EELs weaving a humble web

NSW Treasurer, Mike Baird, Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, Member for Orange, Andrew Gee and ORIN chairman, Kevin Saul.                                      Photo BELINDA SOOLE
NSW Treasurer, Mike Baird, Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, Member for Orange, Andrew Gee and ORIN chairman, Kevin Saul. Photo BELINDA SOOLE

G'DAY, know what I reckon?

A wonderful development passed through council this week, no not the Cobbora Mine, not a new shopping centre nor a brand new manufacturing facility but unity and maturity from 10 of our EELs.

Earlier in the week councillors Lyn Griffiths and Kevin Parker were nominated by Dubbo City Council to join the NSW Western Joint Regional Planning Panel; in the end both of the councillors were elected unopposed, after earlier Cr Ben Shields and Cr Tina Reynolds, whose three-year terms on the panel expire next month, were also nominated, making four contenders for two positions.

After Cr Shields called for a five-minute adjournment he, Cr Reynolds and their colleagues met in the room next to the chamber. The 10 leaders present re-emerged and councillors Griffiths and Parker were elected with no more fuss.

After calling for a united council for many years both Cr Shields and Cr Reynolds withdraw from the race. Cr Shields did so to "make it easier" and Cr Reynolds came to the same decision, saying she was not selfish about holding a position. "I've had a turn and I'd like to let others, especially Cr Parker, have the opportunity," she said.

To crs Shields and Reynolds I say "bravo and well done." And the remaining eight that voted sensibly, "congratulations". Credit where and when it is due. Again to EELs credit this is what many residents have wanted for quite some time, unity after discussion. The old adage must apply in this situation "What happens on tour, stays on tour". I have said for many years that we need discussion, and to this end the vote could have been bloody and messy, and behind closed doors it could well have been, but who knows or cares, it happened out of the media and public spotlight, and the EEL's came out together as a council, united as it should.

This is a refreshing change and some particularly good leadership shown, especially after Wednesday's public forum regarding Cobbora Coal Mine.

The State Treasurer, Mike Baird, was on a hiding to nowhere in following the company line regarding the temporary/permanent halt to the development of the mine. Unfortunately for the Treasurer he was able to please absolutely no-one on Wednesday, mainly because no-one knows the answers yet. To his credit as well as Andrew Gee from Orange and our own Troy Grant, they were willing to face the masses and not run and hide, but as Cr Mathew Dickerson said, "We need certainty; we need to know one way or the other. Uncertainty prohibits growth and investment."

The State Government is just giving us that: uncertainty; and with that comes the perception that again, NSW is Newcastle; Sydney; Wollongong: Not New South Wales and this side of that impenetrable sandstone curtain still remains that; impenetrable and forgotten.

Back to our EELs and their new way of life; Angela Mollard is a Sydney-based journalist who recently posted a column in a national newspaper that goes a bit further on with regards to what our EEL's have achieved so far:

"Recently I read Charlotte's Web to my daughter, she writes.

'Terrific', she spells out, then 'radiant'. Just before she dies - because even uncommonly gifted arachnids still cark it - she spins the word 'humble'.

"What does humble mean, Mum?" asks my daughter.

"It means you don't have tickets on yourself; let's say you won the spelling bee at school, you wouldn't show off about it."

My daughter thinks for a moment, then replies, "I don't know anyone who's humble."

There, dear reader, is the voice of a generation.

Humility, that most venerated, ancient and biblical of virtues, has slipped out of our lexicon, swept away by a culture that's all about the 'me', not 'we'."

"Humility," said CS Lewis, "is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."

What a quaint notion for a culture raised on praise and driven by a need for recognition."

Our EELs so far seem to be putting us before them, and that is a humbling experience. What do you think, 'cause that's what I reckon.



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