13 August, 2021
Letters and Texts to the Editor, Cairns Local News Aug 13, 2021
A sample of the letters and texts to the Editor from this week's edition
Trip of compassion
Mental health issues are an immense problem facing our community. About 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental health problem in a given year. That’s 5 million people.
Many of these will be serious cases, that last for years, and have wide reaching effects on those afflicted, their families and the wider community.
The issue is more severe in FNQ then in other parts of Australia. Indigenous people and defence force veterans both experience higher rates of mental health problems. Regional and remote areas experience far higher rates then metropolitan areas.
The Productivity Commission last year released a landmark report into mental health where they calculated the annual cost of mental health problems to the Australian economy. $220 billion!
The effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and talk based therapies are very limited for those who seek and receive treatment, and many (or most) struggle with issue for years or a lifetime.
Such therapies ‘work’ for less than half the patients who receive them.
There are recent developments in mental health treatments however, that have the potential to dramatically increase the quality of life of countless Australians.
Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is an extremely promising area of mental health treatment that has seen a renaissance in professional interest in the past decade.
Whereas traditional mental health treatments have efficacy rates of below 50%, results from Stage 3 Trials using Psychedelics to assist psychotherapy show efficacy rates of above 80%! This is simply amazing!
The US FDA has registered MDMA and psilocybin as “Breakthrough Therapies”, fast tracking their research and development.
It is predicted that these products will be available for professionals in the USA by early 2023.
The charity Mind Medicine Australia is working hard to get the ball rolling in Australia.
The amount of misery that lies just under the surface of our community as a result of mental illness is horrific.
Stigma and taboo of these substances is slowing research and bureaucratic process in Australia. I sincerely hope the taboo is lifting, with the potential for a large degree of the mental health burden lifting from our collective shoulders as a result.
THOMAS H Machans Beach
Big business benefiting from job keeper
I have been reading with growing bamboozlement the stories of big business receiving our taxpayers money through the job keeper scheme and going on to post record profits.
Surely our tax dollars are best spent on programs where accountability is a key requirement.
Yes, there was a need to support business in the immediate uncertainty of the global pandemic.
But it is farcical that they now continue to keep our tax dollars while positing massive profits and paying out bonuses for the same period.
I would like to highlight this double standard with a personal analogy.
I am required to estimate my yearly income to receive childcare benefits and tax concessions.
I do this with the best knowledge of what my financial circumstances will entail for the future financial year.
If my earnings then increase due to unforeseen circumstances I am then (rightfully so) required to pay back the unentitled benefits.
This is the fair process surrounding the granting of hundreds of dollars. How can our government spend billions of dollars without the same level of accountability and moral responsibility?
BEN K, Whitfield
Unfair water policy
After reading Mayor Manning’s letter on water, I thought I should report a conversation I had with Cairns Regional Council, Waste and Water manager Mark Wuth.
He confirmed to me that some subdivisions and properties on the Northern Beaches have two sets of water pipes and two meters: one for town water for household use, and one for recycled treated water for garden and outside use (coloured purple).
The problem is that CRC have little storage facility for that water so there is not enough to supply these subdivisions.
Consequently, household water runs through these purple pipes also. The households are charged half price for this potable water plus another access charge.
How large this scheme is I am not sure but it does not seem equitable that some people are getting half price water for outside use!
AJ, Holloways Beach
Clean up beautiful cairns
Re beautiful tropical Cairns. Please clean up your streets. Grotty as. Does not cost much to keep clean.
Mould and fungus all over town. It’s a shame for tourists and locals.
Have good look around.
Only nature is self-maintaining.
D Nevin, Killarney
Politicians make me sick, especially the far left, I have seen the renewed crocodile presence in our region affect our children’s recreational water use extremely negatively over the past 20 years.
There are literally millions of crocs in the NT and the Gulf so their recovery from near extinction is totally complete, so tell me why do we need any crocs in Qld at all?
All they do is keep our children, and most people, from our stunningly beautiful waterways and their favourite water activities, so again, can the politicians tell me WHY, why do we needs crocs in Qld endangering the most populated areas?
Just makes no sense to allow it. Perhaps the politicians should be made liable for our children’s safety around our waterways, that would change their tune
PETER J, Cairns
Corruption in cairns
Cairns regional council corporate corruption is showing it’s ugly head. Cairns police corruption next.