Hunting balance needed
THE proposal of the HuntFest event in Narooma has sparked abrasive outbursts in some quarters but a little balanced reflection reveals great benefits for our local community.
Hunting is a well regulated and licensed sport in selected national parks and state forests, and contributes significantly to ridding those beautiful areas of destructive feral animals.
This of course is of no cost to the public purse.
The HuntFest would be an excellent means of promoting public awareness about the benefits of hunting, the comprehensive licensing and regulation that is required in this sport, and enable the public to draw a sober view on the contribution hunting makes on good practical conservation of our public wilderness, not to mention the commercial realities that accrue to local businesses when game sports are popular.
Gavin M. Carney
Thanks for the words
I WOULD like to thank Chris Mason for writing the article last week, about the trip that my daughter, Bre, and I took to Africa.
Well done Chris for putting our fabulous trip into words. We really did have an absolutely, amazing adventure.
Nancy and Bre Casu
Thanks for the support
I WOULD like to express my gratitude to the community for the support I received at last Saturday’s election.
The level of endorsement was tremendous and exceeded any personal expectation.
Thank you to all whom thought me worthy to represent their interests at this time.
Say no to violence
SOMETHING strange is happening here on the Sapphire Coast which many find deeply worrying.
Not only have Forests NSW continued to wreak devastation in the forests surrounding Bermagui and Tanja but now it seems we have a bid to turn the local wilderness into a shooting gallery.
Each of these activities severely compromises the economic, cultural, ecological and aesthetic values of this unique area.
Maybe we should adopt the Bega Valley Shire Council’s invocation and declare stridently that: “The South Coast Says No to Violence!”
Dr. Edward Hills
Humbled by support
ONCE again the generosity of our community humbles me.
Legacy Badge Week collected $4285 in Narooma and surrounds, which was amazing since the recent golf day was so successful.
The whole Narooma Legacy region, which includes Moruya to Bermagui collected $10,632.
A big thank-you to all who supported Legacy and its ongoing work supporting widows and dependents of our deceased servicemen.
Also a big vote of thanks to the many volunteers who helped with the selling of badges without your help this sort of result would not happen.
Hunting could put off others
THE proposed HuntFest will promote the Eurobodalla forests as a destination for hunters.
I have a deep concern about shooters in our forests and maybe soon our National Parks.
I am sure the majority of shooting enthusiasts are responsible, safety conscious folk but there is always that ratbag element in any group, as discussed in last week’s letters and Neil Graham from the Hunters Club, referred to as "yobbos"…yobbos with guns and no doubt a good mix of alcohol.
The Eurobodalla Bicycle Users Group, heading off into the bush or along our coast, shunning the bitumen in favour of less used dirt roads, a lot of those rides are through our State Forests and/or our National Parks.
Should the bush exclude their vision, you won't hear them coming.
I don't like to sound dramatic but the potential for accident is there. Our State Forests are also used by bushwalking groups and individuals, horse riding, trail bike riders and firewood collecting, all will need to be mindful of the possibility of shooters sharing the forest.
My property borders with Bodalla State Forest, the main pests our forests contain are wild cats and foxes.
I quite often find evidence of a cat kill, pile of feathers and a wing, but rarely sight feral cats or foxes.
I would love to have these introduced predators eradicated but feel it is the domain of professionals with an elaborate and sustained trapping program.
I am not in favour of promoting the Eurobodalla as a destination for hunters at the risk of other forest users and feel it would be detrimental to our exiting tourist trade, themed on the enjoyment of the bush and waterways and coast, "The Nature Coast".
New mates made in the Simpson Desert
DURING our recent 4WD crossing of the Simpson Desert, we had the pleasure of meeting up with Kris Gauslaa from Narooma.
This was not a planned meeting with Kris as we came across his wife Sylvia parked in the middle of the desert and this was the first car we had come across for two days.
Thinking that they may be in need of assistance, we stopped and were greeted by Sylvia who explained why they were stopped (Kris was resting) and gave us a leaflet explaining Kris's reason to walk the Simpson to raise funds for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
We moved on and made camp later that day.
As night came and we (three parties in all) enjoyed a beer at the camp fire a vehicle drove up and stopped.
It was Sylvia, she was welcomed and told that she could share our fire and camp for the night, Kris at this stage was 1.5 hours away.
Upon his arrival, the three kids welcomed him from atop the near sand hill with sparklers.
After a cold beer and a good chat, Kris was off the bed.
They started the next day about 5am and we again came across them at around 11am where we again had a chat and wished them well.
