Too much info on show
I'm happy to sign in at South East Regional Hospital to meet COVID-19 requirements. However, not happy to provide name, address and phone number, along with reason for being at the facility. Way too much information on a publicly viewable list.
Maria Wilson, Bega
Pleas for burnoffs
Despite the massive bushfires last year, one of the big absences this year has been the lack of burning off.
While normally autumn and winter are the main periods, this year there have been very few signs of smoke at all. I understand that Bermagui RFS had over 300 applications for burn-offs. What happened to those?
A neighbour has organised a petition and contacted various government bodies. They have basically ignored her pleas for a burnoff where trees threaten her property. What is going on? Anyone who has taken the road out to Wadbilliga National Park (the park is closed due to bushfire damage) or even the main street in Cobargo, will know that a lot of things have to happen for our communities to be safe.
I estimate that more people have died during bushfires in the past five years in Australia, than have died from coronavirus. Certainly more people during the past 12 months in the Bega Shire have died from bushfires than coronavirus.
Keith Bashford, Wallaga Lake
Clearing a key factor
I wish to comment on the statement by Greg Mullins that hazard reduction makes no difference.
As principal of St Peter's College I also witnessed mowed grass burn, however, it burnt at such a slow rate that the playing fields at St Peter's were a key factor in saving the school and possibly saving many of our neighbours.
The buildings that received damage were those that were not surrounded by concrete verandahs and mowed grass. We were also told by the fire brigade late in 2019 that the buildings surrounded by the grassed areas are the safest and this was certainly true.
Darren McPartland, Broulee
Holly Taylor is right to emphasise the need to improve the energy efficiency of Australia's buildings (Comment, BDN, 21/8). The construction, operation and maintenance of buildings accounts for almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.
Sadly the Australian government's Technology Investment Roadmap lists energy efficiency technologies such as heat pumps and glazing, but provides no incentives or policies to help building owners achieve the desired outcome.
Fortunately practical state programs exist, like NSW's Energy Savings Scheme, but they are not well-known or understood. Hopefully organisations like the Energy Efficiency Council will help explain these energy saving opportunities to home owners and businesses. If not, they will be ineffective.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Victoria
I couldn't agree more with the Holly Taylor's op-ed describing the benefits of energy efficiency in buildings (BDN, 21/8).
Yes, I have enjoyed immense savings since we had solar panels and battery installed in my home. However, we were still wasting a lot of unnecessary power keeping our 100 year old double brick home warm in winters and cool in summers.
I had since embarked on making my home more energy efficient, by replacing our roof insulation, sealing off draughts, and installing thermal curtains. Our home had been much warmer since then, with our reliance on heating reduced.
No, the topic of energy efficiency is not sexy, but is very necessary.
Ching Ang, Kensington Gardens
Raise the pension
I read with great alarm that there will be no pension rises this year to at least help a bit with the costs of living that are rising every day, especially during COVID-19.
Just today I had to pay $16 for 1kg green grapes and everything else in supermarkets continues to go through the roof.
I think the last pension rise we got was about $8 a fortnight a long while back, the price of a tray of sausages.
"Since 1931, the age pension has been increased every time it was indexed. Pensions are indexed twice a year - on 20 March and 20 September - on the basis of inflation and wages."
"While it is almost impossible for the pension to be reduced, it can stay the same."
And according to the CPSA, the pension is not going up at the next pension indexation.
What is most damning in all this is that government is handing out bucket loads of subsidies to everyone but pensioners as usual, and it's the older Australians who gave them all the privileged lives they all enjoy.
My biggest question mark over this is are the huge pensions and benefits our pollies enjoy, in a lot of cases for the rest of their lives, going to take the same hits as age pensioners? I don't think so as it has never happened yet.
They are just people like all of us so why don't the same rules apply?
Frank Pearce, Bega
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