Shame mayor, shame

Shame mayor, shame

I am appalled that Mayor King seems to believe that the position he holds as the head of Lismore City Council gives him the sole right to make decisions without any reference to any of the other Council members elected by this community to carry out decision making on a shared basis on our behalf.

The last time I checked, Lismores governance procedures still came under the jurisdiction of the Australian Constitution. This means we are a democracy, Mayor King not a kingdom, dictatorship or some other autocratic form of government. Shame on you Mayor King for being so arrogant and un-democratic, particularly as it is such an important anniversary year for Indigenous Australian citizens!

This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum which finally legally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australian citizens with the same equal rights as all other Australian citizens. And yet, Indigenous Australians on average still die 20 years earlier than non-Indigenous Australians. Shame Australia, shame!

So, Mayor King, is reconciliation, in this very important year, just going to be about cutting ceremonial ribbons on doorways or are you going to actively work towards bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together, caring and sharing, all one mob being treated as equals? I cant think of a better way to do that in this very important anniversary year than to generously host an active, healthy event such as the proposed NSW Indigenous Knockout Footy Competition.

Reconciliation is about caring and sharing. Please Mayor King, help us to achieve this reconciliation goal by being an active part of the reconciliation movement instead of just a part of the window dressing. I ask you Mayor King, at the very least, please stop blocking our Australian democratic processes and allow our elected councillors to work together, sharing decision making processes in an accountable and transparent manner, as you were all elected to do.

Clare Gallagher

Goonellabah

Kicked in the guts

I have just read of Councillor Merv Kings decision to reject the proposal to hold Australias biggest Aboriginal sporting event in Lismore this year. Let me say straight off that whilstI am not Aboriginal and not remotely interested in rugby league,I feel like I have been kicked in the guts. I cant imagine how the organisers and the Aboriginal community must feel.

I happened to be at the recentCouncil meeting where the organisers proposed their event to Council. I was impressed by the obviously huge amount ofwork and professionalism they had put in to ensuring that it would be both a successful sporting event andhave apositive community impact.

I note that almost all the conflicting events mentioned by Councillor King do not actually clash with the dates of the knockout. I also note that the event has been going for 36 years without any history of violence, it strongly promotes itself as drug and alcohol free, and it has been supported financially in recent years by the City of Sydneys Cultural and Community Services Committee and the NSW Department of Community Services.

And finally, I see thatin Lismore City Councils Management Plan Review of August 2006 the following objective is mentioned: Attract major external events to the city.I guess there must have been a typo they left out the bit that says as long as they dont involve blackfellas.

I feel angered, dismayed, disgusted and ashamed by the mayors decision.

Robyn Braithwaite

Tregeagle

Students need driver education

At my public high school, among many other subjects, Computer Studies is a mandatory subject for one semester. In this course, students learn how to operate a computer and many computer programs. But, while we are taught how to use a computer, we do not receive any driver education.

Whilst computers have become an important part of every day life, I feel that learning how to drive a car is a much more worthwhile and important subject, as almost everyone drives or owns a car. And, incorrect use of a computer wont kill you, but incorrect use of a car may.

I am concerned about death on the road, especially among young people, and I do believe that mandatory driver education, both theory and practical lessons, would be a great idea to include in the curriculum. Young people would become aware and know how to drive and have basic car knowledge.

I know of some driving clinics in places like the Gold Coast, but they are rare, optional and very expensive. They are also only offered to years 10-12 on odd occasions and have limited places.

The proposed driver education would occur both in the classroom and in a car (for older years).

Students need to know and we need to be taught before its too late!

Sarah Hort

Lismore

Sun Safety Day

Recently, my childrens primary school held a Sun Safety Day the Cancer Councils idea of fun learning I guess. There were colouring competitions, games and prizes a real anti-Sun celebration.

As a nature-worshipping woman, I couldnt bring myself to send our kids to school that day the sun even stayed at bay.

The whole idea of a public celebration aimed at discrediting, not only humanitys life giving and sustaining orb, but the intelligence of whatever force created us all, was just too disheartening.

Last I heard, the suns energy was solely responsible for all life on this planet! Why do public schools not celebrate solstice and equinox? Earth awareness is surely more important these days than the nice stories taught in scripture.

Sun safety in our home is simple wear a hat and stay in the shade at the hottest times of the day. Toxic lotions on the skin surely cause more cancer than they prevent.

Way back in my vegan days, I stopped eating sugar for two years. The first thing I noticed was how much my skin changed. I later discovered that its long been suspected by many alternative practitioners that sugar causes skin cancer.

But as with the hot new issue of climate change, these concerns will remain in the hippy box until a scientist bothers to do some research.

In the meantime, my family will continue giving thanks for the sun each Sun-day and will, as always, weigh mass paranoia with our own gut instinct and common sense.

Mel Manar

Lismore

River ecosystem deserves better

Further your recent feature River or drain concerning the plight of the Richmond River system, eager readers have indicated to me that they want to know-more, and why no government authority, especially fisheries(!), appears to take any significant interest in finding-out what is killing off the water life.

