Reading the BDN article about the woman fined $1500 for abusive behaviour towards police in Bega while intoxicated was another example of how out of touch our judges are with society and fixing our social problems
The ins and outs of policing styles aside, fining a person, probably on a low income and probably dealing with alcohol and personal issues only exacerbates exclusion and in turn only worsens the problems for the individual fined and society by increasing anger, disaffection and self medicating behaviour.
All this fine is doing is 'punching down' rather than lifting up to help solve social problems and helping people overcome their issues. These are, sadly, remedies for a civilised society...one we are rapidly losing along with our social contract.
I write to support Daphne Sweeney's comments about the need for radiation services locally.
I too am a survivor of a rare type of breast cancer, and recently finished radiotherapy.
I had a choice of staying in Canberra or Nowra for this treatment, which for me was three weeks, five days per week, and which took around 15 minutes for each treatment.
I stayed at the Cancer Council's accommodation on the grounds of the Shoalhaven Hospital. Fortunately, the Isolated Patients Travel Allowance Scheme (IPTAS) covered the cost of the accommodation, but I was alone, away from family and friends and my support networks.
If only treatment had been available at the Bega Hospital it would have made the experience more bearable.
I know you will never have a location that suits everyone, but even if oncology radiation services are provided at the new Eurobodalla hospital, it will still mean a two hour, each way trip for 15 minutes of treatment, Monday to Friday. Very tiring and inconvenient.
I discussed this with the radiation therapists at Nowra, and they said they are having trouble finding staff, so there will be that issue as well.
I don't know the solution, but it is amazing that such a new hospital as Bega is basically just a shell, with no funding for staff, and lacking a wide range of services. I was also amazed that it doesn't have hydrotherapy facilities either.
All new hospitals should provide full services, not just be pretty buildings.
I can sympathise with Ms Sweeney. I recently underwent 19 radiation sessions in Canberra for skin cancer. With an additional three consultation trips - each one being no longer than 10 minutes - after a 240km round trip and an overnight stay.
Like Ms Sweeney, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay with a relative. Even so, the repeated trips to Canberra take a toll.
I am otherwise in good health and could drive myself. It must be very difficult for those less fortunate, who have to find someone to drive them to Canberra.
Once there, what to do about accommodation if you do not have someone to stay with? In August the IPTAAS rebate for accommodation was increased to $40/day, but that is still way below the actual cost of even the most basic motel.
Ms Sweeney and I are certainly not alone, as I met others from The Bega Valley in the waiting room.
The waiting room was always full because only two of the four radiation machines are working in Canberra Hospital. Perhaps the replacements for the faulty machines could make their way down the hill to Bega.
Our (relatively) new South East Regional Hospital would then have the facility to service the region from Eurobodalla to Kiah.
While the owners of the Bermagui Beach Hotel are justly proud of their efforts and the AHA NSW award, one has to wonder, won't these achievements be enough?
Why the need for even more marketing, when, as they say, Bermagui is already well known?
The beach car parks are full even in winter, and the queues at local shops and intersections attest to Bermi's popularity.
The locals (and wildlife) used to have the quiet times to recover from the tourist crowds and traffic, but sadly, they are no more. Bermagui has changed in many ways, not always for the better, and is fast losing its uniqueness.
No longer "the land that time forgot".
How ridiculous to be asking holiday home owners to make their houses available to the homeless.
While in theory it is a great idea, what happens when the owner wants/needs a weekend at their holiday house, or has a week off from work and wants to spend time there?
Shove out the homeless, or arrange for them to do a house-swap?
Why did the bottle recycling facility move from on top of Woolworths to the Bega Country Club?
It was the most convenient site in the shire, great access and could get your docket cashed at Woolies.
Very few people including me are going to drive that far. It will cost more in fuel than you get for the bottles.
Whoever did this has no idea.
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