Letters / Fears of a festival fire threat

We, the residents of the Naas Valley, at Tharwa, wish to register our deep concerns regarding the upcoming Psyfari Festival that is to be held at Caloola Farm, Top Naas Road, on the weekend of February 23-25. The festival expects upwards of 2000 patrons.

This event, which is open to the public, will see thousands of festival goers camping at Caloola Farm.

The Naas residents are concerned that the current high fire danger and the long, dry fire season, may cause a serious situation for patrons attending the festival along with rural residents in Tharwa and the neighbouring areas.

Access to Caloola Farm is on a single lane, eight kilometres of dirt road, with only one way in and one way out. Should a fire or unforeseen catastrophe occur, the patrons and residents of the valley would be put in grave danger due to the access to Caloola Farm. The high numbers of patrons attending who would need to be evacuated would more than likely prohibit any incoming emergency service units.

Drugs and alcohol are reported to be prolific at these types of events. This raises another safety factor for all people on Canberra’s rural and suburban roads.
Recent and similar events held at Caloola Farm provided evidence of pollution from human faecal, urine matter and toilet paper. This pollution occurred on the water’s edge of the pristine Naas River. Litter was also left behind on the sides of both the Top Naas and Bobeyan Roads.

If the ACT government upheld rural lease policies and signed agreements, events such as these would not be occurring.  Holding events such as these at Caloola Farm is in breach of the rural lease agreement.

Naas Valley residents

Colleges don’t need school zones

TWENTY-nine people were fined for speeding in front of Narrabundah College on the first day back at school.

For many, I guess, not realising it was the beginning of the school year would have been a reasonable excuse. And, no, I wasn’t one of the 29.

Narrabundah College caters for years 11 and 12, and students range in age from 16 to 18. Many of them have a licence and drive to college each day.

I find it sad that the reduced-speed sign outside the college tells the world that students at the college haven’t yet understood road rules and cannot be trusted to cross the road.

I am all for reduced speed outside primary and high schools, but why do we have to treat our 16 to 18-year-olds like children and have reduced speed outside colleges?

Surely these students would have learned by now what is expected of them in regards to staying safe on the road, especially those who already have a driver’s licence? Maybe we, as supposed adults, need to re-assess when we allow our children to be considered responsible citizens.

Julie Finch-Scally, Narrabundah

Empty streets, more beggars

I’M with columnist Michael Moore (“Labor hell-bent on the high life”, CN, February 15) and then some.

To move as many Canberrans as possible into apartments the ACT government is taking over car parks for more high-rise, thus forcing us on to public transport.

Parts of Civic look like bomb sites – we avoid it – there are vacant shops everywhere and the number of beggars seems to have increased.  

Apart from lunch hour, the streets are empty except for the army of yellow and orange-dressed workers.

When the unions and their government are finished they will have the territory they want.

Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla

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