Letters to the editor 21/05/24

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Dear editor,  

It‘s a winning trifecta the way opportunity shops reduce the cost of good clothing while reducing the waste stream and raising money for good causes. But wait there’s more. 

I was at a Salvos when ‘Lyn’ (pseudonym) entered breathlessly in baggy old jeans and a flannelette shirt from handling a cow. She apologised profusely to the volunteers and staff as she was on a last-minute mission to secure a stylish outfit to attend a wedding in a few hours. 

With the cost-of-living crisis, opportunity shops do a roaring trade. 

Lyn then darted about trying different outfits and accessory combinations with the guidance of the manager who said that the shop has volunteers who help style clients for a special occasion or meetings. 

Lyn quickly morphed into a Cinderella princess who looked like she was going to a wedding. 

Annually, Salvos Stores resell more than 40 million items helping the Salvation Army provide more than 1.8 million sessions of care. 

With a spring in her step, the Salvo Cinderella was supremely confident that she would be looking a million dollars for a few dollars. 

Garry Reynolds, 

Peregian Springs. 



Dear editor,  

Your correspondent E. Rowe criticises the national government for what they think is its “obsession” to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. They believe that planning for future challenges is “too difficult”. It is not technically difficult to slow climate change and that should be an urgent priority. We are seeing the extreme events that the science was warning about more than thirty years ago – catastrophic fires and floods. 

Using cleaner energy like solar and wind makes economic sense. So does using energy more efficiently, reducing waste and saving us money. The problem isn’t that our governments are obsessed with slowing climate change. The problem is that they are so obsessed with short-term economic growth that they approve expansion of the coal and gas industries, accelerating climate change rather than slowing it. Our children and grandchildren will pay a heavy price for those decisions. Sadly, there is no hope of anything better from the coalition, with their loopy promotion of nuclear power. Even if we weren’t worried about accidents, security and radioactive waste, nuclear reactors take many years to build and their power costs three or four times as much as energy from solar farms or wind turbines. We urgently need a coherent energy policy that plans for the long term. 

Ian Lowe, 




Dear editor,  

The cry from those who really don’t appreciate the dynamics of Domestic Violence is: “Why doesn’t she leave?”  Those subject to the traumas, or who’ve escaped, ask: “Why doesn’t he stop?”  Women and children at the receiving end of walking on eggshells, coercive control or physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, suffer societal ignorance, or lack of empathy, from a public oblivious to this scourge corroding the foundations of our society.   

There is little comprehension of the true price Australia pays for such devastation to families and individuals, at the receiving end of perpetrators. Much is to do with gender inequality, mental illness, poor self-control, addictions and frustrations. Are our police educated in seeing it for what it is? 

Yet another form of abuse is to manoeuvre the pathways of getting justice or getting away. 

With little or no financial support, scenarios many victims find themselves in, getting out is half the challenge, especially with children in tow, contemplating housing, expensive legal fees and often poor communication skills, particularly for victims with no English.  

Decisions to stay with perpetrators, is often the only option, when it comes to such difficult challenges.  Escaping conflict is the most dangerous time. The Family Law Court is a bridge too far for victims with or without financial support. Legal representative is expensive. Victims watch their perpetrators drag them through expensive custody battles, keeping up the momentum, knowing it will lead to poverty.   

With governments and the legal system designed by men, how can they possibly fully appreciate the depth of reality for women facing this nightmare daily?  

E. Rowe, 




Dear editor, 

It is reassuring to know that police numbers have been boosted by the Miles government’s successful recruitment campaign with the addition of 500 extra sworn officers and 400 unsworn officers. 

New Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said, “Additional resources will assist us in our commitment in keeping the community safe and ensuring they feel safe.” 

There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation about crime rates which are in fact falling. Those sowing the seeds of fear and uncertainty about our security and well-being should be ashamed. As a senior person I feel very safe at home and moving about in our community. 

With police numbers increasing and more providing more resources like the Polair helicopters, the Queensland government is taking action to prevent and disrupt crime and it is working. 

Robyn Deane, 

Bli Bli.  



Dear editor,  

Dear Ted O’Brien….did you happen to watch 60 Minutes recently? If not then please find it and let me know if you agree with an Australian citizen being imprisoned in solitary confinement, courtesy of our GAPA (Great and Powerful Ally). His name is David Duggan – falsely accused of providing material/experience, call it what you will, to the Chinese when he was a flight instructor in South Africa circa 2012. Why did it take more than eight years for our GAPA to decide that he needs to be made an example of? 

Mr Duggan is the father of six Australians who with his wife are fighting for his release and the reunification of this family;  who drive from Orange to visit him every Sunday…how great is that?  

I am ashamed to be Australian, this matter plus that of our Julian Assange, who for exposing the criminal acts of our GAPA has been in solitary confinement for four years. You must know the story, so I won’t go on, except  to express my anger and disappointment in this and previous federal governments;  Labour and Liberal – makes no difference.  

Why have we allowed the British “justice” system to keep an Australian citizen locked up and awaiting the outcome of another trial inflicted by our GAPA and UK criminal administration? 

I want you to know that there are some members of your electorate who look outside our limited world and are concerned with more than whatever it is that occupies the minds of who you assume to be your constituents. 

We are angry, disappointed and disenchanted with what passes for democracy in this country and dare I say, our GAPA? 

How about raising the issue of David Duggan?  His treatment (and that of Assange) is inhumane and unworthy of who we are (supposed to be)! 

Linese Norrish, 

Coolum Beach.  



Dear editor, 

With The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal around the corner, I wanted to share a bit about why I’m so passionate in my work for the Salvos, and why I also put my money where my mouth is as a regular donor. 

I see first-hand the people whose lives are transformed by the work of the Salvos – these people are given a new beginning in life. 

I know a man who sleeps rough with his cat. He’s kind and stoic, and only asks for help when he’s “in a bind.” He was thrilled when we sourced a swag for him.  

In my work, I’ve come to know multiple women who have been subject to horrific physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Women who have felt trapped by their partner, with absolutely no control over any aspect of their lives. These women I know have survived and are now on the road to thriving. 

I know a single mum who works very hard to provide for her kids. She earns just too much that she doesn’t qualify for public housing, yet she is priced out of the private rental market. Her tenacity and ability to pick herself up from setback after setback continuously inspires me. 

I know a teen who lived in the disabled toilet of a train station when he was kicked out of home. He tried for as long as he could to keep going to school, but without any money, food, or amenities, he found himself at one of our crisis accommodation services. He’s now in his 30s, and passionate about using music to help other teens who are at risk or are experiencing homelessness. 

These are just some of the people I know. And just some of the reasons that I give to our Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal every year. The money raised allows us to support people to make safe, healthy, new beginnings in life.  

To donate to this year’s Red Shield Appeal, or if you need support from the Salvos, visit salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 SALVOS. You can also donate at any Salvos Store. 

Lauren Martin, 

Salvation Army Community Worker in Southern Sydney. 


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