Adolescent response

Adolescent response

In response to Arnold Jagos letter (Echo April 17), I would like to argue that, as a young lady of 19, I feel I have a pretty good grasp on life.

Im independent, putting myself through a degree and have plans for the future. I am not alone. I know countless under 30s who are taking on adult responsibilities such as raising a child. Age has nothing to do with it; it is lifes experiences. Age does not equal a maturity level. You obviously have become very out of touch with todays generation. We are not after your tax-paying money, we are simply individuals who are allowed to make life decisions, some before others. Its why Australia is such a good country we celebrate individuality and dont try to regulate it.

Carly Portch

Lismore

Ridiculous figures

Yet another audit into the affairs of Morris Iemmas fudging figures government.

After the audit into hospital emergency departments figure-fudging, another audit is being conducted into donations to the Iemma government.

Cant this government do anything that doesnt have a smell of corruption to it?

Maybe an audit on everything Iemmas touched might be in order. They could do an audit on every time hes said Ill look into that or every time his health minister has answered a question in parliament starting with the phrase I am advised.

How about they create a new portfolio and have a Minister for Figure Fudging? They might as well, it seems there is a lot of work being put into it.

Paul McIntosh

Moonee

Too much enthusiasm for hemp

As a reformed cannabis sativa cultivator I was rather alarmed by the claims made in last weeks Echo of the benign and virtuous hemp versus fibre/building material derived from environmentally destructive tree crops.

Having experienced the many diseases and pests C. sativacan host and knowing it is an annual crop that demands cultivation and fertilisation, as well as removal of competition and protection from grazing animals, I feel your enthusiasm is misplaced.Just one aspect, the need to cultivate, with its associated soil loss and CO2 volatilisation, as well as destruction of plant communities and ecology, is enough to justify the use of forest crops to provide fibre and building materials.While C. sativa (yes, hemp is still the same species sans psychoactive resins) seed does have certain special qualities (just ask a canary) there are many other seed crops that provide more food or oil per hectare.I am incredulous how you can enthuse over the cultivation of hemp, yet decry the large scale clearing of land and forests around the world.Well, I suppose you could grow it hydroponically like I used to, until I was busted a while ago.Speaking of which, I can only speculate as to why the police devote a huge amount of resources to suppressing cannabis while ignoring problems such as theft; they are the lackeys of powerful people who control the supply of hard drugs such as alcohol and heroin who dont want competition from a benign alternative disrupting their markets and, after all, burglaries are one way desperate drug-dependent deviants get cash to pay for their next hit. So why go out of your way to stop them occurring? But perhaps Im only being paranoid and delusional.

Simon Clark

Gundurimba

More work needed

Im glad that the government and the media is trying to tackle the issue of youth homelessness, but (excuse me for being cynical) I question whether real change will occur, or whether it was just an issue to discuss in Youth Week.

The estimated figure of young people who are homeless in Australia is a staggering 22,000, with about 500 of those in Lismore. This is unacceptable and desperately needs to change. Of course the homeless shelter in Lismore that is currently being planned shall assist in bringing down the general rate of people sleeping on the streets, but I feel there needs to be at least one specialised youth house or hostel type building in Lismore to accommodate our youth on the streets. While Im aware buildings similar to the one I described exist in Lismore, and they do an outstanding job, it is clearly not enough.

There needs to be a huge amount of government funding directed to solving the problem of young people without a home, because we cannot just sit back and watch the next generation live in poverty-like conditions with little to look forward to. Australia is supposed to be a rich and prosperous nation, but if we cannot even look after our young people properly, what hope is there for the future?

Sarah Hort

Lismore

Great wall of China

As with theirover-the-top efforts during APEC, the authorities are building a wall to separate protesters from those representing the totalitarian state of China during the farcical Olympic torch relay.

As The Sun Herald reported on April 20, Australian Federal Police refused to confirm well-placed information that plain-clothes Chinese security officers would infiltrate the crowd, on the grounds the information was operationally sensitive. So Kevin Rudds promise of no Chinese police at the torch relay rings very hollow indeed. The sinister idea that Chinese spies are allowed to freely spy on Australians at a public event with the co-operation of thefederal police is unbelievable.

Is this what all those soldiers fighting for freedom and democracy died and fought for all those years ago? Is the fact Rudd speaks Mandarin even more sinister a skill than many would have us think? Has Australia been totally sold out to the most repressive and fascist regime on earth today? It is common knowledge Chinese secret agents spy on expatriot Chinese and Tibetans all over Australia but to have it go on with complicity fromour police is surely beyond the pale. What kind of Australia is being created by Rudd and Co?

M Mizzi

Tabulam

Guns still missing

What is going to happen about Ballinas World War I trophy guns,

gifted to the town in the 1920s, in memory of those who perished in

that horrible conflagration, the war to end all wars.

Anzac Day commemorations this week are a reminder that this year

will see the 90th anniversary of the end of WWI.

A year ago Ballina Shire Council was asked to dig up its trophy

guns, which in the 1960s were buried in a Council rubbish tip. Men

were slaughtered capturing those guns from enemy forces.

Casino still displays its trophy guns. Others once on view around

the district have also vanished.

Vietnam veteran, military collector, and former Ballina shire

resident Bruce Buchanan, of Townsville, flew to Ballina at his own

expense to show Council staff where, as a boy, he believed he saw the

towns two trophy guns buried.

The Council then decided to take his information into

consideration for the future heritage management of the guns.

The alleged heritage value of the guns is to be assessed in

Ballinas shire-wide heritage study, which at one stage was to be

released late last year. I objected to the word alleged, because

trophy guns everywhere are of undoubted historical and heritage value,

sought after by collectors.

I continue to be unable to understand how the heritage value of

those guns can be assessed sight unseen.

Grants are available for local history projects, I was told.

Locating the guns should be of special significance in this, the 90th

year since the end of World War I, when most of its veterans have

died.

Is an attempt to dig up the trophy guns in this years Ballina

Council estimates?

Marelle Lee

Lennox Head

No mandate for republic

Julia Gillard had no right to say the majority of Australians want a republic.

This is too much like Howards favourite word inevitable. It is a sick manipulation. PerhapsJulia has forgotten the people of Australia were already asked if they wanted a republic, and they said no.

What then makes her so sure? It is because they want it, otherwise they wouldnt be planning to try it on again.

The people should remember, if they agree toa republic the second time around, its the last time anyone will ever ask their opinion. See, we are already being told what our opinion is.

The republic is about getting rid of the constitution, which says the electors of the Australian Parliament are sovereign and the elected are their servants. The new world order canttolerate such nonsense, it obstructs their plans for global domination.So anyone who isless than rapturousabout globalisation, be warned.It is all part of this incrementalism that is getting less subtle by the day.

Stand firm and dont give them what they want. Give our forefathers credit for their amazing work, the Australian Constitution. Find out now what is so wrong that they need to change before you get blindedby the comingwave ofpropaganda.

Jane Jennings

South Lismore

In defence of changes

In light of the correspondence about improvements to school staffing, I would like to clarify that the main change will be more school communities over time having the option of having a say in who teaches at the school.

The elements of the old staffing procedures that have worked well will be kept.

There will still be a state-wide staffing operation, with the Department remaining responsible for ensuring each class has a qualified teacher.

The guarantee of appointment for teachers with priority transfer status who match a position, without any veto, will remain, ie: incentive transfers for those teachers who go to our hard to staff remote or isolated schools nominated transfers for teachers whose positions have been abolished because of changes to enrolments or curriculum and compassionate transfers for teachers with genuine compassionate reasons to move.

Only when the Department has fulfilled its obligations to these teachers will schools be able to advertise openly for classroom teachers or choose to fill a position from the service transfer, employment or graduate recruitment lists.

The improvements mean far more school communities being able to choose a teacher who best fits their needs: at present schools have no say in more than 90 percent of classroom teacher appointments.

The changes have been discussed since late last year with the union and the peak principal and parent groups.

I urge all staff and parents to see the detail of the changes for themselves on the Departments website: www.det.nsw.edu.au

Carol Carrigan

Regional Director North Coast

NSW Department of Education and Training


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