Bega District Letters to the Editor, October 17

Dirty water disgrace

Recently the Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association received the following comment from a resident on the quality of his family’s drinking water.

“I have to let the tap run sometimes for minutes before it will run clear. The council regularly vents dirty water from the mains directly in front of my house so they are well aware. So where is my discount for all the water I have to waste? It would be at least 20 per cent of the water they provide is unusable? Not to mention the cost of buying water to drink which is a further $12 a week. I have two young kids and am a low income earner. I am considering leaving the shire where I grew up and my parents still live. Disgraceful.”

Not just disgraceful, but also scandalous and shameful. Australia is supposedly a first world country but the NSW government and Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) cannot even provide basic services such as the provision of quality drinking water.

In support of their grand plan to turn the shire into a tourist Mecca, the NSW government and BVSC can find $50million to underwrite the commercial interests of the cruise ship industry and $7million to expand Merimbula Airport to service their delusion that 600,000 visitors will soon fly in and out every year, while they can also manage to find the pork bellies to underwrite a $3million bike track from Tathra to Bega.

Meanwhile, while the architects of those grand schemes also busy themselves trying to bludgeon the community into welcoming the fluoridation of the shire’s drinking water, they can’t even supply a quality glass of water to anyone who might have the nerve to expect it.

This shambles is not just a scandalous failure of public policy, but it is an outright abuse of the residents and ratepayers of the Bega Valley Shire.

As long as BVSC and the NSW Government fail to commit to firm and timely action to address this obscene situation, the Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, and our elected councillors should hide their faces in shame.

John Richardson, BVSRRA

Blown away

What a fabulous evening's entertainment Canberra Brass and Bega District Band provided last Saturday night. It was just so enjoyable. I hadn't realised how good our Bega District Band has become – but, if the number of people who turned up to listen to these bands is any indication, many others certainly did.

I just hope the Bega Band pursues the suggestion made by the music director of Canberra Brass that they organise similar concerts on a regular basis, perhaps inviting other great Australian brass bands to participate. And a request for next time guys: a JP Sousa march medley, please.

Peter Lacey, Quaama

Headspace here to help

Headspace Day, held on October 9, was an opportunity to educate young people on the importance of taking care of their mental health issues early, before they become more serious. Every year, a quarter of all young Australians will experience mental health issues and we want them to know that Headspace is here to help.

Research shows that 75 per cent of mental health issues emerge before the age of 25. By getting on top of issues early, the chances of recovery are greatly increased. On Headspace Day we asked all Australians to share their personal mental health tips, telling us how they take care of their mental health. We gathered thousands of ideas to show young people the many different ways to maintain a healthy head space.

Our clinicians say talking about how we take care of our mental health can encourage others to do the same. It is just as important to take care of our minds, as it is our bodies. Thank you to everyone who took part in Headspace Day, we look forward to your support in the future.

Jason Trethowan, Headspace CEO