Sometimes our laws are wrong
In support of Ben Palmer's piece in the Northern Daily Leader, Wednesday 10th July 2019, 'Addiction is an Illness, not a Crime'.
The so-called 'War on Drugs' is a political winner, but in its present form, it hasn't worked.
In Australia, surveys reveal that 43 per cent of people admit to have used or are using illegal drugs. People who have an addiction to an illegal drug need to be helped, not locked up. It is more of a health issue rather than a criminal issue which is the way it's being handled now. People seeking treatment for addiction can't because there are no spaces, and some die waiting.
Sometimes our laws are wrong.
Anyone, politicians included, who had a relative or close friend with an addiction to drugs would want them to be able to seek treatment, not to be locked up.
From a cost perspective, the tax burden is far greater locking people up rather than directing them into rehab and back into society.
The only sector in our society who benefits from the current situation is organised crime - the producers, traffickers and suppliers of illegal drugs.
Sometimes our laws are wrong.
Bob Murray, Tamworth
Open letter to Adam Marshall MP
I write to you in your capacity as Member for Northern Tablelands and as a Minister of the current NSW Parliamentary Cabinet to express my concerns relating to the proposed opening up of the Murray Valley national park to logging.
The Guardian and other national news circulars reported on Thursday 11 July 2019 that the Deputy Premier, the Hon. (John) Giovanni Domenic Barilaro MP had vowed to members of the NSW Nationals Party (which I note you are a member of) that he would open up the Murray Valley national park for logging.
This proposal greatly concerns me - it is ridiculous and irresponsible.
The conservation area in question is known for its river red gum forests (largest forest of this kind in the world) and is home to several threatened species and a Ramsar-listed wetland - all of which would be further threatened if this proposal became reality.
If this were to proceed, this would be the first time in NSW history that a national park was revoked, going against every rationale for having national parks and conservation areas in the first place. The precedent that the approval of this proposal would trigger is disastrous, and simply cannot occur - how long would it be until other parks were up for de-gazetting?
I urge you to pledge to block this proposal within the confines of your Party and if it is tabled for discussion in Cabinet. Our National Parks need to be protected.
Cr Debra O'Brien
President - Armidale Branch
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch)
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