Eden Letters to the Editor, May 16

Curalo needs completing

Some time ago the Bega Valley Shire Council declared the opening of the walking track extension around the northern side of Lake Curalo. The resultant circuit of the lake pathway has been used extensively from the moment of its "completion".

However, issues still remain to be addressed. With the current state of closure of the lake and subsequent water back up, sections of the track have become inundated with water, rendering it unusable. When the eastern section was first constructed and subsequently flooded, discussions were held regarding the need to raise the level of the track to avoid this problem. A number of years later, there has been no effort to remediate this problem, despite funding being found for other walking tracks within the shire.

Additionally, the original proposal put forward by council for the northern track, showed two bird watching/viewing platforms as well as additional seating along the track. Again a number of years have gone by without any action on these issues. It was also proposed by the Eden Foreshore Committee, in its discussions with council, that some form of vehicular access be provided on the northern side of the lake to enable aged/infirm/disabled to access the track. Again, apart from the significant reluctance of council officers to address this issue, nothing has happened.

The Curalo walking track is a significant asset to this town and is utilised by many. It is an asset for tourism and provides access to most of the lake foreshore. Wouldn't it be fantastic if council actually finished the project so it could become an even greater feature of our local environment.

John Walker, Eden

Social license of logging

Open letter to federal election candidates

As a candidate for Eden-Monaro in the coming election, we wish to draw your attention to recent evidence for the loss of the social license of the native forest logging industry.

Research conducted over the past few months, including a major industry funded project is overwhelmingly showing us the industry has lost public acceptance.

Three major national surveys and one local survey establish beyond doubt the vast majority of Australians, including those in your electorate want to see an end to native forest logging.

"Community perceptions of Australia's forest, wood and paper industries: implications for social license to operate," August 2018 is based on responses by some 12,000 Australians across all states and territories in urban and rural areas. It was undertaken by University of Canberra academics on behalf of Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA).

Native forest logging was strongly opposed by some 70% of Australians in urban and rural areas, all age groups, genders and education and income levels. Opposition to native forest logging varied only slightly from state to state.

For the region which includes most of the Eden-Monaro electorate, opposition to native forest logging was higher than for NSW as a whole and very close to the national average.

Further, while in most areas with a significant native forest industry, opposition to it was slightly less than the average. In our area, opposition was higher than average.

A Facebook poll of 28,000 respondents conducted by ABC Gippsland in November 2018 showed that 68% of Australians answered "no" to the question: do you support logging of native forests in regional Australia?

In April 2019, a survey of 1536 undertaken by The Australia Institute asked: To what extent do you support or oppose stopping any more native forest logging and reforesting other areas? The results ranged between 73% for NSW and 80% for WA.

Surely this clearly states the will of the majority of Australians.

Harriett Swift, deputy convener Chipstop

The quirky garden creations of Eden's Sheryl Hennessey have proven a hit with locals and visitors alike at the Great Southern Inn. This is her latest.

The quirky garden creations of Eden's Sheryl Hennessey have proven a hit with locals and visitors alike at the Great Southern Inn. This is her latest.