Letters to the editor
... it creates an unreasonable fear of young homeless people, making it harder to provide them with the help they need
Airlie: we’re always open!
ATTENTION Whitsunday residents; Townsville is closed on Wednesdays!
On a recent holiday to Townsville with the kids, we really enjoyed both paying for indoor air conditioned fun and the outdoor sights and activities BUT not on a Wednesday.
Plan your trip, as the top thing to do in Townsville, visit the Strand and swim in the rock pools and get wet at the waterpark are both closed every Wednesday, the entire year!
Wow, in North Queensland, in stinger season, on school holidays, what a joke Townsville council.
Airlie Beach locals and visitors are welcome every day of the year to work, rest and play 24/7.
Love the Whitsundays!
Car park chaos
I HOPE that at least a few members of our newly elected council had the opportunity to visit the car park adjacent to the Airlie Beach foreshore and the Whitsunday Sailing Club (the one they are discussing developing) on polling day.
If they had they would have noticed that it was used by a variety of vehicles, many associated with what appeared to be an outrigger event being held at the new beach.
If the parking in this area is formalised it will make it difficult for such events to be held, as not only will it reduce total number of parking spaces, it will reduce the flexibility required for the varied vehicles associated with such events.
Councillors, please think long and hard about further reducing the total parking in Airlie, and also the flexibility of those parking arrangements.
The foreshore, the Sailing Club, and the beach all host events that rely on this flexibility; This region relies heavily on tourism including these events.
Col Forster, Woodwark
Melanoma hotspot in Qld
READERS may have seen the news this week that Australia no longer has the highest per capita rates of invasive melanoma in the world – in large part thanks to Cancer Council’s 30 year Slip, Slop, Slap campaign.
Australia now has 48 cases of melanoma per 100,000 people compared to 50 cases per 100,000 in New Zealand.
While this is good news, it is not cause for complacency, with Queensland still, by far, the skin cancer capital of the world.
Queensland has a melanoma incidence rate of 71 cases per 100,000 people (for the years 2009-2013), vastly exceeding rates in all other jurisdictions nationally and internationally.
Our climate and demographics make us uniquely vulnerable to skin cancer, necessitating ongoing vigilance in sun protection.
In fact, melanoma incidence is expected to rise steeply among older people for some time yet, due to damage done earlier in life, before our Slip, Slop, Slap campaign began.
We are, however, seeing ongoing decreases in younger age groups – with rates of melanoma stabilising or declining among younger generations.
There can be no doubt that this is due to the success of long-term prevention and early detection campaigns, such as Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide.
Ending Queensland’s tragic record as the skin cancer capital of the world remains a top prior- ity for Cancer Council Queensland.
It’s imperative that whenever the UV Index level is three or above, Queenslanders follow the five recommended sun protective behaviours.
Queenslanders should Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when outdoors to best reduce their risk of skin cancer.
Queenslanders can find more information about being SunSmart, including the latest cancer statistics in Queensland at cancerqld.org.au. Professor Jeff Dunn AO Chief Executive Officer Cancer Council Queensland
Myths and facts about youth homelessness
YOUTH Homelessness Matters Day is coming up on Wednesday, April 13.
In order to get people in the community to support the cause it is important to make them understand the issue so that they can empathise with young homeless people and take action.
The first step to achieving this is to break down some of the most common myths about youth homelessness:
Myth 1: Homeless young people choose to live a life on the streets.
Fact 1: The most common cause of youth homelessness (and homelessness in general) is domestic and family violence, with 70% of young homeless people leaving home to escape family violence, child abuse or family breakdown.
Myth 2: All homeless young people are mentally ill or substance abusers.
Fact 2: Only a quarter of homeless people are mentally ill, and about 40% are alcohol or substance abusers, with around 15% suffering both disabilities. Those who are faced with mental illness or who suffer from substance abuse are often dealing with complex family issues or abuse and face added stresses experienced while living on the streets.
Myth 3: Young homeless people are all criminals.
Fact 3: Most young homeless people are not criminals, and – according to the National Law Centre On Homelessness and Poverty – homeless people ac- tually commit less violent crimes than housed people. This is a troubling misconception because it creates an unreasonable fear of young homeless people, making it harder to provide them with the help they need.
Breaking down these misconceptions will bring us one step closer to fixing the issue.
This Youth Homelessness Matter Day, I encourage everyone to sympathise with young homeless people and get involved in your community, host an event, run a campaign or make a donation to help young homeless people out of poverty and back into society. Father Chris Riley CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets