With reference to the article ‘Power Play for Rates Role’ on page 11 of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times, Tuesday, December 12, and the councillors’ decision on the new rating committee member…
William (Bill) Irving was an applicant for the South Gippsland Shire Rating Committee.
Bill’s great grandfather John Irving brought his family to Bena from Daylesford in 1905. He bought land in Inlet Road where he ran a dairy, produced beef cattle, sheep and grew potatoes.
He had eight children; Dorothy, Bess, Grace, Sarah, Mabel, John, Tom and William. Bess and Mabel married sons from the Buchannan family and Grace married John Canobio.
After their father’s death the sons worked the farm including a turn out block on Buchannans Road.
Ultimately William, his wife Una with their daughter and three sons took on the property on Buchannans Road.
Their son Ray and his wife Ruby raised their family (including Bill), and farmed the land until Ray’s death in 2013.
The Irving family has lived and farmed in the shire for over 110 years, which I suspect is a far longer association with the area than most of the sitting councillors.
With his extensive experience on various boards, his lifelong association with the Bena-Kilcunda Road area including his recent building of a new home on the family farm here, Bill Irving would have made an excellent and well informed member of the Rating Strategy Steering Committee.
Councillors should do their homework relating to the identity and background of prospective committee members or at least, take notice of the recommendation of current rating committee members who will be required to work with the new member.
Libby Lambert, Bena.