Letters to the editor

Stand up for whales

I'm tired of hearing the phrase 'Show us the science' from people who wouldn't recognise science if they fell over it. The debate about the proposed extra protections for the whale nursery area isn't about the science because the science overwhelmingly supports it.

Over a dozen internationally recognised whale organisations and experts, such as Dr. C Kemper - SA Museum, Dr. C. Charlton - Curtin University, Dr. F. Christiansen - Murdoch University, Dr. P. Gill - Blue Whale Study, D. Andrews - Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the WWF, The Wilderness Society and The Conservation Council of SA as well as the Commonwealth Dept. of Environment ALL support this proposal.

Every single one of them.

No... this isn't about the science.

A better phrase is 'Show us the money' because that's what this is about. One business with a vested interest and those beholding to them are driving the opposition to this proposal. They do not represent the interests of the vast majority. They do however have very deep pockets, a very loud voice and they are masters of manipulation by fear.

With a few half-truths and a little misinformation tucked strategically into what sounds like a logical argument, they are able to convince hundreds of people to support policies that are not in the people's best interests, but benefit only themselves.

Sometimes these tactics are recognisable on a larger stage like Adani Coal or Equinor off-shore drilling, but it becomes more difficult when it's smaller and closer to home.

Its time to recognise these manipulators for what they are and take action to stop them before its too late.

Write to SA Minister Stephan Knoll, (email: ministerknoll@sa.gov.au) and ask him to stand up for the whale mothers and calves instead of the vested interests of business.

Bob Prestwood, Hayborough

Alexandrina's draft budget

At a time when the commercial world needs to become more efficient and find ways to do what it has to do with the staff it has Alexandrina Council seems to have chosen a different path.

The draft budget indicates that employee costs will increase by some one million dollars (Appendix A)

Roughly $330,000 will be consumed by salary increases (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement) some of the balance seems to be to create a bigger bureaucracy.

From Attachment A in the draft the following staff costs seem to emerge.....

Marketing and design $75,000 (Identified as a priority to meet expectations around marketing opportunities and rich content design. (Document notes, not mine), Strategy Officer $33,100, Economic Development Manager $90,000, NRA Consultation $25,000, CWMS Team restructure $168,000, Resilient Hills Coordinator $8,000, Strategic Plan Development $25,000, totalling $424,100.

The EBA and the above costs account for some $754.000 which makes one wonder where the remaining $246.000 is being spent.

Council needs to be absolutely transparent on why the staff build up is necessary when the bulk of the increase seems to be going to additional people when footpaths and kerbs (budgeted for one million dollars) will still need attention and the $1.2 million for unsealed roads is probably insufficient.

The cost of the EBA cannot be changed but there is a serious question mark on the magnitude of the increase in the significant Employee Cost budget line.

Can Council, or will Council explain this in detail.

Peter Reedman, Goolwa

Just another brick in the wall

Education is a wonderful thing. To most of us the word has a positive connotation. We feel that to be 'educated' must be a good thing and most of the time we are right.

But unfortunately 'education' is not synonymous with 'truth'. It's possible, and sometimes even easier, to be educated in a lie than it is in the truth.

I read in the Times 6/6/2019 (online version) the laughable claim by The Big Duck to 'educate' the public about whale conservation, by demanding the right to intrude into the highly sensitive Southern Right Whale calving and nursery area with a motorised vessel and continue their disturbance of the mothers and calves therein.

Even more ludicrous, they are supported in this charade by Tony and Phyll Bartram, spokespersons for Kangaroo Island and Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch, who rely on Big Duck for their own dolphin research and who should know better.

They claim the support for the proposal for a motorised vessel exclusion zone to better protect the mothers and calves in the whale nursery area is based on nothing more than "... a handful of peoples' interpretations...". They ignore the fact that over a dozen of Australia's foremost scientific whale authorities, scientific institutions and universities and even the Commonwealth's Department of the Environment have all come out in support of the proposal.

..."A handful of peoples' interpretations".... Really guys?!?

If this is your idea of 'education' then I think Pink Floyd says it best...

'We don't need your education. All in all you're just another brick in the wall.'

Let's start a legitimate education program by asking SA Minister Stephan Knoll, (email: ministerknoll@sa.gov.au ) to provide a real sanctuary for whales by protecting their nursery area from vested self-interests.

Doug Collins, Waitpinga

Have your say

Submit your letters, under 250 words to victortimes@fairfaxmedia.com.au