Not another Nat
I believe The Nationals' candidate for Cowper, Mr Pat Conaghan and all other historic Nationals voters, should specifically not vote for The Nationals at the upcoming federal election. My argument is based on the difficulties in operating a business in the federal seat of Cowper for the past 13 years, and the view of the Cowper electorate by other MPs of all political persuasions in Canberra.
To suggest the current Nationals candidate not vote for himself may seem absurd, but before your readers think this letter aims to be a Nationals attack letter, please be aware that I believe our local state MP for Oxley, and Nationals' member, Melinda Pavey has been an excellent local representative. Please also be aware that I have met Pat Conaghan and believe him to be an upstanding member of our community, but the time is not right for Cowper to send another Nationals MP to Canberra.
Some history. I relocated my family and business to Dorrigo in 2006. Our business undertakes research and commercialisation through primarily manufacturing hydroelectric turbines and associated equipment. We employ local people. Almost 99% of our income is from exports. In many ways, we are an Australian success story, particularly for rural Australia.
On occasions my business has come across barriers and challenges related to our exporting activities. These barriers haven't been importing into other countries; it's been trying to export from Australia!
As expected, we have attempted to resolve these issues by contacting the relevant departments and agencies. However, sometimes issues cannot be resolved this way, and we have sourced assistance from our local, now outgoing, MP for Cowper, Mr Luke Hartsuyker. I have regarded his representation as most disappointing, and often perplexing.
I do not know what the preselection process has been for the local Nationals to select their candidate, but sending, potentially, a first-time politician like Pat Conaghan to Canberra will do nothing to help the people of Cowper. Cowper needs a strong MP in Canberra that has experience, knowledge, and a high profile that can bring benefits to, and be a true representative, to the people of Cowper. I am certain the people of Cowper - whatever their political persuasion - will be impressed with what true representation can bring to the people of Cowper.
Peter Lynch, Dorrigo
I have lived in Rigney Rd Brierfield for over 25 years and during that time I have sent a number of letters to Bellingen Council about the condition of our road. At times I have requested the clearing of blocked drainage pipes, roadside slashing and most recently filling potholes and clearing the edges of the road. I have always been impressed with how quickly the maintenance crews have responded. Our road was transformed yesterday and I would like to express my gratitude for the work done. Rigney Rd has been made much safer as a result.
Jeanette Keough, Brierfield
Please, no signage at all
Bellingen as it is now is all we need to "reflect the values of our community and present our own unique brand identity". Bellingen IS what makes Bellingen what it is. We do not need to introduce a collection of varied and questionable "art works" spread through the town that could and probably would only detract from our wonderful village ambience. We do not need to encourage or invite more tourism via signage strategy. The tourists come because they love the village as it is.Recent holiday crowds prove this. As an accommodation provider in Bellingen the feedback I get from guests has always and continues to be "don't change a thing- you'll spoil it". Please leave us as we are. If it's not broke don't fix it.
Wanda Bale, Bellingen