Bega District Letters to the Editor, September 7

The Yankees Gap bushfire burns into a new week - and new season. It has now been burning for 23 days and covers 13,587ha. Picture: Rachel Helmreich
The Yankees Gap bushfire burns into a new week - and new season. It has now been burning for 23 days and covers 13,587ha. Picture: Rachel Helmreich

Double check your cover

I am an orthopaedic surgeon who has been working in the Bega Valley for 10 years. I see a lot of public patients needing joint replacements of shoulder, knee and hip.

Many of them think they have private insurance when they come to see me. Unfortunately the cover many patients have will only cover surgery in a public hospital when eventually they come to have surgery, which could well be up to 12 months. Many are caught out by ambiguous wording in their policies; hip reconstruction is not hip replacement.

Self funding at a private hospital in Canberra is not really an option as it is very expensive and could end up around $25,000 or more if there is no private insurance.

My suggestion to patients is to make sure your cover is what you think it is. There is no point in wasting money on  policies which have ambiguous wording or is just not enough to cover surgery at a private hospital.

If you think your hip or knee is wearing out and may need surgery, see your doctor and get referred early. Please don't wait until you are crippled by pain. Waiting for 12 months on a waiting list in severe pain is not something one would wish on one's worst enemy. The public system has no capacity to bring someone in urgently for routine surgery except in very exceptional circumstances. Plan ahead.

Dr KR Rajesh FRACS, orthopaedic surgeon

Position of understanding

The developer for the proposed Frogs Hollow Flying School, Mr Boyle, says he doesn’t understand the concerns raised by the head of Bega Cheese, Barry Irvin. Mr Boyle also says he has listened to the concerns of the community. 

It’s not surprising that Mr Boyle “couldn’t see where his (Mr Irvin’s) concerns were”.

Mr Irvin’s presentation to the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel came from a position of understanding how to run a successful billion dollar business, one that represents iconic brands and is well loved. Bega Cheese has a long history of community engagement. You don’t get to last for over 100 years without bringing your community with you. This is in stark contrast to those who want to inflict noise, emissions and disruption on our beautiful environment, all for the sake of a profit for the few. Not once did the proponents consult with the community. Little wonder they do not understand why so many oppose it – or do they?

Amanda Richmond, Bega

Community’s say

I often wonder why it is that a handful of people such as our councilors can make a decision on important issues, such as Native Title, on behalf of all? I think this should be a decision put to all ratepayers. Council knows where we all live when it comes to rate notices, so why not send us a voting form for all ratepayers to have a say in the future of our Crown Land, public spaces, beaches and waterways, even our sports ovals. I think this decision may come back to bite us.

SD White, Pambula

Water waste insane

We are at the end of winter and already in a declared drought with a serious bush fire season ahead.  Yet I have recently seen fixed sprinklers on grassy footpaths with pure fresh water running down the gutter – an insane situation.  

I wonder about our national water strategy for the future. Water education should be public, regular and directed to all in the community, especially in cities with increasingly large immigrant populations.  

Big cities will be sucking water from regional areas to supply excessive populations and there will be an impact on sustainable river flows. Politicians and bureaucrats seem to think water restrictions are ‘bad’ and a last resort.  We live in the driest continent on Earth so we need it to be acceptable and “good”  to conserve and not waste water as part of being an Australian.   

Gary Smith, Tuross Head