Where is the PET scanner ?
The Leader's front page story titled "where's the PET scanner", Tuesday, November 7, shows our State MP Nationals Kevin Anderson leading with his chin saying that he's "frustrated" at the pace of the installation of the PET scan machine at our hospital after a little over seven months since the original promise was first made by new Health Minister Ryan Park.
One wonders how Nationals Kevin feels about his 2019 election promises of a new Gunnedah Hospital and new Tamworth Banksia Acute Mental Health Unit. I think this is classic Pot Calling The Kettle Black kind of stuff from Mr Anderson because all he promised back in February of this year was that we (the community) should "keep pushing" for a PET scan machine after his former Liberal colleague and former health minister Brad Hazzard declared that "country people like to travel" and Tamworth wouldn't see such a machine under a Liberal/National government.
Many locals complained to me that Nationals Kevin had well and truly given up on his own government ever delivering this machine for our facilities here in light of Mr Hazzard's remarks, until he saw that it was a popular election issue for our region. Sadly the poor historic advocacy by Nationals Kevin for this electorate has seen a range of projects and issues delayed and possibly shelved including Gunnedah Hospital, Banksia AMHU, Goonoo Goonoo Road upgrade, New Dungowan Dam and water security for Tamworth. In the Northern Tablelands electorate next door, the investment in projects over the last few budgets couldn't be more stark and Member Adam Marshall should take a bow.
The mediocre advocacy exemplified by Nationals Kevin coupled with safe seat status sees our region flounder after 12 years of National Party domination and now we have a Labor government, an impotent Nationals MP with a propensity to simply snipe at the State government, it is likely even less inclination to invest in our region. The people that miss out in all of this are those patients that need to travel hundreds of kilometres to have a scan provided by these machines.
Mark Rodda, Tamworth
Tamworth Powerstation Museum
On behalf of the volunteers of the Tamworth Powerstation Museum we write to express our concern and disappointment at the recent decision by Tamworth Regional Council, to disallow the expansion of the museum into the adjoining property on Peel St Tamworth was the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to switch on municipal electric street lights, an impressive achievement for a small regional town. Tamworth provided power to all of the north west region of NSW and as far north as St George in Queensland.
The initiative shown in 1888 by Tamworth Borough Council aldermen at the time and their forward planning to ensure that Tamworth held such an important place in Australia's social history is to be commended. There is an obligation to preserve this incredible historical achievement as it continues to be recognised as a major milestone in Australia's electrical history. The establishment of the Powerstation Museum in 1988 acknowledged this achievement and is recognised as a major significant museum for Tamworth, its community, the surrounding region, and nationally.
The Tamworth Powerstation Museum is the only all electrical museum in Australia and, as such, has established itself as a major educational resource for scholars studying in the field of electrical sciences nationally. Locally it is a primary resource for primary and secondary schools and electrical trades. Due to the wealth of the collection, its focus on the discovery of and development of electricity, the ability to document the changes in electrical use since its inception in Australia and the importance of objects and items held in the collection, it has received National Significant status and Heritage. For this and many other reasons this museum has become a notable and desirable tourist attraction for our city.
As the only all electrical museum in Australia we attract donations of items from all over Australia. The museum has a duty to ensure that unique and noteworthy objects and appliances are accepted into the collection in order to ensure that the collection remains current and viable. In expanding the display areas, the museum will be able to provide audiences with a greater selection of items, objects and stories of our electrical history and the remarkable achievement of our city of Tamworth.
At present we attract visitors from all over Australia as well as a number of International visitors. These visitors leave with a better understanding of the development of electricity in Australia and it's use and a new awareness of how a small regional city was able to make history by being the first to promote the use of electricity in Australia.
The Volunteers of the Tamworth Powerstation Museum
Pot calling the kettle black
Whatever party name they collect their wages under, Liberal, Labour, Greens or Themselves First, sorry Nationals, they have all crawled out from under the same rock. Decades of local neglect by the Nationals has now been taken up by Labor. Funding for all sorts of projects are being slashed due to the past State Coalition going on a vote buying spree before the fall of Rome.
Having had a Nationals injection for so many years I have now developed an immunity to disappointment. Since 2015 the need has been around for a PET scanner and it took a fundraiser by Oak Tree Retirement Village in 2021 to finally embarrass our local member into action.
For Kevin Anderson to accuse the Labor member about not being open and transparent with the community is the pot calling the Kettle Black. The community has been rightly excited about a lot of promises over the years and so have become accustomed to living in a dream. We now have little representation in Parliament as our local member has gone from assuming he had a seat at the table to a seat on the park bench.