It would have possibly been another two days before Kris and Sylvia would have come across any other vehicles.
Since our meeting, we have been pondering of the great feat taken on as the only real support for Kris was wife Sylvia in their 4WD.
She did a truly remarkable job having to negotiate steep and rough sand hills in a heavily laden vehicle.
While Kris was the name behind the walk, let’s not forget that, "Behind every good man is a good woman", and that is so true of Sylvia.
And to finish off, Kris ran the City to Surf, a remarkable feat by two remarkable Australians.
A friendship has been born and we will visit them when in Narooma next February.
I urge all to donate to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Good luck Kris and Silvia.
A few educational ideas for the Government
MUCH has been said recently re spending billions more on education, money which the Gillard government has not got.
Education must be the only industry turning out a product inferior to what was produced 50 years ago.
Imagine trying to sell an FJ Holden on today's market. Yet that is what modern education is doing.
Throwing more money at the problem is not the answer.
Children can go through the whole system now and be semi-illiterate and lack simple numeracy skills at the finish.
Ongoing on to higher education, about 20 per cent have to have remedial reading classes, which is a national shame.
Rather than just criticise, I have a few suggestions: revert to three terms per year, with 20 per cent less holidays.
Give teachers and principals more authority, and more powers of disclipine.
Reward and promote teachers on merit, which is much opposed by Teachers' Unions.
Make higher qualifications necessary to enter the profession.
Stop the push for "equal outcomes", and the policies of "not hurting a child's self-esteem".
Life is not like that, and is not education all about guiding a child to make the best of future life?
Over the years, so many of the "reforms" in teaching methods have been to make teaching easier for teachers, not to benefit the students. To see young people today laboriously writing in block letters in a cramped style is to me, sad.
None seem to be able to readily do mental arithmetic, being totally reliant on a calculator.
Are children taught to learn tables? It would not seem so.
How many kids these days read books? Very few I'm sad to say.
If kids spent just 20 per cent of the time practicing skateboard skills on studying, standards would lift.
Yes, I may be an old bloke, complaining about "the youth of the day", but better, more comprehensive and disciplined teaching would stop the slipping of standards.
If a child has parents who ensure homework is done and standards met, this is a big help to teachers and the child.
But in the many cases where parent(s) do not or cannot, teachers must give extra care and attention.
This must be part of the duties of the noble profession of teaching.
A very special thank-you
ON Saturday, September 1, my sister and I phoned around to the florists in Narooma, this was to order a bunch of flowers to be delivered to our dad on the next day for Father’s Day.
Not one florist answered so we decided to call Narooma Woolworths - as a long shot.
I requested to speak with the store manager.
When the store manager answered, I explained to him our situation and asked him if I could buy a bunch of flowers and pay extra for a staff member to deliver them to our dad.
Dennis politely informed me that they are unable to process a transaction over the phone but continued to say that this would be no trouble.
He said he would personally buy a bunch of flowers and deliver them to our father.
I phoned Dennis again on the Sunday to explain that our dad was out and Dennis said that it was no problem as he had already visited the house twice with no answer.
He said that it didn’t matter and he would try again when he finished in the afternoon.
Later on that day we received a photo of these flowers from our dad with a thank you text.
They were a beautiful arrangement of different colours and flowers.
Therefore, my sister and I would like to personally thank Dennis for all his trouble and say that it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for this kind hearted man. We owe you one!
Verity and Kathleen Taylor
Science more certain; voters accept carbon tax
A Herald-Neilson poll, taken a month after the introduction of the carbon tax, shows the proportion of voters who thought they would be worse off under the policy has slumped dramatically, while the proportion of those who feel it will make no difference has soared. People are starting to see that despite all the scaremongering, they will not be affected greatly by the great big new tax.
The legitimacy of climate science has received an unexpected boost from Professor Richard Muller from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Berkeley Earth Temperature study, funded by climate sceptics and the fossil fuel industry, and headed by prominent sceptic Richard Muller, was set up to debunk the theory of human induced climate change.
The project has examined exhaustively land temperature observations recorded across the world since 1753. Using five times the amount of data previously relied on, its findings closely matched those of earlier studies on which theories of global warming and carbon reduction policies are based, including those published by The Goddard Institute For Space Studies at NASA (GISS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCRUT), and the much-maligned International Panel on Climate Change. The project's founder, Richard Muller, now regards himself as a "converted sceptic".
Last October, the Berkely team published results that showed the average global land temperature has risen by about 1 degree Celsius since the mid-1950s.
The latest data analysis also searched for the most likely cause for this rise in land temperature. It analysed the warming impact of solar activity - a popular theory among climate sceptics - but found that, over the past 250 years, the contribution of the sun is "consistent with zero".
Volcanic eruptions were found to have caused "short dips" in the temperature rise in the period from 1750 to 1850, but "only weak analogs" in the 20th century.
"Much to my surprise, by far the best match came to the record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured from atmospheric samples and air trapped in polar ice," Professor Muller said. "While this doesn't prove that global warming is caused by human greenhouse gases, it is currently the best explanation we have found, and sets the bar for alternative explanations."
Professor Muller said his team's findings went further and were "stronger" than the latest report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Dangers seen in HuntFest
MY wife and I and our four children moved here to the Eurobodalla because of its quiet, peaceful rural aspect, its stunning national parks and its small, friendly villages and towns.
Like so many, we first visited as tourists. We are adamantly opposed to turning the Eurobodalla into some sort of shooters' paradise.
Those who think it is such a great idea need to realise that while a hunting festival might seem innocuous enough, we see it as the thin end of the wedge.
Having spent a lot of time in the USA, I do not want to live in an American-style gun culture. We want to be able to use our national parks without fearing gunfire.
We think that amateurs shooting up the place, even if it is supposedly for feral animal control, is anathema to the peaceful South Coast we chose to raise our family in. Local tourism will surely suffer as tourists are frightened away.
Abusing opponents of this hunting festival for our very real fears simply illustrates the violent and coercive attitudes inherent in the shooters.
Disappointed and flabbergasted
AS a former Greens voter and supporter, I have to say how disappointed and flabbergasted at the deliberate misinformation and blatant empty political platforming they are subjecting us to over the proposed Narooma HuntFest.
Firstly, responsible hunting in State forests has been in place for many years, and has nothing to do with the O’Farrell government, or any deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party.
Secondly, how is licensing a small number of the community to hunt feral animals in a wider catchment area turning us all into “gun toting, gun loving Americans”?
Are automatic weapons and drive-by’s part of the license training now?
Thirdly, do the Greens not realise that there are in fact many gun and hunting clubs already in the Eurobodalla region and none of us so far have been plunged into the pits of hell with our community being over run by blood sport enthusiasts.
Pray tell, what do they think fishing is if not a form of hunting? It is alright to kill numerous fish - native as well as feral, have trophy photos in the newspaper and let the community thrive on the fishing tourist dollars, because that is good economical sense.
But to have the same for feral and game hunting is disgusting, dangerous and morally wrong? How discriminating.
The ads/flyers they are distributing even have pictures of native wildlife in the cross hairs to further mislead the public on what the hunters will be hunting.
If the Greens are so willing to mislead and lie about this issue, how can they be trusted on any other? It is a disgrace and the Greens have lost a supporter and my vote.
Narooma’s reputation risked
THE people of Narooma should stop to consider whether they want their town to be known as the shooting capital of the South Coast. Families would think twice about spending their holidays in such a place.
There are constantly reports of native animals being shot by hunters, whether deliberately or by accident. One day there will be an accident involving bush walkers.
No doubt there are responsible hunters, but if they do not weed out the cowboys from their midst they will all be tarred with the same brush - and so will Narooma.
Wallaby death warning
THIS week brought news that Ballina police are investigating multiple wallaby deaths by gunshot at a nature reserve on the north coast.
Wallabies are not even on the list of permissible animals to be shot and Seven Mile Beach Nature Reserve is not even one of the parks to be opened for shooting.
Blind Freddy can join the dots and see that excesses of this kind are bound to happen if we promote a hunting culture in national parks on the "Nature Coast".
Or should our slogan be "Come to Eurobodalla, spot our beautiful wildlife and then kill it good and proper".
Greens’ values challenged on hunting
I AM appalled at the recent flood of advertising by the Greens, who seem intent on pursuing a vendetta against one of the very few council candidates with a local background and the interests of local residents at his heart.
The Greens, a state-based (ie Sydney based) organisation dedicated to the rights of anything and everything except real heterosexual working people, now oppose the HuntFest proposed by Dan Field, saying that it will bring in the “undesirable” hunting fraternity - many of whom are locals, as it happens.
Their machinations have already undermined tourism here by reducing the areas available for recreational fishing, thus reducing local employment opportunities. Given their “druthers”, they will perhaps make Narooma the gay marriage capital of Australia, or the “Adopt a Feral Animal” capital of the state, while damaging the chances of our local kids to find real work and a future here.
