Letters to the Braidwood Times

The elections are done and dusted and as predicted Braidwood will have very little, if any, representation on the new council.

More than ever, Braidwood needs a voice to talk to council.

Now is the time for Braidwood to rally together and for a proper representational group to form up and take our issues to the council.  

We need a group that is cohesive and wide-ranging that represents business and ratepayers. One that is not run by people with individual agendas, but one that can incorporate different ideas and programmes.

The recent Braidwood Connect meetings have shown that there is interest to work together.

Various groups over the years, have fallen by the wayside.

Braidwood has been plagued by an understandable volunteer fatigue. However, one group which has survived, albeit limping along at times, is Braidwood & Villages Tourism Association Inc.

BAVT has largely been responsible for keeping a Visitors Information Centre open. Staffed by Volunteers, with no assistance from councils past, the VIC has provided a huge service for local businesses. Sadly, this has been mostly unrecognised and there has been little representation of local business among the volunteers. It’s understood that most tourism related business people are busy with their business so that is understandable. Yet it is important for business people to be involved more.

After two years as president of BAVT, I will be standing down at the coming AGM.

Times are a changing. The new council ‘should’ soon take over running the VIC with paid staff, as it does in Queanbeyan. This will free up the committee of a new organisation to have more time to concentrate on events and bigger picture planning, and critically, advice to council.

I would hope that the spirit imbued in the ‘Vote for Braidwood’ campaign at the council elections, will follow through with involvement on a local committee, (sounds a bit like a local, local council).

Whether it be a Braidwood & Villages Tourism and Commerce Assoc., Chamber of Commerce, Progress Association, The Braidwood Group, the name doesn’t really matter. Personally I always liked Braidwood Residents Association with the acronym BRASS.

It is imperative that Braidwood comes together to form a representative voice.

The already incorporated BAVT may provide the vehicle to morph into such as venture.

Alex Rea, Braidwood

Thanks to voters one and all

Thank you to all Braidwood voters for doing their best to keep local representation. The numbers were always going to be against us. Well done to all the candidates who put their hand up to have a go.

I've enjoyed representing our residents in my seven-and-a-bit years as a Palerang Councillor thanks to your support. Looking back on it, we had a diverse and committed bunch doing their best to make fair decisions.

While some candidates might come to after the election and feel sad and rejected, their families often feel quite the opposite.

Thanks also to my election workers who set off for the western wilds to hand out how-to-votes to the information-overwhelmed voters. If I had a dollar for every vote ... I could buy a pie and a sausage roll at the Bakery.

Paul Cockram, Mongarlowe