Letters of the week February 9, 2024

Oak tree grief questioned

Dear Echo News,

I write in response to your article Heritage listed oak tree destroyed (Echo News, January 26).

While it’s sad from a European historical perspective that such a well-known English oak tree has gone, the tree was an exotic, a weed, ecologically sterile and virtually useless except to meet the needs of those Europeans desperate to cling onto one aspect of their local history.

This English oak tree was 154-years-old.

If age is a measure of importance, as the article implies, why is it that so few of our native gum trees (Jarrah, Marri, Wandoo, Yarri, Moitj) are heritage listed when so many are two, three, and four centuries old?

Even when deemed important and named as habitat trees – because a single water-wise one of these green infrastructural assets can house dozens of birds, mammals, reptiles, tens of thousands of invertebrates, and breathe and offer free air-conditioning for countless humans – why are such trees not given full protection against greed and senselessness?

Why isn’t there a community outburst each time one is felled to make way for progress, or to improve community safety?

The oak was ‘taken’ under natural circumstances.

By contrast, humans have deliberately cut down dozens of ancient gums in the last few years alone.

The iconic Marri fronting Lake Leschenaultia’s main beach, felled in early 2023 when aged about 230, is but one example.

I missed the funeral notice for that one.

I urge our community to better triage their grief when it comes to the local environment. Put on some different goggles that help you see the forest and the trees.

S Cherriman

Mt Helena


World’s Greatest Shave back

Dear Echo News,

The World’s Greatest Shave is arguably Australia’s favourite fundraising campaign spanning 26 years – with more than two million Australians taking part by shaving, cutting, and colouring their hair, to raise vital funds for the Leukaemia Foundation and people living with blood cancer in Australia.

The World’s Greatest Shave, however, wasn’t immune to the devastating impact of Covid, which created the most formidable challenge the campaign has faced in its 26-year history.

With the event being the single biggest source of income for the Leukaemia Foundation, the organisation took a significant hit and saw fundraising figures drop dramatically.

The World’s Greatest Shave had to pivot, and this year we farewell the beloved chins as we launch a new era of the campaign, with a vibrant, bold, contemporary, and more personal approach – to support the growing number of Australians impacted by blood cancer.

The new-look fundraiser celebrates the everyday heroes in our community doing ‘bloody beautiful’ acts of shaving, cutting, colouring, or donating.

There has never been a more important time for the World’s Greatest Shave to be back in force, with more Australians diagnosed with blood cancer now than ever before – underscoring the urgent need for increased support, additional resources, and more funds.

More than 140,000 Australians are currently living with blood cancer.

Incidence of blood cancer has soared by 47 per cent in the past decade, making it a significant public health issue in Australia.

Funds raised ensure that the Leukaemia Foundation can continue to provide vital support to blood cancer patients and their loved ones, and fund ground-breaking research, in the hopes of one day finding a cure.

We urge the Australian community to sign up to shave, cut, or colour their hair for World’s Greatest Shave by visiting worldsgrea

C Tanti

Leukaemia Foundation


Goodbye Woodside

Dear Echo News,

A recent email to stakeholders advised that Woodside will no longer be progressing the proposed carbon to ethanol pilot plant at the Red Hill Waste Management Facility.

Thanks to everyone who helped to discourage this project, especially Echo News for covering the story when no one else cared!

This would have been a disaster for the Perth Hills communities and the East Metropolitan Regional Council’s credibility, despite the chief executive officer’s willingness to invite such a project.

Turning landfill gas into dirty diesel fuel is no great leap forward in addressing climate change or waste.

The Australian Institute are correct to claim that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a scam!

We need to stop burning fossil fuels instead of greenwashing this industry’s business as usual agenda.

Now to get Woodside out of WA’s northwest whale nursery.

J Bremmer


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