Is it a Big Mac
or little mc?
I have recently been reminded by my optometrist for my biannual eye test, and presumably a new pair of spectacles, and whilst refuelling my vehicle at the Caltex Service Station in Carp St, I have come to the conclusion that maybe others in the community may need some visual help.
I acknowledge that Bega has the smallest KFC in the state, but the new McDonald’s family restaurant site looks exceedingly small for its intended purpose.
We also know that the next door service station goes under water at regular intervals and the McDonald’s site is lower down the slope.
Someone must be held responsible for any “duty of care” future misshapes, and a little “Mc” won’t save your bacon.
My need for spectacles also extends to those television commercials for hamburgers, all I can see great big hands, gingerly holding small hamburgers - I think they need to employ people with small hands or produce bigger hamburgers.
Ivor G Williams
Not feeling reassured
Member for Bega Andrew Constance and NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell have both told us this week that the government “has no plans to log national parks”.
I am not reassured by this.
They “had no plans to allowing hunting in national parks” either and we all know what happened there.
Even without that precedent, I would be worried.
The very first time I met Mr Constance, shortly after he was elected in 2003, he sounded out a group of conservationists on precisely this plan - to do a “tenure swap”, putting some areas of national park into state forest (thus opening them up for logging) and substituting former state forest.
We were dumbfounded and rejected the idea then as we reject it today.
Some of us had hopes for Mr Constance.
He was parachuted into the seat of Bega from Sydney and one of his most vigorous and vociferous opponents within the Liberal Party were the then general manager of the Eden chipmill, John Sparkes.
We mistakenly assumed he must therefore had some empathy with the environment and the forests.
We only made that mistake once.
Vacation care needed
After reading the article in the Bega District News, it has come to my attention that vacation care provided by Bandara Children’s Services and Bega Valley Shire Council will have its numbers cut from 30 places to 20, and now to 10 places (BDN, 3/5).
Working parents need support so they can work.
Two incomes are needed because mortgages and living expenses are so high.
Does Mayor Bill Taylor, who expressed his concern for the safety of children, just expect parents to leave their children at home alone?
This is unsafe and also illegal.
Give up their employment and go on the unemployment benefits, or just leave the area?
That is the only alternative for some families.
I am a working parent with no other support but the Bandara vacation care program.
There are a lot of other parents in the same position as myself.
I have used the vacation care service provided by Bandara at Bega West school and now at Bega Valley Primary School and am very pleased with the service provided.
I am also pleased to hear that Councillor Kristy McBain, supported by Deputy Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick, can see that only offering 10 places would negatively impact on working parents and should at least stay at 20 places at Bega Valley Primary School until a new site emerged.
I had trouble getting my child in at 20 places.
Bega Valley Primary School is a place where over 300 children attend.
If it is unsafe for a vacation care program, how can it be safe for the children who attend on a daily basis at the moment.
I’m a disgruntled voter.
Science or assumptions?
I am responding to Robert Bertram's letter regarding fuel reduction burning (BDN, 7/5).
As usual, Mr Bertram provides a very interesting opinion on past and current management of the South Coast forests.
I seem to have confused Mr Bertram.
I didn't say “our first inhabitants burned everywhere”.
I did say, “In pre European times when the fire fighting resources of today did not exist, lightning strikes started fires that burnt in any season, when there was sufficient fuel and when the fuel was dry enough to burn.
“So even without the use of fire by aboriginal land managers, fire would have had a significant influence on the evolution of the native vegetation and associated fauna and their adaptation to regular fires.”
I do not know how many animals die during fuel reduction burns by NPWS or other land managers.
I do know, that an article in The Canberra Times on January 29, 2007, stated “An estimated one billion native animals were killed in bushfires through the ACT, NSW and Victoria every few years, a retired CSIRO scientist said yesterday.
“Noeline Franklin, of Brindabella, has been studying the death rate of native fauna since 2002 with other Scientists in Victoria.
“She estimated that 370 million animals - birds, mammals and reptiles - died in the 2002-03 fires.”
Having been to many wildfires and FRBs since 1972, I do know that if I was Kenny the koala, a bird or reptile, my chances of surviving a FRD would be hundreds of times greater than if I was in front of a raging wildfire in forest that had remained unburnt for decades.
If only fire management was based on science and not assumptions, Mr Bertram and I would probably have no argument with each other.
Recognising our volunteers
This week communities across the state are celebrating National Volunteer Week, a great initiative to recognise the selfless unpaid work by women and men of all ages who help keep our towns and suburbs strong.
We all know the high profile work of organisations like Australian Red Cross, Rural Fire Service, St John’s Ambulance, Marine Rescue NSW and the SES, with teams of trained volunteers able to assist and respond at a moment’s notice to protect us.
But we often don’t see the equally valuable and important work by volunteers who deliver meals on wheels, take library books to the elderly or coach our kids in sport.
As well, there are the parents who roster themselves for the walking school bus to get the neighbourhood’s children to school safely or who are there to do the shuttle to sports practice and matches or provide food and blankets to the homeless each night.
Then there is the iconic CWA and also BlazeAid helping farmers recover and rebuild after fire and flood.
Volunteering is leadership and to encourage the next generation we need to lead by example – 43 per cent of us will volunteer if we witness our parents doing so, but sadly only 23 per cent will if they don’t.
So as we say “Thanks a Million” to the two million volunteers across NSW, I challenge you to think about how just an hour of your time could help to strengthen your community and improve the lives of your neighbours.
Neighbour Day founder
2012 NSW Volunteer of the Year