The Say

By Cagerattler

The other day I was recalling the heady days of SMACD to a friend who didn’t live here at the time…the St Marys Association for Community Development in its heyday was truly one of the best things that has ever happened to our town, without a shred of a doubt.

That first public meeting instigated by Annette Wines was a watershed  and an incredibly inspiring event that several hundred people attended. Within a very short time various community groups were consulting, working together and (with the help of Council resources in some cases) the whole town started jumping after years of  apathy…

The Community Contact Centre became a hub for not just the town but the region as well, and several worthwhile traineeships were sought and gained with this facility. The original Streetscape concept came from SMACD , the Wombat Walk idea and other reclaimed areas were managed and maintained by volunteers with some Council assistance. I have absolutely no doubt that the community spirit SMACD generated as much as the hands-on aspects were the primary     reasons that we eventually got our hospital back after the stupid short-sighted government of the day (despite the overwhelming public support that was evident everywhere) closed the doors as a 24/7 facility in 1997.

SMACD was a driving force behind a dedicated campaign to lobby state parliamentarians to support the re-instatement of full hospital services and they voted accordingly after the Jim Bacon Labor government came to power in 1998.

We have a lot to thank SMACD for. Over the years SMACDs role changed and some equally good work was done in other ways, but perhaps it’s time to revisit the original concept of SMACD given the huge possibilities we have in front of us now. The original SMACD was instigated by the need to overcome general apathy but a new SMACD could be generated by the current opportunities.

One of our business people and keen fitness participants asked me to give this subject a mention. If you exercise a dog on and around the Recreation Ground facility at St Marys could you please take care of any dog stools your dog is responsible for? Maybe have a plastic bag at the ready… many of us do take the dogs over for a run and she is correct in saying that it’s our responsibility to take due care of this.  It’s also a good idea to carry a lead  at all times should you dog need restraining so as not to potentially impede the progress of someone jogging and for general safety and peace of mind.

A small courtesy but well worth the effort by all dog owners…

What do you think? Rod McGiveron.