There are calls for a morgue to be established on the mid and north coasts so the grief of local families isn't  compounded by delays in planning funerals.
There are calls for a morgue to be established on the mid and north coasts so the grief of local families isn't compounded by delays in planning funerals. Sarah Harvey

Lack of a morgue compounds grief for families


I DOUBT if many people are aware of the scandalous, frustrating and heart wrenching situation in regard to post mortems if you reside in country NSW.

As I understand the present government in its wisdom closed all post mortem facilities in country cities, including Coffs Harbour, and centralised them to be carried out at Newcastle.

No decentralisation policy in that decision.

In the case of our son's sudden and unexpected death we were advised that this process would take approximately seven days.

The issue lay therein with the miscommunication of expected time frames and how long the actual process would take, due to the build-up of cases at Glebe and Newcastle, which is due to lack of resources for post-mortem cases in the Mid North Coast?

No funeral arrangements and associated functions could be commenced let alone be finalised.

The stress and trauma involved is unbelievable and I now know of numerous other cases involved.

After nine days we were told that our son's body had not left Coffs Harbour because of the build up of cases in Newcastle.

The coroner was satisfied that the cause of death was sufficiently disclosed and that a post mortem examination would not be necessary with our approval.

If facilities for a post mortem were used in Coffs Harbour the matter could have been resolved in a few days.

I feel sure that other people in Coffs Harbour and throughout the state have been similarly affected.

It is time the present government practised decentralisation not centralisation, realised they have made a terrible mistake and rectified the situation to ease the pain and suffering of families and friends of the deceased.

Both state and federal members should get involved instead of contemplating their future retirement packages.

A letter regarding the situation is proceeding to the Premier and Leader of the opposition.

It's just not good enough.

Brian Chittick


Bypass now action group, Barbara Davis (left), Jan Lumsden (right). 06 DEC 2018
Bypass now action group, Barbara Davis (left), Jan Lumsden (right). 06 DEC 2018 Trevor Veale

Call to bypass campaigners

REFERRING to the Advocate article 'Cut to the Bypass Chase' on Saturday, I would like to ask those residents living in Aubrey Crescent how long have they lived there and why they bought backing on to a major highway knowing there would be traffic noise. I look forward to their response via the letters page.

Trish Welsh, Coffs Harbour



Remnants of rainforest face felling

I AM writing to alert your readers about 0996/DA, which involves the destruction of remnant littoral rainforest trees entrusted for safekeeping to the Catholic Church in Sawtell.

These trees have been sacrificed under so called "bio banking" whereby, even though the trees and the church were heritage listed, only the dead wood in the church building has been saved, but the living wood in the trees is to be destroyed for short term financial gain.

The trees are our heritage and should be saved.

Diana Aveley Lucas


Be careful what you wish for Coffs

SELLING large airports around Australia provided a short-term gain for local governments but a long term pain for all of us that use them regularly.

Selling monopolies like this is a poor decision.

There seems to be no end to the price gouging of passengers that's occurring at Melbourne and Sydney airports, and no effective way to control it. Passengers just have to put up with it and keep paying more and more.

The largest income stream at Melbourne Airport is the parking, not the airport.

Becoming an international gateway doesn't require selling or leasing the airport.

Dr Greg Low


Kevin Hogan's Royal Commission

IT'S becoming quite puzzling following the recent shenanigans of photogenic Page MP Kevin Hogan.

Since Kevin's "heroic" move to the crossbench, the burning question is, is this change of address permanent and is he still a member of the National Party?

If so, what is a member of the National Party doing intermingling with progressive independents on the crossbench?

It's like chalk and cheese.

Kevin has either opposed or voted against every issue the new crossbenchers are now pushing for.

Secondly, Kevin seems to have suddenly embraced Royal Commissions with newly acquired fervour, could he be on a guilt-trip after voting against the Banking Royal Commission 30 times.

If Kevin's efforts to establish a Royal Commission into petrol pricing are more than just grandstanding, someone needs to tell him there have been around 30 previous inquiries into exactly the same thing.

Sadly, no previous inquiry has ever established sufficient price collusion or price gouging within the fuel industry to warrant prosecution, they are probably just too big and powerful.

Keith Duncan


Labor has committed to bypass funding

MS Barbara Davis, is 100 per cent wrong when she says Federal Labor hasn't made a commitment to building the Coffs Harbour Bypass (Cut to the Bypass Chase, December 8).

A 10-second fact check reveals the front page of the Advocate on May 12, said: "Federal Labor yesterday committed to match the Turnbull Government 2018 Budget pledge of $971 million for the project".

Irrespective of this glaring error, Ms Davis should be holding the National Party to account for its failures on the Coffs Harbour Bypass and not attacking fellow residents for their legitimate fears.

The truth is, this project should have been shovel ready to start in 2017/2018, with the competition of all sections of the Pacific Highway upgrade between Port Macquarie and Urunga.

It should have been finished in 2020/21 and not starting in 2020/21.

Instead, the federal Nationals, in power in Canberra since 2013, and the state Nationals, in power in Sydney since 2011, sat on their hands and didn't do the work required, meaning construction wouldn't start before 2020/21 financial year.

And then, after telling us for a decade there would be three tunnels on the route, the tunnels mysteriously disappear without credible explanation in September this year.

And then we're told by the National Party to suck it up, get over it and be grateful.

I've never seen anything quite like it. Luke Hartsuyker's dummy-spit a few weeks ago threatening to pull the $971 million for the project and send the money to the South Coast is unbecoming of a federal member of parliament.

And no Ms Davis, the bypass shouldn't proceed at any cost to tens of thousands of current and future residents whose lives will be negatively impacted for well over a century.

Yes, we need to get trucks out of the CBD.

But we need to fix the problem - not simply move it.

The current design is a social, environmental and economic disaster for Coffs Harbour.

Andrew Woodward, Labor candidate for Cowper


Nero fiddles while Rome burns

THERE is simply no room for climate-deniers. Australia - indeed our whole planet - is under imminent threat.

Our per capita energy consumption is literally the worst in the world, yet the media continues to report the misleading statistics of politicians who can't see beyond their own strategic, short-term ambitions. Their attention is consumed by outdoing one another in their scramble for more power, more money.

Rather than fulfilling their responsibilities to their electorate, they are consumed by factional in-fighting. Both parties are consciously avoiding engagement with critical issues, especially climate change.

Any thought of responsibility for their country's people and environment has been marginalised in favour of backyard, hip-pocket agendas.

Literally, vast expanses of Queensland have been burning.

We are now being confronted by clear evidence of the damaging effects of climate change: more extreme weather events, rising maximum temperatures, rising sea levels and temperatures, warming oceans, massive species extinction - the list goes on.

Fortunately, while they "fiddle", more and more people are realising our leaders are too busy serving the vested interests of their corporate donors to address the "burning" issue which affects us all.

It's a sign of hope that school students are taking to the streets with banners, aware that their future is at risk.

As world-renowned and revered environmentalist Sir David Attenborough said in his passionate address at the UN Climate Change Conference: "The world's people have spoken, their message is clear: time is running out, they want you, the decision makers, to act now."

Suzanne Ferris, Bellingen