After the EPA (Environmental Protection Authority) published on the web (1996) that the river quality/ies were (by then) in a poor state, two local regional conferences have been held by bureaucrats to discuss hypotheses about what is wrong with the river waters. Independent scientists, like yours truly, and public observers who had witnessed the massive fish-death event/s of 2001 (Feb 01) and of 2006 were simply not invited to put forward commonsense evidence, AND more to the point, dead fish and other dead biota were not fully or independently autopsied; specimens of dead fish, from as far up into the catchment as the highest live camphor trees, should have been sent away for toxicological and analytical assessment to define the cause of death. Independent scientists who had witnessed (by snorkeling the streams prior to the massive (Feb 1, 2001) flood event, had noticed that gross buildups of decaying in-stream/waterhole detritus breaks down to form sulphurous gases, and voluminous sulphur-based toxins; the flood events stir up all these gaseous toxins, killing most fish.

The bureaucrats that run the minor research programs at SCU and the DPI in Wollongbar, and bearing in mind that SCU has no fish expert/research specialist whatsoever(!), keep on deciding that the first hypothesis they dreamt up, that acid sulphate soils are to blame for all the Richmonds fish-kills have ruined their reputations!

When in this region will the bureaucrats from Rous and elsewhere commence to listen to independent scientists, instead of mindlessly heeding the whims and wishes of the short-termist research establishments?

Time for some real research to proceed!

Joe A Friend

Lismore

Volunteer firefighters

Craig Howes recent letter (Echo, March 22) regarding Clarence region volunteers is incorrect.

All active firefighters within the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) are issued with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes a firefighting jacket, pants, boots, helmet, goggles and gloves. It is a requirement for these items to be worn while volunteers are attending an emergency or training exercise. If any active volunteer within the service has damaged or missing PPE they should immediately contact their equipment officer to arrange replacement from their Fire Control Centre.

With regard to support from employers, the RFS urges employers to accommodate the activities of volunteers and the vital service they provide to their communities. We do understand that this may not always be possible and that arrangements must be made between employers and volunteers as to the best way to manage the time they spend out of the office firefighting.

Superintendent Bryan Daly

Acting Manager Region North

NSW Rural Fire Service

Community radio

Re: Tony Paden and Richmond Valley Radio, Coraki (Echo, March 22). Surely as a Ballina resident, Tony Paden should be concerned with and supporting his own area community radio station and not one some distance away.

Until comparatively recently I was under the impression that 88.9 was a profitable local commercial station, judging by the number of sponsorship advertisements put to air from over a very wide area.

Norman Cochrane

Ruthven

Pats on the back to our pollies

Congratulations to Thomas George MP for his success at the recent state election. He has defended his position and for the next four years he will represent the people of Lismore, Kyogle, Murwillumbah, Nimbin and all of the villages, in state parliament, in Sydney. We wish him well in the coming four years.

His campaign team deserves congratulations for their organisation, skill and focus. The democratic principles of our country remain intact and the people clearly have chosen the National Party over Country Labor, the Greens and the Australian Democrats in our northern part of the state.

Let me offer congratulations to Andy Gough and the Greens for once again increasing their proportion of the total vote. It is obvious to everyone that Green policies are becoming more important to all age groups, all of the time.

I congratulate Julia Melland for again gracing us with her own calm, courteous and well reasoned campaigning style as she again represented the Democrats.

Finally I thank and express total admiration for the countless number of Country Labor members and supporters who proudly carried our messages and our policies to the people. You were well organised, you worked unbelievably hard and you retained your high standards.

The people of the seat of Lismore can be grateful that the campaign to earn their votes was carried out with as much decorum and mutual respect as is possible in such a charged atmosphere where the outcomes are so crucial for the lives of so many people.

Peter Lanyon

Country Labor candidate for Lismore

Workplace laws a backward step

We havent long been here but we are impressed with your publication, The Echo. It inspires a lot of interesting remarks and of course Mungos item is a breath of fresh air as always, as opposed to the wishy-washy conservative journalism one experiences in most of the daily press.

I wont mention the main one but as far as I can remember it has always been obsessed with attacking all and sundry whether trade unions, politics of the left anyone who raises valid concerns, not mainstream, whatever that means.

Last weeks state elections have wider implications which spill over nationally. We all know about the general concerns with transport, health and so-called law and order. These concerns are all over Australia and where I come from, Tasmania, there are no more public trains at all. Our couple of years in Inverell were the same, with not even plane service. Our main concerns are the repressive industrial relations WorkChoices from the Federal Howard Government.

Myself, I was a merchant seaman for some 42 years, going to sea late 1946 at the age of 15. Early in 1947, while sailing on Norwegian ships as a deck boy I was led to the union delegate, who was the ships carpenter, and asked if I would join the union. Even at the age of 15, I had no hesitation and said ya vist of course. All of my working life I was a unionist I was away five years, first trip home when I was 20, then joined the Seamans Union of Australia (SUA). The SUA was formed in 1872, so like a lot of things involving struggle in Australia, we go back a long way. John Howards industrial relations WorkChoices have taken this country back a long way, pre 1872, so in spite of superficial problems, the main issue is work conditions and access to people who know the unions. A vote for the conservatives is a vote for no respect for future generations in their working life. I can go on but I hope the average voter can see the main problem. Respect for all workers. Ask the conservatives what theyll do.

Terrance Boucher

Goonellabah

Daylight saving woes

Question: Why is it dark when I get up in the morning?

Question: Why is my body clock confused and thinks it is winter?

Answer: Daylight Saving Time has gone past its useful date.

Ros Fleetwood

Coffee Camp


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