Letters to the editor

Get the goods in

Please allow me space in your paper to complain.

We’re told to support our town by buying locally – and I do when I can – but if the shop doesn’t make the items we want available, what choice do we have?

I often hear people complain that they can’t buy ladies’ Bonds cotton singlets or Cottontails locally anymore.

Well I was right out of them, so I went to Big W in Warwick and spent quite a few dollars restocking. I also got a $7 men’s flannelette shirt there.

So come on, if you want our money to be spent in your shops, get the goods in.

R Butler

Tenterfield

Integrity in public sector leadership is good

The recent change of direction for the NSW fire and emergency service levy (FESL) is a welcome demonstration that our elected representatives do sometimes get incomplete advice and need to revisit policy and practice, in order to properly demonstrate good faith to their constituents.

Feedback from ratepayers and taxpayers may not always be convenient, particularly for the public servants, but the public servants do serve the politicians elected by the community and the process and advice needs to always be transparent, evidenced, consistent and reflect the public undertakings and documents.

The NSW government has apparently realised that the public process and undertakings do not reflect the public/taxpayer reality for the FESL levy.

It would be nice to see similar public recognition by our local leader to similarly ensure that the council decision on mandatory Mt Lindesay Road bins is formally ceased at the Tenterfield Council June 2017 meeting.

 This is another instance where the process and public documents since 2016 do not reflect the reality for the majority of the affected ratepayers, especially for the very different communities spread over the 134 k of rural, mountainous roads.

I'm sure in both examples the public servants have given plenty of advice about wasted effort, potential loss of gross revenue and setting precedents, but transparency, consultation and integrity are important priorities for governments providing needed and relevant real services to their communities.

Real Service comes before maximise revenue and after evidenced ratepayer consultation.

Pseudo services come after maximise gross revenue and ignore or avoid public consultation.

The recent Tenterfield Council survey was undertaken by their officers and any reasonable assessment of the formal responses received by council would confirm the majority do not support the need for nor continuation of the mandatory bins along Mt Lindesay Road.

Please remember "we're listening to you" and the multiple instances of ratepayer feedback and please "stop the mandatory Mt Lindesay Road bins" by the current approval date of 30 June 2017.

An opt in option is supported, especially for those who are resident ratepayers and those who live long distances from waste transfer stations.

C Jaques

Liston NSW

Deafblindness more common than you think

With Deafblind Awareness Week just around the corner (24-30 June), I am writing to urge readers to take some time to consider the many challenges that people with dual sensory loss in our community experience every day.

Deafblindness is a lot more common than people might think. There are now 288,000 people in Australia who experience this condition and this number is expected to exceed one million by 2050.

It’s a remarkable number and one that is estimated to be costing Australia $10 billion in hidden costs.

This year, Able Australia is celebrating its 50th birthday. Starting out in 1967 as a small parents support association for children born without sight or hearing, the organisation has since grown into a national not-for-profit organisation which supports more than 4000 people with multiple disabilities (including deafblindness) and those in need of social or community assistance. 

Every day, Able Australia supports people with deafblindness to remain socially connected to their local community and assist them to live life the way they choose. It’s a myth to believe the general community cannot communicate with deafblind people who can now communicate very effectively with others through mobile devices connected to a portable braille device.

However more support is needed. People with deafblindness have unique communication needs and require a great deal of one-to-one support to interact with the local community.

Unfortunately many of these requirements are not covered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This Deafblind Awareness Week, I encourage everyone to contemplate what life would be like without sight or sound and to consider making a donation to support our efforts to deliver a better life experience for the deafblind community.

Many well-known Australians have kindly lent their support to this awareness week and our 50th birthday celebrations already, including Beaconsfield miner Brant Webb, Icehouse star Iva Davies, Ironman Guy Leech and author Di Morrissey.

If you would like to help or just want to find out more, just call 1300 225 369 or visit www.ableaustralia.org.au.

Duncan Armstrong

Olympic Gold Medallist