Prince of words
Prince of words
Poor Prince Harry, he has to measure his words so carefully.
It is so easy to put his foot in it as he has now done. When asked if he would prefer to stay on military duty in Afghanistan, he said, Yes, I dont even like England. He has to realise he is not allowed to not like England. After all, like his great grandfather, he could find himself, annoyingly King of England, the country he doesnt profess to like.
Too much tag
Making one of my regular visits to relatives in Lismore, I was impressed with the general beautification efforts that have improved the look of the CBD and pleased by talk in The Echo of installing cycleways, but rather shocked at the amount of graffiti and the number ofempty shops.
After leaving my admittedly non-PC but relatively economical 4WD at a local workshop for a wheel alignment (my contribution to the local economy), I had some time to kill, so wandered around the CBD.
It was then that the amount of graffiti made its impact. I actually live most of the year in Bangkok, Thailand, which is not exactly noted for its cleanliness, but I can honestly sayI have seen more graffiti in Lismore than in Bangkok, which is rather shocking when you compare their relative populations (12 million or so versus 46,000).
I can only assume some Lismore people regard graffiti as an artform, whereas any Thai youth who defaced a local wall would be severely reprimanded for bringing shame on his/her family by vandalising public property.
Presumably, Thais are more public-spirited than Lismore people in this regard, which surprises me.
Also, why are there so many empty shops? Are the landlords too greedy or is the CBD in decline? That would be a pity as it is the eclectic mixture of shops, particularly the music and coffee shops, which add to Lismores raffish charm.
Re Teachers awarded for scientific approach (Echo, Feb 28). How backward. How retrogressive. Sadly, our teaching students are still being rewarded for pushing a drug that every day falls into more and moredisrepute but seduces, entices and fascinates. When are we going to get off our knees and stop worshipping this thing called science as the deliverer of all things good? Take a look about you at our contaminatedworld,at our frantic fast-paced lifestyle, at the abominations done in the name of medical science, atthe way were all at the mercy of a computerised banking system, computerised workplaces, a technology-driven world,and think again about science.
What annoys me is science is pushed so hard in schools. Our kids grow up with an uncritical and unquestioningfaith that genetic research is good for you, that we need technology to control our daily lives, that inhumane experiments are not so bad really, and that to criticise science is just uncool. A lot of philosophical debate has centred around science versus religion and truly its a religion to some people, implicitly and subconsciously. Dont go along with science, challenge it.
Nats hit back
I was amazed by the hysterical response of the Labor Member for Page to my appointment of Fiona Nash as the Duty Senator for the North Coast. Labors pre-election end the blame game message has soon been forgotten.
Ms Saffin is a former hard-left Upper House Labor Party MP in the Carr Government and I am sure she understands the role of duty members.
Senators are elected to represent the whole state and I have asked Fiona to particularly focus on the north coast and to support locals who do not get a fair hearing from the federal Labor Party. Unlike our opponents, we do not abandon country people just because we did not win their electorate this time. Ms Saffin needs to remember the Nationals did outpoll her in Page on primary votes, but Greens preferences delivered the seat to Labor.
Ms Saffins description of my two-day tour of the North Coast as token is an insult to the many community members, health professionals, university leaders and others I listened to during my visit. I will be back again and again.
Far from being irrelevant as Ms Saffin would have you believe, the Nationals remain the only political force that is not subservient to city interests. I encourage north coast locals to continue our conversation by emailing Senator Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org when they have a problem.
Warren Truss MP Leader of the Nationals
I refer to Page Labor Party MP Janelle Saffins savage reaction to the federal Nationals leaders recent visit to the north, as reported in The Echo (March 6).
Ms Saffin claims the Nationals are irrelevant and arrogant.
Far from being irrelevant, the North Coast Nationals were elected with increased majorities only last March, including winning the Tweed from Labor in the state election.
There is no government more arrogant and out of touch with the north coast than the state Labor Government, of which Ms Saffin was an integral member for eight years.Remember the removal of our trains, the downgrading of our hospital services and the broken Alstonville bypass promises?
Most concerning of all is Ms Saffins bizarre assertion the Labor Party has suddenly become the champion of local farmers, who, she says, feel that the National Party let them down.
Have a look at the recent floods and other natural disasters on the north coast: I brought my state colleagues together and extended an invitation to you to meet with local farming representatives, listen to their concerns and fight for them in Parliament.
Ms Saffin claims she talks to farmers meetings, but she sure isnt listening. I have copies of letters from local growers pleading for her full attention. When we both attended the forum with the flood-affected people in Kyogle recently, I had to inform the meeting and Ms Saffin of her governments decision the previous day to provide significant compensation for flood victims in central Queensland, something she neglected to inform the forum of or she wasnt even aware of.
North coast flood victims are getting far less federal help than those in similarly flood-affected Emerald in the Prime Ministers home state.
I urge Janelle to remember her own quote end the blame game and look forward to working with her and my colleagues to build the Lismore Hospital Radiotherapy Unit, the Alstonville bypass, and providing the same level of natural disaster assistance for north coast locals as has been provided to people in Queensland recently and the Hunter last year.
Member for Lismore Edited for length
Six months to go
Its official. North coastresidents will go to the polls on September 13 to elect their new local government councillors. That means March 13is the six-months-to-go date and a time for allpotential candidates to start preparing.
All current and past councillors will tell you it is a big responsibility that requires a great deal of time and energy. It is important thereforethat candidates do their homework so they enter the election as well-preparedfor the task ahead as possible.
The suggestions I have made to people who have contacted me are:
1. Read the booklet So youre thinking of becoming a Local Government Councillor
This booklet was produced for the 2004 election. Another will come out for this year but, in the meantime, the info is worth reading even if the dates are not correct.
2. AttendCouncil meetings and workshops.
3.Read the Council news page in your local paper (The Echo for Lismore) for meetings, items on exhibition and other announcements.
4. Use the Council website to explore various sections.
Finally, make contact with a current councillor.
It is a wonderful and rewarding role of community service and I look forward to seeing a range of well-prepared candidates from a cross-section of our community. It is only then that we can hope to elect atruly representative and well-functioning Council.
Cr Jenny Dowell
Luckily Sue Stock had friends who realised those Nigerian emails were fake and took action (Echo, Feb 28). Unfortunately, if you do happen to get scammed, theres not much you can do about it. The police dont care and wont do anything about it because its a civil matter. Theres really no-one you can contact for help in tracking them down. Even Yahoo doesnt care and wont help in any way, which is the most frustrating part. Yahoo has these peoples real names and addresses when they sign up but wont pass the information on and the scammers know this so they just keep searching until they find other victims. Something needs to be done to be able to find these lowlife people before they ruin innocent peoples lives.