Letters to the editor

Chandos Street changes

It was pleasing to see Leonie Harley putting pen to paper and endorsing most of Gunnedah residents and visitors’ joy at Chandos Street reverting to a two-way street again. 

It should have never changed. 

Leonie again mentioned the subject of the VIC, Gunnedah Visitor Information Centre for the size of the town and the prospect of growth must be a big disappointment for visitors and locals almsot laughable. 

I spoke to one of our new councillors about moving the VIC back to where it was and the reply was, “it will not happen”. Why? There are plenty of options available at the present building. So I urge the good people of Gunnedah and district to lobby our councillors (petitions mean nothing) for the VIC to be returned to where it belongs – the former VIC building. Fellow residents, this needs to be a combined effort of lobbying, not left to a few people. 

Combined voice means a lot. 

Michael Sparkes, 


Enjoy Your Common Humanity

On Tuesday 21 March Australia celebrates Harmony Day, a day in which we celebrate the diversity and inclusive culture our country has sewn.  Australia is built on multiculturalism, different people of different walks of life coming together to make our country what it is today.

When I think of multiculturalism, I look to my kids.  Some of them come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds imaginable, but despite their race, religion, beliefs and upbringing they manage to find common ground.  My kids treat each other with the utmost respect and are the shining example of discrimination having no place in Australia.

Sure, it is our differences that that helped shape this country, but I argue that it is our commonalities that hold us together, and it is these commonalities we should be celebrating.  We celebrate our differences and it is important to do so, but we shouldn’t let these differences define us. 

Youth Off The Streets is holding a variety of Harmony Day events in celebration of the day and encouraging social inclusion. When young people attend our Outreach they have access to fun activities and programs including sports, music and dance, education, volunteering and community projects. These programs are all about connecting with local communities, building relationships and networks, and addressing social isolation and exclusion.

Connecting with your local community is the best way to celebrate harmony day. Joining the festivities in your area or social community encourages discourse on what can be a controversial topic.  We as a nation need to come together and support each other despite our differences and this can only be done through building a foundation of commonality.

This harmony day make sure you get involved with your local community and realise your multiculturalism. I implore you to celebrate, talk about and enjoy your common humanity.

Father Chris Riley AM,

CEO and Founder, Youth Off The Streets

Daylight saving

We kid you not - the Sleep Health Foundation of Australia has gone on record to say that those tiresome daylight saving mornings you've been experiencing for all these years are not a figment of your imagination.

Sleep Deprivation is one of the leading causes for accidents. Can't get through the day without several cups of coffee? Waking up and feeling refreshed in the morning helps you to feel alert more naturally. Higher levels of alertness lead to increased productivity, creativity and efficiency. Burn the calories and eat healthier. When you sleep, your body burns a lot of calories. When you are sleep deprived your body craves junk food more. So what exactly are we saying? If you are trying to avoid putting on extra weight, getting more sleep will burn more calories and will also help you have less cravings for unhealthy foods.

The Body Clock Sleep Health Foundation. What makes you tick? We prefer to sleep at night and be up during the day. This isn't due to habit or work schedules or convenience. It is driven by the body clock. We have hormones and other systems in our body that go through this daily cycle as well. The daily rhythms are known as circadian rhythms. Our health and wellbeing depends on this ticking all the time. Important Things to Know About the Body Clock - an internal clock that makes you feel sleepy at night and awake during the day. Being exposed to sunlight adjusts theclock so that it stays aligned with day and night. This clock is controlled by a part of the brain known as thesuprachiasmatic nucleus (SNC). 

An audit of over 12,000 patients by the Yorkshire & Humber Public Observatory, UK re diabetes patients and concern in other countries affected by the same world-wide "epidemic" of obesity and diabetes, including Australia.

The Globe and Mail - The Journal of the American Medical Association, US and  other research has linked diabetes and sleep.

Studies re 'ds' Karolinska Institute used a Swedish database re heart attacks with daylight saving and sleep disturbances, the journal Sleep and Biological Rhythms, and another negative impact - on mental health concern - Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes called "winter depression".

With all the reports on TV News and papers re accidents because of sleepy drivers, why is all this information ignored by MPs, Governments, Sleep Organisations plus all the health issues when they know about all these but they choose to continue toprotect and defend 'daylight saving'?

Jillian Spring

Billinudgel, NSW