Indigenous thinking

July 2019

I agree with the excellent letter by S. Severin, “Trees for our wildlife” in regard to Marion Council planting exotic Manchurian pear trees next to Oaklands Wetlands.

It is a no-brainer when what is needed is indigenous trees and vegetation to create natural connected habitat for wildlife.

Our urban landscapes are sadly lacking an abundance of many fascinating species in a once bio-diverse region prior to ever-expanding urbanisation and consequent loss of native flora and fauna.

Councils and residents have a role in growing local indigenous plants to help the original relationship between plants and native wildlife.

 Simone Hunter

Precious water 

June 2019

Patricia Rogers’ letter “Swim at Beach” highlights the lack of thought State Conservation Minister David Speirs has given the promotion of recreational uses for our reservoirs and our precious sparse water supply. 
There are man-made waterways in many suburbs and the pollution from plastics blocks drains. Food scraps contaminate and bring unwanted rats and foxes that harm native wildlife. 
Who will monitor the use of boating, fishing, bike trails and walkways to ensure wildlife is protected? 
As Patricia says, we have beautiful beaches, parks, lakes and trails already. 
The risk to our water supply need not be so unnecessarily threatened. 

Phil Cornelius

Activists advocates for the planet

May 2019

Undeniable scientific evidence proves the world is in dire straits due to climate change.

This requires dramatic action which some of the population of the planet are resisting.

Animal agriculture is an acknowledged large contributor to climate change, as well as being responsible for the horrendous cruelty to thousands of animals in intensive factory farming and the slaughter process.

In response to the editorial (QT 24/5), protesters are exposing the facts in an enlightening and compassionate way to effect necessary change.

Therefore publicity given to the eight animal activists, who are bringing to light the reasons behind their actions, are not given the type of media attention they deserve. They are carers and advocates for animals and ultimately the planet.

Phil Cornelius 

Eat more plants 

May 2019
As a tree lover, I agree with Fred Goldstone’s letter “Plant more trees” (The Advertiser, yesterday) to help restore the habitat for our native wildlife. We do need to come together as a nation to fight climate change and this is a good first step. 
But an even more imperative issue is to reduce the millions of animals caught up in the industrial factory farming that has burgeoned since World War II. 
Destructive methane belched out by animals, land impaction and degradation by hard hoofed animals, ecosystem damage, and excessive water use are issues that must be addressed . 
Scientists agree a transition to plant food is a positive answer and farmers can assist by working towards sustainable farming, using groundwater and solar power. 

 Fay Mathews

Seeds of hope 

April 2019
I read the article “Sowing seeds of hope” and couldn’t help thinking of the people in developing countries who are supplying grain to feed the world’s hungry farmed animals. 
Surely, in our particularly arid land, the “seeds of hope” could be fed directly to people rather than second hand through hard-hoofed animals that compact our already depleted soil. 
Diane Cornelius

Basin plea 

January 2019
The communities of Alexandrina , Coorong and Murray Bridge express our dismay at recent fish kills in the Darling River and offer our solidarity to those working for the return of a healthy, connected Northern Basin. 
The Lower Murray, Lakes and Coorong communities understand the environmental, economic and social devastation wrought by a combination of drought and poor upstream water management, and we are deeply saddened to see communities in western NSW experience the same kind of trauma as we did during the Millennium drought. 
These terrible fish kill events reinforce the need for all Basin states to remain focused on further environmental water recovery as required by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In a changing climate, protecting environmental flows will provide resilience in times of drought. 
Drought, however, is just one of a number of factors contributing to the current ecological disaster in the Darling River. 
While the complexities still need to be unravelled, it seems clear that ineffective upstream water management has also played a part. 
We know it will take many years of concerted effort to bring about ecological recovery in the Darling. We know this because the Coorong is still suffering from the effects of the Millennium drought. 
We are thankful the South Australian Government recently secured $70 million in funding for the Coorong’s recovery , but urge that efforts now turn to ensuring NSW, in particular, does all it can to make good on their Basin Plan commitments. Water-resource planning in NSW is well behind schedule and it is critical that future water-sharing rules in the Barwon-Darling system factor in a higher level of downstream flows. 
Did you know that native fish populations in SA such as golden perch rely on recruitment in the Menindee Lakes and Lower Darling? 
The Menindee Lakes system is a critical fish nursery that helps stock the entire river system. For this and many other reasons, the ecological health of the Barwon-Darling should matter to South Australians in the same way that we expect the health of the Coorong and Lower Lakes to matter to upstream river communities . 
We all drink water. We all live upstream and downstream from each other. We all want future generations to enjoy the bounty of a healthy Murray-Darling Basin. 
Alexandrina Council 
Mayor Keith Parkes, Rural City of Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis and Coorong District Council Mayor Paul Simmons 

We've got this

January 2019

Congratulations to the SA Minister for Conservation, David Speirs, for making his desire clear to prohibit single-use plastic items such as bags, coffee cups, cutlery and more. 

