Running scared?

Running scared?

While it will be good to see the back of Ian Causley after the next election, I am disappointed that he did not stay on to face the music. Running scared on WorkChoices legislation?

Cherie Imlah


Mental illness no laughing matter

I have heard people make jokes recently about Richmond Clinic and patients who go through there, particularly on the radio.

These people all have a very sad story and are more intelligent than you or I. These people deserve respect from the community.

Annette Middleton


Sheiks sorry response

Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilali has unreservedly apologised for any offence caused to women by his comments, made in a Ramadan sermon last month. But why hasnt he also apologised for the offence he has caused to us men?

Muslim women have been justly outraged by his comments rightly claiming I am no ones meat. But arent Muslim men (and otherwise) also offended by being likened to animals who are incapable of engaging in moral action?

John Hannaford


KKKKKK wont be silenced

We at KKKKKK (Kill Kevin Costner Kill Kevin Costner) held our annual family picnic and fundraiser at Rocky Creek Dam the other day. As we are now proscribed as a seditious organisation, the venus had to remain secret until after the event, so attendance was down on last year. Anyway, the festivities were in full swing when a Belmont Ute drawn by two donkeys pulled up to the waters edge. Two men of Middle Eastern appearance got out, and proceeded to shovel a white powder from the back of the ute into the water. In response to our enquiry, they said their names were OSullivan and Muldoon and the white powder was a harmless preservative called fluoride. They emptied the ute and drove off at speed, with dazzling smiles in our direction, leaving doughnuts on our cricket pitch donkeys braying loudly Allah is great! Allah is great!

I trod in donkey shit, but didnt realise it until much later.

Don Gaddes


The Iemma dilemma

Since the Carr moved to the ALP vintage vehicle storage, to avoid the then future physical and financial collapse of Sydney road tunnels, NSW has been led by Iemma. Oedema is the swelling of tissues by excess fluid. An enema is the flushing out of the bowel by syringe. Eczema is a scaly itching skin disease. A dilemma is a choice having to be made between unwelcome alternatives.

Now the voters will soon face a dilemma, as they itch to throw out that Iemma. Elections giving the government an enema, and curing many politicians of oedema.

The next Premier may be ex-Iemma, but will that solve our infrastructure dilemma?

Be it roads, or transport or rail, or our courts and hospitals that fail?

Ken Macdonald

Lennox Head

Puzzling protestations

I am puzzled; I was told today that a couple of my fellow members at the Lismore branch of the ALP were not pleased with my letter (Echo, October 19) where I pointed out that if we the voters accept the decisions made by Lismore councillors, without protest, then (with tongue in cheek) perhaps we could write to John Howard, declaring our full support for whatever decisions he and his party make, as we voted them into power for the last 10 years.

The fact that I was referring to a comment made at our branch meeting surely does not constitute a breach of any rules, as the said comment was an interjection, not part of the meetings agenda. Sorry, but I cannot see where I was out of order.

Doug Myler

Lismore Heights

Artfelt thanks from CASPA

CASPA hosted an art sale over the weekend of October 20-22 in the Clunes Old School, which was a lovely venue well lit by natural light. The response from artists was inspiring and resulted in over 60 pieces of various mediums and styles being displayed.

Many guests commented on the quality of the work exhibited and the aesthetics of the exhibitions layout.

This event would not be possible without the support of artists and the broader community, including AMP Step Up Financial Planners Pty Ltd and the AMP Foundation. On behalf of CASPA and the children in our care, the management committee and staff thank you for your generosity and support.

Sue Wilkins



Leadership built on lies

From this vantage point in Europe it is easy to see just how ineffectual and irrelevant Australias Prime Monster, hackneyed Howard truly is on the world stage.

The only mention he gets on the news over here via CNN Asia and BBC Asia is his dopey grandstanding amongst the poor people of the South Pacific who his government is busily trying to return to the good old days of colonial domination under the guise of supporting their democracies; a bit like Bush is doing in the Middle East and east Asia.

As the war on terror has now sprouted more zealous murderers in the name of Allah, God, Jehovah et al, it is without doubt we, the ordinary slobs on the streets, and our children who are going to have to deal with the ongoing future consequences of this madness.

