Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bad Bellingen

Click for more on my bioregion
We in Bellingen live in paradise, although the weather can be extreme (the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has today issued a severe weather warning), and we have problems with youth violence and crime. Below is my letter today to the editor of the local newspaper, The Bellingen Courier-Sun.

Dear Editor,

Bad Bellingen

A friend of mine, a woman of advanced years, was bashed and robbed on Saturday, May 16, at the foot of the stairs behind the Diggers Club. She did not see the perpetrator, but from my experience, I'll hazard a guess that it was a youth. The collision of her lovely face with the concrete caused immense facial and, naturally, considerable emotional damage. Her eyes are nearly blinded -- a good metaphor for our shire. This friend tells me, without a trace of resentment or rancour, that the hospital did not notify the police. To me, this is incredible if it is so.

Before our eyes, good Bellingen is becoming rather bad, with daily vandalism and violence, so I humbly suggest that Bellingen Shire form a sister-town relationship with the German municipality of Bad Bellingen. The name might serve as a reminder of the current blind and bad state of our shire.

Bad Bellingen ('bad' apparently being German for 'bath') is a place where Germans have for generations used the local spas to recover in health. As Bellingen has far more health professionals and snake-oil purveyors than police, and far more than residents demanding a youth centre, I think that our municipalities could well be 'twinned' and we might all benefit.

However, a youth centre is more urgent, but will only occur if residents tenaciously demand it of Council, and persistently request it of our many fine service clubs and societies. Surely our shire has to wake up to its increasing youth problem and nip it in the bud, as it is likely to increase as the recession deepens, and as local adults continue to turn a blind eye. We don't want the town we love to be called Bad Bellingen. Just 'Bello' is good.

Pip Wilson

Categories: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker