Letters

Tourism and Growth Mindset

Congratulations to the Clare Valley Winemakers and other partners for securing $400,000 in funding to promote the region (Northern Argus, 16th May).

However the ultimate success of such promotion is entirely dependent on two factors. One is the mindset of the community as a whole to be focused and committed on tourism and growth.

When tourists visit our region they expect an experience that is warm, welcoming, friendly, enticing to spend their money, and that we are open for business.

There is a long standing joke in our region that after noon on Saturday, on Sunday, and any public holiday, you can throw rocks in any main street, without fear of hitting anybody, because, with exception of a few, most of our businesses are closed. Tourists, generally visit our region on weekends and public holidays, and want to spend their money.

Nobody expects business owners to work 7 days a week, that is a recipe for failure, and no doubt the penalty rates for weekend work are crippling to some businesses.

However these are the challenges that we as a community must work through together. We must change our mindset that a working week is Monday to Friday.

After all when we are on holidays, we expect to have the opportunity to spend our money. That is why we go to Bali, and other Asian destinations, because it is cheap and they are open for business 24/7.

The other factor is that most tourists access our region via the Horrocks Highway, or should I say “Horrible Horrocks Highway”.

What sort of lasting impression will Chinese and USA tourists get when they are frequently catapulted out of their seats into the roof lining of the vehicle? The Authority’s solution to the problem was to reduce the speed limit to 100 KPH.

Well, the fact is that motorists expect, on a major road such as this, to travel comfortably and safely at the state limit of 110KPH. This is not a simple, cheap or easy fix, but again we as a community must work together to find a way.

All of this promotion will be totally wasted if our tourists, particularly the international ones, do not have a rewarding and memorable experience.

Grant Hovey, Rhynie

BAN LIVE EXPORTS NOW!

When will the Coalition realise that the live export trade needs to be banned - and now!  The time for talking is over.

The recent Coalition response to live sheep exports is to reduce the animal numbers by 30 percent.  This "compassionate" move will allow the sheep more room to lie down and die.

The fact that 12,377 sheep suffered horrible deaths in transit last year shows how ruthless this trade really is.

If a domestic pet owner mistreated an animal like this they would be arrested and charged.  So why does this cruelty not matter? 

Is it because we don't see what's going on?  As we speak thousands of sheep and cattle are making the voyage to the Middle East and we all know how that will end. 

To the farmers, this is collateral loss, but to people like me, and thousands of other Australians who care about their suffering, it is just not acceptable.

Shame on Mr Turnbull and Mr Littleproud for allowing this to continue.  They have no moral compass -   Australia will NEVER forget the shame.  Can't wait for the next federal election!!

Lesley Bain, Clare

Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week is coming up and runs from 27 May to 3 June. Each year, Reconciliation highlights the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a broader Australian culture. 

This year’s theme of “Don’t Keep History a Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow” encourages us to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and share that knowledge with others, my organisation Youth Off The Streets is dedicated to learning and teaching about these cultures.

Teaching our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people about their culture and history is so important for building connections to their communities and families.

At Youth Off The Streets we have an entire team dedicated to empowering and teaching young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about their culture through dance programs, cultural camps, art lessons and many more tailored services.

I want to echo this year’s theme of teaching, but with an emphasis on teaching Australian people as a whole, not just Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Through all of our services at Youth Off The Streets we encourage our young people to attend cultural events, participate in programs and learn about the world’s oldest culture and they take immense value from this.

I also encourage my staff to continuously learn about our country’s cultural history and to be culturally aware. 

As part of our dedication to reconciliation, we have created a Reconciliation Action Plan to ensure all our staff are culturally aware and formally trained in cultural competencies and will actively embrace the principals and practices of reconciliation.

We are holding a reconciliation week event on 31 May at our Koch Centre For Youth and Learning in Macquarie Fields and I would love for anyone to join me for this event or to join your local community in any local events.  This Reconciliation Week Don’t Keep History a Mystery: Learn. Share. Grow.

Yours Faithfully,

Father Chris Riley

CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets