Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

I was very pleased to see nearly 40 people come to  St Marys Town hall on 10th November for the screening of  “Mary Meets Mohammad”. It was a great opportunity for people to become more educated on the asylum seeker issue occurring in Australia at the moment.  Did you know Australia is the only western nation that has mandatory indefinite detention for asylum seekers arriving by boat?  Did you know Australia receives only 0.3% of the world’s refugees?  Did you know that it costs $450,000 a year to detain someone on Nauru or Manus Island, but only about $30,000 a year if they were  allowed to live in the  community while being processed?

Many thanks to Melanie Norton and her wonderful team from the Salvation Army (Don and Stuart) for providing the electronic equipment for the screening, and thanks to the lovely ladies (I believe it was Michelle, Brittany and Wendy) who helped set up the chairs.  Also, thanks to the Break O’Day Council for providing a fee waiver for the hire of the hall.  Several people have suggested a local group should be formed that could find ways to encourage asylum seekers to come to our area – anyone interested?

Remember, it is not illegal to seek asylum, even if arriving by boat.

Hannah Rubenach, St Marys.

The Say

By Cagerattler…

I try to look at things half full not half empty but I think two things need to be prioritised in the beautiful valley we live in. Both are   related to local government – Streetscape and Camping Grounds (not forgetting Fingal). GET ON WITH IT!

It’s annoying when things stall, even if only  temporarily, but after all the work done by a dedicated crew of  locals and  Councillors it seems that it’ll be a while yet before much more happens on the Streetscape in particular…Is it all to do with the row over parallel/angle parking or sufficient funding?  Time is ticking people…We have major investment happening in the valley over the next few years through mining and tourism, and we need this to be reflected in the continual upgrading of the towns most concerned, Fingal and St Marys, not down the coast somewhere.  I’d love a representative from Council to come out and say that the projects  involved in Streetscape are still well and truly going to happen and that Fingal will not be forgotten either…let’s hear it!

With the Camping Area improvements at the Recreation Ground over recent years the Council should take a lot of credit, well deserved for what we all knew was going to be a winner. There’s still an awful lot to consider and do over there, and these issues can’t be left forever; small steps can lead to huge leaps.  Surely the same applies to  Streetscape? Recently the Campervan people revisited and were catered for  fantastically by the St Marys Sports Centre, which was great for their profile.  It was a terrific weekend all round…this is how it can be done and now it’s time for Council to look at the ‘big picture’ for our valley towns and market and accommodate for needs accordingly.  After all isn’t that what  they’re supposed to be doing anyway…?

What do you think? Rod McGiveron.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor.

I have read and re-read Cagerattler’s article in the Valley Voice (Nov.7th) regarding the proposed streetscape plans for St. Marys, and his sentiments seem to be at odds with those of the majority of St. Marys’ residents and shopkeepers in particular. I was under the impression that very few, if anyone, actually desired the plan to go ahead mainly because of the drastic loss of car parking spaces that would be involved. So is Cagerattler backing this proposal or have I misunderstood him? Certainly the ‘steps’ between pavement and roadway at the front of the shops could do with modification to improve safety, but to my mind the rest of the proposal is totally unnecessary and would have been a waste of money – our money.

Also, it would be refreshing to be able to read something akin to Cagerattler’s previous topics, without referring once again to the Elections.   It is bad enough now having to hear all the hype regarding the forthcoming State elections, without back-tracking to the Federal result whether it is to our liking or not.

Sorry Cagerattler, but that is what I think.

Toni Brewster, Chain of Lagoons.

The Say

By Cagerattler

You all know the esteem or lack thereof in which I hold most politicians these days and at the risk of offending a few                people it serves ourselves right for what we’ve finished up with after the most recent Federal election.

What a comment the PM made the other day suggesting that the Afghanistan war was ‘worth it’…

So it was worth it to see many of our diggers either killed or permanently injured, never to have families of their own or to live normal lives … so that not too long after the last of our blokes leave, this insurgent-infiltrated corrupt country will regress to not much better than it was before. Afghanistan is a place steeped in conflict, tribal warfare, warlords, Taliban, persecution of women and Islamic extremists with no concept of the value of life and if you think there will be any real semblance of lasting peace after our troops are gone you are either stupid, idealistic or plain naïve. The despots in that third world country will rule again in time and I wonder when that happens if our leaders will continue to say it was worth it … I think not.

There’s rumblings out there I’ve heard of late about the seeming curtailing of the Streetscape … many are not happy that the plan is not going on as quickly as it should and no-one in the know is giving a lot away on the subject.

The next couple of years – with the beginning of the new mining ventures and solid real estate tradings – would be the perfect time to really get St Marys and Fingal in particular going. Maybe the councillors representing the area can start jumping a few bones on the ‘bean counter’ ranks and free up a few bucks to get at least some progress in this area…the time is nigh!

What do you think? Rod McGiveron.