Loss of local treasure
The loss of Moira Collins to the Bega Valley and wider district is immense and beyond the scope of this letter. Her legacy is enduring. On behalf of members of two associations I would like to outline her achievements for the people of Timor-Leste and our environment.
Through hard work and generosity Moria, and her husband, Jim Collins, established Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste (BVATL) which to date has built community and education infrastructure in a remote area of Australia's northern neighbour. BVATL provided university scholarships to six agricultural workers and 20 teachers whose work will continue to help build a young and developing country.
Locally, Moira was one of several grandmothers who were arrested numerous times in campaigns to save the south east forests. She later recounted in And They're Still Falling, a book she helped compile, "...the diversity of the campaigners in age and background and their stamina and determination...eventuated in an outcome of 130,000ha in national parks."
Moira, and the wider community, were appalled to see the ongoing industrial logging of burnt and unburnt forests after the destructive mega fires of last summer.
Moira actively campaigned for the greater good and against the exploitation of our natural resources for the benefit of a few. The life of Moira Collins poses the question to us all: what kind of world will we leave behind?
David Gallan, president Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste
National Parks Association (NSW) FSC
No holiday visitor info
It seems the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre will not be reopening until well into 2021, which means that no Tourist Information Centre will be operating in Bega over the peak Christmas-New Year holiday season. That's a tragedy for the town and the surrounding area.
Perhaps a pop-up Tourist Information Centre should be set up for six weeks in one of the vacant shops in Carp St - perhaps near the main western entrance to town.
Peter Lacey, Quaama
We'll be back
On a recent holiday we required a COVID test at Bega, triggering a rapid learning experience on sending SMS, rescheduling accommodation for 48-plus hours etc. Thankfully, we got a negative result.
In the process, all the residents of Bega we met were wonderful. The hospital staff, our hosts at the Bega Caravan Park (who arranged an extended stay and even did our shopping) and the pharmacy; all were positive, helpful, tolerant of inept mobile phone users, above and beyond what could be expected.
Signs of a great community to whom our thanks are due. We will be back!
Anne Hyde, Kew
Shame on council
Council shame to consider charging rent for the Pioneers' Museum building. This collection is unique and must be treasured.
June Whalley, Eden
Christmas lights stolen
My Christmas lights were taken from trees in my front garden. Naturally I was disappointed but very grateful to person/s that the trees were not damaged. Thank you for that. I love Christmas lights - to me they symbolise hope.
Diane Dean, Merimbula
Lower the speed limits
On Sunday, December 13, a driver died on Nethercote Rd, Eden, in a car accident. I do not know this person but I do know that there is a good chance this persons death could have been avoided.
I live in Eden but travel to Nethercote on a regular basis, about three times a week both ways and have done so for many years. Over those years I have seen terrible driving habits every single time I drive on that road.
I would estimate that around 90 per cent of drivers, who are mostly local, cut corners on Nethercote and Back Creek Roads. Not just one corner, every single corner. I've even had drivers and motorcycle riders pass me on blind corners and hills.
The trip for most people on those roads is maximum 10 minutes. Slow down and stop cutting corners, it might add one minute to your trip, it will save someone else's life.
Council, or whoever is responsible for revising speed limits need to re-assess speed limits on all of their roads but especially on Nethercote and Back Creek Roads.
The 100kmh speed limit on Back Creek Rd is way too fast and the 80kmh speed limit on certain areas of Nethercote Rd needs to be reduced.
These roads also need to be policed until drivers get the message.
There is a possibility this person died trying to avoid someone crossing over the centreline of the road. As I said I see it every time I drive on that road.
I can't believe how so many people risk their own lives as well as the lives of others because of their very poor and often lazy driving habits.
Personally, I would like to see the speed limit on both roads reduced to 60kmh. There are more people in the area now, there are concealed driveways, there is wildlife crossing the road and there are bike users using this road as well. I rarely travel at more than 70kmh for these very reasons.
I am hoping something is done as a matter of urgency.
Shaun Fraser, Eden
From the editor
On behalf of the entire Bega District News and ACM team we wish all our correspondents and readers a safe and happy festive season. Letters to the Editor will return on January 15.