What’s on your mind? Letters

Arson awareness and information on the Southern Highlands Renal Appeal are the focus of the latest letters to the editor.Arson overlooked?Probably the first bad fire of this season, the blaze at Cranebrook, was deliberately lit, with young men arrested.

In our own area, we have already seen fires at the historic Maltings, Mittagong, and the Goulburn Orphanage, become subject to investigation.

Our fire service is excellent, but their public service announcements concentrate on gutters, rubbish and having a fire plan.

All essential, but arson, which the Australian Institute of Criminology site indicates could be responsible for half of the approximately 52,000 bushfires a year in Australia,with those fires being deliberately lit or suspicious, is never a real focus. It is as if Australians believe it is just nature’s way that warm weather means immediate fires. Not so.

While in the USA, I was impressed with states which ran public service announcements in hot weather. The messages alerted the community about suspicious behaviour, asked parents to keep an eye on their children, especially in school holidays, and informed people of heavy penalties for deliberately lit fires.

Unfortunately, bored youths are often the culprits. We already have media warnings on pool fencing and litter, so warnings about the crime of arson, should be simple.

I have been in touch many times with NSW Emergency Services Ministers and others who could look at this. After all, arson often means the deaths of people, including firefighters, death of wildlife and domestic pets, and loss of property and bushland, butthey do not seem to believe public media warnings can help here.

Even though Victoria now alerts the community, it is disappointing that I was told by a NSW authority that people know the penalties for arson already, as they are given at Rural Fire Service press conferences.

I beg to differ, as most people know exactly the cost of, say, parking fines, but how many of your readers know that penalties for arson can be ten to fourteen years jail?I have contacted Stephen Jones MP and am contacting Jai Rowell MP, as the more people who understand the truth about arson, the safer the area will be.

Susan JohnsonBowralRenal appeal answersThere has been articles published recently in some local media concerning the activities of the Southern Highlands Renal Appealand some of itscommittee members.

The facts concerning the Renal Appeal are:

In 2001 representatives of local Lions and Rotary clubs, together with carers and interested persons formed the SHRA.In 2002 South West Sydney Area Health Service (SWSAHS) agreed to fully support the appeal and establish a fivechair Renal Dialysis Unit and to finance recurring costs.To ensure community funds were not sent out of the shire, the committee set rigid conditions within the Trust Deed restricting the use of funds.SWSAHS had a change of mind and is no longer committed to funding the Dialysis Unit at Bowral District Hospital.The Committee is seeking legal adviceto determine the implications of changing the Trust Deed to enable funds to be utilized within the Shire for health related purposes.It isdisappointing when professionals including solicitors and accountants donate significant time and effort into assisting the local community organisations only to be criticised.These detractors should take a good hard look at themselves and also the number of hours volunteers donate to the community. Without volunteers our community would be significantly worse off.Decent members of the community should focus their energy on ensuring government supports community efforts instead of discouraging volunteers from making a difference.

Trevor FairThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.

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