Letters to the editor October 16

Friends of Kalang Headwaters making colourful posters in preparation for the street march on Saturday October 19
Friends of Kalang Headwaters making colourful posters in preparation for the street march on Saturday October 19

Maelstrom in Mylestom

BSC plan to build a 2.5m concrete pathway along the riverbank at Mylestom. Among local residents and visitors, a storm is brewing.

It appears three main elements have led to community division and disquiet over this proposal. 1. Flawed consultation process - many residents were unaware of this proposal until it had been submitted and approved. This sadly divisive issue may have been avoided if thorough community consultation had taken place. 2. Flawed and non-transparent political process - Council has been reluctant to share information on why they auspiced this proposal without ensuring broad community support and how this project meets grant criteria stipulated by the state government. 3. A project design that will dominate and damage the landscape, natural beauty and amenity of the riverside in the village of Mylestom. Environmental grounds alone should have been sufficient to quash this proposal before it was submitted.

The 2.5m wide concrete path would result in: removal of mature trees from riverbank; damage to roots of existing trees; removal of grass cover from riverbank; relocation of picnic tables; loss of natural space, amenity and ambience; riverbank being split into two zones; adverse impact to unique 'village' feel of Mylestom.

Joni Mitchell warned us fifty years ago "You don't know what you've got till its gone"! Don't let council Pave this Paradise. Could all those who care about retaining this peaceful, natural space please visit BSC Create website and voice your concerns.

Lizzy Wilkins, Mylestom

Unprecedented Means Never Ever Before

One must be brave or stupid to express an opinion on any of the following. I am not brave. Thank the lord at 76, I won't live to see the end of civilization. Someone's granddaughter, 11 years old, says, 'Pop is the world going to end in 12 years?' She picked this rubbish up at school. To be feeding our kids this alarmist propaganda must surely have serious implications.

Promoted by a voracious media, this sort of stuff goes on and on. The gender phenomenon where once, one can remember that joyous moment at birth it's a boy or it's a girl. Can't be sure anymore, as more young are confused and questioning their gender. Children today are more informed at an earlier age on some subjects, but many are still children into their twenties.

Pacific Islands are being inundated via rising sea levels, yet the sea level recording station at Fort Denison, which supposedly provides indisputable records, shows since 1914 when records commenced the sea level has actually fallen in 2019 by 6cm.

Then we have the recent bushfires, with claims our 80 million year old Gondwana rainforests are burning. The recent fire north of Dorrigo which burnt out an enormous area consisted mainly of eucalypt forest and grazing land with pockets of rainforest. Tropical and subtropical rainforest does not burn, but does at a reduced intensity on the fringes and does on occasions trickle deeper in, but peters out without destroying the rainforest. Eucalypt forests, as opposed to rain forests, are highly flammable. Eighty million year old Gondwana rainforest burning. Unprecedented which means never before is a bit of a stretch. I can't even remember my wedding anniversary or wife's birthday after 54 years so how could anyone quote 80 million years and claim unprecedented.

Every major weather event these days is attributed to climate change with that word unprecedented now the norm. The recent fire event claimed as never before in September, but as claimed by a retired ex forester, September 1968 fires on the eastern side of the divide in NSW ignited, lasted for 64 days, burnt two million hectares, 14 lives lost, 156 homes lost. Never would I downplay the recent fires or drought in large areas of eastern Australia but let's not dismiss all those catastrophic events before climate change was born. I'm not a climate change sceptic, but 76 years not long enough to be sure, but I say leave our kids free of scare mongering and brainwashing, which may lead to irreparable damage. Probably too late, with so much rubbish already indoctrinated into our education system, kindergarten, University and out into the public service. The younger generation, many who have never heard that word NO, crying, we won't give back any of those goodies you have endowed upon us but you created climate change so you fix it.

Darcey Browning, Thora

Special place

Only a short drive from Bellingen, 20km up the Horseshoe Rd past amazing vistas on either side of the well constructed road, one comes to the Baalijin Nature Reserve. It is beautiful up there, looking out over both sides of the very steep ridges with ancient cycads, grass trees and dry sclerophyll forest. As you round the bend you arrive at the blockade on state forest land. Established at the junction of two roads, the camp is on the only flat land to be found. Some great infrastructure has been built and with stone pillars ,a bamboo fence and tripod ,it looks like a fort. There is a portaloo and a proper kitchen, with plumbed sink and gas cooking facilities. There is all you need for a family picnic and a campover. State forests belong to the people of NSW and it is legal to be there. Quiet and peaceful, the camp is clean and orderly. It is manned by a dedicated team of friendly, concerned citizens. These people come from all walks of life.There are self funded retirees, schoolteachers, nurses, builders and students. What they do have in common is a deep desire to protect what is our rightful heritage, a natural forest with large old growth and rainforest remnants, rich in biodiversity and endangered species. This is also the water catchment of both the Bellingen and Kalang Rivers. Our government needs to protect it. I spent a delightful 24 hours up there, finding out for myself what this area has that is so special.It was a great experience. I encourage others to do the same.

Louise Cranny, Kalang

How far have we progressed

In 'olden times' people were said to believe someone was a witch if they survived a dunking in water; if they drowned they were considered innocent mortals. If someone was considered depressed or otherwise not normal, they were treated with inhuman tortures to deter the evil spirits.

Those were the days when evidence-based practices were ignored in favour of ideology. Now we have advanced to an enlightened society through science and evidence-based practice!

In this enlightened age, we make innumerable direct and indirect measurements that verify climate changes, we understand and refine the cause and effect processes underlying them, and then implement policies that ignore the facts entirely. We watch the causes build up, with emissions rising for six years straight, and experience the effects of bushfires and droughts of extra ferocity, more and more, and we say 'we are doing our bit' and will hit our targets 'in a canter'.

We see inequality increase steadily, punish the disadvantaged and say 'we use compassionate conservatism' to encourage 'having a go'. We pit economics against the environment as if they are competing rather than complementing parts of the same.

We label fossil fuel use as jobs and stability, where in recent years coal-fired power has dominated the black-outs and load-shedding while renewables keep generating jobs. We implement a Water Plan worth $12 billion to allocate water rationally, while destroying the regulatory monitoring functions in the Dept. of Agriculture, to the point that water meters were removed, not measured or not even installed. The rorts follow. Then we blame the drought.

We spend billions on disrupting sea-based immigration, as a threat to proper processing, while air-based immigration accelerates unchecked and leads to booming rackets in refugee exploitation. How good is Australia? What a triumph. See how far we have progressed since the Middle Ages!

Paul Bryce, Bellingen

Farewell Coup

I am certain I am not alone in saying trips to the tip will never be the same. Coup was always there with a smile and a friendly chat, a real and regular part of our community. I will miss him, be at peace Coup, and loving thoughts to his family .

B.Stollery, Bellingen