letters to the editor

Wolumla Public School parents and community members were treated to a day of entertainment and hospitality as the school’s annual open day. Photos and story online.
Wolumla Public School parents and community members were treated to a day of entertainment and hospitality as the school’s annual open day. Photos and story online.

 Lumen pick-up/no park zone

Principal Steve Centra declared that “We have never had any accidents at Pambula Beach Road”. 

Just as one may not have expected one of the teachers to be charged with child sex offences, who can predict that a serious accident will not occur at pick-up or drop-off, with some potentially tragic consequences.

Bernard Lagarenne, Merimbula

FOGO in action

I commend the council on the proposed introduction of a FOGO food and organics collection. 

I take the liberty to assume there will be a financial penalty to the residents for this.

If this is the case, will there also be exemption for those of us who already have and use compost bins and chooks for all our food scraps, and therefore will have no need for the kitchen caddie and collection, which I believe will be a weekly collection?

Henrietta Burgess, Tathra

Recycling – does it work?

The Boomerang Alliance of 47 groups has called for three urgent reforms on the waste and recycling industry. Lack of support for recycled content in products, slack enforcement by regulators and no landfill levy in Queensland has created a perfect storm threatening the crucial environmental and economic gains from recycling.

Environment ministers and regulators need more effective in the use of their enforcement powers. NSW in particular moves too slowly and appears to tolerate shoddy practices. Cheap dumpers push recyclers out of the market and this prevents the rapid transition to reuse of resources and results in lost opportunities to create jobs and environment protection. NSW has the legal powers and the Minister should order an urgent review of how they are being applied. 

It is essential that government and businesses require recycled content in their purchasing contracts for roads, construction materials, packaging and other items. Australia could be more self-sufficient in resources and have a bigger manufacturing sector if we had a stronger domestic market for recyclables such as for recycled glass in roadworks and construction sand. Container deposit schemes will improve the quality of glass drink bottles in the recycling stream and open up more conversion to bottles. 

Jeff Angel, Boomerang Alliance director

Bushfire management

I expect many residents share Rod Llewelyn's concerns about the loss of NPWS staff and the consequences of potential delays suppressing unplanned fire.

The problem is that the NPWS's Enhanced Bushfire Management Program has no scientific basis and does not reduce the potential for wildfire. 

Indeed, any credible assessment would confirm that deliberately burning these heavily disturbed and grossly mismanaged forests actually increases the wildfire hazard. The reason for this outcome stems from the death of species that are intrinsic to natural plant succession, as the forests attempt to return to a more stable ecosystem. Deliberately killing these trees and again removing all of the ground cover essentially 'resets' the succession timeline, repeating the mistakes of the past.

Arguably more sensible is a management system aimed at reducing the threat and impact of wildfire, that accounts for the seral stages of forest growth, retains ground cover and provides local employment.

A logical starting point would be physically reducing the current volume, being tens of thousands of tonnes, of woody biomass immediately adjacent to public roads. 

Over abundant woody biomass is a common feature along most roads through forests, Dr George Mountain road, managed by Bega Valley Shire Council being a good example. As council is also apparently now responsible for water catchments, it seems logical for it to be taking the lead role addressing these issues. 

Robert Bertram, Bermagui