Why party politics is allowed to play a role in local government is beyond me anyway. Surely the interests of local individuals and families in terms of roads, libraries, parks, etc are best left to local individuals with a vested interest in these things, not to large national organisations like the Greens, Labor, Liberal and their ilk, which have other agendas than the welfare of local people at heart?
Let's leave politics out of local government - vote for honesty, integrity and plain speaking: vote 1 Dan Field, 51 The Greens!
Climate heat or hysteria?
It's not that I don't enjoy Neville Hughes's regular columns in the South Coast papers letters sections, I do. I especially like the part where he accuses everyone but himself of hysteria- that bit is hysterical.
Neville's extended technical flailings are a real treat too. I'm just curious about his motivations.
Is he simply concerned as a fellow citizen for Twiggy Forrest, Gina Reinhardt, Clive Palmer et al having to deduct something remotely reasonable in tax from the bazillions they pull in each month from Australian resources?
Is he outraged at the 50c a week the Carbon Tax will slug the average punter? Or could he possibly be on the corporate payroll? Having been "outed" recently in these pages for his letters being a pastiche of straight lifts from the websites of ultra-conservative Liberal think-tanks (very complimentary description) such as the H.R.Nichols Society you might think that Neville would declare any conflict of interest to his waiting public.
Gina R. has paid the living expenses on an Australia wide tour for a full year for the execrable and roundly discredited Lord Monckton to bash climate change science.
She has other paid academics and corporate floozies playing loudly in her band. It wouldn't even be pokie money to Gina to have a few little propaganda merchants beavering away in regional areas.
Given the intrinsic bias against new ideas and anything environmental in rural areas this would even meet with some success.
C'mon Neville, fess up - who's yer Daddy? Or as it might be in Gina's case - who's your big Mama?
Something to consider: last week the surface ice on the Greenland shelf melted by 97 percent over three days, something that normally cautious scientists are calling "astonishing", "a deeply disturbing event".
There are now also changes to the flow of the Gulf Stream which has implications for changed weather events that are nothing short of horrific.
Still feeling relaxed and comfortable? No doubt. Hope you brought your water wings Neville.
Time to help: International Rivers Day
I’M specifically writing to your paper to ask your readers to consider helping with a vital cause that means so much to so many Australians – our rivers.
Sometimes we all put rivers out of sight and out of mind. The reality is, as readers are reading this letter now, that 31 per cent of Australia’s rivers have been damaged in some way, less than 10 per cent of Australia’s iconic Murray Cod are left and numerous species of fish in Australia are under threat.
There has been a lot of abuse and neglect around our rivers. Some have been used as sewers and waste dumping grounds.
Here’s the big positive. On Sunday, September 30th it is World Rivers Day across the planet including Australia. We want schools and communities groups in your local area to consider organising some kind of celebration in the lead up to that day to reconnect with rivers.
We also want people in your local area to send us a photo of their favourite spot on the river locally because we are going to build a big tribute to rivers across Australia. Please send photos to email@example.com
We ask your readers to join us in celebrating local rivers.
All the answers ultimately lie in action. Doing something makes a real difference.
Our rivers – at a local level – deserve nothing less. Our rivers provide jobs, food, tourism, recreation and much more. We want people to reconnect to local rivers.
We know that the water quality of many rivers has been affected. We know river flows have been reduced.
Investing in our rivers right now is investing in tomorrow. Millions will celebrate around the world and every day heroes are everywhere. People can get more information at www.riverfoundation.org.au
Many celebrities will help us push the message. Last year’s supporters included Wil Anderson, Tammy van Wisse, Duncan Armstrong, Icehouse star Iva Davies and more. Be a local hero because rivers are critical to local communities.
Chief Executive Officer,
IT is not only the Greens who oppose the Narooma HuntFest. I am a resident of the Eurobodalla Shire and strongly oppose this so-called event.
I bush walk in the national parks, and regularly record sightings of birds and wildlife for the Eurobodalla Natural History Society. I moved to the Nature Coast because I love nature.
I implore the shire and state authorities to stop this madness which appeases a minority.
South Coast Road
By Leon Trainor
Naturally, nothing's what it seems:
Tilba sells Victorian cheese
underneath Mount Dromedary's
plainly double Bactrian humps.
Tidal swamps, lagoons like dreams;
rocks like sudden thoughts in flat seas
sprout and amaze. Sweet Bermagui's
sunlight filtered through spotted gums
and, always, as we round a hill
the sudden curve of a bay, full
of ocean, make us slow the pace:
arrival without haste or speed
rewards each one who contemplates
with awe and wonder. All we need.