Your say

Diggers denied chance to march behind banner with pride

The display of brinkmanship, self-interest, pigheadedness, or whatever one wishes to call that displayed by Ray Law with regard to the Picton Anzac Day march was disrespectful in the extreme.

Ray Law's Anzac committee represented eight or nine marchers, whereas some 50 or more returned servicemen who were represented by the RSL were denied the chance to march behind their banner with pride and dignity because of the fuss displayed by Ray Law's Anzac committee.

I had family members that served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front and also had family members who fought for our freedom on the Kokoda Track.

I had close friends who fought in Vietnam and did not return.

There were many others present who wished to honour our fallen without the fuss of Ray Law preventing dedicated men from marching behind their chosen banner with honour.

Jeff Gray, Oakdale

Who created tribunal?

I am writing to you in response to the comment sent in by the Watling couple from The Oaks ("Pensioners punished", Wollondilly Advertiser, May 7).

I am concerned, as many of us are — who created the tribunal which gives the politicians pay rises.

My understanding and that of many others is that the government manufactured the tribunal to help themselves and not the people of this country of which they are meant to serve.

Why does the press not ask this all-important question — who created the tribunal and who is the tribunal accountable to?

Liz Ward, Bargo

Note to readers: For information about the Remuneration Tribunal, visit www.remtribunal.gov.au.

Treasured volunteers

During National Volunteer Week (this week) we highlight the value volunteers bring to our communities and society.

Volunteers add value not only to the lives of the people they support, but they add value to our community as a whole.

They help build trust, relationships and connections within communities.

While volunteer contribution in Australia is valued at up to $200 billion a year, it is all the vital social benefits they add to society that make volunteers priceless.

Volunteers enhance community well-being and make communities stronger and more resilient.

Voluntary service is a fundamental principle of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. Since our creation 100 years ago this year, Australian Red Cross has supported volunteers to make a difference in their communities.

Today we are supported by more than 30,000 volunteers.

Our volunteers work with and support people in the community, helping to build connections and trusting relationships. Today we thank all volunteers.

Our society is more supportive, connected and inclusive because of their generosity.

Robert Tickner, CEO, Australian Red Cross

Kennett’s council suggestions are spot on

I note the recent comments of former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who has called on NSW Premier Mike Baird to sack all NSW councillors after the next state election to avoid an appalling road crash.

He said the new Premier must move quickly to revolutionise local government across the state before a wave of councils go broke over the next three years.

Mr Kennett said NSW should drive similar reforms to those in Victoria in 1994 when his government sacked 210 councils overnight and installed administrators for two years to create 78 council areas and hold new elections.

He said NSW’s 152 councils should be scaled back by a similar proportion to create bigger, and financially stronger bodies capable of delivering better services more cheaply.

I believe Mr Kennett is spot on.

Many of these NSW councils engage in pandering to minority interests in holding back development, costing employment opportunities and affordable housing for people,  are bogged down with red tape and bureaucracy and are ever running to IPART to seek rate increases above the capped rate.

If the Baird government cannot get up off the floor after these ICAC hearings and signal to the community that they intend to implement these reforms Jeff Kennett speaks of after the next election in less than 12 months, then any promotion of any local state members of Parliament to minister status will not mean a thing.

Ray Smith, Menangle

Dairy cows treated well

I would like to know on what information Charlotte Gray (‘‘A cruel industry’’, Wollondilly Advertiser, April 16)  has based her tirade on one of our most under-appreciated, hardest working rural industries. 

I would inform her that dairy cows are the best treated of all bovines.

They get milked most times twice a day with many hours to rest and eat and if they were continually mistreated they would be too dangerous to handle in the bales.

The farmer rises at 3am and feeds, milks, cleans the dairy, does the other farm work and is lucky to get to bed by 8pm to be woken any time for calving. 

The dairy cow unlike beef cattle are not put back in calf straight after calving.

Therefore there is not as much of a drain on them and at least two or three months before calving they are put out to pasture.

As for the poddy calves, they are fed on the bottle. Females are kept to replenish the herd so must be raised well; the males are sold for other people to raise and as with any young animal they should not be transported with a gut full of food as they risk regurgitation which will cause choking. 

So I hope she still enjoys all the yummy food made from milk. 

Rosalyn Faddy, Greendale

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