We’ve had a couple of years of hell on wheels. 

It’s been a time of stress, heartache, boredom, fear, and taking a deep breath.

If anything it’s certainly made us prioritise what’s important in life. The trouble is, while we can appreciate family, friends, where we live or would like to be, re-arrange work schedules, many of us have come to re-assess what’s really important in our lives.

But sadly, we don’t always have control over all aspects of our world.  

Business, government, council, tend to dictate so much of what we can do, where we can go, how we do it.

So we have a new MidCoast Council. Sort of. But with an entrenched hierarchy, administrative and government dictated rules and regulations, how much will really change?

Where is the vision, the bravery to make big changes for the better, tackle the challenges of past errors, entrenched attitudes, debt, the lack of community engagement and fight for our piece of paradise to be the best it can be?

For some, being here is just a step on the career ladder, a temporary move till something better comes along, a chance to grab a salary undreamed of and unexpected – so hey, let’s may hay while the sun shines.

For others, they keep their heads down, shut up, don’t make waves and toe the line. In reality they’re out of their depth so sit and tick the boxes or do as instructed.

How To Change

So who now is going to meet the great challenges we all face not just here, but in many areas? It’s bad enough we have an incompetent Federal Government, and uninspiring local state and federal representatives, safe (for the time being) in their seats, with some significant supporters, and rarely if ever, held to account for doing little, but pass the buck, and send out press releases with a lot of “me-at” photo ops, and meaningless – “I did this and I did that. Here I am at  . . .”

Where Are The Workers?

We have too many kids on drugs with nothing to do but break and enter and make serious mischief. Yet the whole country is looking for people to work. We have a huge homeless problem. Including men. Domestic violence against women is increasing, they need a better refuge open 24/7 and all need help to resettle, somehow, somewhere. Affordable housing? Forget it.

The land clearing is frightening. Mr Morrison now pledges 50 million dollars to “help” koalas. Bit late, mate. If he stopped the land clearing and massive developments allowed in koala habitat and corridors, that’d be more helpful.

We should stop cutting own old trees. Planting a sapling in its place will take decades and decades to flourish and bring needed shade and oxygen. Many councils have tree and shade policies where streets, suburbs, towns, are required to have a minimum of shade trees to reduce heat. Never mind appreciating the aesthetic value. 

Where To Live

And let’s not start on Aged Care. Yes, there are some sensible, comfortable caring places. If you can afford them. Staff is always a problem. But when it’s a privatised business, pennies come before people. 

Even if people can get into a Home or Care, the feeling of being cared for, wanted, welcomed and included, is rare. 

Why don’t we have small mixed communities, with buildings and people of all ages and situations in the same setting. A place with greenery, a community garden, a park and playground, where the elderly live next door to a single mum. A place that has flat paths, seats in the shade, a small shop, a playschool. Community hubs, scattered amongst landscape not suburbs, linked by decent public transport. 

Our rivers and creeks are in strife. Pollies announce plans to “save” the river by doing this and doing that when there have been any number of studies done over years at great expense which are ignored. But – ‘Let’s do another one so it looks like I care and am doing something. Vote for me!”


Water is a huge issue. We are the driest continent on earth. Water is big money, big business. It is not replaceable. Once it’s gone, that’s it. I’ve had to look at a farmer’s bore spurting high in the sky hour after hour, day after day, 24/7. My water bill has gone up. I wouldn’t mind if it was sensibly managed. 

Where is the creative thinking on how we can farm ethically and sustainably? We need to encourage and help new business opportunities, look at supporting our own power, internet, and manufacturing – make stuff, be self sufficient as much as possible, like we used to do. 

Our hospital is in dire straits, and barely struggles on. We need to stand up and get out from under the thumb in Newcastle. 

Why People Come Here

Targeted tourism should be a winner for us. Yet we paid through the nose to be labelled The Barrington bloody Coast. 

The council has been hellbent on wiping out what makes our area unique. People come here to enjoy the scenery, the “country vibe”, the fun of our beaches and quaint towns with interesting local shops and cafes. They want to see farms and grazing cattle in green fields by a shining river, eat local produce, chill out in a bush retreat.  (read the depressing story on page 11 about “Water Gums”.)

Ton of Talent

There is a ton of talent here – artists, musicians, woodcarvers, Indigenous culture, crafts, gardens, food, markets, history. (We all know the wonderful Wingham Museum, but have you been to Cundletown Museum?) 

We tried for a railway museum, and are still waiting to be able to do something wonderful with the old Wingham Stationmaster’s cottage. In the meantime, it’s falling down. 

The development Fig Trees on the Manning could be wonderful but we get no input. Okay it’s a private development but it’d be nice to know what it’s all going to really look like when it’s done. It could be fabulous. Let’s hope. And Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens is so far away does Council really know the troubles down there?

People contact me with tourism and business ideas and some sound great. So how do I help them? Sending them to council goes nowhere. Community organisations, Chambers of Commerce, while worthy, lack funding, creativity, and the guts to have a go.  

What Do We Do?

So we’re here, and we’re lucky. But not all of us. So what do we do? Shut the door and get on with our lives?

Or do we reach out to neighbours, people we haven’t met down the road. Get a group together and have a go at doing something that needs doing. We have wonderful people who volunteer and care for and clean up or do the jobs council doesn’t get to do, or very infrequently. 

Value Where We Are

The disaster of knocking down heritage buildings, trashing the Bight Cemetery, allowing clearing of rainforest, kowtowing to the big guys in town ( and out of town money) is being short sighted as to the value of a what we actually have here. 

Do we really need another Manufactured Housing Estate, an unsustainable, ugly suburban housing estate that’s creating chaos in a once quiet rural setting? 

Yes, we need housing, but we can be creative about it, do something interesting, sustainable and creative. There are people and companies that do think outside the suburban square. 

Yes, there are council rules. Perhaps if we had the very best that a council could be, councillors who step up, speak out, and be open to ideas, rather than those who shut their eyes to what’s going on, or stick to “rules are rules.” 

Maybe, at the end of the day, it’s up to you and me. Speak up, share, think outside the box. Help a neighbour, or someone you don’t know. Pick up litter, pull a weed.

And vote!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.