Bega District Letters to the Editor, May 25

Kosciuszko at risk

The NSW government's intention to legislate for the protection of feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park will, if successful, lead to accelerated environmental degradation, particularly in the park's fragile alpine areas.

Given that the estimated KNP horse population of 6000 has doubled since 2008 despite ongoing culling, the end of culling together with the lack of any natural predator in the park, will see an explosion in horse numbers. 

The 2016 Draft Wild Horse Management Plan, now rejected by government, recommended a 90% reduction in horse numbers over 20 years, primarily through culling.

The Deputy NSW Premier, John Barilaro, has stated that should horse numbers grow too high (implying that a population of 6000 is acceptable) and threaten sensitive areas, resources will be allocated towards “relocation first followed by re-homings”.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has attempted such programs, and has found them to be largely ineffective and prohibitively expensive, with most corralled horses ending up at the abattoir.

Moreover, promises of resourcing ring hollow given the cuts in recent years to NPWS programs and personnel, including the slashing of park ranger numbers across NSW from 400 to the current level of around 300.

John Barilaro no doubt perceives political advantage in peddling the Man from Snowy River legend rather than facing up to the difficult decisions required to protect KNP's fragile alpine environment. 

Meanwhile, the Minister for the Environment, whose job it is to protect KNP, remains strangely silent.  

Kim Taysom, vice-president Far South Coast National Parks Association

It’s up to drivers

Everybody is screaming about an improvement to the Princes Highway. What about an improvement  of driver attitude?  

We’ve got people already driving like hoons; imagine their attitude once the road is improved. I had people zipping past me today in the rain, as if I was standing still, and I was travelling at 100kmh. 

Improve the road, sure, but let’s also do a bit more to enforce people’s adherence to speed limits and driving to the prevailing road conditions.

Alex Wallensky, Broulee

Aladdin outstanding

Spectrum Theatre Group has done it again - this time with 36 young people from the Merimbula area performing a most wonderful version of Disney's Aladdin Junior.

This show is not just for kids and their parents, or a local school production. It is much, much more. Amber Little the director/choreographer, has managed the huge task of pulling together a cast of 36 young people aged from eight to 18, to present an outstanding production. 

It's vibrant, funny and clever, with some of the best costumes ever seen on the stage of Twyford Hall.  Well done everyone involved!

Judy Davidson, Millingandi

Help is available

Far too many people who have a serious mental illness are not getting treatment … and we need to get that to change. It’s estimated less than 50% of Australians who have a serious mental illness get treatment.  Obviously this is alarming.

The Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia urges people who may have mental health issues to reach out and get the help they need.  There is significant support out there from GPs, clinical specialists, and most importantly, community mental health services.

We have a free phone number people can call from anywhere in Australia to get guidance and just call 1800 985 944 if you need some advice on where best to go.  Readers can also go to MiNetworks.org.au.

Our latest campaign highlights that 230,000 people in Australia are estimated to have schizophrenia.  When you include families helping these people, around one million people are impacted. 

It is utterly shameful that the average life expectancy of someone with schizophrenia in this country is now just 54 years old.  We have to do so much more to support people with schizophrenia.  People with schizophrenia can and do recover.

We also highlight that it’s time there was much more government funding for mental health services in all areas of Australia.  Current mental health services are grossly inadequate and this needs to change.

Tony Stevenson, CEO Mental Illness Fellowship

Shirleyanne Myers and Sharyn Wotton at the opening of the "Totem" exhibition at Lazy Lizard Gallery in Cobargo.

Shirleyanne Myers and Sharyn Wotton at the opening of the "Totem" exhibition at Lazy Lizard Gallery in Cobargo.

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