Road funds limited benefit
As a recent refugee from Victoria I wholeheartedly agree on essential funding for safer roads for all Australians. However what I didn't understand about the media interviews and your editorial was the funding is for more or less just the duplication of the highway to the Sussex Inlet turn off, with not much less for points further south.
The fatalities and injuries quoted by the local member for the justification of the spending were from the BVSC and Eurodoballa shires. Therefore I would think that although the road trauma and deaths might be reduced for those at the southern end of the Shoalhaven, they will do little for the readership of the Bega News and surrounding areas.
The single lane Princess Hwy is a much greater standard just north of Mogo to the dual carriageway north of Nowra, if this standard was to be replicated down to our part of the world it would reduce death and trauma figures quoted more than the duplication to the Sussex Inlet turn off. While the state Minister of Transport may put his spin on it for the South Coast, very little actually affects his constituents who elect him, even though the road trauma figures do, greatly.
Wharf road access
I think the Bega Valley Shire Council has a very shallow view for the future of Tathra. Tourism is our main industry and the council is not doing anything to ease the traffic congestion or give access for tourist bus groups to visit our historic wharf. The walking track that is due for construction soon does nothing to relieve the traffic congestion that is experienced now, let alone in the future with tourism on the increase.
Council is elected to represent the people and very few people are in favour of this walking track. We have more than 1000 signatures from people who are in favour of the reconstruction of a one-way ring road at the wharf and a previous petition raised 550 signatures. Given the community support for the ring road and the obvious importance for tourism and the history of the Tathra Wharf, I believe that it would be far more relevant and beneficial for the reconstruction of the road, which could be combined with a bike/walking track as well.
The ring road would give equal access for all people to visit our wharf. If council thinks it is safe to build a walking track, then it is surely safe to rebuild the road.
Noel Gorman, Tathra
Solar pie in the sky
It’s great when something unites a community, and the drive for the good people of Tathra to reduce their carbon footprint appears to be a laudable example. On that note I saw a painting of an exalted solar panel at the Spiral Gallery recently in Bega.
Owners of solar panels are of the opinion they’re reducing their carbon footprint and saving money. None of them mention the carbon footprint used in manufacturing the panels or the conditions under which they were manufactured, the cost to the tax payer for their government subsidy or the carbon footprint of installing them in Australia.
Also many fly by night solar panel installers have taken the subsidies and disappeared with no after sales service. The solar companies that remain charge exorbitant fees to maintain solar systems. Ask anyone that’s had to do it. I as an electrician have received two shocks off solar systems, one at the showroom of a solar company!
Supply authorities are already experiencing voltage irregularity issues with all the solar systems on line and fire authorities will not hose a burning roof with solar panels on it.
While Australia has plenty of space to install solar farms northern Europe does not. Solar farms there have proved inefficient and require grid backup. The cost of intermittently firing up power stations is exorbitant and passed on to the consumer.
While lithium batteries offer some promise for overnight storage they represent a fire hazard and inevitable waste problem, as will the solar panels - they have a use by date. Will we export that waste for another country to sort through?
Wind power is intermittent, requires grid or battery backup and kills apex aerial predators such as eagles, owls, falcons and other raptors. Also in a dry country like Australia re-diverting water up and down an incline for hydro-power is a political and environmental football.
Whilst nuclear fission has a dangerous waste issue, it has an extremely low carbon footprint. On the other hand nuclear fusion and nuclear thorium offer safer alternatives. They need to be investigated and encouraged.
John Cafe, Bega
Bega High School retirees:
Back: Jim Kelly, Alison Hibburd, Janelle Green, Liz Seckold, Janelle Gibson, Bob Brown, Beth Collins, Greg Hain, Denise Redmond, Mick Green, Marg Carson & granddaughter
Middle: Pam Crooks, Lee Gill, Barb Crowden, Rosemary Steel, Wendy Kennedy, Marg Kermode, Arthur Cowles, Judy Grasby, Rex Kermode
Front: Robyn Beveridge. Cec Rose, Frank Sheedy, Rose Brittliff, Bob Grasby