Was it reported in Australia that the Taliban are now proposing to strike in the countries that supported the invasion of Afghanistan? And Howard still maintains the lie that his support of Bushs great adventures did not make all Aussies terrorist targets. The latest Taliban missive puts the lie to that load of baloney. Once again Howard shows that he is not to be believed and definitely not to be trusted to make us all secure. A house built on lies will surely come tumbling down. The pity is we are the ones who will be left to pick up the pieces.

M Mizzi

Tabulam, via Germany

Biblical bandits on the loose

While peacefully enjoying our private lives at home this Saturday, we became aware that we had been visited by our Jehovah Witness callers. On this occasion we had forgone the friendly conversation, usually consisting of general pleasantries. This time we were discretely left a pamphlet heralding The End of False Religion is Near, complete with the usual doom and gloom. Inside there is a chapter on how false religions tolerate immoral sex.

It protests that some Western churches ordain gay and lesbian clergy, and can urge governments to recognise same-sex marriages, and proceeds to demonise gays and lesbians, describing them as the worthless fruit born of a rotten tree. So much for God loves everyone!

Now while we can endure some of this kind of creative biblical force-feeding (their quotes are interpretive to say the least!), we have tried to avoid ill feelings at our front door, but have made no secret that we are a gay couple. We have decided to no longer encourage the false friendship they have struck up in order to deliver their poisonous agenda.

The danger here for us is not in the delivery of their venomous and hateful message, but the way they actively spread their fear-mongering amongst our neighbours, encouraging them to shun us with disdain and disapproval. They attempt to destroy close relationships built up over time. (Assuming anyone is feeble-brained enough to actually believe this tripe!)

Previous diatribes specifically encouraged true-believers (?) to shun the company of such evil social pariahs as we seemly represent.

I ask the obvious. Is this really what their god wants them to be? Roaming biblical bandits trying to incite hatred between friends and neighbours?

Perhaps theirs is the false religion whose demise is so imminent? Let us hope it is very, very near...!

P De Gray


Have your say on same-sex marriage

You would hardly have noticed it in our local media, but last week a landmark judgement was made by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in the USA. It sharpens the battle-lines in the global controversy over the legalisation of same-sex relationships. In my view it offers the legislative solution that Australia should adopt.

The ruling gave the New Jersey Legislature six months in which to amend the states marriage statutes to include same-sex couples. Should the state choose not to comply, the Court directed that it must enact a parallel statutory structure to be known by some other name than marriage (eg civil union) in which same-sex couples would not only enjoy the full rights and benefits, but also bear the burdens and obligations, of civil marriage

The Australian Governments Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission will hold an open public consultation concerning same-sex relationship entitlements at Southern Cross University in Lismore on Saturday, November 11, at 2pm. Notices of the meeting have appeared recently in the press.

Any person is welcome to attend and contribute, but they must first register before November 8 by phone to 9284 9661 or email to I strongly urge all those with a view on this important social issue to attend and have their say, whichever side they happen to be on.

Lee Andresen

East Ballina

Inconvenient truths

Well I just had to ride my bent-mobile into town and see what old Al had to say, and support the Greens. I should have known I would be disappointed, given the insipid inconvenient truth. Same old gory details of how global warming is real and is going to send us and at least half of all species, along with the majority of living beings, to an untimely end. But what a disappointment. Like Suzuki he seems defeated (on ya S). Endless shots of Al jetting around the world (first class of course) and being chauffeured here and there, just to present a few graphs and pics to limpid audiences and lecture the converted that global warming is happening now. The solutions are shoved in at the end as an afterthought, one liners interspersed amongst the credits. What do you expect from a guy who gave in to the oil bullies and meekly handed over the presidency to the puppet.

I think it best we dont talk about the elephant, except to lambast our puerile pollies (we get what we deserve) and demand that they do something. They give the big polluters even more of our taxes dressed up as spending on climate change instead of making them pay through a carbon tax, and mandatory emissions cutbacks. No, that would ruin the economy and cost jobs, according to our dear leader.

If we start to talk too loudly about jumbo he might wake up and that would be no good. I mean, if he stands up in the living room, the roof might come off, and the cool air from our air-conditioners may escape, though we can always drive down to the local mall to get cool and have some retail therapy with all the cheap imported cargo.

I wonder if old Al rides a bike, lives in a thermally efficient solar house and grows his own food? I think not. Like the vast majority he assumes it will be our childrens problem so no need to change our profligate lifestyle. Why would one act locally when we can so easily trip off to the far reaches of the world. Jumbos are great. They are our friends, just dont wake them up, please.

