Chance for respectful debate on sanctuaries

Congratulations to the WIRES Mid South Coast team and Catalina Scouting mental health advocate Paul Hamer.

The team and Mr Hamer have separately won their divisions in the South Coast Volunteer of the Year awards.

Who can forget the trauma wildlife endured during the bushfires? We are grateful the hundred or so members of our WIRES branch stepped up to care for badly burned creatures, such as the eastern grey joey Qantas. Our online pictures show how savagely he was burned and a faint-hearted carer may have given up.

Lorita and Kevin Clapson, of East Lynne, and other WIRES carers from Milton to Tilba open their hearts, homes and invariably wallets to save the lives of such creatures - and then release them to their natural habitat.

Mr Hamer volunteers in a different but no less important field. If ever one was to struggle with anxiety and depression, this would be the year to do so, regardless of your age or situation. We congratulate these and all our volunteers and wish them the best in the state event.

Wednesday's "Sanctuary stoush" story quickly netted its share of comment, as our online letters and those on pages two and three of today's print edition show.

It is not often we dedicate two news pages to letters, but clearly this issue has hit a nerve - again.

We have copped criticism in some quarters for publishing opposing view points and in others for "framing" the issue as a "stoush".

A submarine remains a submarine, submerged or not. Bringing it to the surface does not change its nature. So too with a perennially contentious issue such as this.

Views and desires are polarised, but we agree with Bill Barker that this conversation must be conducted with respect and dignity. An open discussion with diverse views is as important as a bio-diverse marine environment. However, as with climate change, the buck stops with science and evidence trumps opinion.

We look forward to sharing the research.

The Batemans Bay Community Centre issue is once again stressing out community groups. The time to rethink the arrangements at this centre is a couple of years down the track - when the Mackay Park project is complete and all community groups have a permanent fit-for-purpose home.

This story Chance for respectful debate on sanctuaries first appeared on Bay Post-Moruya Examiner.

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