Letters to the edi­tor

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

... 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!

So­nia Zade­bernyj

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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

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