Restore the roof
At least the Bega Valley Regional Gallery is able to operate for exhibitions for the benefit of locals and visitors (BDN, 4/1). Whereas the heart of the Bega Community Cultural Centre, the heritage Old Bega Hospital, can't be used because it has no roof. Once restored, and operative again, it will also provide many benefits for locals, visitors and our economy.
The volunteers who have been maintaining and sourcing funding for this iconic precinct since the fire in 2004, are gutted to miss out once again – especially as taxpayer money, on this scale, will not be available for a long time. We do not want the OBH to become a pile of rubble because of government policy of "demolition by degradation".
Please let government know you are sick of waiting nearly 15 years for help in roofing the building which is a big part of Bega's collective past. And also, while you are at it, let government know the building has an important role to play in Bega's social, cultural and economic future. #roofOBHnow
Valerie Little, Tathra
More worthy projects
Iain Dawson’s disappointment at not receiving a $3.4million Christmas present from the NSW Regional Cultural Fund to replace a well-functioning art gallery that attracts 22,000 visitors per year (just over 60 people per day!) is understandable.
But, I wonder, if substantial funding for what is essentially a replacement bricks-and-mortar visual art gallery would simply have been an example of utilising Regional Cultural Fund money too narrowly. After all, the fund is aimed at “strengthening regional arts [plural], screen, culture and [sic] heritage” and the construction of a replacement visual arts gallery will not necessarily achieve much of that. Perhaps the timing of the application was simply unfortunate, with the NSW government having just learned something from the recent public outcry over their agreeing to fund replacement sporting stadiums in Sydney.
Or perhaps the Regional Gallery and Bega Valley Shire Council should have sought funding for something more than just a visual arts gallery, simultaneously providing spaces for cinema and video, music, dance, local history (including Aboriginal history) displays, a local history and media research facility, even imaginative and stimulating play areas for the area’s young people.
I also can’t help but think there are other worthy, but struggling, local organisations such as the Bega Pioneers’ Museum and the Bega Valley Genealogical Society that would be able to very significantly benefit the local community if they were to be granted one-tenth - or even one-fiftieth - of that $3.4million. Perhaps it’s time we investigate what are our real community arts [plural] needs and priorities before yet another funding application is submitted.
Peter Lacey, South Coast History Society
Dogs die in hot cars
Heatwaves and record temperatures are being recorded right across the country. This is not just uncomfortable – it can be deadly.
If dogs are left in a parked car for even a short amount of time, they can die. On a 30 degree day, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over 40 degrees in less than five minutes. In one test, the temperature rose to 57 degrees in 12 minutes. Any animal left inside that car would be dead.
If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke – including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy and lack of coordination – get the animal into the shade immediately.
You can lower a dog's body temperature by providing the dog with water, applying a cold towel to the dog's head and chest or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.
If you see a dog left in a car, have the car's owner paged at nearby stores or call 000 immediately and never leave until the animal is safe — their life may depend on your actions.