Tamworth to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026?
Having Victoria pull out and then the Gold Coast, why not make a bid for Tamworth to host the "real" games?
Many years ago, our family dreamt of hosting the games in Manilla. Not the flash ego boosting games, but a competition of serious and humorous but real competition.
What Victoria's budget wasted was on trying to emulate metropolitan and world standard. They planned to build facilities, which had limited value post event.
Why not have a typical country town/city games? Good, but not world class, some tin sheds, some tents, some outdoor dining areas but all locals smiling and helping to make it happen.
It should not try to compete with the 2000 and 2032 Olympic Games, but the local version of the Commonwealth. King Charles can stay at Bective, like his Aunty did. We have rail, road and air connections. We have experience in having to double our population in the middle of summer.
We may need to build some additional facilities, but we do not need to go overboard, we design what we will need in 2027 onwards.
Tamworth can lock in most events and add some serious "country" competitions (para gliding, bull riding and sheep shearing) .
Why not make an application? We could access some of the two billion dollars paid by the Victorian Government and make a profit. It would put Tamworth on the World map.
Lock it in.
Patrick Mahoney, Tamworth
'Not fit for purpose'
I totally agree the Young Offenders Act of 1997 is not fit for purpose at all.
Tamworth residents are very concerned about the increasing number of young people committing offences and especially recidivism where the same people are offending again and again.
The Young Offenders Act of 1997 was in fact introduced 26 years ago.
Times have changed incredibly since then and things like social media and TikTok were unheard of.
Nowadays in 2023, such sites allow users to brag about their offences and to egg each other on to commit further crimes and try to outdo each other.
Under this Young Offenders Act youth can commit nine offences before they have to see a magistrate.
They actually get three cautions, three warnings, three justice conferences; even after committing nine offences the recidivists can still be sent back for more conferencing etc.
It is highly likely such offenders have committed more crimes than nine. To be clear nine offences are only the ones they have been caught for.
if people don't speak up nothing will change and only get worse. Warmer weather is upon us and the crimes of youth will escalate. It is incredible that this Act has not been re-examined in light of the statistical information and the fact it was created so many years ago in different times.
Jenny Peberdy, Tamworth
Water for the environment
The current debate concerning the purchase of entitlements for environmental water in the Murray Basin plan, raises many concerns with the all the policies on environmental flows.
I am 88 years old and for all my lifetime I have lived on the banks of, or within a few kilometres of the Namoi River at Carroll. My grandfather had owned land on the river since 1872.
Two of his sisters married the Perrett Brothers and had lived on the Namoi since 1865. I would guess that my family has more recorded history of the Namoi River, than any other today.
In 2019, with the severe drought, Rivers ceasing to flow, fish dying in huge numbers, I was amazed at the volume of individuals and organisations loudly protesting that this had never happened before, and it was due to the amount of water being taken for irrigation. Please get real and look at the historical facts.
As kids we spent two or three hours of practically every day, swimming or fishing in the Namoi River.
Before the advent of TV and in the village of Carroll there was not much else to do. Between my first memories of the river in 1938 and 1948 there were many occasions when the river stopped flowing, and we had only water holes to swim and fish in. On some occasions when this lasted for months, those holes became very scarce. It always surprised me how quickly we caught fish again when the flow returned. There were a few occasions when there were large fish kills.
When the Darling River experienced the large fish kills a few years ago and locals said it had never happened before I wondered what had become of the history of life on the river in earlier years.
The wrecks of the paddle steamers along the Darling River were not there because the flows were low for a short period. They were there because the river dried up for years at a time. I think the historical flow charts for the Murray River show that there was nil flows entering the Murray from the Darling for three of the first ten years of the 1900's.
The recorded statements from environmental "experts" in 2019 that the Murray River was in more environmental danger than ever before beggars belief. Go on line and look at the photos of the dry River bed in the 1914-1915 drought, with family gatherings in horse and sulky's and early model cars, picnicking and playing cricket, in the dry bed of the river. Compare that to the attached photo taken in September 2019 in the same area and tell me which is the worst.
Most environmental bodies have opposed the construction of all the Irrigation Dams built on our inland rivers. Now it seems they want ever increasing amounts of that stored water. The dams were built for the expansion and survival of irrigation in Australia. It has been one of the most successful achievements in increasing agriculture production and stabilising communities In my lifetime of participation in farmer organisation, I have not met one farmer who does not wish to leave the land and where they adjoin, the rivers, in better environmental state than they inherited. It is unrealistic to expect the river system to function in a more enhanced manner than they have done naturally in the past.
Bill Weakley, Gunnedah
Opposing for opposition sake?
