People can change
Laws regarding criminal records mean some convictions for adult offenders will always remain on their records. The effects of this are that offenders find it hard to gain employment, and also may not be able to enrol in some educational courses. They may also not be able to enter certain countries.
While there are certainly some offenders the public needs protection from, there are many who have made mistakes and have taken responsibility for them, and have changed their behaviour. Having a conviction that remains forever puts those who have changed in the same category as those who the wider community does need protection from. The conviction stays with you and so do the consequences, but people change, and this hinders them from changing for the better.
A better solution would be for the conviction to remain on record for five years but for positive actions engaging with the community such as work, education to be recorded alongside it. If after five years there are no other offences, the conviction should only be available to the police.
Tyrone Thomas, Eden
We need good manufacturing industries in Australia especially over the next decades. Australia is in fact in a great position to develop two industries that have huge export and growth potentials, namely green hydrogen and lithium battery production.
Germany recently approached Australia to establish hydrogen production because it plans on not using petrol or diesel engines in the near future. California, the world's fifth largest economy, recently announced that it will get away from petrol and diesel engines too. In addition South Korea and Japan have similar plans.
Australia is well placed to manufacture green hydrogen using solar power, water and open land. Australia has the largest deposits of lithium in the world and we could easily become the biggest manufacturers and exporter of lithium batteries to all these countries that are abandoning fossil fuels for vehicles.
We do not want to repeat the experience of exporting our coal, iron ore and gas without our own manufacturing industries. Let's get cracking and pursue these two growth manufacturing industries.
Jim Kelly, Tathra
Money to burn?
Last year, in the middle of those terrible bushfires, the NSW government refused to cancel the New Year fireworks, despite calls from within its own coalition ranks to do so. Despite the devastation, we were told it was too late to cancel the display.
It's not too late this year, yet the Premier is already promoting the event, three months out, and offering to pay for it, with taxpayer money.
If the government has money to burn (literally) on fireworks, why not invest in twenty-first century technology used in other cities, such as little drones fitted with lights and able to create anything from flags to people to spectacular designs. And they are silent, which would prevent dogs, cats, wildlife, and humans from being alarmed by explosions. Each year, animal centres have to rescue lost dogs who panic and break loose from leads or jump over fences or even through glass windows in an attempt to get away from the terrifying sounds.
Best of all, drones don't leave a pall of smoke over the city, polluting our lungs and acting as an unwelcome reminder of the past year.
Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
Have Your Say
Letters to the Editor on any relevant topic are welcomed. Letters can be submitted via our website at www.merimbulanewsweekly.com.au/comment/your-say/. All letters must include a daytime telephone number for verification purposes only, and the writer's name and home town to be published.