Letters to the editor

Driving older motorists to distraction

I write to expose the misleading heading to the Registration Notices being posted to car owners.

I am a retired police superintendent, a veteran of the Vietnam war and a Legacy member for 45 years.

I share the plight of a war widow aged 85.  Her husband died 12 years ago and she holds a gold card as a result of his war service in New Guinea.

After purchasing a second-hand vehicle, she obtained what used to be called a green slip from the (insurer) where she had been a member for 31 years.

She has never used a computer. The green slip was paid for and completed before the expiry date, as was the vehicle inspection (pink slip). She understood the registration had been complied with.

She had a doctor’s appointment, but was unwell and asked a friend to drive her in the new vehicle.  A police officer stopped them and advised the car was unregistered and that she was eligible for a fine. On the return journey, another officer stopped the car and advised another fine was made.

Rego stickers are a necessity to remind drivers and police that all payments and formalities have been completed. According to the Registry Office, 11,000 people have been notified that they have broken the law.

This appears to be a revenue creator targeting elderly drivers who have no understanding of computers.

The first officer did not advise, as the car was allegedly unregistered, they should not use the car. Consequently, as they had already received a fine, they continued to the medical appointment. 

Fines of $600 were paid. It would appear the department is taking advantage of elderly people who believe their car has been registered.

Michel Le Bars


Shout the south is missing out

In the lead up to the federal and state elections, I've been watching and waiting with interest to see if any infrastructure expenditure was coming the way of long-suffering Narooma and district residents, who have been waiting some time for improvements.

This week, we hear from Bega MP Andrew Constance that more than $700 million has been spent or promised in the Bega electorate since 2011. Tens, even hundreds of millions have been spent or promised for grandiose water parks, four-lane bridges, two new hospitals, roads around Batemans Bay, a performing arts centre, art gallery, and water upgrades in the Bega valley – the list goes on.

In that time, we've seen one major project in our town - the roundabout in the Main Street, costing a few million dollars. That's it. No community centre, no arts funding, no nothing.

Narooma residents are a proud and resilient lot. We raise money ourselves for projects here, our pool being a good example. At the same time, we watch our rates and taxes being lavished on the places that seem to carry weight. It would be churlish to suggest that the fact that our state representative and mayor are both Batemans Bay based had anything to do with this.

Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten this week promised $200 million for what he described as a new hospital "for the people of Moruya and Batemans Bay": Guess where that will be? We'll end up travelling even further for emergency medical treatment if they move our hospital north, which I'm prepared to bet my house on is the intent.

I wait with great interest to see if we get anything. The cost of the major repairs needed for our pool $2-3 million would be a great start.

Neil Burnside


ON PATROL: Elderly drivers unfamiliar with computers are urged to double check that their vehicle is properly registered.

ON PATROL: Elderly drivers unfamiliar with computers are urged to double check that their vehicle is properly registered.