Merimbula Letters to the Editor, April 17

Gavin and Kerryn Granger of Pambula Surf Life Saving Club recently ran an IRB crew and drivers course. Local teens as young as 15 attended to do their crew training.
Gavin and Kerryn Granger of Pambula Surf Life Saving Club recently ran an IRB crew and drivers course. Local teens as young as 15 attended to do their crew training.

Airport extensions...again!

Great to see ex-Premier Nick Greiner along with Eden-Monaro candidate Fiona Kotvojs in Merimbula talking about the runway extensions, etc. Remember Malcolm Turnbull coming down here three years ago and promising the same.

Are we stupid down here or what!

John Verhelst, Merimbula

Regional priorities

Looking out at our beautiful bay on April 3 the ocean was perfectly calm and a large school of salmon was leaping out of the water chased by an equally large pod of dolphins. What a great sight. Eat your heart out David Attenborough.

With Easter holidays coming up tourists to our area will be thrilled to experience such natural wonders. Charter boats will be flat out and beach anglers will be ecstatic.

Next morning, however, I checked the bay again. This time I could see no fish or dolphins, just a commercial fishing boat which had cleaned up the lot working just beyond the surf break.

I could accept this if the catch was to feed the hungry, but no, the only commercial value in salmon is as pet food. The other problem with fishing in this close is, of course, the smaller fish which are killed but slip through the net make a perfect shark attractant right on our beaches.

What we need is a no commercial fishing zone inside a line between Green Cape and Tathra. Tourism is the future of this region, not cat food.

Robert Corlett, Merimbula

Concerns misplaced

The concerns about the Office of Environment and Heritage (OE&H) being dissolved are misplaced. The fact is we don't need an independent scientific assessment to tell us there has been a significant reduction of conservation values in national parks, and forests generally, over the past two decades.

The independent reviewer of the Regional Forest Agreements, former Victorian chief fire officer Ewan Waller, expressed his concerns that submissions focused on native forest logging, rather than the fate of threatened species, supposedly protected in national parks.

One example is the extinction of koalas in the South East National Park, due to dieback. Twenty years since the first extensive canopy dieback event, there is still no consideration of, or action on this threat. Indeed, the ongoing belief in the OE&H is that there was something wrong with the koalas, rather than the degraded habitat is no longer able to support the species.

Mr Waller also expressed concerns about a lack of transparency regarding forest and threatened species monitoring. Despite the fact that money wasting koala surveys have been ongoing for the past 13 years, there are no publicly available records from these surveys for the past six years.

The RFAs are supposed to be based on the National Forest Policy Statement. While the state government's management is not founded on the NFPS, our environment will continue to decline, and paying for agencies that ignore this fact benefits no-one.

Robert Bertram, Bermagui

Too much meat

Animal rights is the current "big issue". The meat industry is a huge juggernaut. I'm no vegan, but we eat way too much meat. There is no fibre in animal protein. Ask anyone that's survived bowel cancer. We have so many food options and supplements in the first world. This is different to people living in marginal climates that rely on animals to convert indigestible plant fibre into edible protein.

Just because we have vast grasslands doesn't mean we transpose the European farming model on to them. Horticulture and aquaculture are far less brutal forms of farming but if you're adamant that the unchecked eating of meat is normal you should at least be familiar with how animals are raised and slaughtered.

John Cafe, Bega

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