Letters to the Editor - July 6, 2016
I AM a Cowper electorate voter and this is what has happened to me this past week under the name of democracy.
I live in Coffs Harbour and volunteered with numerous other residents and local volunteers to give out how to vote cards on behalf of all candidates before voting.
There were also three young men wearing National Party t-shirts, giving out National Party how to vote cards to voters.
These young men told me they were National Party employees and were flown from Darwin, Canberra and Sydney to assist the incumbent federal member to win against Rob Oakeshott.
What do these young men know about Coffs Harbour and our need for an energetic and effective voice in Canberra to facilitate improvement for our region? They are simply here because their employer paid them for a week in Coffs.
Then overnight, the six Rob Oakeshott posters I fastened to my front fence on the highway were stolen, and my letterbox was stuffed with smear leaflets about Rob Oakeshott.
I also received an automated call from Malcolm Turnbull warning me against voting for an ondependent and encouraging me to back the National Party incumbent instead.
I am a citizen and a local resident. I have a right to personal choice in the leadership of my region and freedom of speech about my thoughts. I have a right to make a decision about who would best serve me in bringing about improvements.
I am always respectful of the rights of others well.
What has happened to Australian politics that major parties can dump buckets of money into smear campaigns and steal from private property trying to prevent a challenging voice against them?
Susan Seaton, Boambee
WHAT a great job. Sit on your hands for two years and 51 weeks, promise a $12 million medical facility and bingo, you are re-elected. Then back into hibernation for three years.
Imagine what could be achieved for the Coffs community if Cowper elected a politician who worked the entire three years.
Tony Cairns, Safety Beach
Pioneer Park woes
CLEARFELLING the grand eucalypt trees of Pioneer Park really has duped the community, as E Sherwood says (22/6).
We were shown plans and given promises that half of the trees would be retained.
Does this mean that nothing the council or mayor promises can be believed? Or was the mayor also duped by the council manager?
What response will there be? Will the responsible party be sacked?
David McRae, Coffs Harbour
Paradise paved as traffic jams
LAST year I made a submission to Coffs Harbour City Council, by attending a meeting, to plead with them to save Pioneer Park.
I explained that the wellbeing of citizens is greatly enhanced by green space in urban areas, as demonstrated by research done at Melbourne University.
We need the presence of leafy, open green areas to support our mental wellbeing, especially as our city grows more concrete and steel.
The mayor asked me how I would feel if they cut a few trees and put a road through. I replied that I would feel gutted.
She promised me they would only take a few trees from the park.
As is now obvious for all to see, progress does not follow promises.
All the trees are gone, and so has the koala habitat provided there, and the old growth woodland.
Driving into town on the first day the road was closed, in order for Gowings to build their new store, it took me 20 minutes to move from Park Beach Plaza into the central business district.
All this in the name of planning, which by recent studies will be outdated in regards traffic congestion in a few years.
Pave paradise and put up a new Gowings store, and throw in a few false promises and road chaos to make it all ok.
Roger Sharpe, Coffs Harbour
A special thank-you
I WOULD like to thank every single person who attended the 2016 Orara Valley Fair, as well as all those who supported us in so many ways before, during and after the fair.
We had a great day, with wonderful weather and I hope everyone who attended enjoyed it as much as we did.
This major annual event involves a huge amount of work for the many helpers and sponsors who provide their time, skills, experience, muscles, vehicles, dollars, produce, animals, machinery and even their real estate.
Special thanks to Troy Blackman and Waterfall Agriculture and Sharon and Steve Blackmore, who made the fair possible by lending their paddocks so we could effectively triple the size of the Upper Orara Recreation Reserve for this special day.
Few people realise that without the help of these good neighbours, the fair simply could not happen.
While accounts are yet to be finalised, the fair will once again be able to support local community facilities and non-profit organisations by distributing all profits.
Next year's event will be the 40th annual Orara Valley Fair and the members of the voluntary committee are already planning to make it a blockbuster.
We hope to see you there,
Dianne Kingsford-Smith, Orara Fair president