Logging doesn't pay
J. McWilliams (MUT Letters) is right to mourn the continual clear felling of what remains of what used to be the delightfully wooded residential area of Narrawallee.
Of equal or greater concern are the recently announced state government plans to yet again log the nearby McDonald State Forest, but this time under the newly approved conditions which allow for even greater access and harvesting. They will increase logging in our area by at least 50 per cent over previous levels. The ongoing damage will not only cause irreparable harm to these lovely areas but also to our emerging eco-tourism market. No one wants to travel a long distance to simply see intensively logged forestry.
Logging has been a declining industry in NSW for many years. The South Coast is now a region where our future economic and jobs growth is inextricable tied to new business models, especially the potential for a nature based tourism industry.
The longer term impact of the state government plans will be to convert most remaining iconic native forest into what are effectively managed plantations. These sorts of areas have little or no appeal to the local, national and international eco-tourism and walking market place. The iconic native forest are the key to unlocking such markets, which is precisely the reason why areas such as Tasmania and New Zealand have been so successful in this field.
B. Tomkinson, Little Forest
Make health local
I wish to respond to D. King's letter in which he denies the need for a CT scanner at Milton.
He says there is insufficient demand for a CT scanner and that if there were a scanner it may mean further investment is required in new buildings, new staff and new skills. Well gee D. King yes! The inadequate hospital that ISHLD built in Milton and the cost to rectify this planning failure by ISHLD should not now be used as the excuse to deny this vital equipment locally.
ISHLD has a history of neglecting local needs. The dialysis unit finally built at Milton hospital after much work by local MP Shelley Hancock was according to ISHLD CEO Margot Mains a high priority for the health district for 20 years before it was provided. I have seen dialysis patients being sent to Wollongong in a round trip that may take 15 hours or more. I saw a man conduct home dialyisis on his wife for 20 years while ISHLD determined that she and others were not important enough.
"Area Health Services are stubborn cumbersome and remote, and they have seriously compromised the efficiency of our public health system" (Dr John Graham chairman of the Dept. of Medicine Sydney Hospital). Readers who missed Four Corners should have a look on iview.
The need for complex medical equipment in rural areas should not be judged on the same demand numbers as urban areas. Milton Hospital is at the far southern end of the health district. Transport to Nowra and Wollongong for tests is an uncomfortable trip for ill people. Aside from the regular highway closures due to fire, flood and car accidents. Milton needs a return to local control of the health services we require.
The torturous progress being made regarding the resumption of birthing is evidence sgain of the low priority ISHLD places on the people at the far end of a "hubs and spokes model" focussed on Wollongong, Shellharbour and Shoalhaven hospitals.
In a recent trip to the UK I observed that the National Health Service plans to implement personality testing of senior health bureaucrats looking for individuals who demonstrate compassion and candour. I reckon we could do with this too.
D. King accuses the Milton Ulladulla Times of being negative, offensive and sensationalist. The role of a local paper is to advocate for its community, holding the mighty to account as it is doing so well with the highway issues. Keep it up MUT.
A. Humphreys, Narrawallee
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