Harden Murrumburrah Express letters to the editor, June 8, 2017

CHANGES NEEDED: A letter-writer is pleading with quad bike users to wear helmets while riding.
CHANGES NEEDED: A letter-writer is pleading with quad bike users to wear helmets while riding.

National approach needed

The news that another child has been injured after rolling a quad bike over the weekend once again reinforces the need for a greater effort to be made to stop quad bike deaths and injuries in our rural areas.

Having grown up on a farm, I’m well acquainted with how widely used the quad bike is by country families and workers, including by adults and children alike to get around their own property as well as between farms. 

But as a personal injury lawyer, I’ve also come into direct contact with the life-changing nature of a quad bike injury.

One of my clients was 14 years old when she came off a quad bike without a helmet and then suffered a permanent brain injury.

Her choices in life will inevitably be very different now.

With 32 deaths from quad bike accidents in NSW alone over the past six years, it’s very welcome news that the state government is pressing its federal counterpart for a national approach to quad bike safety and regulation.

Research has shown safety measures like roll bars and helmets can help keep our quad bike riders safe.

It’s time all Australian governments came together on this issue so there is consistency across every state.

But even with the best regulations in the world, accidents are still a key risk.

That’s why a national campaign is also needed to reinforce the message that wearing a helmet on a quad bike is an absolute must.

A helmet could very well mean the difference between life and death – or even a life-changing injury.

Danielle De Paoli

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Poisoning on rise

Is your dog or cat at risk from rodent poisons?

A vet at the University of Adelaide has reported that the number of dogs being poisoned by rat baits quadrupled in May.

Baits use smell to attract rats and mice, and dogs also find this smell irresistible and will eat any baits they find.

While cats are less likely to eat random baits, they can also suffer horrible deaths if they find and eat a poisoned rodent.

Symptoms of poisoning include bleeding in the urine and faeces or from the mouth, nose and any cuts — as well as pale gums, increased respiratory rate and lethargy.

Rat bait contains anti-clotting agents, which mean the pet can bleed to death internally.

If your companion survives, veterinary treatment can involve surgery to release trapped blood, and is lengthy and expensive.

Poisons, glue traps, and other lethal measures are horribly cruel, and killing rodents won’t keep mice or rats away for long (when animals are killed/removed from the area, more will move in to use available resources) and can actually result in a temporary spike in the food supply, causing remaining rodents to accelerate their breeding.

This creates a vicious killing cycle in which many animals will suffer and die needlessly.

To keep your home or business rodent-free over the long term, you’ll need to contain all food sources and prevent mice and rats from accessing areas where they are not wanted. 

Desmond Bellamy

PETA Australia

Equality equals change

The words marriage equality have nothing to do with equality. 

They are about changing the meaning of a work very important to human culture. 

They are also about changing the meaning of the words bride, bridegroom, husband, wife, widow, widower, parent and family.

Do people want to spend the rest of their lives having to explain that they are married to a man or woman?

Belinda Hunt