I just wanted to send a shout out to this fabulous kid who was cleaning up Stumers Creek this Sunday morning on April 16. As a reluctant runner I was keen to stop for any good reason. Being somewhat curious I stopped to see what this young man was doing. It turned out that he was throwing a magnet on a rope into the creek on the bridge – “trying to pull up a shopping trolley” to which I immediately said, “this sounds like a good idea – how can I help”? Together, after finding a nearby neighbour who fashioned up an open clamp on a trusty rope, we ‘fished’ out two trolleys. This was not easy, and a couple of other runners were called to action. Hopefully Coles can swing by and pick up and refurbish the two trolleys and I would think the young fishers who enjoy this little spot will find relief from being tangled on these trolleys. I teach sustainability at our local University, and I am often asked what we can do to alleviate what seems like an overwhelming and confronting problem of biodiversity loss and climate change. Well, the answer is so many things! First, like this young man is showing us, is to do something simple and leave places better than when you found them.
Dr Theresa Ashford,
After observing wind turbines in the sea, off the western coast of Scotland, it is disappointing Australia is behind in cleaner energy installations and harnessing what is obviously a powerful wind source. We know that this is the future, but we cannot just close down coal mines and gas projects overnight. It is a slow and expensive process to change, regardless of the rhetoric.
It has been 250 years of industrialisation which has brought us to this point of contemplation. We must NOT throw out the baby with the bathwater, regardless of urgency. Innovative businesses have already converted to solar or wind turbine power sources. The transition is costly and impatience makes no progress quicker.
Australian home owners have the highest number of solar installations globally. We have sunshine and wind-power aplenty.
Higher energy costs, due to global insecurity, have highlighted the precarious predicament we find ourselves in at home. Fuel and power supply and prices are vulnerable to changes globally. Demand and the cost of transport impact the market here. Higher costs are hurting the supply chains, so the cost of living has skyrocketed. The prohibitive cost of electric and hybrid vehicles is beyond the reach of the majority, suffering a record cost of living crisis. The majority can’t afford these expensive, desirable alternatives.
When we read of record profits from energy retailers, banks, supermarket chains and fuel companies, we wonder if the economic and social status quo is being exploited with government blessings, due to the tax benefits. Our politicians on both sides are equally responsible for the delay in converting our energy systems to cleaner power sources. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. After almost 12 months in the job, the Federal Treasurer has simply stated the obvious, without immediate solutions or economic relief for its 25 million constituents. And we wait.
Is it true that someone is going to make Australia great again? Screeches have been given involving racism, bigotry, false claims and other such trumpets. Will this make Australia great again? Just asking for a friend.
Later this year we will be voting on a referendum to change our Constitution to at long last recognise the original inhabitants of Australia and to enshrine in the Constitution an advisory body, a Voice, which will enable Indigenous people to make representations to Parliament and executive government.
Indigenous people will be asked to vote for those who they wish to represent them on the advisory body.
There are a lot of lies and ill-informed information being spread about the Voice. It will not have the power to insist on any legislation. The questions being put spell out that the Voice may make representations and the Parliament shall have legislative power over it. The key words are “may” and “shall”.
Preparation of legislation to put to Parliament goes through many processes and is the result of much research and lobbying by politicians, public servants, special interest groups and businesses. The Voice will enable Indigenous people to make submissions to politicians and public servants about issues which will directly affect them.
Since we have failed to close the gap between the quality of life for Indigenous Australians and the rest of us, isn’t it time we did things differently? Isn’t it time we empowered them to have a real say in how they are governed?
Recent ruminations by conservative voices questioning the viability of the NDIS should quicken the pulses of all modern Australians. Sure, the discussion at this stage revolves around funding sustainability, something we all want, but one could easily counter – if corporate profits are strong and mineral resource sales steady – then that is all you need to know about NDIS funding!
You see the fundamental point of the NDIS is what type of society do we wish to be a part of? Answer – capitalism is not about you and your wealth, it is and always will be a collective enterprise to which the goal is to better the lives of ALL humans everywhere ALWAYS. That is the reason for technological development driven by the hard work done at all levels of society. It is part of the Christian ethic that underpins western civilisation. So, to attack the NDIS for any reason other than which super profits should be taxed to pay for it is unethical and nasty.
HEART HEALTH CHECK
Heart disease is Australia’s leading cause of death and tragically takes the life of one Australian every 30 minutes. The good news is heart disease is largely preventable. The bad news? Our best tool for heart disease prevention – the Medicare Heart Health Check – is about to expire.
We are seeking a guarantee from the Australian Government that funding will continue beyond 30 June this year.
Nearly 440,000 Australians have seen their GP for a Medicare subsidised Heart Health Check since they were introduced.
The Heart Foundation is asking the Government to invest $11.5 million per year, to continue subsidising Heart Health Checks into the future.
This is a relatively small investment compared to the $1 billion in healthcare costs that could be saved with broad uptake of Heart Health Checks in high-risk Australians and more importantly, the 67,000 heart attacks, strokes and heart disease related deaths that could be prevented over five years.
It’s not too late for your readers to take action: I urge you to please help us save Medicare Heart Health Checks by signing our petition, writing to local MPs and sharing the petition with friends and family.
To take action, please visit www.heartfoundation.org.au/save-heart-checks
Chief Executive Officer
National Heart Foundation of Australia
KEEP COOLUM GREEN
Following a piece in the Coolum Advertiser by Frances Windolf titled “When Coolum Was Green’, I draw attention to a development that is currently underway on the western side of Grandview Lane in Coolum Beach.
It is a disappointment that this development was allowed to proceed following the fact that the Sunshine Coast now has official recognition as a UNESCO Biosphere. This is an important program to be part of as biosphere reserves are ‘learning places for sustainable development’.
It is difficult to place this development in the category of ‘sustainable development’. The erection of a 1.8 metre temporary/permanent metal fence abutting Grandview Lane, the removal of flora and fauna to create saleable lots does not appear to be a ‘sustainable development’.
Residents of the area have been heart broken by the swamp wallabies and kangaroos hitting their bodies against this fence trying to find a way through on their normal routes. Not to mention the fact that lizards, snakes, bandicoots, possums and other fauna could be caught or injured by this fence and suffer badly. What will happen to all the wildlife once the development is complete? We can only assume they will perish as their habitat will be destroyed. Surely not a ‘sustainable development’
Let’s keep Coolum green for the current and future generations