Eden Magnet Letters to the Editor, March 14

Mitchies Jetty was the scene of a baptism as people from Eden Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship joined those from Sapphire Life Church on Sunday afternoon.
Mitchies Jetty was the scene of a baptism as people from Eden Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship joined those from Sapphire Life Church on Sunday afternoon.

Knee jerk reaction

I am writing to express my dismay and disappointment at the proposal to remove the signs expressing a Welcome to Refugees In our townships.

Your readers may or may not know, that there are two active groups within the shire who advocate on behalf of refugees in our community and in the broader socio-political context. The Bega Valley Rural Australians for Refugees and the Social Justice Advocates.

It seems like a knee jerk reaction and an expression of ignorance by Councillor Nadin to be making a proposal to remove the signs from the shire, without first consulting with people from these two groups, people who have direct contact with refugee families and the issues that they face.

I convene the local Bega Valley Rural Australians for Refugees group. We meet monthly and would welcome the opportunity to discuss how council could live more fully into its commitment to being a Welcome Town for Refugees.

Education and modelling of support for diversity and tolerance are key to eliminating racism and ignorance in our community.

I do not support Cr Nadin's motion, it seems like the lazy way out.

Skye Etherington, Bega

Lived experience

My mum had a stroke in July 2015. She became paralysed on her right side, incontinent and unable to talk - except for 'yes', which often meant 'no'. She could cry.

I can't fault the nursing home, but during the 1575 occasions I visited her I realised there are limits to medicine. Pain, suffering and agony. By April 2018, Mum had learned to say "I die". I heard this for 88 visits, usually for the whole time, even while she ate.

Mum is free of her three-year ordeal, freed from the horror, but I have the memory of it. I intend in every future election to give my first vote to any voluntary assisted dying party. I could not save my mum, but I can contribute to a future when others can be spared a terrible life.

Bob Grasby, Bega

Thanks for clarifying

I would like to thank Denise Dion for correcting her reporting of my comments at the Australian Conservation Foundation federal candidates’ forum at Merimbula in the online version of the article.

For those who have not seen this, and to expand for those who have, the actual words I used were “Humans are contributing to climate change. There is no denying that, but the issue is to what extent, and what are we going to do. It is a balance, and the problems we have in the climate change debate is that we have two extremes; you are at this end or you at that end.

"I have heard people in here automatically define me as a climate-change denier. I am not, but the debate and the discussion is complex and at the present moment we are not solving it and we are not progressing because people are being pushed into one extreme or the other and unless we listen we will never solve any problems, this being one of them.”

Fiona Kotvojs, Liberal for Eden-Monaro

Worth noting

Richard Ackland, The Saturday Paper’s “Gadfly”, points out that then-Treasurer Scott Morrison scrapped the special income discount for superannuated public servants in 2015, resulting in “a couple of hundred thousand souls losing their Commonwealth pensions", and “in 2014, as social security minister, reduced the aged pension assets test, thereby cutting eligibility for 91,000 part pensioners and reducing the part pension for another 250,000”. As well, “he also increased the threshold for full pensioners thereby in total wiping $ 2.4billion from the pockets of the frail, elderly and retired”.

This should be noted when we have howls of rage from those who have paid no tax because they stand to lose a “refund” from the tax office.

Barry Stevens, Sapphire Coast Branch ALP

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