Three strikes and you’re out!
So our local Member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson, has realised the folly of her ways and has fallen on her sword.
By supporting the hated forced council mergers she has realised that it was just a matter of jumping before she was pushed, because her stocks in the electorate were at an all-time low.
Unfortunately, Ms Hodgkinson had misjudged the mood of the electorate.
She had got offside with the electorate when she said that she was 100 per cent behind both the Cootamundra and Gundagai Councils in their fight against their forced merger.
However, it is common knowledge now that Ms Hodgkinson and her National party colleagues all voted against releasing of the KPMG Report to the councils affected by the mergers.
The Report would have shown that the entire forced merger policy was incurably flawed.
That was strike one against her.
And when she publicly stated that she would not cross the floor in support of both Councils efforts to stand alone.
That was strike two against her.
What further eroded her credibility is the fact that when one of her former leaders, Andrew Stoner broke his Party’s written pledge that there would be no forced amalgamations, there was not one word of protest from our local Member.
Her silence was deafening and implied consent. That was strike three against her.
And, as everyone knows, strike three means that you are out!
Unfortunately for her, she never had the courage of her convictions.
Her lip service was simply just not good enough.
But to her credit, and a guilty conscience can be a terrible thing, she has done the right thing by resigning.
Hopefully, her replacement will work to restore democracy to both our towns and will be more upfront when any future crisis may arise.
Ms Hodgkinson has learned the hard way by not realising that the interests of her constituents always takes precedence over party policies.
Geoff Field, Gundagai
White Spot - Let’s keep it out of NSW
I would like to encourage communities to play a role to ensure NSW remains free of White Spot.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries is working to minimise the spread of White Spot, which was detected in prawns in South East Queensland in December.
White Spot is a highly contagious viral disease of crustaceans, primarily prawns, but also crabs, lobsters and freshwater crayfish as well as marine worms.
There are three things communities should know:
1. NSW seafood remains safe to consume.
2. Do not use prawns intended for human consumption as bait in any NSW waters.
3. Obey the current ban on importation from the affected area in Queensland of prawns, nippers, yabbies and other crustaceans or marine worms to prevent White Spot Disease being introduced into NSW.
So far there has been no evidence of White Spot in NSW and we are doing everything possible to keep it that way, but we need the community’s help.
DPI has instigated a surveillance program and sampled prawns from the Queensland border to the Hawkesbury and all prawn farms in NSW.
We have a new Biosecurity Act in place where all members of the community have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions could have a negative impact on another person, business, animal or the environment.
We need everyone to play a role to ensure White Spot does not enter our state.