Opinion

2019 Year in Review – Opinion

Amy McPhillips 7 January 2020

In 2019, About Regional’s team shared their thoughts and insights about the issues that matter to residents of South East NSW and beyond. Here’s a look back at some of our most-read opinion pieces of the year.

10. Fast rail strategy but high speed service still a way down the line for Goulburn
by Maryann Weston

Local Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman

Local Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman met with Professor Andrew McNaughton recently. Profesor McNaughton chairs the NSW Government’s expert panel and is overseeing the development of a Fast Rail Strategy for NSW. Photos: Supplied.

Transport infrastructure and rail times in the Goulburn region were key issues in the closely fought battle for the seat of Goulburn in March, and with the NSW Government’s Fast Rail Strategy expected to be delivered before the end of 2019, all eyes were on what it might contain for the ACT and Goulburn region.

9. Pink and blue – really? More colour in kids clothing please!

by Elka Wood

Grey, blue, khaki, more shades of blue and oh look, it's orange! it's orange. Photo: Elka Wood.

Grey, blue, khaki, more shades of blue and oh look, it’s orange! Photo: Elka Wood.

“Muuuum, I need a shirt with more colours on it! It’s for Crocodile, Crocodile and I don’t get a turn because I’m always wearing the same colours – grey, blue, black…” Elka Wood was shocked to discover that her seven-year-old was right: there was an awful lot of navy blue in his wardrobe. Here’s a look back at the discussion about gendered clothing for kids.

8. 80 prominent Australians say AWM expansion “cannot be justified”
by Genevieve Jacobs

Protests are growing against Australian War Memorial’s plans for a $498 million expansion Photo: Jack Mohr.

80 prominent Australians ranging from author Thomas Keneally to former Department of Defence secretary Paul Barrett, and even the Australian War Memorial’s former director Brendon Kelson have joined their voices to the protest against the AWM’s half-billion-dollar expansion, Genevieve Jacobs reported in March.

The long list of prominent Australians wrote an open letter via the Honest History website, saying that the extension “cannot be justified, they show the Memorial is being given preference over other national institutions, and the money could be better spent.

7. “I look into the eyes of these teenage kids and wonder what they’ve seen.” – Lisa Herbert
by Lisa Herbert

Gavin Bell and Celi with Guinean Aicha and her baby Souleymane. Photo Lisa Herbert

Gavin Bell and Celi Kennedy with Guinean Aicha and her baby Souleymane. Photo Lisa Herbert

Lisa Herbert’s heart sank as she scrolled through the comments on a Facebook post about the ‘welcome refugees’ signs in the Bega Valley. She had always felt welcomed and cared for in the region, but the strength of the hatred in some of the Facebook comments truly surprised her.

6. Local Table: Understand your food choices
by Kate Raymond

Photo: Kate Raymond

Photo: Kate Raymond.

The Eurobodalla’s Kate Raymond is passionate about food and the impact it can have on people and the planet. During 2019, she share her wisdom and experience in her Local Table series – no guilt or baggage, just good words to get you thinking and maybe taking action.

5. The Bega Valley’s Cayce Hill asks – Will the beat go on?
by Contributor

Image supplied by Spilt Milk RL Grime set

Image supplied by Spilt Milk RL Grime set

Longtime youth advocate, performer and dance teacher Cayce Hill watched the recent discussion around tighter regulation of music events and festivals with interest during the year. While much of the debate has centred on pill testing Cayce says that she sees other issues at play.

4. Death of a cyclist: Some tolerance please
by Tim Gavel

Blurry of Cyclists ride through lighted city.Background.

Why has the death of a cyclist prompted hatred and not awareness?

In February, Tim Gavel picked up on growing concerns in the Canberra cycling community following the recent death of one of their own. The tragic circumstances Tim outlined follow the death of David Brand in 2018 west of Pambula in a road rage incident.

3. Telstra fails summer holiday customer service test
by Ian Campbell

Down since December 16, three more green lights is what Ian needs. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Down since December 16, three more green lights is what Ian needs. Photo: Ian Campbell.

My summers seem to have a soundtrack. An album that rolls around in the background replacing the stress of the previous year.

Ian Campbell’s soundtrack for the summer of 86/87 was John Farnham’s Whispering Jack. In 94/95 it was Jeff Buckley’s Grace, and in 2009/10 Malk by The Saltwater Band mixed with bush cricket and cooking. But in 2018/19, the soundtrack of summer was on-hold music from Telstra.

2. “I take cannabis.” – Amanda Dalziel
by Contributor

Amanda Dalziel. Photo: supplied.

Amanda Dalziel. Photo: supplied.

2019 saw renewed discussion about access to cannabis oil for the treatment of chronic health conditions. Two years ago the Therapeutic Goods Administration tried to bring security to the increasing trade, but those who benefit from the therapy say those regulations make the oil hard to access and that they still rely on the black market. The Bega Valley’s Amanda Dalziel added her very personal experience to the conversation.

1. Merimbula Ocean Outfall – is that really our best option?
by Ian Campbell

The poo pipe that once did extend into the sea was destroyed in the 1970's, ever since the remains of the pipeline have dumped excess treated effluent on to Pambula - Merimbula beach. Photo: Brent Occleshaw for BVSC.

The poo pipe that once did extend into the sea was destroyed in the 1970s, ever since the remains of the pipeline have dumped excess treated effluent on to Pambula – Merimbula beach. Photo: Brent Occleshaw for BVSC.

Do you think the decision to build an ocean outfall at Merimbula should be revisited or are we too far down the track? The issue was on Ian Campbell’s mind during the year – perhaps a little too much, he writes. Here’s why it’s a big deal.

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