Letters to the editor

Fields of gold. Photo: Mandy Priest.
Fields of gold. Photo: Mandy Priest.

Get sun smart

Queensland’s sun is harsh. We have the unfortunate title of the skin cancer capital of the world and when children are at school, daily ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels are at their peak. This brings responsibility to schools, as well as a wonderful opportunity to educate children about UV and engender sun protective behaviours as second nature. We know that proper sun protection during childhood and adolescence reduces lifetime risk of skin cancer – so we need to ensure Queensland kids are best protected every day they’re out and about.

This is why I urge all Queensland schools to join the National SunSmart Program. Since 1999, the National SunSmart Program has been recognising Queensland primary schools, Outside School Hours Care and early childhood centres who are leaders in helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

I encourage Queensland parents, students and local communities to talk to their schools or child care centres about signing up. Successful applicants will be provided with a free SunSmart sign to proudly display, a certificate and ongoing access to educational resources.

Apply at cancerqld.org.au/national-sunsmart-program.

- C. McMillan, Cancer Council

Electorate a shambles

It’s a shame that Wright MP Scott Buchholz has little more to do with his time than set up an online petition about keeping Australia Day when he should be worrying about far more important issues in his electorate. To cite just one issue as an example – his whole electorate is a mess when it comes to the roll out of the NBN to the extent that it is now basically nothing more than in a holding pattern until something else better comes along.

That does not seem to bother him or his government since they took power in 2013 and reduced it to the shambles it has become. The setting up of this latest petition is nothing more than a political stunt in an election year and should be seen for what it is – worthless. I agree that the decision to hold Australia Day on January 26 each year is the epitome of “poor taste” and demonstrates total disrespect for our first nations peoples given what happened in this country in 1788.

However it’s one of those monumental decisions made in ignorance and the reality is that it will take a long time to overcome the antiquated views of people like our own federal MP. It requires a process we should continue to debate and address rather than sign a petition and hope it will all go away.

It was pleasing to see and contrast the views expressed by a former LNP state premier in a column produced in another publication on the same day with the views of our short-sighted local MHR expressed in our local publication. Despite the negative approach on this issue endorsed by Mr Buchholz, through his current actions it seems that there are still rational people around who can conduct such a discussion in a positive sense.

- S. Ryan, Beaudesert

Well worth celebrating

January 26 is unfortunately becoming a date many everyday Australians are starting to dread and I believe the reasons for this are being fanned by a left-leaning ideology lurking in the shadows and hiding behind our proud first nations peoples’ flag.

I understand there are members of our indigenous cultures who feel this day is unfair to their heritage, and there is just cause behind some of those concerns, however for the number of those upset, there is a much larger number who believe in the meaning of Australia Day.

To me, Australia Day is not at all about Governor Arthur Phillip planting a flag on Australian soil back in 1788, it's so much more. It's about the spirit inside the people aboard those First Fleet ships. People who were mostly chained up as convicted criminals, and also included the royal navy sailors and their families, and not to mention the people arriving as free settlers. These people survived over 250 days at sea headed to a land as foreign to them as what Pluto is to us now. It's also in the spirit of the Indigenous peoples who cautiously allowed that fleet to establish in Port Jackson, and those who helped the new arrivals to survive this tough land and continue to this day to enrich our young nation.

And finally it's in the spirit of everyone who has followed over the generations, those who looked to our country as one of peace, protection, and hope. The spirit that these people had is carried through all our bloodlines regardless of heritage and I believe that alone is well worth celebrating together on Australia Day.

- M. Tomlinson, Wright KAP candidate

A Snowy Scheme for Queensland

Listening to the news these days is rather distressing. We hear of record high temperatures in South Australia, fish kills on the Murray Darling River system and farmers in the west experiencing drought. Then in our own state, metres of flood water flowing down the Great Divide to flood the narrow coastal plains before flowing back into the Pacific Ocean.

I can remember many years ago our own premier and, like him or loathe him, Joe Bjelke-Petersen asked “why can’t we turn the water from the mountains westward?” If it were possible imagine the gain to the Queensland economy. Some people may say, “what a huge cost” but remember the Snowy Scheme and then think of the benefits we are deriving from the Snowy now.

The jobless rate would decline. Floods on the eastern seaboard would be more controlled. Now that we are in voting mode, let’s try to ensure that some politician can lend an ear and at least explore the possibilities of another “Snowy”.

- K. Mayfield, Cedar Vale

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