Eden Letters to the Editor, January 10

SES information night

Did you see the SES in action in Merimbula after the recent hailstorm?  It took us a few days to get through all the requests for assistance, even with support from neighbouring SES units. These visible field activities are just part of what our SES volunteers do.

SES members are probably best known for climbing on roofs and cutting down trees – we know these field roles are not for everyone. Locally, as well as new field members, we are very keen to find new members to form an Operations team, who support field teams by answering phones, operating the radio, using SES computer systems to task jobs to teams, organising lunches, keeping track of the accounts, etc. If you can do any one, or more of these, we would love to hear from you.

An SES information night is to be held at the Meirmbula RSL on Wednesday, January 16, 5.30-6.30pm. Come along and find out more about field and operations roles. There will be time after the presentation to ask questions. If you are ready, you can apply on the night and start your training immediately. Please contact me on 0458 737 160 to register your interest. If you can’t make it, please visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au and complete an online application form, or phone me to discuss a unit visit.

Patricia Daly, acting unit commander, Eden Unit, NSW State Emergency Service

Lifesaver bashing

I am just about fed up with the bashing of those that wear the red and yellow uniform that has occurred locally over the past fortnight. Regardless of whether they are a volunteer lifesaver or an employed lifeguard the vitriol that has been directed at these organisations is appalling. 

There have been letters to the editor in our local printed newspaper and comments online from tourists that visit our beaches. Not all factual but hurtful none the less. 

This morning my daughter got verbally abused by a local older surfer who disagreed with the placement of the red and yellow flags as it was within a good surf break. 

This lifeguard challenged with rips, currents and sand banks had to place the flags where it was most safe for the public to swim. That is her job. I hope he is proud of the bad example he set for the younger surfers in the vicinity with his tirade. 

So to those that have an issue with the people that are trying to keep our local beaches safe I say to you, when they paddle or swim out to help you they are risking their own life. When they are directing you on the beaches, answering your questions, watching over you in the surf, remember they are looking after you. 

Please show a bit of respect.

Bronwyn Knox, Merimbula

More worthy projects

Iain Dawson’s disappointment at not receiving a $3.4million Christmas present from the NSW Regional Cultural Fund to replace a well-functioning art gallery that attracts 22,000 visitors per year (just over 60 people per day!) is understandable.

But, I wonder, if substantial funding for what is essentially a replacement bricks-and-mortar visual art gallery would simply have been an example of utilising Regional Cultural Fund money too narrowly. Or perhaps the Regional Gallery and Bega Valley Shire Council should have sought funding for something more than just a visual arts gallery, simultaneously providing spaces for cinema and video, music, dance, local history (including Aboriginal history) displays, a local history and media research facility, even imaginative and stimulating play areas for the area’s young people.

I also can’t help but think there are other worthy, but struggling, local organisations that would be able to significantly benefit the local community if they were to be granted one-tenth - or even one-fiftieth - of that $3.4million. Perhaps it’s time we investigate our real community arts [plural] needs and priorities before yet another funding application is submitted.

Peter Lacey, South Coast History Society

Locals Michael 'Grub' Grubesic, Greg 'Clarky' Clarke and Jason 'Bucko' Buckley cool off at the pub. Picture: Rachel Mounsey

Locals Michael 'Grub' Grubesic, Greg 'Clarky' Clarke and Jason 'Bucko' Buckley cool off at the pub. Picture: Rachel Mounsey