Left not right

Left not right

Whilst not an avid reader of your weekly, I feel that it is time that someone wrote regarding the leftist attitude of your political correspondent Mungo MacCallum. I fail to see how a half-page column, which would cost in excess of $1,000 if I were advertising, relating to the mis-use of our flag could so encompass such a denigration of our National Government, who apparently now have to take responsibility for the over-indulgence by a few of the people attending our Australia Day celebrations.

I do not recall any comments regarding the complete stuff-up of the Labour Party of New South Wales or their forgotten promises i.e. the Alstonville promised by-pass by our most excellent ex premier, the removal of our trains (the only government-run transport in the area), but then when you look at Sydneys trains we should perhaps be grateful that they closed it! The abysmal effort in upgrading the Pacific Highway, which none of us will live to see, but of course this is entirely the fault of the National Government. Let us not forget the fiasco of the Sydney Tunnel, schools, the health service and now this once great state is rapidly approaching recession. These are a few matters of the mis-management by our wonderful state government. Now we hear of some of the almighty problems Sydney residents will be forced to endure with the construction of the off-again, on-again desalination plant, which disruption was not supposed to become public knowledge until after the state election, that is if they have enough sitting Members left who are not embroiled in litigation or scandal, to stand for re-election.

Whilst this letter is probably too long, I appreciate that it will not be published in view of your papers apparent political bias, but feel equal space should be allocated in order that your readers may perhaps get a balancing view.

Terry Colenso


Nationals on shaky ground

As I doorknock around Casino and meet residents at our market stalls across the Northern Rivers for Clarence Nationals MP Steve Cansdell, two things mark this election as being different to the federal campaign I ran successfully for Ian Causley in 2004.

The first is the astonishing number of people who tell me they have voted Labor all their life but enoughs enough, this time Ill give the Nats a go. Even long suffering North Coast Labor voters are sick of Sydneys broken promises particularly in relation to taking away our train services and starving our hospitals of funds.

While this is encouraging for our side of politics, I am concerned about the attitude of many conservative voters who seem to think our local Nationals MPs are a shoo-in on March 24.

The facts are that Steve Cansdell won Clarence from Labor by a handful of votes, Thomas George has lost his home town and support base of Casino in the electoral boundary changes, and Don Page faces a real battle for survival if the mayor of Ballina decides to run against him and split the conservative vote.

With a cashed-up Labor Party desperate to cling to power, this is no time for complacency among the ranks of Northern Rivers conservatives. If you want to get rid of the 12 year-old Labor Government, you dont just need to vote Nationals on Election Day, you must contact your local Nationals representatives and offer to help.

Chris Gulaptis

Nationals Chairman for the Clarence Electorate

States a waste

What a disgraceful mess we are in. At the March election I have no choice but to get my name marked off the roll and put a blank ballot paper in the box.

Up until the One Nation Party was formed, I always voted Liberal/National. My choices now are the arrogant, ignorant incumbent, the union-crawling Labor candidate and the tree-hugging Green.

If this were a democracy political parties would be banned and all adults would have an equal chance of standing at all elections. I believe that the state parliaments serve no purpose but waste hundreds of millions of dollars and inevitably clash with the real parliament in Canberra.

I am a retired, registered nurse and would have had to register eight times to work freely in all areas of the country as each state had different rules and regulations.

Stephen Lewis

LismoreKeen to talk

Karin Kolbe (Echo, February 1) suggests that Peter Lanyon, the ALP candidate for the state seat of Lismore, held a campaign launch in Kyogle in an attempt to avoid the issue of railway services and infrastructure.

Quite the contrary. Peter Lanyon is willing to discuss these and all other issues with all members of the electorate at any time. Peter personally approached Trains On Our Tracks members who campaigned during the Kyogle ALP campaign launch and had a discussion with them.

Moreover, Mr Lanyon has also held campaign launches in Murwillumbah and Nimbin. Another launch will be held in Lismore in the near future. All members of the public are invited to attend to meet the candidate and discuss their issues with him.

Eric Kaiser

Assistant Secretary

Kyogle Branch ALP

Ministrations of love

In the increasingly unlikely event that there will be anybody around in 100 years time to record human history, our times will surely be registered under the title of The age of double standards and hypocrisy.

Listed amongst the innumerable examples will be the case of a certain Australian Prime Minister, who would one day launch indignant attacks on the right-wing extremist elements of a religion he regards as them and then the very next day, he would, without even a blink of the eye, sing hymns of praise about the right-wing extremist elements of another religion he regards as us.

Jesus Loves You is the catch-cry of John Howards beloved Catch the Fire Ministries.

Sure, Jesus Loves You and Work Makes You Free and give my regards to Orwell.

Why dont we ask David Hicks just how much he is being loved by John Howards Jesus?

The very word love is being systematically censored out of Hicks letters by men who proudly profess their commitment to Christian values.

As Orwell says in 1984: One did not know what happened inside the Ministry of Love, but it was possible to guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that registered your nervous reactions, gradual wearing down by sleeplessness and solitude...

And we thought it was just a book of fiction.

Tom Koo


Thats so gay!

Thats so gay! That statement is as common in most schools as getting homework. For those of you who do not know, when kids say Thats so gay, its meant as a derogatory term. No, its not used as a word meaning happy. And its totally unacceptable.

I am sick to death of people putting down and discriminating against gay and lesbian people. What business is it of anyone else how people choose to live their lives? If it makes them happy, then thats great.

I believe the younger generation needs heaps and heaps more in school education in the form of scheduled regular classes as well as workshops about sexuality and especially homosexuality. The worst part is most teachers just stand by and ignore it, so kids think they can get away with it and think that putting down gay people is OK. Something must be done immediately, because the bullying and the derogatory comments are completely unacceptable.

Whilst I myself am not gay, I completely support all gay and lesbian people, and hope that one day in the near future, everyone including all youth accept homosexual people and treat them with respect just like they would any other person.

Its not wrong to be gay, its wrong to discriminate against gay people.

Sarah Hort


Entire species under threat

The ongoing clearing of trees, the global melting of ice caps, the extinction of species and Luis Felius front page Echo story last week all have something in common. That common thread is the need to protect our environment.

You reported in the story that Cr Alan Rich said the clearing had been the worst form of environmental desecration thats possibly occurred in the shire which could spell the death of a rare species of native tree as a result.

While you correctly quoted me, a key point needs to be made. It wasnt just the death of atree that worried me. If this last tree dies it will mean the extinction of the whole Fontainea oraria species in the wild. That could still happen over the next 50 years or so as a result of his land clearing. To think that one person could be found responsible for the extinction of an entire species sickens me. No amount of fines or rehabilitation seedlings can replace a natural forest eco-system, be assured.

Thank you for prominently reporting the story. In my view this vandal got off way too cheap. If ever a jail term was deserved, this was it.

Alan Rich

Lennox Head

Double standard

Cr Alan Rich may be right (Echo, February 8) when he says that land clearing in Amber Drive, Lennox Head had been the worst form of environmental desecration thats possibly occurred in Ballina Shire.

However that act of desecration will be nothing compared to what is about to happen in the Ballina Shires protected environment water catchment in the Knockrow/Newrybar area. And this act of desecration has the full support of Cr Rich.

Thats right, Cr Rich voted at Ballina Shire Council for the RTA to route the proposed six-lane motorway through Ballinas water supply knowing full well the potential environmental desecration of thousands of trees and also the pollution risk to Ballinas water supply.

In addition, a land-holders plan he was also fully aware of to restore the natural infrastructure of the water catchment by planting an additional 250,000 trees is now in tatters because the motorway route has made this rescue project unviable.

Discussion had taken place with the Australian Forest Corp to create a carbon pool, accredited under the NSW government Gas Abatement Scheme for the catchment. That opportunity is now lost.

And why would Cr Rich and other councillors, apart from Cr Cadwallader, Felsch and Howes, want to do this? It is simply that they assessed that a $500 million plus Kath and Kim-styled village of 7000 people west of Lennox Head (yet to be built) should be spared any impact from the motorway, but at the expense of the protected environment of the water catchment and the loss of 250,000 trees that will now not be planted.

In the same edition of The Echo, Cr Howes says development is all about ego, money and money-making and more money. She is so right.

Ian Cooke


Search for man after child approached at school

Search for man after child approached at school

Police searching for chubby, bearded man with bandaged feet

"It won't be long before there are milk shortages"

"It won't be long before there are milk shortages"

Farmers "stressed to the max, mentally and physically”

A good conversation is like a ball game

A good conversation is like a ball game

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