Letters to The Islander – Sept. 13

Mia Bertetto of Kingscote collected plastic flowers blown away from the town cemetery.

Mia Bertetto of Kingscote collected plastic flowers blown away from the town cemetery.

Plastic flowers

I recently went on a walk in the Bay of Shoals area, one of my favourite places on KI. When I passed the cemetery, I noticed on the ground a bunch of plastic flowers that had blown across the road and stopped at the fence. I picked it up and quickly realised that the entire grass area was littered with plastic flowers petals, some still whole and other broken down to small plastic filaments. I filled an entire plastic bag with them. I thought to myself that, surely, the people who passed away and are buried in such a stunning environment facing the sea wouldn't want to contribute, albeit indirectly, to the pollution of nature around them. The plastic flowers exposed to the elements slowly fade and break into smaller pieces, the wind spreads them around, and they end up in our soil, water and stomach of our native animals. So instead of using plastic flowers I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to adopt more eco-friendly alternatives to pay our respects. Below are just a few examples that popped in my mind.

Bring to the cemetery:

  • FRESH OR DRY REAL FLOWERS tied up with a grass string (better to avoid plastic rubber bands since if ingested by small animals, they can tangle up their intestines).
  • SMALL succulent or cactus PLANT, something that is drought tolerant & preferably not too palatable to the kangaroos! ;)
  • A CERAMIC BOWL. When you visit, you can fill it up with water so that birds can have an occasional drink, bath and dance above the resting place of your loved ones.
  • NOTHING, just bring yourself. In my opinion, visiting a loved one at the cemetery is an act of love and I'm sure that for the person who passed away that is enough. Wherever our loved ones are now, they don't need gifts. What matters is to remember them through our thoughts, chats, laughs, cries or prayers.

I'm sure there are many more options, any suggestions or comments are welcomed.  

Mia Bertetto, Kingscote

Auxilliary help

The Kangaroo Island Health Care Auxiliary needs new members.  We are a small group who co-ordinate the many volunteers that  run the local fete every year.  We also work at three race club events and have a stall at the Kangaroo Island Show.  These are our only fund raising events.  We have around eight meetings a year and go into recess from after the fete in March until around September. 

If you would like to contribute to your local community in a charity than benefits everyone, visitor and local on the Island, our organisation fits the bill.  Over the years we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that have gone directly to upgrading and maintaining our local health facilities.  Young or not so young, male or female we welcome all new members.  Do you have computer skills, or new ideas, or just want to do your bit for our amazing Island?   Can you help – for more information contact me Leonie Florance on 8553 2142 or the Secretary Linda Werner on 0407 607 316 or just turn up at our next meeting at the Cook Centre Kingscote on Tuesday, September 18 at 7pm.  Meetings are kept short.

Leonie Florance, president

Fake science

In hindsight I should not have attended the feral cat eradication information meeting at the Dudley football club last Tuesday, September 4. I was angry and left as I could not ask pertinent professional questions regarding John Read’s Cat Grooming Trap and the use of toxicant 1080. I believe the cat management group has a closed fixed agenda. Any fraternity that does not encourage open discussion is a dictatorship.

Since 1080 will be used on KI to control destructive feral cats, and the current minister for Environment and Water is not prepared to answer our letters then someone has to be held accountable if the proverbial hits the fan. The Cat Management Board, ecologists, scientists and anyone who distributes 1080 on Kangaroo Island must be held responsible for the following scenarios.

Because the Cat Grooming Trap does not contain the cat there is a chance that a child or adult may come into physical contact with a lethal dose of 1080 carried by a domesticated “stray” cat. There is no antidote! Because 1080 baits will be ‘dropped’ in addition to the use of the CGT there is a possibility that 1080 toxicant could enter the food chain. This could affect the integrity of local primary products. This has already happened in New Zealand.

Native animals, farm animals and pets will be affected by primary and secondary 1080 poisoning. This has happened in other areas of Australia and in New Zealand.

South Australian law states that anyone that deliberately harms an animal and causes it to suffer is subject to criminal prosecution, fines and even prison. There are more humane alternatives to using potent toxins to control destructive feral animals. For extra reading see Dr Miranda Sherley RSPCA research scientist who’s first hand research contradicts Read and Peacock’s data.

I believe that the Cat Grooming Trap is a red-herring to distract the public from the Cat Management Board’s real agenda which is to ‘drop’ 1080 baits on Kangaroo Island. In New Zealand there have been protests and demonstrations over the adverse effects of 1080. The people there are sick of the lies, cover ups and Fake Science!

Errol (Bear) Taylor, Pelican Lagoon

Want to know if and how 1080 will be used on KI? Do you have questions or concerns about 1080 that need to be answered? Wondering how Felixer grooming traps work and where they will be used? Then please come along to the NRKI community event at 5pm on Friday, September 21 in the NRM Boardroom, 35 Dauncey Street, Kingscote. 

Tourists and kangaroos

Tourists.Please respect other drivers

and wildlife. Big Grey. Prospect Hill.

The big grey stood, just as he should,

on the limestone dotted rise.

Another day, another car,

would they inflict, a terrible scar?

They slow to look, without due care,

do you think, it's really fair?

Some stop dead, which I really dread,

what's going on, inside of their head?

They step out of their car,

without a care, or could it just be, a tourist dare?

Their friends stop as well, to not miss the action,

could it be me, that's the main attraction?

They wave and they giggle, with children in tow,

the closer they get, the taller I grow.

Iv'e been on my feet, all day long,

watching these tourists, doing it wrong.

Sunset arrives, not a minute too soon, it's

time to go home, to the back of the dune.

Night shift arrives and I start at eleven,

but that's the one, that can send you to heaven.

Peter Murch, Kingscote