Letters to the Editor, March 13

KOOL KOMBI: Chris Steel collects a $50 Betta voucher supplied by the Bega District News as the winner of best historic vehicle at the Bemboka Show.
KOOL KOMBI: Chris Steel collects a $50 Betta voucher supplied by the Bega District News as the winner of best historic vehicle at the Bemboka Show.

Gambling concern

Before retiring I was employed in the liquor industry for over 35 years. I worked in a hotel in  Queensland prior to poker machines and I have seen people lose six weeks’ pay rolling a 20 cent coin against a wall.

I am not a gambler but many people like to punt on horse races, football or whatever. How much goes to Lotto and lottery tickets?

My greatest concern is the online betting that is advertised on TV with no time regulation. How many underage kids are betting online? I would like to see some of those figures.

Clubs and pubs are highly regulated and they offer much more than poker machines. If someone is going to gamble, in my experience they will find a way to lose their money.

Sheila Schilling, Bega

Firearms remain

Last week the results of the national firearms amnesty that was conducted last year were released. The media highlighted the fact that over 57,000 firearms were handed in between July and September across Australia to be registered or destroyed. 

What the media didn’t highlight was that only a third were destroyed. The remaining two-thirds were either registered and handed back, or passed on to licensed dealers for resale.

So actually there are 37,150 of these weapons still in circulation with the breakdown being: 

- 33,044 unlicensed weapons have been registered and returned to owners without the owners being charged for having an unlicensed weapon; and

- 4106 were sold to licensed dealers for re-sale.

You may be interested to know that the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) congratulated the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) for this undermining of the 2017 National Firearms Amnesty.

“Thanks to the work of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA), in addition to handing guns over for destruction, the amnesty permits gun owners to register firearms that they are eligible to possess, or to sell them through a licensed dealer.”

To read the whole article access the website, https://www.nraila.org/articles/20170811/guns-trickle-in-to-australia-turn-in. 

A warning: this link may provide images and content that may be  upsetting.

So the question Eurobodalla residents should be asking: Do we want our region to be known as the Nature Coast, or an outpost of the NRA? 

With the Eurobodalla Shire Council-endorsed, NSW government-approved and SSAA-sponsored Huntfest arms fair held in Narooma for the next five years, Narooma may well be an outpost of the NRA.

Heather Irwin, president of SAFE (Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla)

Losing independence

I have grave concerns about the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 and its potential effect on civil society.

It will force charities and grassroots organisations to join a government register and follow complex new rules. Organisations such as GetUp will lose their independence and be forced to affiliate with one or more political parties.

Those who donate more than $4.80 a week to GetUp will be forced to get a formal document signed and witnessed by a JP, thus choking off half of GetUp's funding.

And for big business and the fossil fuel lobby it's business as usual. 

Political engagement is an important aspect of a healthy democracy. This legislation is an attempt to stifle such engagement whereby an organisation like GetUp, which acts to represent the views of the wider community, is denied its proud independence. 

Stuart Absalom, Central Tilba


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