Lets keep it clean

Lets keep it clean

I was wondering why the Tamar Street bus stop behind the Wigmore Arcade is in such terrible state. Could be some folks (you know who you are) waiting for a bus pass the time by tossing rubbish, beer bottles, cigarette butts and chewing gum anywhere but inside a bin. Others get creative and write, paint, scratch and burn names, places, and crude remarks everywhere. Could boredom, no respect, and stupidity be the cause? We are frequent users of the bus service, its getting difficult just to find a clean place to sit,and we have to pick up rubbish some thoughtless idiot left behind. I can imagine what Tamar Street bus stop would look like if everyone would help keep it clean.

Joan Irwin


Whos the fairest of them all?

In October, Roy Morgan Research conducted a survey of 672 Australians aged 14 and over. The results revealed that 91 per cent of Australians thought that a fair go for all Australians was an important Australian value. Sadly, 77 per cent felt that the gap between the poor and the rich, the haves and the have-nots, is widening. We are becoming less fair.

From June-September 2006, the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) surveyed 1600 people from all States and Territories, about what they considered to be 10 essential features to make Australia fair. These also came up in the top 10 polled by Roy Morgan Research. The 10 essentials to make Australia fair are: fair education, fair health, fair welfare, fair environment, fair work, fair community, fair reconciliation, fair housing, fair services, fair rights and responsibilities.

With a federal election due later this year, it is timely for voters to reflect on which party and which candidate will helpus to be able to sing Advance Australia Fair and truly mean it again.

Jenny Dowell


Thanks for shouting

I would like to say a huge thank you to The Northern Rivers Echo newspaper and the Ballina RSL Club for shouting my husband and I to a great night out recently. I was delighted to be informed that I had won The Echo competition for double, complimentary, candlelit-dinner tickets to the Girls, Girls, Girls show recently. My husband and I used it as a lovely Valentines celebration. We really enjoyed the entertainment and humour Debra Byrne, Wendy Stapleton and Nikki Nicholls dished out throughout the show. We were also impressed by the courteous RSL staff, who even kindly catered for my special dietary needs with friendly smiles and care. Well done, and thanks again.

Carol Goossens


Mining for energy wrong way to go

Through your well-read columns Id like to say that its bad enough that we face a thousand years in a carbon-fuel frying pan, without choosing to jump into the hundred thousand years of nuklear-fission fire. (sic; k for political centralism).

Theres plenty of sunlight, wind, biofuel and geothermal energy possibilities for me and I dont see how mining for energy can ever be sustainable on the time scales we humans dream of, and our earth life household lives by.

Yea greenpower! Yea biodiesel! Maybe yea methanol! And Om Gaia.

Ian Dixon


Make your vote count

Just a short note to the organisers of TOOT, also Stephen Lewis of Lismore (Echo, February 15) and any other person thinking of our election.

I think you all should know that if you put your voting ballot paper in the ballot box with nothing on it that vote will go to the party who is in power at the time of election. Also by writing the word TOOT on your ballot paper and nothing else, this will give your support to the party in power.

So if you do want to change the government we have now, you must vote for a party.

Remember all the blank ballots and any so called donkey votes will be counted and these votes are given to the powers that be.

Be aware of this and vote correctly. Then we may see some changes made.

Good luck.

Martyn Wiggins


Turnbulls excuse on climate change an insult

I heard recently that Malcolm Turnbull, the Federal Minister for the Environment, was quoted as saying that Australia is too small to effect climate change alone so we should just adapt to it. By this reasoning we should also just adapt to international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, current world trade arrangements, and everything else whether we like it or not.

This reasoning is in fact an argument that nobody should ever attempt anything unless it can be accomplished entirely alone and unaided. I am sure Mr Turnbull does not believe this, so the question arises as to why he said it. The most likely reason, given this governments attitude to and record on the environment, is that Mr Turnbulls brief as Environment Minister is not to address the issues of global warming and climate change, but rather to find excuses not to address them. The fact that this excuse is so lacking in credibility as to be an insult to the intelligence of all who encounter it is doubtless Mr Turnbulls personal contribution.

One wonders how bad things will have to get before this government realises that there is a problem, let alone begins to address it.

How long are we going to let them get away with this?

Jonathan Chance


Use your vote wisely

Greens and Labor have traditionally preferenced each other for one very important reason: to keep the National/Liberal coalition out of office. This political reality should over-ride the current differences on policy between the Greens and Labor and provide a platform for co-operation on the bigger issues such as nuclear power, global warming and industrial relations.

When voting for local candidates for the Legislative Assembly in the NSW election it must be remembered that preferences do not automatically flow when you just vote 1 and leave the rest of the boxes empty. To get the most from your democratic choice use all the boxes and place the least desired candidates last.

Green voters have nothing to lose by placing their preferred candidates first and then preferencing the remaining candidates on the basis of their environmental policies.

