Sweet talking

Sweet talking

As the great Chocolate Yogi, who meditates in the caves of Toblerone Mountains, would say: What the world needs today is spiritual fruit, instead of religious nuts.

Tom Koo

Alstonville

Thanks for keeping the vision alive

I wish to thank the many people that gave their unwanted eyeglasses to the Christian Blind Mission over the years.

Due to me being in my twilight years I feel I must retire from this job. If anyone is interested in taking over this job, could they please contact me via mail at Terry White Pharmacy in Lismore.

Lois Keep

Lismore

Please explain

Recent letters of mine to the editor have tried to highlight the fact that Lismore City Council has embarked on a path of deception and deliberate confusion regarding the future of Lismore Park and Crozier Oval.

A submission I wrote to the Lismore Park Draft Plan of Management last week has just been acknowledged as a submission to the Draft LEP Amendment 33, which closed in September.

If senior Council staff are confused about the difference, what hope has the public got? Maybe the general manager could explain.

Hello?

Peter Bellew

Lismore

Act now or pay later

The Global Carbon Project recently reported that carbon emissions which have been rising at about 1 per cent each year, up to the year 2000, have now increased to 2.5 per cent per year. What do our clever pollies do about this rapidly increasing problem? Nothing too much. John Howard puts all his faith in geo-sequestration, nuclear power and clean coal. All of these so called remedies are at least 10 years away. The NSW Government is trying very hard to approve even more coal mines to supply fuel to dirty power generators. The Greens warned of these problems years ago but were denigrated as tree huggers etc. Our country desperately needs some leaders who are not afraid to make hard long-term decisions and not think only of their popularity.

Bob Duncan

Ballina

Put renewables before reactors

Who wants a nuclear power plant near where they live? People have the choice to knock back the nuclear option. Our democracy still affords us some decision making power.

If enough people vote Green then they will have the balance of power to veto proposals such as Switkowskis 25 reactors by 2025 proposal. Nuclear power is a ridiculous scenario when renewable energy technologies are available and cost effective.

Global warming is a pollution issue. So why replace it with another power source that creates another pollution that will last for hundreds of thousands of years? Sure it is different, but is it good? Of course not.

Renewable energy neutralises the nuclear issue.

Ruth Tsitimbinis

Kyogle

IR protests show growing opposition

Despite the less than expected turnout in various areas to support the national day of action last week, I am heartened by the people I speak to at markets and in pubs etc. when Im getting the message across from Unions NSW.

Many people could not join the protest because they are now threatened with job dismissal without redress by these very industrial laws we are working to have abolished. There is a groundswell of opposition out there, despite the federal governments sneering comments to the contrary. Just you wait, Johnny Howard, just you wait!

Cherie Imlah

Mongogarie

Not happy, John

I attended the IR rally in Lismore last week and joined hundreds of locals in protest. While numbers were not as high as were hoped, John Howard is incorrect in his assumption that people are happy.

I know this because I wore my Your Rights At Work badge before and after the event and people were stopping me in the street and at the store checkouts saying they supported the campaign. They could not be there, but they felt that the government was out of touch with the new IR laws.

This is why the government will lose in the federal election next year and why Labor will be returned in NSW. The Liberal leader in NSW has already said he will cut 30,000 jobs from our public services. That is our teachers, nurses and police officers who will lose jobs.

That brings me to the hypocrisy of these changes. Why do I get rubbish in my letterbox from Ian Causley saying he supports local families when my job will see me working weekends and getting lower wages? I should be able to support my kids by working a full-time job and also be there to take my son to soccer or my daughter to gymnastics. Where is the policy that makes this happen?

Why do we get marketing, when we need representation? Why do we get spin, when we need accountability? We need real representation in 2007!

Isaac Smith

Lismore

Artfelt thanks

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community and numerous business people of the Coraki area for their generous sponsorship of the recent Tea Tree Art Festival.

Without your support and the enthusiasm and hard work of the organisers, Sharon, Kate, Narelle and Cheryl year after year, this wonderful art exhibition and example of community spirit would not exist. As the lucky winner of the Best in Show, which is sponsored by the business people of Coraki and Uptown Picture Framing Lismore, I can honestly assure you that your sponsorship and support is very greatly appreciated! And to Terra and The Echo for your extensive coverage! Thank you very much!

