Letters to the editor October 19

All just houses of worship

In response to your correspondent from Tallong regarding the Muslim cemetery and his comments that it would be illegal to hold “special events” at a cemetery and his view that a person has to demonstrate a local community need before a development application is approved: Would a fair-minded person view it as illegal for the Pope to celebrate Mass at Randwick Racecourse? Should it be illegal for Christians to hold Sunday service at St Patrick’s Cemetery Goulburn?

I personally think not. There are well over 30 cemeteries in the Goulburn Mulwaree Council area, many of which are located in conjunction with houses of worship that are used for other religious activities. To debate whether they are chapels, churches, temples, prayer halls, mosques or cathedrals would be ridiculous argument over political correctness. In the end they are all just houses of worship.

When I die, my first preference would be to be buried beside my parents, grandparents, great grandparents and the miscellaneous uncles, aunts etc. that inhabit that burial ground, which is not in this local area. Unfortunately there is no room left for me and I will make other arrangements.

There are many reasons why people choose to be buried in certain locations and why people choose to worship in different locations. Locally, services have been held in limestone caves. Was that illegal?

Should we be in a position to refuse a group of people conducting activities on their land because the majority don’t live local? Should Wakefield Park have been denied because the majority of attendees aren’t local? What about the Highway Service Centre at Marulan? The majority of customers there aren’t local. Does anyone believe that if, say the Australian Irish National Football Association, sought approval to build an oval with seating for an estimated crowd of 500 people on land that they own with a feasible traffic management plan, that there would be this level of opposition?

The only conclusion I can come to is that a highly vocal minority is endeavouring to prevent a group of people from undertaking their religious activities in the Goulburn Mulwaree local government area.

I urge the newly elected council to stand up for religious freedom as guaranteed in the Australian Constitution and stop wasting ratepayers’ hard-earned dollars.

Mick Shea, Goulburn

Prophets, not profits

Jesus never asked for money; never only healed rich people; never asked anyone to build him or God a cathedral or church or even a statue, yet millions of dollars are used every year to help build new or upkeep these structures.

A message to all churches, be it Jew, Christian or Islam: God does not want your money, He does not need you to kill any one of His creatures, and He wants us all to live in peace. Are you really doing what God wants you to do?

Paul Agius, Goulburn

Don’t sell off good sense

What do lotteries and hospitals have in common?

NSW Lotteries has been in operation for over 80 years since the Great Depression, when the State Government decided the only way to tackle the state’s hospital crisis was to conduct a state lottery.

This was a time when unemployment was at an all-time high and money was sparse, so the announcement of the lottery received harsh criticism. The government agreed it was an appalling idea, but could see no other way to keep state hospitals in operation.

Beginning in 1931, the NSW Lotteries grew larger each year, with bigger prizes and more participants getting in on the action. Even though this was a major source of funding for the hospitals, NSW Lotteries were sold off to Tatts Group in 2010.

Whilst privatisation of public assets might initially provide a short-term boost for economic management, it usually causes adverse ramifications and, in this case, further financial crisis.

The Baird government proposes fixing the shortfall with closures, relocation of services and more privatisation. It seems that the modern-day career politician can only manage the state by selling off the good sense of those before them.

Bill Young, Goulburn

Closure of Bourke St pool

Does NSW Health have an alternative venue in the event of the pool closure? Prevention is surely better than cure.

In my many visits to the pool, I have seen clients who can barely walk. When they enter the pool, their world changes as they have much more freedom of movement. I am sure this has reduced or even prevented these clients from becoming chair-bound, therefore reducing their need for more care from NSW Health.

I feel it is false economy to sell the Bourke Street pool, considering the health benefits gained, and not forgetting the social contact, because many aged people live alone. The council pool would not be suitable unless a hydrotherapy specific pool was built.

Come on, NSW Health, think about people for once and not your pocket!

Irene Harris, Goulburn

In a lather over dispenser

It is wonderful that the managers at Goulburn Square, Charter Hall, have upgraded and redecorated the toilet facilities.

However, I was very disappointed to discover the hand soap dispensers in the female toilets are already broken. 

Prior to the upgrade, it was rare to find hand soap in the toilet facility. During the upgrade, I was incredibly dismayed to discover no soap in the female staff toilets. And now, no soap in the newly refurbished toilets. Something really needs to be done.

Joanne Cooper, Greenwich Park