Bega District Letters to the Editor, April 24

Young riders from across the South East enjoy the annual Bega Pony Club camp parade along Carp St on Saturday morning.
Young riders from across the South East enjoy the annual Bega Pony Club camp parade along Carp St on Saturday morning.

Tireless dedication

On behalf of students and parents of Tathra Public School, the P&C wishes to acknowledge the amazing work of all volunteers who helped defend the school. While the impact of bushfires is still being felt by school families, having the school itself saved has allowed the resumption of normal life for our children.

We are all aware of the wonderful support provided by the Tathra community. What the broader community may not have seen is the dedication of the school staff and teachers, particularly principal Lisa Freedman who in the days following the fire worked tirelessly to coordinate the school’s response in conjunction with the Department of Education and fire services. In addition to ensuring the school grounds themselves were safe, the emotional welfare of children was considered and supported through the deployment of specially trained teachers with counselling skills. The P&C would also like to recognise and thank the leadership and efforts of local, state and federal governments. It is said that adversity reveals true character. The bushfires have shown the Tathra community has amazing resilience and the staff of our school tremendous dedication. We are truly thankful to be supported by a community such as this.

Tathra Public School P&C

Clouding the issue

Clyde Thomas of Kiah (BDN, 17/4) makes the point that thinning out and controlled burning are important elements of fire management. However, he confuses the issues by introducing the the so-called 'Lock-it-and-leave' mentality.  This is so far from the truth he undermines the rational part of his argument. 

Cuts in national park funding have made disastrous inroads into all aspects of adequate park management, including fire management. Attacking greenies and national parks is very old school. It doesn't get us the answers we need to face increasing risk of extreme and catastrophic fires at the urban/rural interface. At the same time, fire research and practice is changing dramatically. We can now say with some certainty that prescribed burning practices are very like antibiotics: used correctly they do a lot of good. Overused and used incorrectly, they cause even further damage. 

The model Mr Thomas cites, that of Aboriginal stewardship, is very  much part of the answer, yet is being introduced in a piecemeal fashion that does it no justice. 

Protecting our property and our environment is too important to muddle around insulting each other.

Christine Goonrey, Bega

Double standard

I have no idea whether he’s guilty or not, but the West’s rush to judgement about Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria is part of a depressingly familiar pattern. For example, in 1964 the US had no firm evidence that North Korean patrol boats had attacked a US destroyer in the Tonkin Gulf, yet it bombed North Vietnam anyway, in the name of self defence.

The US had no firm evidence in 2001 that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attack on the World Trade Centre, but it attacked Afghanistan anyway for giving him refuge, denying a not unreasonable Afghan request for evidence of his guilt.

The US also had no firm evidence in 2003 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, yet it attacked Iraq anyway, on the same spurious ground of self defence.

More recently, there is no firm evidence that Putin was behind the alleged chemical attack on Russians in the UK, yet he has been tried and convicted in the court of western public opinion.  

In international affairs, evidence is obviously not needed. Unless, of course, Russia or North Korea or Iran were to accuse the US, or Australia, of aggression or a war crime; in which case the need for incontrovertible evidence would suddenly become sacrosanct.

Paul Strutynski, Buckajo

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