Let’s hope all of us get behind him and keep SA in the forefront with sustainable-living firsts. If 1.37 billion Indians make changes so can we, for our oceans and future generations. 
Diane Cornelius 

Pet training 

January 2019
By the wording of his letter, M.A. Fiolic has little regard for pets, not caring if fireworks terrify them. 
Sadly it is not the pets at fault for issues such as barking and “befouling properties."
Rather it’s the people who are responsible for their care who often leave them without stimulation or companionship day after day, in boring, enclosed concreted backyards. 
Animals are not inanimate objects. They have needs, as we do, and if potential buyers cannot meet them they should not consider taking guardianship for the life of animals. 
Cats provided with sand trays will defecate at home. They should never be an impulse buy from pet shops or the internet, as is often the case. 
Fay Mathews

Better uses for our land

January 2019

In answer to Jim Derrick's comments on my letter, it is an intriguing fact that, when objectively analysed, animal rights issues and environmental issues always end up being on the same side.Derrick asks what would be wrong with harvesting kangaroos on resumed livestock pastures provided this is done at sustainable levels. The answer, leaving aside the ethical issues, is that no one since European settlement has yet determined a sustainable way of harvesting kangaroos.In fact, even without the wildlife extinctions attributable to habitat loss, human hunting everywhere on Earth since the Age of Exploration and the Industrial Revolution has been nothing short of catastrophic.Derrick notes that some of Australia's livestock pastureland is not suitable for cropping.The same observation obviously does not apply to the vast tracts of land that are currently used exclusively to grow crops to feed livestock. Crops from that land alone would easily take up the shortfall in food for human consumption left by ending animal agriculture.The rest of the resumed land could be revegetated as wildlife habitat and greenhouse gas sinks.The most degraded land could be used for solar and wind farms.

Frankie Seymour 

Live with nature

January 2019

Monica Neie’s excellent letter (“Price of progress” ) highlighted how many of us are now “living in and between concrete” in the name of progress.Without shady trees, our environment heats up to the extent that more air conditioning is required to be utilised, making our bills higher.As she said, the Kaurna people live with nature, not against it; why don’t we learn from them?

The long list of catastrophes includes weather conditions out of control, loss of wildlife, eco-system destruction, burgeoning human populations, overfishing of our oceans, overuse of plastics and unsustainable animal agriculture.The way we are destroying our environment, we definitely will need a Planet B.I agree with Monika that there’s lots to do.We are guests and caretakers of this fragile earth for future generations, and we need to step up and make our governments listen.If we don’t, who will?The recent rallies and marches by students, worldwide, against climate change were inspirational. 

Diane Cornelius

Change must begin

January 2019

It is obviously not practical to expect the entire human species to turn vegan overnight. Not every human has yet had the opportunity to grasp how urgently the earth needs us to make this change. But ultimately, nothing less than the complete abolition of animal agriculture will turn the trick, and the sooner we all we accept this, the better our chances of survival.

Jenny Goldie suggests that we can address the impacts of livestock grazing on earth's climate simply by reducing the amount of methane sheep and cattle belch during rumination. The public should understand that greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants are less than half the problem posed for earth's climate by animal agriculture. The bigger issue is the land used for raising livestock, not just the land used to pasture them but also the cropland where crops are grown exclusively to feed livestock.

Every bit of this land that is not needed to grow plant crops to feed humans (and any animals who remain in our care once we stop exploiting them), needs to be revegetated to restore greenhouse gas sinks and wildlife habitat.

Even land that is so badly abused by human overuse that it will no longer grow anything, can be used for generation of electricity from the sun and wind. All this is necessary, and it is doable. All it needs is the public and political will.

Frankie Seymour

Ban Fireworks

December 2018

On the Queensland Government website we read, "Noise from fireworks can cause distress, especially as fireworks can sound like gunfire. The noise can also cause tinnitus and deafness or aggravate a nervous condition. People who suffer from asthma can experience discomfort and epileptics can experience seizures following fireworks displays. 

When frightened by fireworks, horses and dogs have been known to injure themselves and others by running away, potentially causing accidents and damage to property."

If all these detrimental effects of fireworks are clearly recognized by the Queensland Government why on Earth isn't it acting responsibly and banning all fireworks? If fireworks were banned we wouldn't need the RSPCA to warn us, each year,  to tightly secure our pets so they are not run over by cars, impaled on fences, or strangled on chains. We wouldn't need to be warned to relocate our horses so they are not killed or injured trying to flee. And, no longer would the New Year start, as it does now, with countless numbers of traumatised and injured dogs in our shelters.

Jenny Moxham

Fireworks dangers

December 2018

Fireworks harm human health, pollute the environment and terrify all animals.

In past years, dogs seeking to escape from fireworks have been found impaled on fences and strangled by their chains and our animal shelters are invariably filled with traumatised dogs on New Year’s Day.

When are we going to start behaving like grown-ups by finding other ways to amuse ourselves on New Year’s Eve?  

Jenny Moxham

Garden suburbs

December 2018
I certainly agree with Peter Crammond that Adelaide is turning into “shoebox living”  and it is against our Australian suburban life. 
Adelaide was originally made up of garden suburbs which gave us a high quality of life with better mental and physical health. If we continue this appalling infill, where developers are building concrete jungles over our gardens, Adelaide will become hotter and drier and our lifestyles will continue to deteriorate. 
These two-storey shoeboxes are not suited to our climate, so airconditioners are becoming almost essential for survival . 
These devices are increasing on a massive scale, belching more heat into the environment. The whole planning system needs to be overhauled and changed before it is too late. 
 Christine Pierson

Sir David no fool

December 2018 
Sometimes I agree with Andrew Bolt. 
But I cannot sit back and permit him to refer to the wonderful Sir David Attenborough, as a “fool.” 

How dare you, Andrew. There is absolutely no doubt at all that the cancer of the unsustainable and out-of-control human population, on our beautiful planet, is plundering more than it can provide. 
And destroying the only place where we, and all biodiversity, can survive. 
Anyone who seemingly has their head in the sand on this issue because it is perhaps too awful to think about, is in fact, the fool. 
Alex Hodges 

Green Space

 November 2018

Protesters keep up your stand and shout “You can’t take our little piece of green space” as loudly and strongly as you can.

Don’t let the bureaucrats get away with this appalling action to take away your last little bit of freedom from the infill that the government is forcing upon you.

I am a former councillor and have seen how the government and the councils work together to “acquire” open space by what they call legal means, but not what I call acceptable means. 

Firstly they try and keep it pretty quiet while they virtually work out a deal and then do pretty well the minimum notification they are required by law to do, and most residents have no idea of what is going to happen. Then they slip it through a council meeting and it is a “done deal”.

From a quick look at the election results it would appear that more than half the council will now be made up of new elected members. If the council has already voted on this item and it was passed then here is your chance to work for a rescission motion.

Make sure that you all request to make a deputation to the council and speak up in the chamber where you will have a captive audience. 

The government is hell bent on using up every single bit of open space that it can get its hands on and works with councils to get it. Some councils fight against this but others don’t, and it depends on the elected members as to what happens.

Don’t give up. No doubt the trees will be felled, the wildlife injured, killed or evicted and the ground dwellers bulldozed, so fight for them as well as yourselves and your children.

Wishing you all the best.

 Christine Pierson

Balloons popped

 November 2018

Great to see that Peter Van the Party Man owner Mark Van has joined the Pro Environmental Balloon Alliance to stop selling helium filled balloons for mass release. ”Party over for balloon  releases.”

Every time I see these terrible balloon releases on TV I cringe, thinking of all the animals that are going to die and suffer from ingesting the remains of the balloons.

I also know the damage that the attached strings do to all creatures, but particularly birds, who use them for their nests where they and their babies become entangled.

Regarding funerals, who would want to pass on from this world leaving behind a trail of death and misery as their final act?

Surely nobody who really thought about the consequences.

It is also pleasing to read that “most of the balloon shops that are members of the Balloon Artist and Suppliers Association of Australia have already stopped releases.

Let us get this message spread world-wide and save countless animals from suffering and death.

