Photo: Tamworth aerial view. This photo is taken from the Total Travel site. Do Please visit.
I suppose that it was too much to hope that the Australian metro media would leave Tamworth alone for a moment to give them (the locals) time to work the issues through. After all, it is a major story.
In case I haven't made my own position clear in the stories I have written, I thought that the original Council decision to reject the resettlement proposal was dumb, the way Council handled the matter dumber still.
At the same time, one of my key points has been that this is a complicated issue from a local perspective, one that the locals themselves have to work through.
The difficulty with the story now carried in today's Sydney Morning Herald (here) is that it is highly likely to inflame local divisions, making sensible consideration of the issue still more difficult. People dig in if placed under too much pressure.
Community development has been one of my long standing interests. Why do some communities develop, others fail?
In a post back in July - A Town like Alice - development and creativity at community level - I compared Armidale and Tamworth. One of my points was that Tamworth had a long record in business creation and that this helped explain its relative success compared to Armidale.
As a community, Tamworth has been a considerable success. I am seriously concerned that this current controversy will damage the city, affecting every person who lives there, including the thousands in the city who oppose the original council decision.
So let's cut Tamworth some slack, letting them work the issue through.