Merimbula Letters to the Editor, November 22

HIGH FLYER: Eden Marine High School Year 12 graduate Lachlan Considine is the recipient of a national secondary school award for excellence.

HIGH FLYER: Eden Marine High School Year 12 graduate Lachlan Considine is the recipient of a national secondary school award for excellence.

No surprises from dental association

While I will admit to a passable resemblance to Tyrannosaurus Rex, I wonder if Rose Ferguson (MNW, 15/11) I would apply the same dinosaur description to the following advocates of fluoridation: the World Health Organisation; the Centres for Disease Control; the National Health and Medical Research Council; The Australian Dental Association; the Australian Medical Association; the federal, state and territory governments.

The sad part of the current council episode is that the longer the children in the non-fluoridated areas of the shire have to wait, the poorer their long-term dental and overall health will be, other things being equal, relative to the children in the fluoridated parts of the shire. It is not surprising that the dental association recommends that water fluoridation be handled by state governments rather than local councils.

Dr Robert Bain, Broadwater

Nanny state

Seen now in local Woolworths are the signs “the introduction of a new NSW Government litter reduction scheme will mean that the price of many beverages will be increasing in our stores”. This is to fund a proposed Container Deposit Scheme mischievously termed by government “Return and Earn”. It will surely make many of us feel warm and cuddly as it is designed to reduce the amount of littered drink containers, estimated at about 160 million each year across NSW. But will it work? South Australia has had a CDS since 1977 but is not the cleanest state in the country. Victoria comes top, having reduced litter by almost 60 per cent over the past eight years. Victoria’s approach combines public awareness with convenient infrastructure, identifying litter hot spots and installing appropriate bins to create social norms. 

Census data from 2016 shows that for the Bega electorate the over 65 age group is virtually double the state average (28.4 per cent v 15.8 per cent). It is ludicrous to think that the elderly of the Bega electorate will be able to “take their empty bottles and cans to more than 500 collection points across the state and more than 800 reverse vending machines located in high foot traffic areas like beaches and sport stadiums”. Few will be able to readily avail themselves of the refunds. The net effect is simply an increase in cost, hurting the poor and aged more than anyone else. 

With a focus on bottled water, beer and soft drinks this scheme cannot be anything but a direct new tax on the poor and the aged. With entrepreneurs importing reverse vending machines since 2015, costs will be significant. It is estimated (Daily Telegraph, August 1, 2017), that the cost of a 24-can pack of soft drink or beer could rise up to $4.80 each. Together with skyrocketing power bills, why is our state government also increasing our cost of living through this CDS? Surely our state government has more important things to manage! Our Premier Gladys Berejiklian needs to do another ‘backflip’ to cancel this ill-considered scheme.

Chris Young, Merimbula

Do the maths

Flying school will operate Mon-Sat 7am-6pm; Sun and public holidays 8am-6pm. That equates to 76 operational hours per week. They propose to train 1200 students/year. Each student will fly for 30 hours (a conservative estimate as the average is 30 to 40 hours) So, 1200 students x 30 hours = 36,000 flying hours/year. This is equivalent to 3000 flying hours/ month. Or 750 flying hours/ week. Dividing the weekly flying hours by the weekly operational hours: 750 / 76 = 9.8 flying hours per operational hour. So that is a minimum of 10 planes in the air for almost 11 hours per day every day of the year. This is a conservative estimate it could be 25 per cent worse. This will increase the background sound level of the Bega Valley to levels of heavy city traffic for 11 hours a day.

Steve Jackson, Bega