The Tumut Community Association is the brainchild of former mayor Geoff Pritchard, with another former mayor, John Larter, serving as Vice-President. It was created as a force for community progression; an attempt to fill the void created by the Tumut-Tumbarumba amalgamation, and was intended to be completely separate to council. But now Geoff and John have both put their hands up as Snowy Valleys Council candidates. So what happens to the supposedly independent organisation?
“John and I have decided that if we were elected we would get off the committee,” said Geoff.
“We’ll still be regular members, we just won’t be on the committee, which is fairly standard practice – councillors can be a part of organisations, it’s just a bit of a conflict of interest if they’re on the executive.
“Other members are happy to take over. Col[Locke] wants to get involved in things so that could be a good outcome.”
Geoff said at the TCA’s most recent meeting on Thursday night, the main topics under discussion were preparing for the public meeting with Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King on Monday, and discussing the announcement of $8 million in infrastructure grants earlier in the month.
He said he had concerns about Administrator Paul Sullivan’s comment in the Tumut and Adelong Times that some projects would likely go over budget, some would likely go under budget, and that they would balance each other out.
“That doesn’t make any sense – robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said.
“Some of these projects are quite large and could end up running over by quite a lot. You can’t use council reserves to pay for it, and we could end up with all these things that are half-built. “The new council will have its hands tied really with all these grants that have been promised, and I’m not sure that they’ve been fully funded. What happens if they go over budget?
“The thought of using council reserves to pay for these massive projects makes my blood run cold.”