Letters to the editor

Cowra Art Gallery Director Brian Langer with artist Stephen Copland at the opening of exhibitions "Dream of Ghosts" and "Behind the Wire".
Cowra Art Gallery Director Brian Langer with artist Stephen Copland at the opening of exhibitions "Dream of Ghosts" and "Behind the Wire".

Trial is inherently flawed

The federal government's proposal to tackle illicit drug use through a drug-testing trial and changes to welfare activity requirements will have major consequences for people battling drug and alcohol addiction. Changes being proposed will force around 5000 Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients to undergo drug testing and will subject them to a variety of restrictions if they test positive.

It’s simply not feasible that a program of this nature can operate effectively across Australia, due to the lack of accessible pathology and treatment services available. The trial’s design is skewed and unrepresentative.

The government wants to trial the testing in sites where services are already available so it won’t inform any national program nor will it add to a meaningful evidence base of how drug testing works.

This measure will see the government essentially say to people who are facing extremely complex drug and alcohol addiction, “If you miss a job interview perhaps you are withdrawing or you are having a relapse, we are taking away your support”. 

In reality, it is applying a blunt instrument to a very complex problem. It won’t help these people and it won’t motivate them to seek treatment. More must be done to help people in accessing treatment and support. 

Doctors see the enormous damage caused by drug and alcohol addiction. We know that the majority of these patients are suffering from other issues, for example, trauma, domestic violence, mental health issues or homelessness.

These measures don’t address those underlying problems. Taking payments away from these people will only cause even greater hardship.

Catherine Yelland

Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Congratulations on the POW Camp exhibition

The members of the Cowra Breakout Association wish to extend their congratulations to the Cowra Council and the Gallery Director Brian Langer for the excellent POW Camp exhibition currently on display at the Cowra Gallery.

The selection of original artifacts, art works and historical images together with Stephen Copland’s interpretative installation is a tribute to such an important part of Cowra’s history. The Cowra Breakout Association recommends the exhibition and encourages everyone to visit the Gallery before it finishes on August 20, 2017. 

Gordon Roles

President, Cowra Breakout Association 

Political power pain

When the poles and wires were sold the expectation was that power prices would be reduced but instead they have gone through the roof.

Mr.Turnbull is waving a big stick at the power companies, but in a democratic society in reality there is little he can do. Surely it is time that each state copy Denmark where turbines in the ocean are driven by the tides, incoming and outgoing, so that they work 24 hours a day without pollution.

Both sides of politics are trying to make themselves the knights in shiny armour regarding same-sex marriage. It is inevitable, so just legislate for it and put energy and money towards cheap power. It is disgraceful that in a developed country like Australia some people are frightened to turn heaters on and others are having their power disconnected because they cannot pay.

John Kjeldsen, Lake Albert

Sick and tired of the same

The free-to-air National Rugby League on Channel Nine always has one telecast on Thursday night, Friday night and Sunday Afternoon.

So why does it always show the games of Canterbury Bankstown, Brisbane and Wests Tigers? Let’s hope that it can do better with their new Saturday night games!

Jane Wallace, Riverwood