Simon, Aniko Ilona and Mia Cripps Clark


Overcoming depression

I am writing to put some perspective on depression and medication.

Anyone who has depression would know of the devastating effects it can have on their life and their loved ones. I am one such person. Depression is an illness that makes me incapable of coping with every day stresses and inevitable life changes. It can make me feel unworthy of giving or receiving comfort and love. My personal appearance can go down hill rapidly and simple skills such as combing my hair or doing the dishes can seem like mammoth tasks. Thinking positive thoughts and discovering new coping skills do not work.

Now here is the good news. I have been on antidepressant medication for 18 months. I still have down days sometimes but the medication has helped me to rise above depression. Over the months I have watched myself and my life grow more beautiful each week. Not only externally, but the internal beauty. My relationships have blossomed. I experience the full range of emotions that non depressed people enjoy. My love and dependence on God has blossomed also. Looking back on my days of depression I thought that it was normal to feel like that. Now I realise that my life today is normal.

My God, doctor and loved ones have helped me as well as lots of hard work have complemented the medication. The fact is that there are several different types of medication available. If one type does not work or has difficult side effects go back and see your doctor. Trust him or her and trust yourself to get better. Because given the correct medication, counselling and support you will get better.

I have wasted over 20 years of my life trying to cope with depression. Now I can look forward to a full, rewarding life for myself and my loved ones. If you are depressed seek help from your doctor, tell your loved ones and rely on your higher power (God). Once you do this you will be on the way to a full recovery. I will be praying for you.

Wendy King

Hogarth Range

Show your stem cell support

Scientists hope to rebuild breasts using stem cells to grow new ones, it has emerged. The technique could see an end to reconstructive surgery for women recovering from breast cancer. Scientists in the US are looking at using stem cells derived from a patients own fat to regenerate lost breast tissue. An initial three-year program of animal research will see stem cells seeded on to scaffold structures. These will provide platforms around which replacement tissue can be grown. Stem cells are cells at an early stage of development which can be directed to produce different kinds of tissue. Experts believe they hold out great promise for the treatment of a host of conditions in which lost or diseased tissue needs to be replaced.

In early November our federal government will be debating this issue in Parliament. Stem cell research will allow the cure of diseases like Alzheimers or Parkinsons, the cloning and replacement of each body organ without risking a rejection and the repair of missing parts in the nervous system or dorsal lesions. Stem cell research will allow us to study perfectly the ageing process, allow sterile couples to have children, give life again to children who died at an early age and also give the possibility, to those who deserve it, to live eternally.

I encourage the community to be highly active in their support for stem cell research in Australia and let your federal representatives know your favorable opinion on this issue and help stem cell research and therapeutic cloning be legalised in Australia.

More information can be found on the website A petition on this matter can be found at

Tara Euphoria Blackman


Close call on country road

Another tragic accident on our roads!

How many have witnessed a near miss such as we did on October 7?

We were travelling into Lismore along the Dunoon Road about 4pm when a small red car seemed to appear behind us and then overtook and disappeared. The only thing we noticed was a P-plate, and five people in the car not much time to notice much else. I had just finished saying to my two teenage passengers that I hate cars that do that, most times you drive around the bend and see them slammed up against a tree.

Sure enough it happened.

A car travelling in the opposite direction pulled over to the side of the road, the driver jumped out and flagged me down. I looked along the road and saw a cloud of dust. I left my passengers to call for an ambulance and stop any other traffic. By the time the other driver and I got to the scene, the occupants were all out of the vehicle and seemed okay, however, the young girl could be heard crying and yelling. One of the guys dragged her back to the car, everyone got back in, and the driver did a U turn in the middle of the road, missed a ute coming from Lismore direction by inches and just drove off.

As the dust settled Mick (the driver who had stopped first) and I stood and watched the tail end of the car disappear over the next rise. Mick and his family had narrowly missed being hit head-on by this car and his wife and young daughter were badly shaken.

Each car that my passengers had stopped all knew that it would be the little red car with the P-plate. I felt sick! We all had trouble sleeping that night and visions of the little red car and mangled bodies haunted us for days.

All this happened directly opposite a white cross from an accident a couple of years ago and about half a kilometre from a second white cross, from another recent tragic accident.

I did stop at the police station and gave as much information as I could, but not much can be done about near misses. Mick, his family, all the other drivers on the road at the time, me and my passengers seemed to be the only ones affected by the drivers senseless actions.