Christine Pierson.  President, Cats Assistance to sterilise

Coorong vision 

November 2018
ERIN Jones made excellent points in her article “Coorong hasn’t recovered from Millennium drought,” concerning the nation’s largest concentration of waterbirds, including migratory birds from Alaska. 
Our state and federal ministers who are responsible for water and conservation, David Speirs and David Littleproud, must work together on recommendations. 
The report from the Coorong summit was one of two that came out in June this year, with scientific experts, government officials and indigenous leaders making several short to-long-term recommendations to rehabilitate the wetland. These included increasing waterbird populations by creating nurseries of aquatic plants and trialling the effectiveness of mechanical removal of algae. 
The reports provided a working vision to restore the Coorong and a strong basis to secure federal funding as now is time for action. 
Fay Mathews

Restoring nature 

November 2018
The beautiful wildlife photographs and article “Future of wildlife in the palm of our hands” (The Advertiser) were inspirational. 
In the desert, a 130-year-old sheep station was bought by Bush Heritage and renamed Bon Bon Reserve in 2008. Now arid rangeland ecologist Dr Graeme Finlayson marvels at the diversity of unique, fascinating small mammals in a harsh environment. 
Painstakingly restoring the landscape of the traditional owners, and monitoring the plants and the health of the animals that used to be in the region, helps to assess how the reserve is responding. This proves, with infinite patience, our country’s ecological balance could be re-established. 

 Fay Mathews

Weed killer concerns

October 2018

I was in Brighton on October 3 when I saw the “Green Life Group” workmen spraying the verges near Jetty Rd. I enquired as to what they were spraying and was told that it was Roundup (glysophate, a non-selective herbicide).

The worker commented, “hardly a green thing to be doing”. He said that they were under contract to Holdfast Bay Council.

I went into the council chambers and was told that it was standard practice for all councils to spray the verges and paving for weeds with Roundup.

My major concern is for any animals or birds that may eat the grass, as birds particularly love the tiny seeds that are appearing in spring and dogs eat grass when on walks.

I considered the whole process completely unnecessary, and with the onset of more hot weather, they would die anyway.

Our country uses far too many hazardous chemicals, such as Roundup, 1080 and 2,4-D (agent orange) near crops for weed and animal control.

Our oceans have toxins that are found in fish flesh. In fact, pregnant women and children are advised not to eat fish; why add to the problem so unnecessarily?

Another question is, are the workers supposed to put up signs to say that poison is being used, to stop passers-by from being sprayed – or would that be too controversial?

Diane Cornelius

Show some kindness

October 2018

October 1-7 was “Kindness to Animals Week” and October 4 was “World Animal Day”, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Overfishing and pollution are resulting in the acidification of our oceans and large marine mammal and species loss, causing massive ecosystem damage.

Diane Cornelius

Developments

October 2018

REGARDING “We’re watching you” some clarification is necessary.

Replacing one dwelling with multiple housing is not always the fault of the councillors.

Elected members are under enormous pressure from State Government to increase infill, to such an extent that there is virtually no genuine open space left.

Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council has been fighting for years to save their heritage-listed areas, and yet some lovely old houses have been bulldozed, against the wishes of councillors.

Campbelltown Council is being turned into a concrete jungle, and there is a battle there to try to stop this appalling overruling from the State Government.

We must be careful not to blame councillors for something that is out of their control.

With regard to animals, there are some genuine cases where an elderly person has to move into restricted living, or those who are financially deprived lose their homes, and have to take their pets with them to flats and units.

This is not an ideal lifestyle for an animal, but alternatives can be worse.

Where people already live in these situations, it is much better for occupants not to get animals, and I agree that it is miserable for dogs and cats to be shut in units and runs. The council is, however, best-suited to encourage and assist, rather than to make blanket laws.

 Christine Pierson

Trees sacrificed for development

October 2018 

When are developers going to find some moral compass, foresight and imagination, and realise that it is not trees that are impacting on their developments, it is the developments that are impacting on the trees ?  

Trees are crucial to the survival of every living thing on this planet, and with worldwide deforestation and vegetation clearance due to unsustainable population growth, now reaching critical impact levels, we have to rethink tree protection. 

It should be illegal to create a small allotment with a significant tree on it, when the tree then becomes a problem. 

I applaud the stance taken by the Adelaide Hills Council to protect two beautiful huge trees at a Mt Torrens development. One of these trees, provides the preferred leaves of our iconic and critically threatened koala, an animal found nowhere else in the world.  I sincerely hope that the State Commission Assessment Panel agrees with the Council.

