Busselton letter to the editor from February 2, 2022

Sleepy town subject to crime spree

Every summer the moorings any Quindalup are heavily populated by visiting yachts and power boats; it is a most benign form of tourism to our region, with many of the folks living aboard their boats regulars every season. Such boats need tenders to get ashore and, very sadly, a crime spree this summer has seen many stolen. Others have been relieved of their outboard motors.

A spree on the morning of Sunday January 30 saw at least three motors and three boats taken. One such yachtie lost an $8000 RIB, his second stolen in 18 months. His insurance excess is $2000; either way, he loses massively.

This summer has been a "coming of age" for the usually safe and secure foreshore near the yacht club and seen many of our regulars return to Perth with a bitter taste in their collective mouths. It's time the City of Busselton considered the installation of a CCTV camera, and what a pity it is to have to say it. Our sleepy town beach has been discovered by organised crime.

John Lethlean, Quindalup

I am an 80 year old woman living in Abbey who suffers from asthma and has a medical exemption from my Dr for wearing a mask. Last week when shopping in Busselton I was very disturbed by the treatment I received from shopkeepers because I was not wearing a mask.

Am I supposed to wear a sandwich board to advertise this fact or a T-shirt with words to be read? Do they think I am fudging the rules? Do 80 year old's tell porkies to shopkeepers? Or perhaps they think I have dementia and don't know I should be wearing a mask and they need to bark a command at me?

So many times I was accosted by an officious salesperson in an arrogant or angry tone as if I was a complete idiot or needed telling off.

Lawfully, I know I only have to say "I am exempt" as my medical history is only between my Dr and myself - but I am looked at as if I am telling a lie and some have even asked to see my exemption, which they have no right to do if they look up the Privacy Act of 1988 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

It is becoming clearer that this Covid business is starting to divide the Community in a really negative way and if we are not very careful it will start to destroy us all - masked or unmasked, jabbed or unjabbed - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I ask that salespeople treat us with civility and with compassion - believe me, I would rather have to wear a mask than struggle to breathe with asthma - and there are plenty of us who also have other physical problems like allergies, sinus, anxiety, panic disorders or claustrophobia which makes wearing a mask impossible at times - so please walk a mile in another man's shoes before condemning......

Jill ilott, Abbey

The Nanna's for Native Forests have questioned the merits of thinning for forest health. Native forests today look nothing like they did in the days of Noongar stewardship. Nowadays, much of the Jarrah forest is too dense, with hundreds of small trees in each hectare.

Not only do these small trees cause water stress and make total forest collapse from drought more likely, they provide "ladders" for surface fires to become unstoppable crown fires. Sensitive thinning of the most at-risk forests, with follow up cool burning using aboriginal techniques, is a vaccination for the forest against the climate change virus.

Do we need more catastrophising about the environment, spurring anxiety and depression in our youth?

Or do we need hopeful programs that speak to human agency and provide cause for optimism in the future?

Brad Barr, Forestry Australia

Imagine an intruder arriving in the place you live. They are from another place, geographical, and insensible.

They acknowledge the natural beauty of where you live and its attraction. A treasure-hunter glint in their eye.

Then they state they own part of the backyard. The nice part that looks out over the ocean.

They covet the natural beauty for their own, exclusive, points of view while neglecting the health benefits it brings in a time of disease. Superficial acknowledgments of treading lightly and in harmony on the land. The intruder lacks knowing in mind and body how Smiths Beach daily heals human troubles, and makes us strong, in exchange for caring. Small local actions in picking up man-made waste, replanting eroded areas, awareness of the inhabitants with no voice (the wildlife), maintaining the health and beauty of country. So many invaluable treasures. It's not enough for the intruder.

This intruder tells us what we need as a way of getting what they want. They want to change the place, to clear it and build over it. To tame it and profit from it. To impact and scar it. To look out from it and not look out for it. This intruder, we can't ask them politely to go away. How do we welcome them? How do they join the local community in the knowledge of the importance of the place as it is? They won't yarn with us when we have so much to share. Help save Smiths Beach again.

Frank Bear, Yallingup

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