Letters to the Editor | April 11

PIC OF THE WEEK: A youngster takes on the mechanical bull - while her mother captures a photo - at the Family Fun Day on April 8. Photo: Toby Vue

PIC OF THE WEEK: A youngster takes on the mechanical bull - while her mother captures a photo - at the Family Fun Day on April 8. Photo: Toby Vue

Dementia increases

A new report just released has found that the number of people with dementia in Australia has soared to more than 400,000 – that’s one new case every six minutes – with an estimated cost to the community of more than $14 billion this year alone. 

If nothing is done to reduce the incidence of dementia, the cost will blow out to more than $18 billion by 2025, in today’s dollars, and more than double to $36 billion in less than 40 years as the number of people with dementia soars to an estimated 536,000 people by 2025 and a staggering 1.1 million people by 2056.

In NSW, there is an estimated 138,700 people with dementia in 2017, which is expected to cost $4.7 billion this year.

In the Goulburn state electorate, there is estimated to be 1,850 people living with dementia, which is expected to increase to an estimated 2,400 people by 2025 and 4,250 by 2056.

Despite the social and economic impact, we still do not have a fully funded national strategy to provide better care and outcomes for people who are living with dementia now.

The time for action is now. If we don’t do something, the cost will continue to grow to unsustainable levels - to more than $18 billion by 2025 and a staggering $36 billion by 2056.

We encourage your readers who have a diagnosis of dementia to contact Alzheimer’s Australia on the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

The Hon. John Watkins AM, CEO, Alzheimer's Australia NSW

Easter message 2017

In recent days, two Coptic Christian Churches have been bombed near Cairo. It seems that this terror attack was initiated purely for motives of an anti-Christian nature. Pope Francis prayed, “May the Lord convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.’

This happened at the start of Holy Week, the principal liturgical week for all Christians. It indicates that the suffering and death of Christians continues in imitation of Jesus two thousand years ago.

Pope Francis’ prayer goes to the “heart” of the matter. Conversion of hearts from hatred to peace is the ultimate prayer of intercession of us all in these precious times. It is the beginning point of our shared hope that the future will bring forth the practical harvest of joy and mutual respect in society.

We may be limited in our immediate practical response to the tragedy of this Egyptian terror attack. However, this Easter we can reach out to our families and those struggling and be people of hope and peace. Let us start by the conversion of our attitudes from selfishness to the planting of the seeds of a generous societal heart.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn

Finer points about 18C

Section 18C of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act is still the law of the land. It’s still unlawful to make anybody feel “offended”. Yet principled people never intentionally offend others, do they? And they never contravene laws — or do they?

A couple of finer points to consider:

  1. Regarding offending: while not intending to offend, you can’t control the feelings of sensitive persons who claim offence — or prove your innocent intention to somebody determined not to believe you. They’ve got you over a barrel.
  2. Regarding obeying the law: consider the famous occasion when Jesus Christ was asked whether his fellow-Jews should pay taxes to the Roman occupiers. He said, “Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.”

In the case of 18C, let’s usually comply with it — but sometimes, when a black-and-white moral issue is at stake, God outranks everybody else.

Arnold Jargo, Nichols Point, Victoria

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