Alex Hodges

Parklands plan

September 2018

I was horrified to read that Adelaide City Council is asking the Adelaide Parklands Authority to begin community engagement on a plan for Golden Wattle Park, on the corner of South Terrace and Sir Lewis Cohen Drive.

It states “A two-level community sports pavilion and multi-purpose sports fields that can accommodate three football/cricket, four to six soccer fields and up to six ultimate frisbee fields” is planned for the site.

It also includes lighting for all playing fields, a 150-space car park, picnic facilities, shelters, grassed mounding and a ‘biodiversity interpretative education hub’”.

The dictionary meaning of “biodiversity interpretive” is “The variey of living things found in an ecosystem”.

Where does this proposal help any creatures who presently call this space their home?

Ironically in my opinion, they will also be putting an “information hub” in the middle of a lost ecosystem.

These lovely areas surrounding our city are for parks, trees and wildlife, not more sports fields.

Diane Cornelius

Plastic bag ban

September 2018

Banning single-use plastic products for food is a logical and necessary step in waging war against the global problem of plastic pollution.

Cleaning up our use of plastics, which contaminate soil, farmland and marine ecology, is critical for our future on planet earth.

Councils, governments and big companies together must pioneer the change that we need to fully biodegradable materials: leading by example, playing an educative, ethical role, and setting the standard that we expect of them.

The very survival of the natural environment and the life that it supports hangs in the balance. Many people have made a commitment to a plastic-free personal lifestyle.

Simone Hunter

Talk about double standards.

August 2018

Here we have Onkaparinga Council calling for a report on confining cats because they are a perceived threat to native birds and wildlife, and yet this same council allows motorbikes to rip up Silver Sands Beach with a race (“Bike return a blow for birds.”)

I couldn’t agree more with Peter Laffan, who stated that “holding motorcycle races on our beaches is a throwback to an earlier time”.

We now know the damage that the human species is doing to our environment and our animals, and we should do all that we can to stop it.

There should be no dilemma for the councillors as to when the motorcycle race should be held on Silver Sands Beach, because it should not be held at all.

There are a lot more animals that are affected by motorcycle races on beaches than the hooded plovers, so we need to consider all of these creatures, not just the plovers.

Christine Pierson,

President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Plastic Bags 

August 2018

Regarding Lainie Anderson's column "Plastic bag hysterics just a load of baggage," I couldn't agree more.

Anyone caught complaining about the inconvenience of not being allowed to use plastic bags should be made to sit and watch videos of the agonising deaths that plastic causes animals - both marine and land animals. 

What is a little inconvenience compared with the suffering and death of our fellow creatures?

Look after non-plastic carry bags and keep them clean. So what if you have to wash them if they get soiled.  

It's so much better than causing torture to animals with the millions of tonnes of discarded plastic.

Christine Pierson

Poor livestock suffer most in drought

August 2018
This HOT, DRY LAND IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO RAISE VAST NUMBERS OF SHEEP AND CATTLE.

WE’RE being called on to help the “poor” drought stricken farmers.

But what about the poor sheep and cattle who are physically suffering through lack of food? What have they ever done to us to deserve this pain?

One farmer in NSW says his sheep are living skeletons and the cattle are so hungry they are scraping dried moss off rocks and chasing leaves.

He says, around 10 of his sheep are dying from starvation each day

Drought is “part and parcel” of Australia.

Always has been and always will be. Clearly this hot, dry land is not a good place to raise vast numbers of sheep and cattle.

Despite this, farmers continue to fill the land with livestock and when drought comes our government rushes to keep them afloat with multi million dollar handouts.

This is a ridiculous state of affairs. It’s time to phase out industries that are not sustainable – and the livestock industry is one of them.

Jenny Moxham

No more plastic

August 2018

I absolutely agree with “It’s the last straw for plastic straws.” That is a small step in the right direction but what about all the other plastic killers?

Anyone caught complaining about the inconvenience of not being allowed to use plastic bags and other plastic items should be made to sit and watch videos of the deaths that these lethal killers cause when ingested by animals, both sea creatures and land based.

What is a little convenience compared with the suffering and death of our fellow creatures? Look after non-plastic carry bags and keep them clean and so what if you have to wash them if they get soiled.

Better than causing torture to an animal with plastic ones.

Good to see Mayor Spear putting forward constructive ways to reduce the use of plastic water bottles and it is also great to see supermarkets that are phasing out plastic bags.

We need a lot more support, however, from our State Government, which seems to have little respect for animals as we haven’t yet had any changes to laws to help our fellow creatures.

