendable but their ability to produce reliable base load power is limited, at this stage, and the eventual cost to the average consumer is becoming prohibitive.

This is evidenced by the recent report showing that 102,000 SA families are relying on food donations and 35,000 are not able to pay their electricity bills.

It is a sad reflection on today's society that the average wage earner, whose wage has been stagnant while at the same time prices and charges have increased significantly, cannot stretch their diminishing budget further to make such basic purchases.

Decisions made by those who can afford it need to reflect greater consideration for those who may not be able to.