I am pleased another beach lover has commented on my recent letter. Graham Pearson, I agree totally with your views.

I would say they are enlightened but in fact they are like my own: Common sense. There is nothing common about common sense, it has been said, yet I find a mutual ally who has an excellent grasp.

I have written to the council with my views about removing the sand from the carpark and trucking it away. My view is that it should be returned to the beach front. This would prevent a degradation of the beach area caused by tidal ingress.

In addition, running over the driftwood with a very large grader, splintering it into sharp wooden needles and ugly shapeless detritus is, frankly, idiocy.


And have the council replied to my constructive views? Ah, no. A big fat nothing from council.

They obviously couldn't care less — pretty much like their attitude to the beach front. Sad.


Refugee resettlement

Our mayor, Hamish McDouall, clearly wants the refugee resettlement proposed by Minister Lees-Galloway for our city to succeed. We can all hope for that success, especially in consideration of the people who are to come here. But hope is not a plan.

To make that success possible we're going to need a large dose of reality, not the pie-in-the-sky we've so far been offered.

I congratulate the mayor for his recognition of some of the problems facing us as we consider refugee resettlement. Housing and jobs are unquestionably high-priority items that must be defined, especially in our community, where both housing and meaningful work are far from adequate for the present population.

Then there's an important issue of provision of treatment for the trauma these people will have experienced. Here Hamish's appraisal leaves much to be desired. His claim that only 5 per cent of refugees need psychological support will not stand scrutiny. I'm being kind to call that view of incidence of emotional and cognitive dysfunction among refugee populations naive.

Traumatic separation from one's home country due to war, violence or specific persecution (standards for being considered refugees, rather than ordinary immigrants) impairs the sense of trust, a quality basic to human interaction. The incidence of emotional impairment is closer to 50 per cent than it is to 5 per cent.

The treatment issue is one of great difficulty, especially across cultures. Treatment is lengthy, results uncertain and not amenable to the present practice of offering a pill for every human suffering.

The mayor compounds the problem by his claim of being assured of adequate psychological resources here. "Assure" and "assume" are awfully close and he needs to avoid making an "ass" of "u" and "me." We have only to ask Mike King for a candid assessment of our mental health services for the general population already here.

A modest suggestion, given the present uncertainty about the issue: the mayor ought to convene a community-wide meeting with Minister Lees-Galloway invited to present the details of his plan.

I'd like to attend and ask him to address Cuba Gooding jnr's imperative (from Jerry Maguire): "Show me the money!"


River water

Mike Cranstone (Chronicle, February 14) complains of emotive rhetoric about swimming in rivers, then indulges in emotive rhetoric himself.

He says "many environmental campaigners would like us to believe our river is a poisonous waste pipe".

Who are these campaigners and when did they say that? I've not heard anyone say that in many years. If he is referring to fresh-water scientist Dr Mike Joy, as far as I know Dr Joy deals with facts and figures. Something Mr Cranstone could work on.


Blue-Green Party

A Blue-Green Party? Sounds as likely as an algal bloom in a capitalist's spa pool.


Use of land

Two pieces in the Chronicle (February 14) about meat and the effects of farming. In one, Gwynne Dyer said "... three-quarters of the world's fertile land ..." is used for food production.

Did he mean that wasn't enough, or too much?

That's how fertile land should be used, not wasted in building mini-mansions for the wealthy.

It's all about sharing our resources, as Mo Morgan wrote in your "Thought for the Day" last week.