Letters to the Editor, March 9

On Monday, 40 retired staff of Bega High School, including two ex-principals, Pam Wellham and Jenne Gardner, met at Bega Country Club to have a good old chin-wag.
On Monday, 40 retired staff of Bega High School, including two ex-principals, Pam Wellham and Jenne Gardner, met at Bega Country Club to have a good old chin-wag.

Don’t blame the fishos

Don’t blame the fishos and don’t blame over fishing. Offal waste bins are not free disposal space for domestic or commercial waste.

Photos taken on Thursday morning showed what was inside the four offal bins provided for anglers. I could not see any fish offal. There were about 50 boats out fishing that morning. There was not much room left in the bins for them to use when they get back in.

We have had a busy few weeks in Bermagui with “the hill and flat” filled daily with trailers. There have been no listed tournaments so we assume, by the number plates, these are mainly tourists and a few locals enjoying the pleasures only Bermagui waters can provide. What a bonus to businesses and accommodation. 

As part of Bermagui Big Game Anglers Club community services, bins are provided for anglers at the boat ramps. They keep our residential and business community clean, but how can anglers use them if they are filled with domestic rubbish? It is not a nice sight, however, it is not the fishos’ fault if offal is bagged and left on the ground for removal.

A skip bin was provided for many years, but removed after being regularly filled with construction waste. It took a lot of negotiating to get the four bins presently provided.

How can we hope to gain support for a more environmentally friendly waste-disposal service if inconsiderate people cannot show respect and correctly use what is  provided?

Betty De La Mare, Bermagui Big Game Anglers Club secretary

Effective hoodwinking

I am writing in response to Harriett Swift's (BDN letters, 22/2). The Regional Forest Agreement meetings were just another opportunity for her to promote her ongoing, turn all state forests to national parks, campaign.

South East Timber Association admits Harriett's and the multimillion dollar environmental charity campaigns over the past 30 years have been effective in hoodwinking the public into supporting their more and more national parks campaigns.

The campaigns have been effective by:

1. Having the general public believe that harvesting a decreasing percentage of the native forest estate is the biggest threat to biodiversity conservation in Australia.

2. Shift more and more of the impact of Australia's forests product consumption offshore, often to countries with lower environmental protection standards, without the public or politicians questioning the morality of this outcome.  

3. Having the general public think most public native forests are still available for timber harvesting, when only 20 per cent of public forested land remains in state forests and a small percentage harvested each year.

4. Having the general public think creating national parks saves the government money, when it actually costs more per hectare to manage parks than to fund any state forest revenue shortfall.

5. Having the public believe changing land tenure from state forests to national parks creates tourism jobs, to more than replace jobs lost in the timber industry.  Time and time again new parks have resulted in net job losses.

6. Not having to explain why there was more koala activity in "woodchipped" state forests than adjoining national parks.

7. Not having to explain why threatened species were captured from the forests of Eden, that Harriett and her Chipstop cronies claim to have been ravaged by the woodchip industry, to repopulate the Booderee National Park.

Harriett, SETA agrees with you that the media should not ignore your campaign of controversy.  However, what SETA would like the media to do is understand some of the perverse outcomes your 100 per cent national parks campaign will deliver to biodiversity and local communities.

Stephen Pope, SETA president

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