Christine Pierson.

President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Bravo, Andrew

August 2018

THANK you, Andrew Faulkner, for “My top 10 trees”  

It made me think of the trees in the South Parkland on the corner of Greenhill Rd and Unley Rd, now being transformed into TreeClimb, an aerial “adventure park.”

It is described as innovative, progressive and creative, even though this stretch of trees and those that border TreeClimb, are now lost to all the wildlife who lived amongst them.

Tree-Climb claims to include nature-based education, ignoring the habitat destruction it has caused. How many birds, possums and ground-dwellers like lizards, could tolerate “groups of up to 20 climbers harnessed, secured and ready to go every 20 minutes seven days a week?” They must look elsewhere in an ever dwindling Parkland.

W. Parsons

Statoil name change to softer Equinor

August 2018

Given that your own company's modelling shows that an oil spill would spread oil across the whole of southern Australia causing destruction on a scale that could normally only be done by invasion and warfare I think it is outrageous of Equinor to be planning to do this. 
Go back to Norway and leave Australia alone!!!

Helen Dowland

Understanding ‘lacking’

July 2018

R. Ryan’s letter highlighted a lack of understanding that industrial animal agriculture is completely unsustainable, it is the major source of land and water degradation and native animal species extinction.

Forests are cleared for new pastures and Australians are the largest consumers of all animal products in the world; 33 per cent of arable land is used to feed livestock, this land could be used for food for human consumption.

Reducing the number of farmed animals from our landscape would have a huge environmental impact, including land revegetation, which provides our native animal and bird habitats.

Planting alternate crops could be used for green manure in place of animal manure.

A quick way to reverse global warming can be achieved by reducing rearing and killing animals for food.

We don’t have a planet B.

 Diane Cornelius  

We don’t have a planet B to fall back on

July 2018

R. Ryan’s letter highlighted a lack of understanding that industrial animal agriculture is completely unsustainable, it is the major source of land and water degradation and native animal species extinction.

Forests are cleared for new pastures and Australians are the largest consumers of all animal products in the world.

33% of arable land is used to feed livestock, this land could be used for food for human consumption.

Reducing the number of farmed animals from our landscape would have a huge environmental impact, including land revegetation, which provides our native animal and bird habitats. We don't have a planet B to fall back on.

Diane Cornelius

Protect Planet


July 2018
THE environment is the biggest issue of the coming Federal election. 
Tax cuts etcetera are merely rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. 
It doesn’t matter whether you believe in climate change or not, it is happening anyway and all the indications are that it will continue to happen. 
It is the biggest thing on the planet that is happening and affecting us. 
Where will we move to when we need to get out of this planet because it is totally wrecked? 
How will we get there? Bearing in mind that this is reality not a science-fiction show. 
Are there things we can do to slow down this catastrophe and make the best of things? Of course there are. 
And which party is going to do more of those important things is the question we should be asking ourselves and voting on. 
There definitely are things we can do but we need to vote for the people who are willing to do them. 
The people who are ready to do them. Ready to do the things that need doing to save everyone. 

 Helen Dowland

No To Fireworks

July 2018

Why does the Mylor Primary School choose to have a bonfire event for fundraising and "fun"? The noise from  the music and fireworks won't be "fun" for the animals nearby. I believe last year a neighbouring horse and a dog panicked because of the noise and were killed. What about nearby kangaroos?'

Fireworks are polluting, dangerous, noisy and , literally, money wasters: hardly suited to education aimed at developing a protective and caring attitude to our planet and her life forms. May the principal and her staff find a kinder, a more nurturing and less violent way of fundraising and "fun" next year.

Alice Shore

Rank destruction

June 2018

Article “Give me a home without the gumtrees, please” (The Advertiser, 12 6/18)  strikes a painful note as I have long campaigned against the destruction of our trees and the gross infill promoted by the previous Labor Government.

When a Councillor with Norwood Payneham and St Peters Council I was a member of the Tree Committee, which spent long and arduous meetings, listing significant trees, to protect them against developers and owners who wanted to destroy them.

I also voted against inappropriate development applications to save trees, heritage buildings and open space; particularly where lovely homes and gardens were to be bulldozed so that two or three storey dwellings could replace them.

Every year since, I watched as more of what we fought for on Council was over-ruled by the Labor Government and our hard work undermined.

These magnificent trees, so important for the birds, possums and environment are being stripped and felled, all in the name of cramming increasing numbers of residents onto increasingly smaller blocks. This means there is nowhere for animals and children to play, leading to neighbourly feuds and mental ill-health.

Building under these irreplaceable trees, some 100 years old, should never be permitted and I remain strongly opposed to State Government interference in local government decision making regarding trees and infill.

Christine Pierson

School Fireworks

June 2018

I am extremely concerned about the proposed annual fireworks and bonfire to be held in one of this state's densest wildlife corridors and surrounded by conservation parks. I cannot understand how such an outmoded, archaic and potentially dangerous activity can possibly be permitted in this day and age. School children from the Mylor PrimarySchool should be taught to respect wildlife, people's pets and the environment, not cause harm. The pollution alone is a reason for stopping this unnecessary activity. Schools have creative potential to raise money in positive, safe ways. I am hoping many caring people will join me in demanding that this unnecessary event be stopped.

Phil Cornelius

Stop poison use 

June 2018

Reading the article "Poisoned birds in front Yard "NorthEastern Weekly 13 June", presumably poisoned with rat bait, horrified me.

In a country like Australia you would not expect that anybody could just go to the shop and buy dangerous poisons and risk the lives of all animals, birds and children.

There is no need for using rat baits, which also poison the environment, because we have cats and cats are the safest and most effective means of rat control yet known to man.

Cats have protected us through the ages by controlling rodents.

Although I do not like to see any animal killed, it is still far better for a rodent to be eaten by a hungry cat, which kills its prey quickly to eat it, than dying in agony for up to 8 days from rat poison.

Let us hope that our new Minister for Environment, David Speirs, has a lot more sense and compassion for animals.

Lisa Roberts

Longer chimneys

June 2018

Given the number of people who are adversely affected by wood burning fires, I can only think that there are many that have not been installed properly. When I had a wood burning fire installed nearly 30 years ago, I was taken aback when I saw how tall the flue was on my roof.

I asked the contractor if it could be made shorter, and he gave me a resounding “no”. He explained that the flue must be high enough to allow the smoke to be caught in the air flow above, and so carried well away from my house and those of my neighbours. I have just had a new flue installed, and yes, it is just as tall as the old one. I don’t know what the legal requirements are, but perhaps another length of flue could solve many problems.

W. Parsons

Well done, Matilda

June 2018

WHAT a beautiful story in the Southern Times Messenger:

I congratulate 11-year-old Matilda Channing for making a difference for wildlife and sea creatures by collecting rubbish from Christies Beach.

Eighty per cent of rubbish in our oceans is washed down from the land. Albatross and other birds feed plastic to their chicks, mistaking it for food.

Fish ingest microbeads of plastic, which finish up in their flesh, which people eat.

By encouraging others to help by meeting at the Rotary Park, on the corner of Beach St and the Esplanade, at 4pm each Friday, Matilda is indeed helping her community.

Diane Cornelius

Aluta continua

June 2018

The fight for water allocations for SA from the Murray Darling Basin has been going on for decades. Scientific reports have already shown what water requirements are needed for a healthy river. 


The river’s mouth happens to be in SA, and the fact that rivers die from the mouth up makes SA’s 450 gigalitre environmental share vital, and not an “optional extra” . 

SA’s Minister for the Environment and Water, David Speirs, needs the support of federal ministers, SA MPs Christopher Pyne, Nicolle Flint, Rowan Ramsay and Tony Pasin, when taking on the upstream states in a battle he desperately needs to win. 

Phil Cornelius

Vegans and Frank on same page, almost

June 2018

I am compelled to reply to Frank Brown’s letter in the QT, June 6, “Human population should be number one priority.”

I applaud the fact that he obviously cares about the brumbies, but he has the wrong end of the stick about vegetarians or vegans.

We actually agree that the human population growth is a great concern, but so is the proliferation of animals used for food, especially cattle and sheep.

Our country is being converted to a huge animal product producer, attempting to feed unhealthy meat to other countries’ massive burgeoning populations.

Vegans live healthily and kinder without causing suffering.

We are raising billions of methane producing animals to the detriment of our native fauna, ecosystems and atmosphere. Large portions of our country are water and vegetation poor, so this is a looming environmental catastrophe. 

