We can do better, we must
Given the recent debate about the destruction of signs welcoming refugees to the Bega Valley, and the attacks against Muslims in New Zealand, I feel compelled to write and express my deep concerns about the role of racism and intolerance in breeding extremism and violence.
Inflammatory rhetoric that demonises a religion or one segment of the population only serves to create a divide which is difficult, if not impossible, to bridge. I would urge everyone that complained about the erection of the signs, to honestly examine their conscience; to put yourselves in their shoes and just take a minute to think about what it would be like to try and escape from a country where you were persecuted.
I am no fan of Islam nor am I a follower of any religion, but I am a defender of justice and fairness. Of treating others as I would want to be treated. That should be the basis of our humanity. Not violence. Not racism.
We can do better, Australia. Indeed, we must, else we will breed more division and violence. That is not where I want our country to head.
Lisa White, Kameruka
Road funds limited benefit
As a recent refugee from Victoria I wholeheartedly agree on essential funding for safer roads for all Australians. However what I didn't understand about the media interviews and your editorial was the funding is for more or less just the duplication of the highway to the Sussex Inlet turn off, with not much less for points further south.
The fatalities and injuries quoted by the local member for the justification of the spending were from the BVSC and Eurodoballa shires. Therefore I would think that although the road trauma and deaths might be reduced for those at the southern end of the Shoalhaven, they will do little for the readership of the Bega News and surrounding areas.
The single lane Princess Hwy is a much greater standard just north of Mogo to the dual carriageway north of Nowra, if this standard was to be replicated down to our part of the world it would reduce death and trauma figures quoted more than the duplication to the Sussex Inlet turn off. While the state Minister of Transport may put his spin on it for the South Coast, very little actually affects his constituents who elect him, even though the road trauma figures do, greatly.
Matter of trust
The current ocean outfall sewage treatment for Merimbula is a matter of trust.
We, the residents of Bega Valley Shire, should trust the elected council and their appointed experts and specialists (both local and those from further afield). They have carefully investigated and researched all the options for the sewage treatment. They have taken considerable time to do so.
We should trust the specialists' advice - based on education, training, science and years of experience. They are employed by the council to make decisions that benefit Bega Valley Shire, not ones to hinder or ruin the shire and its residents.
We should be thanking the council for employing these experts and specialists and for considering all options available. We should be thanking them for diligence, thoroughness and preparedness. We should be listening to and then heeding the advice of the Bega Valley Shire Council and its team of scientists for this important issue.
Jenny Weber, Bega
Congratulations to all the Bega Valley schools who had students participate in the Climate Strike on March 15. Goal 2 of the Melbourne Declaration (the document the Australian Curriculum is based on) is that students become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens. We saw these informed and engaged students and their supporters across Australia and in Bega on Friday.