Armidale Express letters: Renewable energy, the Armidale Regional Council election and diabetes

Protect our environment

Data has been released (after battling the federal government for six months to have it made public) that shows that annual emissions for the year to December 2016 in Australia have increased by 1.4 per cent compared to the previous year.

This isn’t just a once-off. Australia’s climate report card reveals no decrease in emissions since the March 2015 quarter, which was eight updates ago. It goes without saying that this is exactly the opposite direction that we need to be heading. No wonder they want to keep the data secret!

Barnaby, it's time to step up and start protecting the environment for future generations. We don't need the Adani coal mine.

If the Galilee Basin (proposed site of the Adani mine) were a country on its own, it would emit more than 1.3 times Australia’s annual emissions from all sources, and rank in the top 15 emitting countries in the world. We don't need the mine, the world doesn't need the mine. Why are you still supporting this mine, Barnaby, if the overwhelming majority of Australians want to see a much stronger move to renewables? Who are you really representing?

Dale Curtis, Armidale

Fighting amalgamation

Gundagai Council in Exile Inc. was formed to fight the disgraceful forced amalgamation of both Cootamundra and Gundagai Shires in May 2016. There are many similar groups state wide also fighting to overturn the former Baird Governments move to strip communities of their dignity and democracy.

We have made it very clear to the Premier, Deputy Premier and the Minister for Local Government that our fight will continue for as long as it takes to return democracy to those NSW communities currently living under punitive Administration. The proposed elections in September will not deter us from our resolve.

The Upper House of the NSW Parliament recently passed a Bill that, if enacted, will see forced amalgamations stop and allow those that were amalgamated a plebiscite for a return to the previous Council area that existed before it was proclamation of the new Council.

The Bill was passed due to the united approach by The Greens, Shooters and Fishers and Labor in the Upper House.

This Bill will be placed before the Lower House in August for debate.

Many country National Party members have used the excuse that they were not given the opportunity to vote for or against amalgamation as it was done by Proclamation. They have indicated sympathy to their constituents but have done nothing despite evidence of the overwhelming desire for demerger (certainly in our community).

We now all have the opportunity to ask our local members what their vote will be. Will they cross the floor and vote for the Bill and thus prove that they are indeed there to represent the area from which they were elected or will they toe the party line against the wishes of the voters.

Be assured that if this Bill does not pass, the next round of amalgamations will happen soon and it could be your community that loses its identity and democracy. They will of course tell you that they will not force amalgamations – the same line that was given to us prior to the last election.

Glen Moore, Secretary, Gundagai Council in Exile

Keep council election civil

Having been out of town for a few weeks it is tragic to return to hear of tremendously bullying attitudes and incidents occurring locally. Potential candidates in the coming local government elections have unsettling stories of the behaviour of some previous councillors as they flex their muscles before well-intentioned people who simply want a chance to serve.

Please let’s have some civilised attitudes in the fair resolution of the way we go about planning the future of our region on the local and national stages. I honestly believe it is time for fresh ideas and approaches and for refreshing the make-up of council, letting others who are more non-confrontational have their chance to contribute.

Whatever residual anger there may be about the way this interim administration has come about, it has given many of us a period of decisions and renewal, whether we all agree with each and every decision. Morale has been higher than it’s been for years. And it is repugnant to have personalised and uninformed attacks on the Administrator ­a man with deep and enduring ties here. Personal attacks are beyond the pale.

Susan Dunn, Armidale

Vegan a healthy option

Up to half a million Australians may be unaware that they have Type 2 Diabetes, the leading cause of preventable blindness, limb amputation and end-stage kidney disease. The tragedy is that most of these cases are preventable. Animal-based foods are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which has been shown to raise the risk for diabetes. Scientists suspect that the sodium and nitrates found in processed meats – and the heme iron found in red meat – may also be contributing factors.

According to the Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel, vegans are less likely to suffer from many chronic diseases, including diabetes, coronary artery disease, and some forms of cancer. 

Research shows that the average vegan is about 18 per cent thinner than his or her meat-eating counterpart, which is significant since 80 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Fortunately, studies have shown that diabetics who eat low-fat vegan foods are able to stop taking medications – or at least take fewer of them – to manage the disease. If you’re concerned about diabetes and other health problems, please opt for tasty vegan foods. 

Laura Weyman-Jones, Press Officer, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)