It is already clear that the National/Liberal Coalition policies revolve around economic growth at any cost and the inequitable distribution of wealth. They do this at the expense of the natural environment and those people less well off in our society.

I implore all Green and Independent voters to consider this carefully and use their ballot to the maximum effect.

Eric Kaiser


What are you doing?

Hey Sarah Hort, what school do you attend? Re: Echo, February 15, your letter Thats so gay. Do you hang around with any gay or lesbians at school? If not why not? You are forever telling us what we should be doing or not doing. What are you doing? Do you attend any group or organisation such as Girl Guides, Scouts, Legacy, Salvation Army, Toastmasters, Lions Club, Rotary or many more organisations that help others?

Did you attend the Too Queer for School community forum at SCU on Monday as advertised in the February 15 Echo?

Do you play any sport, help an elderly neighbour with gardening, housework, shopping or just keeping company, or dont you have any time due to time taken to write to editors of local papers?

M Wawn


Greens provide hope amongst no-hopers

Stephen Lewis in his letter (Echo, February 15) had a number of interesting points. The main point I believe dealing with the bureaucracy of state rules and regulations. As he rightly says the financial wastage of dealing with seven or eight different departments in different states and territories can run to millions of dollars. Not to mention the different parameters and levels of health, education, and transport.

However, I would take issue with a number of his points also. I believe the incumbent, Thomas George, is a community-minded and hardworking politician and its a pity that in the many years he has represented the electorate he has been unable to achieve much. This is not his fault. More the fact of the distance from the Sydney-centric powers of government to this far-away place called the Northern Rivers.

As a retired registered nurse, Im sure Stephen would appreciate the work that the Unions have accomplished to ensure the advancement in conditions that the nursing profession enjoy today. Thats not to say they do not need more, in the way of conditions, wages and financial support for the public health system.

It is also a real problem of public perception that the Greens are seen as merely tree-huggers. Sure the Greens have campaigned hard for the environment, and in todays election climate that seems to be the flavour of the month. I commend Stephen to take a moment and see what other policies the Greens have to offer.

The Greens are a community-based group of like minded adults, youth and children who have a social conscience and believe in social justice. From affordable public housing, public transport, appropriate funding for the public health system and schools, the Greens have a policy that can make a difference, especially here in the Northern Rivers where we have one of the highest youth unemployment figures in the state. And they have a policy that would deal with the multi-levels of government that Mr Lewis speaks of.

Dont just get your name marked off and waste a vote because the major political parties are no-hopers. See what the Greens are offering. Vote Green. I am.

Phil Toynton


Thanks for bypass support

The Alstonville Bypass Action Group would like to thank all of the volunteers and the back-up support people for their assistance in conducting our traffic count on February 15 and 16.

The outcome was very encouraging and has reinforced our commitment to push even harder to make sure this bypass happens.

We would also like to thank our local MP Don Page for taking part in this count and allowing him to see first-hand the problems the people of Alstonville face every day, especially our school children that have to cross this dangerous road twice a day.

Observations are that Main Street becomes so congested during school hours that this forces more commuters to use the back streets, and these streets were not meant to take this volume of traffic.

This highway has gone past being a political issue and has become a matter of urgency for many safety reasons.

Lets hope the current Minister for Roads, Eric Roozendaal, realises this and starts construction before precious lives are lost.

Once again a big thanks to all of the volunteers.

Bob Wilson, Marilyn Perkins, David Wright, Jane Gardiner and Duncan Whitehead

Bypass Action Group members

Motorway reality check needed

Everything Ian Cooke writes seems to be influenced by his inability to accept reality. He lives in Newrybar right on the Pacific Highway and the new NSW Government motorway is going right past his front yard. Hes hurting.

In his last letter about the highway he tediously repeats the same story that hes been peddling for years now as fact. Theyre his opinions only and theyre wrong. General managers, council leaders and others have responded in public and in private, over and over again, to his letters in the past. We have tried to provide accurate information to the readers he publicly continues to confuse. His facts are wrong. His assumptions are wrong. His conclusions are wrong. Newspapers have refused to run his defamatory letters and ads. Hes desperately hurting.

For him to pretend that my small part in an advisory letter to the RTA was influenced by a proposed village to accommodate 7000 people west of Lennox Head is all in his mind. If what Cooke says in his letter was true, which its not, Cr Margaret Howes would have illegally breached NSW pecuniary interest laws by her vote, which he refers to, because the proposed development is on her property. Facts are she didnt participate. Hes been repeating these sorts of misrepresentations for years and its overdue for the nonsense to stop. Hes hurting others.

Nasty, if not defamatory, statements based on his distortions have had their day. The state government announced the highway route in September, 2006. I feel sorry for him but its time to move on. If nothing else, his worn-out and predictable lines have become quite boring.

Alan Rich

Lennox Head

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hygge is the Danish word for enjoying life's simple pleasures

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