I'm sending a selection of photos I took last Wednesday on a walk to Marley in the Royal National Park.
I have done this walk many times over decades, well aware of the increased dangers with selfie-takers heading for Wedding Cake Rock, which is collapsing bit by bit into the ocean below and which scientists say could completely fall at any moment.
Despite two new signs explicitly outlining the dangers involved...one on the toilet block at the very beginning of the track and another with a life-size rescue worker now in place further along the track, I was absolutely gobsmacked to discover on arrival at the site - now fenced off by National Parks with a high fence covered in DANGER DO NOT CLIMB signs, that three teenage girls had just clambered over with a fourth about to do the same.
I immediately yelled at them for being so stupid, pointing out that two people had already died there doing just what they were about to no doubt do and that the rock was in imminent danger of collapse.
They tried arguing, but I wasn't having any of it, taking these photos, which I said would be sent to the paper as I continued to berate their stupidity.
As a result, the fourth girl didn't climb over, and the others reluctantly clambered back, fortunately, before getting to venture any closer to the cliff edge and possible disaster.
Honestly! I'm glad I got there at the moment I did...I shudder to think of the potential outcome the weight of four girls might have had on this crumbling cliff.
Perhaps it's time to add some razor wire on the top of the fence as signs seem not to affect determined fools.
Name and address supplied.
Mask up, people!
COVID alerts will continue across the shire ( and elsewhere) if people continue to flaunt the rules. Earlier this week, when I went food shopping, I noticed a couple in the car park, he was wearing his mask and she had hers under her chin. They got into the shop before I did because they didn't scan the QR code. Once inside the shop, I noticed that she still had the mask under her chin. I said, " You've forgotten to pull your mask up". The instant and vehement response was, "I don't have to wear one, I've got a letter". I backed off at that point. Maybe it was true. But why was it there? Given there were two of them shopping when it should only be one, and they had ignored the QR code, the cynic in me thought that she had the mask under her chin so it could be pulled up if someone in authority challenged her. If you genuinely can't wear a mask, then logic would suggest that you get someone to do the shopping for you rather than putting yourself (and others ) at risk.
Marietta Hopkins, Woolooware
Nothing wrong with empathy
In response to the letter regarding visa issues and punishment (We Cannot Have a Border Policy Based on Feelings: 30/6/21), I'd like to ask, "Why not?".
If more 'feelings' or empathy were integrated into policies and political decisions, we wouldn't need a Royal Commissions into our Aged Care system, into Youth Detention, into Black Deaths in Custody, and into the Abuse & Neglect of People with a Disability, to name a few.
With the loss of integrity and even a moral compass in today's government, some more compassionate policies would be a welcome relief.
And as for the young Sri Lankan family, held in offshore detention for years and now on the mainland for medical assistance, I will never agree that young children should be used by politicians to 'send a message to others' or as a deterrent. It would be an act of kindness to return this family to their community in Biloela, but it's probably too much to ask.
Where does the buck stop
No Prime Minister/Premier/Chief Minister, Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer or the Secretary of Dept of Health has yet been sacked for causing the COVID19 to spread. To start with, the Ruby Princess fiasco did not cause one official to be sacked or reprimanded. Next, the hotel fiasco is a short-term resolution because we have no purpose-built quarantine facilities. Rather than build quarantine facilities which we would have had, the Prime Minister announced a $25,000 grant to householders wanting to extend to keep the building industry going. Next, the Commonwealth Government stuffed up the buying of the various vaccines. Then the NSW Health Minister did not ensure that the COVID19 rules were enforceable and well-enforced, letting a limo driver causing the latest outbreak in NSW. Will no one take responsibility and fall on their sword, or do we continue to put up with this incompetence. In the Army, we used to have an acronym called FUBB (F... up beyond belief), and it is beyond belief. Alan, Oyster Bay