Ms Andy Maclean, Huonbrook
Interesting to note MP Don Page’s comments in response to my online letter of January 8, and in the resultant article in your newspaper of January 14 in regard to landslips in Byron Shire.
Firstly it still seems confusing as to why Wilsons Creek, Huonbrook and Wanganui were ever placed in the state seat of Lismore in the first place. It makes sense geographically for us to be in the electorate that the rest of the Byron Shire is in, especially given that MP Thomas George informed us back when the Wilsons Creek school landslip was at its most unpredictable peak, that there was no way the fire trails would be reopened so that there was another exit out of the valley towards Lismore.
As far as I am aware, residents have had no communication from the electoral office as to this new redistribution, or from either MP, some of us just happened to stumble upon it in some random publication.
Secondly re your article, I personally was not venting anger, just asking questions, specifically… what have either of the MPs done to assist in reviewing the speed in which State Disaster funds are allocated to assist isolated rural communities after devastation to their access roads?
Thirdly, I am well aware that Byron Shire Council has responsibility for these roads, but there is a serious imbalance between State funded roads, and rural roads, one only has to take a drive from Wanganui to Ballina to see this incongruence.
All the tasks the state government did manage, and which Mr Page has outlined in his response – such as ferrying children across the slip, and assisting with the Upper Coopers Creek Recovery Committee – are ‘reacting to the crisis’ tasks, not preventative tasks.
Do we not elect politicians to come up with new creative solutions, or to change unhelpful legislation?
As to who we actually vote for in March, I’m still awaiting further instruction.