If you know that your teenager was in a little red car with P-plates at about 4pm on Saturday, October 7, on Dunoon Road, just thank God that they are still alive. Someone must have been watching them besides us!

Name and address supplied

Motorway magic tricks

Crikey! The RTA people must be magicians. They say they can improve the quality of Ballinas drinking water by constructing a motorway through the Emigrant Creek water catchment (environment protected). This is what they will do on only two of the 63 properties impacted. (A selection of magic tricks).

Destroy over 1000 mostly mature rainforest trees that form part of the natural water catchment infrastructure.

Disturb a capped dip site containing arsenic and DDT.

Destroy a specially constructed island for wildlife as well as a bird garden.

Traverse a five-acre lake teeming with life that feeds into the storage dam and will carry 20,000 plus pollution generating vehicles per day.

For some of the stakeholders affected by the preferred route decision, a brief message.

To the losers:

400 white egrets that will have to find new sleeping quarters and all the other birds, over 100 species. Ill miss you, thanks for coming.

Platypus and other numerous water critters... Watch out for toxic road dust and diesel emissions.

To the winners:

Cr Alan Rich who voted for the water catchment route and who represents impacted ratepayers... We will remember!

Members of the CEPS lobby group... How do you spell DeCEPSion?

Greens MLC Ian Cohen and mayor Silver who helped CEPS hoodwink 18,000 people into demanding the government route the motorway through the water catchment so they could protect their spoils... Enjoy!

Ballina Shire Council who persuaded the RTA to give priority to future ratepayers in a new village, at the expense of current ratepayers who live in the water catchment... Blatant discrimination.

More losers:

The 18,000 mostly Ballina residents who were hoodwinked into acting against their own best interests... You acted in good faith and were used, no hard feelings!

The big losers:

The 98 families who either lose their homes, lose their livelihood or both, or are entombed in their homes because the motorway will run within 100 metres... You were dudded. Hardly anyone lives on the alternative route down on the coastal plain.

A special message to the RTA, who will break the rules of the environment protected catchment and will also treat the heartland of the former Big Scrub land with contempt. This land is an extension of the World Heritage-listed Mt Warning National Park. May your magic wand be in good working order.

And a question for Mr Cohen: What colour is green?

Ian Cooke


Open letter to Transport Minister, John Watkins

Dear Mr Watkins,

We have it on good authority from a veteran rail engineer who has inspected the now closed Casino-Murwillumbah rail line that it would cost less than $500,000 to make the line (including bridges) safe and operational, which could be achieved in less than two weeks and return trains to our tracks. Apparently most of the materials required for the work have already been delivered and are located on site.

The closure of this rail line, and refusals from the NSW Government to reinstate the line, do not bode well for Labors chances at winning the seat of Lismore in March 2007 from the Nationals. The demise of this rail line and Labors refusal to contemplate its reinstatement in the immediate future prove to many that Labor has indeed abandoned the North Coast. Indeed, it seems to me that this government believes NSW stands for Newcastle, Sydney and Woolongong.

Why has the government ignored all the petitions, submissions, proposals and letters from the many people of the North Coast affected by the closure of this line and advocates of public transport for this region while still managing to find plenty of money for rail services in the city? Why is the government refusing to release its engineering report on the line that came up with theexorbitant estimate of $21.7 million to repair the line? Why wont the government commit to beginning repairs to the line immediately, rather than playing politics with the federal government over cost splitting? Why, after all the proposed expenditure on the line, is the government only considering returning the nightly XPT service, and not investigating a commuter service? Sydney is not the only destination North Coast people want to travel to. And lastly, how do you explain that there was absolutely no community consultation before closing the rail service?

This rail line is vital infrastructure which will be crucial again in the not too distant future as fuel prices rise, road traffic increases, climate change worsens and tourism flourishes on the North Coast. It is short-sighted, and to my mind reprehensible, that the NSW Government should abandon this vital public transport infrastructure for the North Coast and its ever growing numbers of residents and visitors. I look forward to your answers to my questions.

Andy Gough

Greens candidate for Lismore


Outrage as pub turns away disabled woman

Outrage as pub turns away disabled woman

“We apologise to the young lady, her friends and family.

"It won't be long before there are milk shortages"

"It won't be long before there are milk shortages"

Farmers "stressed to the max, mentally and physically”

A good conversation is like a ball game

A good conversation is like a ball game

Observing the flow of conversation can be a spectator sport

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