OPINION: Letters to the editor of the Western Advocate

LEGEND: Peter Brock has been remembered during the lead-up to - and in the days after - the Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
LEGEND: Peter Brock has been remembered during the lead-up to - and in the days after - the Bathurst 1000. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The day the procession stopped outside the TAB

THE Bathurst 1000, which showcases Bathurst and Mount Panorama, has come and gone again.

My wife Kayleen and I operated the TAB in William Street for many years, and many of the racing fraternity would call in during the week to place a small wager on the race.

Every year, on the Saturday preceding the race, there was a street procession down William Street, of drivers and their teams, where drivers sat in the back of open-top sports cars.

One day, in the late 1980s, the car containing Peter Brock and his co-driver stopped the procession in front of my TAB and Peter jumped out.

He rushed into my TAB and asked for a box trifecta ticket with seven car numbers ($210). He was in and out within a few minutes, back in the car, and after a loud “let’s go”, the procession continued (yes, the ticket was a winner).

I always decorated my TAB with posters and racing paraphernalia and my staff and I wore racing shirts and caps.

Peter Brock was always very helpful, and one year sent a full set of racing gear for display (but I had to undertake to return it by registered post - done, with thanks!).

I enjoyed my 21 years in Bathurst - great town, great people, great race.

Mark E. Bloomfield, Lavington

Council merger challenge a waste of time and money

THE news that the Land and Environment Court has dismissed Oberon Council’s challenge to the NSW Government’s proposed amalgamation between Oberon and Bathurst Regional Council should hardly come as a surprise.

This decision will now allow local government in the Central Tablelands to prosper and to provide a more regional focus to growth and development.

Infrastructure will now be able to be better managed, key senior staff positions will be able to be filled by quality applicants and the financial security of these communities will be strengthened.

The most disappointing aspect of this whole messy appeal process has been the exorbitant waste of Oberon ratepayers’ funds in challenging the process.

It is not unreasonable to assume that more than $250,000 has been spent on legal expenses. Oberon not only has to pay its own expenses, but the court also requires Oberon to pay the respondents’ costs.

Sadly, this cost impost not only falls to the residents of Oberon, but, by default, all residents of the amalgamated Bathurst and Oberon council will pay.

Imagine if these legal expenses could have been directed to road repairs following one of the wettest winters on record.

Stephen Darlington, Bathurst

Greyhounds get a backflip, so why not the mergers?

IT is a pity that Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Local Government Paul Toole won’t backflip on council amalgamations in the same way as they did on the greyhound issue.

Both proposals were based on flawed reports and inaccurate figures and against the wishes of the community.

The initial Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal report for council amalgamations had serious shortcomings, the delegate’s report did not reflect the wishes and opinions of the community, the action of the NSW Government in exempting some councils from amalgamation following the release of the delegates’ reports could be considered immoral and the KPMG report upon which the Government has based its case still has not been released.

The whole process was as dodgy as the greyhound mess. 

The amalgamation issue affects entire towns and communities, many of which are viable and prosperous. 

They deserve better than this.

Brian V Dellow, Oberon