Letters to the editor - Jan 24

Thanks to the firies

As State President of the NSW Rural Fire Service Association it has been a privilege to witness the tremendous commitment of our people, both volunteers and staff, working together protecting our community with the support of the government.

From the firefighting effort on the ground to the incident controllers and support staff of the RFS, the enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication of all involved is overwhelming.

The clear and concise advice including warnings provided by the Commissioner and others on a regular basis has kept the public fully informed of developing situations and undoubtedly saved lives.

We are so fortunate to have our volunteers at the fire front, day after day, protecting our community in a highly professional manner together with the other Emergency Services.

The Association will continue its support as the authoritative voice in ensuring that the interests of the membership are represented and act as a focal point to assist the RFS in the development of the service.

Due to the generosity of the community in supporting the regular NSW RFSA raffles etc, we have been able to continue the annual grants scheme for brigades and provide emergency support to members and their families who have lost their homes and other personal possessions at Wagga Wagga, Cooma, Coonabarabran and Bellata and will continue to provide tangible benefits, wherever possible.

Although the current situation is far from over, the association will remain the forum for the consultation and representation of all of the RFS including 22,000 that have chosen to formally register as members throughout 16 Divisions and 50 Branches of the RFSA in NSW.

Brian McKinlay

President, NSW Rural Fire Service Association


Safe shooting

RJ Poole (Echo, January 17) I felt was broadly speaking from an animal-liberation perspective and per se, was against all feral animal controls. Opinions like this can be tolerated personally, as I know hunters were first in promoting wildlife conservation and bio-diversity. Most national parks having incorporated former game-reserves, many dating well before the proclamation of the RNP in 1879.

However as regards public-safety fears, I feel RJ Poole may have given your readers an incorrect impression regarding the scope, range and danger of modern hunting principally due to his unfortunate army experiences. The ADF (including the SAS) use full metal-jacket bullets ("FMJ"s). These are very dangerous military-only type bullets. They are specifically designed to cause significant over-penetration and ricochet, thus having significant public safety and valid animal-welfare concerns.

RJ Poole even related a really classic example of such FMJ-dangers in the golf-club death incident via the letter. In complete contrast to such horror-stories involving FMJs, modern hunters humanely, safely and quickly dispatch feral animals with the use of specialist, ultra-frangible and especially tailored projectiles. New technology used in conservation hunting is far removed from the public's perception based on past reminiscences and furphies. Similarly, much has also changed in firearms-safety and training. The Game Council of NSW website gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au is a good reference for further information.

Rob Andrews

East Lismore


Depot needed

A Response to 'Anger over Bins' (Echo, January 17).

As a rural resident, I am pleased to live in the Northern Rivers and appreciate the services provided by our closest town - Lismore.

I have read about, and understand the concern that locals have regarding the proposed recycling bin depot. However I do believe that the depot is a necessity. In this day and age it has become more evident, that we as individuals must make efforts to protect our environment, in the best ways we can, and waste recycling and removal will always pose a problem.

I am writing to enlighten Bruce Saltmarsh of the 'need' for this depot. As an 'out of towner', my household is not serviced with a recycling bin. I transport a crate of recycling items to Lismore once a week for disposal and am appreciative of the availability of this depot.

I have noted every week, that the bins are full, and therefore there is a very obvious need for the depot.

I am not disputing the problems which have or may arise regarding the proposed depot, I am just recommending that there is definitely a need for it and it must not be a challenge for people to use the bins, as they may become lazy and not reduce their waste effectively.

Jodie Digney



Gun crazy

According to Gun Control Australia, there are undeniable connections between the SSAA (Sporting Shooters Association of Australia) and the NRA (National Rifle Association of America) with its extremist gun doctrines. Until 2007, when Australian public awareness of mass shootings in the US began to consolidate, the SSAA magazine The Australian Shooter carried a statement on its cover that it was affiliated with the NRA. This was subsequently removed. It is also known SSAA leaders have hosted NRA leaders visiting Australia.

The SSAA is a founding member of the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA) a gun manufacturing led organization. The SSAA wants to have gun ownership for self-defence. It's understandable that gun manufacturers would create a condition where every person lacks trust in others because that's the way to sell guns. The NRA and its gun industry patrons have succeeded in convincing average Americans that the threat of attack is constant and pervasive. At NRA conventions, time is spent reciting statistics about the levels of violent crime. It's not enough to have a gun in the home for self-defence, you need multiple guns throughout your home so you're never far from your gun. It's not enough to carry a concealed weapon outside your home, the law must allow you to carry it virtually anywhere an attack might conceivably occur, into restaurants, sports venues, community centres, churches, schools, etc. The second NRA fear is fear of government. In the NRA's world, our freedoms are not ensured by the right to vote or by peaceful protest or by an independent judiciary, but rather by armed citizens, constantly on guard for any sign that the time for violent resistance has arrived. Unbelievable as this mindset may sound to Australians, US gun control commentators attribute some mass shootings to this NRA propaganda. Overall this presents a chilling example of how the free market ethic, where sales and profit are the only criterion, leads to what can only be described as an insane situation. Private enterprise has been shown not to work for the benefit of humanity and alternative systems now become a pressing reality.




Thank God for the Salvos

Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year, but for many it is very challenging. When finances are already tight it can be difficult to stretch to meet all the extra expenses. With the financial climate being so difficult, Christmas 2012 was particularly challenging. Many found themselves in the position where they needed to seek help from organisations like the Salvation Army for the first time. The need was great but the Lismore community once again rose to the challenge. The Lismore Salvation Army would like to thank all the individuals, business and community groups who so generously supported our efforts to make Christmas 2012 a little brighter for those in need.

It is not possible to name all the individuals and groups. Some took up collections of gifts and food at their work place, some donated gifts at various collection points around town, others supported our fund raising activities by giving cash donations. We would also like to thank the hard working volunteers who gave up their time to make all this possible. Thanks to the generous support of so many, we were able to assist more than 150 families, including gifts for 350 children.

Thank you each one and may God bless you and fill your life with the light of His love.

Lieut. Jennifer Reeves

Salvation Army, Lismore


No need to frack

We have read articles regarding a report compiled by the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer which clarifies the likelihood for the need to 'frack' in the various gas fields in NSW.

We believe that she has found a very low likelihood for the need to frack in the Clarence-Morton Basin (that means in the Northern Rivers area).

Surely, in view of the high level of daily reporting regarding CSG in your publication, it is appropriate that the community should be exposed to this information. After all, the issue of fracking has been given a high level of exposure in the activists' campaigns. As this now appears to be misinformation we believe that you as editor of the paper should be providing the most recent scientific findings regarding this matter.

Ian and Darrelyn Sharman



Cranky Energy

I got a nice letter from Country Energy, nice because they owe me money for electricity generated by my rooftop solar panels, but I got really cranky when I noticed the big red letters on the envelope. A scary statement that carbon tax and green energy schemes are adding hundreds of dollars to typical bills. This kind of misinformation gets me going, especially when I pay GST to Country Energy for electricity I supply them with! How does this work? Shouldn't they be paying me a service tax?

The real story they are not telling is the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal ( www.ipart.nsw.gov.au) found energy retailers receive a financial benefit from electricity generated from solar panels so they are required to pay 7.7 cents per kilowatt hour toward the solar bonus scheme. Some retailers even offer financial incentives to their solar customers, but not Country Energy. They put the whole transition to sustainable housing in a negative light. They could be using the proceeds from all this free electricity to subsidise more solar panels on more roofs, reducing their own infrastructure requirements. They should take a long-term view and provide the solar infrastructure to all consumers with a smile!

Vanessa Ekins

Lismore Heights

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