Barnaby Joyce appears to have enjoyed making a list of perceived government failures ("It's all bad news at the halfway mark", 2/12). Trouble is, several of the things he lists (e.g. high power prices, inflation) are due to global events and hardly the result of government policy. Regarding the decarbonisation of the nation's energy grid, he seems to forget that the previous government of which he was a member supported the NSW renewable energy zones. In a joint media release with Angus Taylor in 2020, Mr Joyce announced nearly $1 million for a study into the feasibility of pumped-hydro storage near Armidale in the New England Renewable Energy Zone. A proud Mr Joyce said, "We've made massive investments in New England into renewable energy, in fact we're one of the biggest renewable energy hubs in Australia. Just like the Inland Rail, others talked about it for years and I made sure it happened." But now, in opposition, Mr Joyce leads protests against renewable energy despite the real need for more of it. When will he start to work for our needs rather than for political point scoring?
Tom Hunt, Oak Flats
I am excited to announce Stroke Foundation's annual physical fundraiser, Stride4Stroke raised more than $386,000 this year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the record number of striders from across Australia who contributed to this incredible achievement. Every step, moving minute logged, workout achieved, and dollar raised will have a remarkable impact on survivors of stroke and their families. We know times are tough, which is why we're so grateful to the 1,666 participants who gave up their time this November.
By getting involved in Stride4Stroke, and proudly donning the Stroke Foundation branded shirts, our 'Striders' helped us raise awareness of stroke in our local communities, and importantly, reduced their own stroke risk by being active. With their help, we logged a total of 842,580 moving minutes.
Our annual fundraiser brings out the best in the community. We had champions in every corner of the country, including Dan Maitland. Dan's sister Bec had a stoke in 2016. For the past four years Dan has hosted a Stride4Stroke fun run and walk under the Training with Mates team. This year they raised an incredible $68,414.
Our top individual fundraiser was Trenton Pitt who took 1,000,000 steps throughout the month of November and raised more than $11,800. To achieve the goal, Trenton had to exercise for around five hours a day.
From walking, running, cycling, yoga, and from wheelchairs, stand up paddle boards and surfboards, it was great to see so many Australians get behind a cause which touches so many lives.
While our month-long Stride4Stroke campaign has wrapped up for another year, our fundraising efforts must continue.
In 2023, approximately 75pc of Stroke Foundation's income came from donations and bequests, mostly from survivors, their families and network of friends and supporters. These individuals understand the impact of stroke and the value of the finding the information, support and care you need to recover. Their generosity and commitment to Stroke Foundation's work is humbling.
Stroke strikes the brain. It is one of Australia's biggest killers and a leading cause of disability. It's estimated more than 27,400 people will have a stroke for the first time this year.
Every dollar raised through Stride4Stroke will help Stroke Foundation prevent stroke, fund research and support survivors and their families at all stages of their recovery journey.
Dr Lisa Murphy, Chief Executive Officer
Rising levels of CO2
From time to time I hear some people say that the Earth is extremely large and that humans could not possibly have altered the climatic conditions on Planet Earth. The scientific facts though are that the activities of Humans have had a huge impact on the climatic conditions existing on Earth over the last few centuries. The facts are that for a great many years the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the Earth remained stable at approx. 280 parts per million - and then along came the industrial revolution in the mid 19th century. Now the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 420 parts per million which is not at all surprising considering that over the past few hundred years Humans have added 2.4 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere of the Earth. As the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises so will the temperature of the Earth continue to rise in lockstep.
Our Federal Government must, as a matter of extreme urgency, introduce legislation to ban or seriously limit the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy which continues to pump massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere of Planet Earth causing ever rising and uncontrolled record temperatures across the Globe.
Brian Measday, Kingswood, SA
The huge potential for regenerative agritourism
While some politicians like to talk up the "country-city divide" most Australians who live in metropolitan centres are hungry for country experiences. International travellers too. According to Australian Regional Tourism (ART), agritourism in 2019 was valued at $17.4bn, including $10.0bn in winery tourism and $7.4bn in farm visits. The CSIRO estimates that demand for agritourism will grow at 5 per cent per annum.
The Tourism Collective claims today's tourists particularly value "regenerative tourism" - tourism that provides "a net positive benefit to the environment and communities." The Regenerative Travel Experiences page on the australia.com website features Grazed and Grown, a farm on the Mid North Coast of NSW which practices regenerative farming principles with a focus on capturing carbon, water retention, and improving the soil. The family holds farm tours and provides picnic lunches.
To enable agritourism to grow, governments must support it more. For local governments, the toolkit Enabling Agritourism: Paving the Way for Successful Development Applications is a resource. The ART national agritourism strategy framework identifies funding support as a key enabler needed to assist more farmers to diversify into agritourism. While the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grants program provides grants up to $100,000 a more inclusive program for other types of agritourism is needed. Putting more federal money into agritourism may go some way to changing the perception of some that the government is "anti-farming."
Ray Peck, Hawthorn