A bonus point

In regards to rezoning of land at Roseview Road, McLeans Ridges, I write in response to comments made by Melissa Van Zwieten (Echo, May 8) and remarks she made at a recent public meeting. I am not happy that the big Sydney-based company she represents is happy to proceed with their proposal to rezone land, despite claiming they will make zero profit.

This company claims, unless contributions are lowered, the project will be unviable and has made requests to Council to lower contributions. Surely this must be of alarm to Council and they must be insisting on a feasibility analysis from developers (as is required under the Lismore Rural Housing Strategy).

I also cannot accept Ms Van Zwietens remark that the proposal has been designed with a rural feel in mind. This proposal is an urban-style development that in no way reflects the existing rural amenity of the area.Blocks are half the size as those in the existing Roseview Estate. Furthermore, the contributions proposed will only upgrade a very small part of the dangerous and unsatisfactory road network. The proposed parkland istotally inadequate to provide the social, recreational and sporting facilities for an area that has the potential to become the largest village outside of Lismore.

It is short-sighted and incorrect to say the entire Lismore community will benefit from this development. In fact, the entire Lismore community will be severely disadvantaged if it proceeds (as per current plans).

Janet Allen

McLeans RidgesHearing silence

At the last LCC meeting Cr Irwin put forward a motion to initiate a public hearing to consider development at McLeans Ridges in the interest of transparency and accountability. This would be chaired by an independent individual and report to Council and community.

This motion was supported by Crs Dowell, Tomlinson, Ekins and Swientek.

At no point did any councillor raise for debate any argument opposing the public hearing. Crs King, Chant, Crimmins, Graham and Hampton made no contribution at all. Cr Meineke abstained as he has a perceived conflict of interest.

The McLeans Ridges community presented arguments that Council is not complying with its own policy, that it has made compromises that favour developers at the expense of the community and that there exists conflicting information regarding the new planning agreements.

Re-exhibition of proposals resulted in an increase in objections as the original concerns have not been adequately addressed. A report that Council agrees is flawed and misleading was included in this exhibition.

A public hearing might also consider the cumulative impact of development of McLeans Ridges, which the current process does not permit.

The cost of a public hearing would not be so great when compared with the savings granted to one of the developers by allowing the downgrade of a section of road to a footpath so as to maintain the viability of their project or to get them over the line as one of the silent councillors previously put it.

Cathy Dalton

Secretary McLeans Ridges Community Group

Ridges waves

The residents of McLeans Ridges must be feeling extreme frustration after Lismore Councils last meeting.Councillor Ros Irwin very capably outlined the case for a public hearing of issues surrounding the McLeans Ridges developments.Some of the issues in favour of a hearing are: developments contravene Councils own Rural Housing Policy; over 300 letters of opposition; concern over small block sizes/destruction of rural lifestyle; safety concerns for an already inadequate road system; and the threat of further development.

What was the response from those who opposed the public hearing? Virtually none.The opponents didnt have the moral fibre to debate the issues, they merely voted it down.

I was left with the distinct impression that councillors Henry, King, Crimmins, Chant, Graham and Hampton were far more concerned aboutthe development getting through than any of the needs of McLeans Ridges ratepayers.

Simon Clough


A bonus point

Your editorial about the baby bonus (Echo, May 15) ignores some salient facts about Australias population. Like every major western nation, it was found a few years back Australias population was decreasing.

The rationale behind encouraging those of breeding age to reproduce now isto counter a perceived shortfall in people needed to work, pay taxes and support an increasingly aged population in the future. Significantly, this program does not contribute to an increase in the worlds population. The countries whose population is increasing exponentially, like Asian and Middle Eastern countries, are those your criticism should be aimed at, not Australian governments attempts to secure the future of those now working and paying taxes. The inequity of shared resources rather than population is the real crime against humanity. We, in Australia, need to find ways of distributing our wealth more equitably amongst poorer nations rather than consuming more than we need. This will not happen by reducing our population but by finding better ways of living. Thats the real challenge for the future.

M Mizzi


Roads to ruin

I was stunned at the last Lismore Council meeting to hear Cr Tomlinsons proposal for a budget review referred to as grandstanding by Cr Dowell.

There are three options open to the Council regarding our roads. The first option is to do what Council is currently doing, cutting back the road funding each budget. This council has cut 12 per cent from the roads budget despite the fact Councils own survey found 83 per cent of respondents want more money spent on roads. Meanwhile our roads deteriorate further. Or Council could consider a budget review as proposed by Cr Tomlinson, as other councils have done, to find the funds. Or, failing that, Council will have no option but to consider a rate rise. Neither Cr Dowell or her compadres will talk of a rate rise publicly. Yet their decisions last Council meeting leave no alternative, unless we muddle on as before.

Later at the meeting Councillors were effusive at the prospect of spending $6 to $12 million on a new art gallery despite the fact Council cannot afford such a project. Council finances are in the red and will be for some years, courtesy of other grand projects like the Goonellabah Sports Centre, which will cost $17 million to build and cost over $1 million to run each year. We have further CBD upgrades to come, yet we havent finished paying off Magellan Street.

Councillors have their priorities around the wrong way. Its art galleries and CBD upgrades we cant afford. Not yet. When our roads and our finances are in order then we can consider these projects.

David Yarnall

The Channon

Crop shopped

Once again Crazy Crops grabsheadlines. Crazy crops are ones that get a lot of air time about their amazing commercial potential only to fall by the wayside.

The only people who make money instead of losing it are the consultants and nurseries.

The latest is bio-diesel from tree crops.

May 8s headline story promoted two plants as having potential for our area.

Pongam oil from pongamia pinnata performs well here. I have been getting a decent crop of seed for 20 years and, as a street tree in Brisbane, the sidewalks get littered with pods.

Pongam oil is already being produced in quantity and some isdiverted for blending with diesel as it is excellent for that purpose.

Only problem is India is producing it for eighty cents a litre.

How do consultants expect Australia to compete with that price of production?

As far as moringa, it is a dismal performer in our area. Plants suffer badly from cold wet soil

in winter.

Out of a couple hundred trees I sold 25 years ago only one I know of survived on a steep exposed south slope and it looked closer to death than health.

Itd be great to hear from anyone growing a healthy mature moringa as it is highly medicinal and totally delicious.

Paul Recher


Never again

In response to Laura Henkel What is it good for (Echo, May 15).

I dont know if I should call you unpatriotic, ridiculous or wise. In one respect I agree with you. Why do Australians insist on fighting everyone elses war? and War does not determine who is right, war only determines who is left, are two of the most intelligent and thought provoking sentences I have read in a long time. The rest of your letter was dribble.

You write as though remembering and honouring those whose lives were damaged and forever changed by a government draft is some kind of promotion to younger Australians and that these sacrifices should best be forgotten.

I believe the opposite. Anzac Day and remembrance, in general, is viewed by most people as a lesson learned. Lest we forget, translation, lets never do that again. You would have offended many brave men and women who gave their lives and hearts.

Only recently in our modern world do we have choice. We are in control of our own destinies now more than any other time in history. In previous generations affected by war, choice was just a word and draft was a power. It is clear you approach the issue from the mindset of someone from recent generations, with little understanding of how things were back then.

I am not brave enough to fight and have a bizarre baffled admiration for those who do. I agree our armed forces are misused in wars that are none of our business.

I am 32, and this year for the first time I attended the march. I went with my partner and my newborn daughter to pay my respects to a man who had a gentle soul, and a strength and sincerity unparalleled by any other. My grandfather, Fredrick John Smith. I will never forget.

Ben Ellis


Love and pride

Laura has lifted the veil covering controversial issues regarding Anzac Day.I dont agree with her.

Wars are lost and won every day within families, schools, workplaces and sport. It is when our homeland is threatened we forget trivialities and unite to protect that which we hold dear.

Unfortunately, psychopaths exist in all cultures and in many instances start wars. Hitler came to power in a defeated Germany after the First World War when he and his partywere able to organise work and food for depressed and deprived people who gratefully followed as they were brainwashed, especially the young, into believing Germany could rise again and conquer the world. His goal was to erroneously propagate a white-skinned, fair-haired and blue-eyed race to justify his anti-Semitism.

Leaders such as he are driven by madness and have to be stopped. We are bound to support the United Nations Protocol formed in 1945. There is always war somewhere not of our making.

I proudlystood with myex-serviceman son at the Anzac Day service in Lismore. The purpose of the commemoration ofAnzac Day is not to glorify war but to give thanks for the men and women who served their country to overthrow the tyrants of oppression.My grandson is a member of the services training to become an engineer.He is not there to glorify war but learning touse his skills to rebuild infrastructure damaged by someone elses war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

What do I feel? I feel love and pride.

Josephine Bennett


Be tick aware

Be tick aware

Government funding for research into tick bites as season ends

Another successful year for junior cricket in Lismore

Another successful year for junior cricket in Lismore

Far North Coast team among best in carnival

A day in the life of the 'usual stuff' with friends

A day in the life of the 'usual stuff' with friends

Friendship can be a fickly beast