Diane Cornelius

Drown in plastic

June 2018

Tuesday, June 5th, is International Environment Day. Our planet is drowning in plastic. We are addicted to single use plastic, with devastating consequences. Albatros and other birds are feeding it to their young as they mistake it for fish. The chicks suffer and die. Fish eat plastic 'beads' that get into their flesh. We produce the equivalent to the weight of the human population every year. Only 9% of plastic waste is ever recycled. As economies grow consumption booms and so does the use of plastic goods. We all need to do more for the health of our planet.   

Diane Cornelius

Fracking in the South East

May 2018

You have acted quickly on your promise to make a 10 year ban on Fracking in the South East if you were elected but it's disappointing that you haven't made it law.

You probably know better than I do that local industry can't plan and build for the future, building the prosperity of the region unless they have certainty. Farmers, winemakers, and tourism businesses cannot invest and build for the future without knowing they are safe from unconventional gas fracking, for at least 10 years. We really do need a legal10 year ban.

Now, Troy Bell, the independent member for Mt Gambier, has listened to their concerns and is planning to move his own bill to enshrine the ban in law. But to get that bill passed, we need the Liberal Government to vote with it.  

The future of our state is dependent on the future of the Limestone Coast.  We depend on it for food, wine, agriculture and tourism. 

It’s clear that there is no social licence for fracking and that South Australian communities support a shift towards renewable energy sources. In this regard SA is a model setting an example world wide.
Thank you for your attention and for acting on this matter as soon as possible.

Helen Dowland

Toxic approach

May 2018

I was surprised and pleased to receive snail mail from people who read our letter and were concerned about the poisons being spread by Port Adelaide Enfield Council to control so-called “pests.”

One stated: “I agree it is environmentally better with your approach (using desexed, fed and managed cats to control rodents) than laying baits all around the place”.

Also: “It is worse still that they, through their contractors, poison mosquitoes, wasps and bees with pyrethrum. It is a contact insecticide; the cats touch it, groom themselves, ingest the poison which affects their nervous system, then they die.”

I consider that this information is vital to readers, as I also have information that pyrethrum is poisonous to cats. In fact, an article in the Sunday Mail on June 25, 2017 states that “Exelpet Fleaban contains pyrethrum” and the owners had pulled the products from shelves after cats died.

Fish eat mosquitoes and bees can be rehomed to pollinate our food crops and, as I have stressed, cats should be protected, as they control the rats and mice.

Let us stop persecuting our animals and poisoning our earth any further, or we won’t have a living planet at all.

Christine Pierson

President, Cats Assistance To Sterilise

Wood burning fires

May 2018

I cannot understand why wood-burning heaters and fires have not been banned when the pollution is increasing at a rapid rate.

Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council has been wonderful regarding the banning of cigarette smoking in many public places, so I am calling on this council to set the lead and ban these polluting devices.

Residents who are causing this pollution have no consideration for their neighbours, who have to put up with this smoke which gets into homes, even with the doors and windows closed, making breathing difficult.

Please, owners of wood burning heaters, stop being so selfish, and consider those who live near you.

Christine Pierson

Poll calls for Parties to Show Hands

March  2018

The important headline in The Advertiser, March 16th, "Poll call for parties to show hands on KI oil," supports previous exploration opposition calls by the Wilderness and Conservation Societies, the public for whom politicians are accountable and Kangaroo Island's Mayor, Peter Clements, who said, "I don't know of anyone who supports seismic testing in the Bight...and it would have a big impact on the vote on KI..," and statewide.

There is no way off insuring catastrophic spills will not devastate the entire coastline, spread by the massive currents of the ocean. Whales are a vital part of the oceans' ecology and make it possible for life in our oceans to exist.

The Great Australian Bight is their breeding ground and seismic explosions will deafen, interfere with their navigation, and ultimately kill them. Voters must be heard.

Phil Cornelius

Gifting animals is madness

Dec 2017

Caleb Bond's article is about goats being trapped and shot because they are causing damage to native vegetation. Instead of removal before their numbers increased, o

once again killing is the 'solution.' Major charities such as Oxfam and are wanting people to buy goats, cows, sheep, chickens and pigs as gifts for hungry people in 3rd world countries  According to World Land Trust, farm animal gifting is madness, environmentally unsound and economically disastrous. 

Farmed  animals need copious amounts of water, correct nourishment, fencing, shelter from climate extremes, all of which are in short supply in semi-arid countries. Animals cannot "just live off the land." Feeding crops indirectly to billions of animals is the cause of world hunger, as those same crops could be fed directly to humans. 

Water wells, environmentally suitable fruit trees, soil improvement and land care equipment are much better gift options.

Diane Cornelius