Stephen Blanch

Evans Head

Sale of WWI VC medal

There has been much in the media in the past week about the sale of Lieutenant Corporal Bernard Gordons Victoria Cross medal, won in France on the night of August 26/27, 1918. It would be of interest to those of our local area to know that Lieutenant Gordon was a member of the 41st Battalion, A.I.F.

Lismore currently is and has been for over 50 years the headquarters of the 41st Infantry Battalion. The 41st Battalion was formed in 1916 and in July this year celebrated its 90th Anniversary in Lismore.

Norm Robinson

Former member of 41st Battalion (1954-60)

Lismore

Road rage against Iemma

Our politicians are trying to force the six-lane tollway on us one way or another. Apparently the Roads Minister will ask the Planning Minister to classify the Pacific Highway as Critical Infrastructure in order to make it happen faster and cut through red-tape.

What they mean is, under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Critical Infrastructure projects can proceed without the normal environmental assessment and public consultation process. Additionally, decisions made for these projects will not be appealable!

First the politicians ignored the advice of the Inquiry into the Pacific Highway Upgrade, then they ignored the routes favoured by the advisory groups and then ignored rail, the obvious choice for freight.

They cant ignore your vote however, so let the Premier know how you feel!

Contact the Premier at thepremier@nsw.gov.au.

Ken Rumsby

Meerschaum Vale

Flawed fluoride thinking

Councillor Jenny Dowell uses the example of adding vitamins to bread, and iodine to salt, to justify adding fluoride to drinking water, but the analogy is invalid. Vitamins and iodine are food substances where the customer can choose whether or not to use them, even though it is agreed they may be beneficial. Fluoride is not a food substance; it is an accumulative poison, and Council intends that all people be forced to take it into their body by adding it to the water supply. Apart from tank users, all ratepayers will imbibe this poison. Further, the American Dental Association said recently: We would not advise that fluoridated water be used to make-up a babys formula. Will mothers of babies be forced then to buy water in plastic bottles?

Finally: No ordinary household filter will remove fluoride from fluoridated water!

Sylvia Olson

Goonellabah

Religion and politics

The fact that 72 per cent of Australians consider themselves to be Christian means that we should not be surprised to see Christian influence and ideas seen in public life. The Christian majority has every right to voice its concerns, seek to lobby governments, and make its case in the political and public arenas, just as secularists do. But increasingly we are seeing the vocal secularist demand that religious people shut up, and keep their religion to themselves.

But in a democracy religious people can and should speak their minds and seek to influence the political system, there should be room for people of faith to make their case just as secularists seek to. We should not be browbeaten by the secularists with their distorted views of what public life should look like. We do not need to let the secularists lay down the rules as to how religious people should act in the political and social arenas.

Come and listen to Reverend Gordon Moyes MLC (at Lismore Baptist Church, Uralba Street, on Friday, December 8, at 7pm) speak on what role Christians and Christianity play in the political life of this nation.

P Gosper

Lismore

Thanks for HSC help

Well that unnecessary evil, the NSW HSC, is finally over. The fact that we still have such an outdated and irrelevant form of assessment still amazes me but thats the subject of another letter.

This letter is to publicly thank all the people at Richmond River who helped Lachlan through his high school years.

Thank you to the teachers whose professionalism, teaching excellence and compassion is outstanding.

Thank you to the executive staff whose leadership and support enable students and staff to reach their potential.

Thank you to the support staff who have done so much above and beyond their job requirements to ensure that the students at Richmond River High are safe, well cared for and have access to a great range of opportunities.

Thank you to the students for your tolerance and acceptance of each other.

Thank you to Lachlans mates, especially Scott, Sam and Fred, for your friendship and support during these challenging HSC years.

Thank you all.

Ros Fleetwood

Coffee Camp

What a waste

Lets thank The King and all his men at Council for wasting a million dollars on a new SES HQ. The present SES crew is a bunch of dangerous louts without sane, competent leaders. At this time in Lismore we have two Police Rescue Units, a huge Ambulance Service and a full time Fire Service with a dedicated rescue truck (with hazardous chemical capability). The only service that the local SES could provide the community is rescue boats for those 1 in 100 year floods alas they do not even maintain the boats. Eventually the helicopters will move to the airport so there is no need to build a new HQ for the SES even if it was required.

S Lewis

Lismore

See Willacy on Ocean Shores

The excellent address today, Tuesday, by former ABC foreign correspondent Jeff McMullen prompts me to suggest to your readers that they attend an address by Mark Willacy, recently ABC correspondent in the Middle East.

Mark will be at the Ocean Shores Country Club from 4pm on Sunday, December 10. Friends of the ABC, who organised the event, would suggest a donation at $10/5 to cover expenses.

Northern Rivers Branch of Friends has arranged quite few visits in the past, the latest being by Four Corners presenter Sally Neighbour, who appeared at the Tweed Community Centre earlier this year, which for me was well worth the drive from Lismore.

The doors will open at 3pm for a chance to meet members of Friends of the ABC, and perhaps to join our organisation. Hope to see you there.

Doug Myler

Lismore Heights

School concert shines

Wow congratulations students, staff and helpers of Goonellabah Public School for the wonderful school concert.

The talent of the students in the individual instrument performances was inspiring and the fun that the children had in their class performances was infectious.

A big thank you also to the teachers, for their time and commitment in organising the class performances. They also entertained the children after their performance so that the parents could enjoy the whole concert. This was very much appreciated.

To Mrs Cox and Nigel for the work that they do with the various school bands thank you! The support that you also receive from the various musical tutors who visit our school must also be acknowledged. It was great to see the many musical opportunities that our children are able to participate in.

We sat in the audience very proud of the students and in awe of their achievements.

Thank you GPS for giving our children the opportunity to shine. We were thoroughly entertained and enjoyed every minute.

Scott and Joanne Cooper

Lismore

Whats God got to do with it?

I really didnt want to get caught up again in this homosexuality debate, but when Lee Andresen publicly makes statements such as God made me gay. In my actions as a gay man I uniquely express and reveal something of the nature of God (Echo, November 23) I couldnt stand by and see the God of heaven and the creator of the universe dishonoured and misrepresented, without offering some evidence to the contrary.

God did not make anyone gay for he created man perfect, in his own image (Genesis 1), subject to his divine Law. All the maladies and perversions of the human race are the result of sin, that is breaking the Law of God. Unfortunately, today we are experiencing and suffering the results of 6000 years of rebellion against God, and homosexuality, being only one aspect of those consequences.

However, in fairness to Lee, perhaps he is not aware of the counsel of God in regard to acts of homosexuality. I will quote just a couple of texts from the scriptures.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind (have sexual relations), as with womankind: it is an abomination Levitcus 18:22. Because of their sinful lives God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly (indecent).... Romans 1:26,27.

The sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that practised sodomy were destroyed because of this sin. However, God does love the sinner but not the sin, and is constantly entreating them to repent and put away their sins of whatever nature they may be. God made us all with free wills, which you have exercised in choosing your particular lifestyle; and that is exactly why you are gay man. God had nothing to do with it.

Joan Kuhl

Ballina

A modern-day moral watershed

Weve been told that just because some men happen to love other men doesnt mean they ought to love them (Right of Reply, Echo, December 1). Since moral values are independent of any objective facts about the world, lets ask: From whence do moral values come?

Many great thinkers have noticed the obvious; moral values are a human, social construct. We invent, or perhaps intuit them. Whatever, they clearly dont exist out there like trees, rocks and animals. Where else can they come from, except our minds?

Like all thinking, they evolve. During historic moral watersheds old values previously thought untouchable suddenly become obsolete. New, superior values take their place.

Witches are no longer burned; we abolish slavery and capital punishment; women now stand for parliament, vote, and fight in an armys frontline; apartheid gets outlawed; Aboriginals gain full citizenship; the list goes on.

Todays watershed is legalising same-sex unions. A superior understanding of masculinity and femininity, human love, and the nature of family are all evolving. Yesterdays unthinkable equals tomorrows commonplace. Like all watersheds well complain but later realise it had to happen and accept it as good.

Behold hitherto unimaginable ideas: two men loving on equal terms without one dominating, abusing, patronising, subordinating or humiliating the other! Heterosexual men no longer have monopoly on being fully masculine, complete, flourishing males! Manhood (women will argue their own case) becoming a richer, more complex and beautiful gift than anyone previously grasped!

Such sexual democracy is new in human history. Its frightening it shakes the foundations of heterosexual hegemony. But didnt men once hate and fear being told they could no longer own slaves? Or treat women as property? Or treat Aboriginals as sub-human?

Yet its happening, just as those changes did. With this raised consciousness the world becomes a more morally developed, compassionate, inclusive place. And a better world for everyone to inhabit.

Lee Andresen

East Ballina


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