I don't care who represents our community as long as they do just that, but after years of the Nationals and now Labor, I feel that unless we get the Country Party going again, we have only ever been served well by Independents. Political snouts in the trough while locals struggling to survive.
Bob Snell, Tamworth
Let us reconsider economic growth
Let us re-think 'Growth, Growth, Growth'.
Conventional wisdom is that in order to prosper, countries and societies must continually grow. While apparently true, this view tends to gloss over the social, financial, infrastructure and related complexities that arise and compound over time where the "growth, growth, growth" approach is adopted.
Building and managing infrastructures, growing populations and all of the services that are required to support such initiatives gets more complex, costly and disruptive as growth occurs.
In addition, we are living in times of extreme geo-political unrest, economic uncertainty and the apparent inability of any government to 'control and correct' inflation. The result for many of us is unbearable cost of living pressures. Having a strategic plan to grow a society is fine, but the benefits 'planned' to flow from such plans do not always outweigh the cost and disruption that is borne by communities to make such plans a reality. Consequently, it seems that prevailing economic and geo-political circumstances necessitate a re-think of current plans for growth.
Further, population growth contradicts the principles of sustainable living. Growth requires more and ever increasing funding for infrastructure and services, along with incessant and increasing of consumption of natural resources. Consider also the 'disruption factor' to social and built environments that accompanies growth activity.
In the past indigenous cultures around the globe survived by 'taking what they needed and leaving the rest'.
Let us not rush to grow. Let us consider a fresh approach - 'Restrain, Maintain, Sustain'.
Darryl Brown, Tamworth
Proposed brumby cull
Be assured that I am a horse lover, however the brumbies need to be moved on and out, but an aerial kill, will prove a windfall for the appetites of ever present wild dogs and feral pigs.
Following years of procrastination, over the reduction of brumby numbers, it could be said that 'the horse has bolted'.
I would suggest that trapping, would prove to be a more efficient and more humane option.
'Under fire' from a helicopter, by instinct, the brumbies will split into smaller mobs, head for the timber, rendering any aerial shoot useless and more dangerous.
Surely, a more holistic approach is called for.
Judy Marheine, Tamworth
Dollars override anything
The Federal Government is proving to be extremely slow in ridding Australia of one of its prime causes of human induced climate change, which is well known to be burning coal to produce energy.
I can only assume that the massive financial gains being earned by the Federal Government, from exporting coal and allowing it to be used for energy needs, overrides, in the opinion of the Government, not only the fact that using coal causes climate change but can also result in health problems such as, asthma, heart ramifications, brain damage, breathing difficulties and even premature death.
I am left wondering, how can our Federal Government possibly allow the use of coal to continue.
Brian Measday, Kingswood, SA
Pacific climate security
I hope Albanese will heed the concerns of Pacific leaders about the effects of climate change on their region, in discussions at the Pacific Islands forum. This is of paramount importance. Climate change poses a very real threat to our regional security. Pacific Islanders are at the coal-face of these changes, with sea-level rises already affecting their homes and livelihoods. Yet they have a very small carbon footprint. Fossil fuel technologies are fast becoming outmoded. There are plenty of opportunities for Australia to invest in clean energy projects, both in exports and domestically. This is the path we need to take, if we are serious about the security of our Pacific neighbours.
Anne O'Hara, Wanniassa, ACT
As the saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." For some a slowly turning wind generator on the horizon using a breeze to generate clean energy is a thing of wonder and beauty. For others it is a blight on the countryside. But this divided opinion is unlikely to occur over coal mines and coal-fired power stations. Most agree they are dirty, polluting and contribute to climate change.
There are others who only see what they want to see. Because greenhouse gases are invisible, they are not in your face like a transmission line. While a transmission line is relatively benign most would agree it is ugly. While it has a footprint on the land, its footprint does not compare to that of a gas field like Narrabri with 800 wells. It doesn't produce the invisible greenhouse emissions that sit in the atmosphere for 300 to 1000 years.
Some do not believe that these invisible emissions are responsible for heating and drying the planet leading to wildfires in unusual places like Siberia, the Yukon or southwest Tasmania. Others see the climate changing in front of their eyes and witness firsthand the ferocity of climate-fuelled weather events.
It was Jonathan Swift who said, "Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." More than ever before, we need the vision to make the right decisions if we are to save life on Earth as we know it.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn