Letters to the editor

Smith family reunion

I am putting out a call to all relatives of the extended Smith family, originating from Tingha and reaching back to Samuel Smith III and Elizabeth Ann Cox (1860-1935) who were married on 04 Jan 1876 at Copes Creek, near Tingha, and whose children were born between 1876 and 1902.

A family reunion is being arranged in Glen Innes for 14th October 2017.  

Further details will be forwarded as expressions of interest are received.

The reunion will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Samuel’s son Robert Henry Smith who was killed in the 1st battle of Passchendaele on 12th October 1917. 

A private commemorative documentary style DVD will be shown which follows the path of Robert, and New England’s 33rd Infantry Battalion through the Somme and Belgium.

Relatives should forward their expression of interest, along with their family links to Samuel and Elizabeth, to:

rick.ange@bigpond.com, or:


Richard (Rick) Smith (Clarence Henry/Jones Agnew/Samuel III), and

Elaine Wade (nee Freeman) (Clarice Maud/Frederick William/Samuel III)

Richard Smith

Ex Tingha

State of Byron Lane

I regularly take my dogs for a run along Byron Lane up and too the "T" junction, I let the dogs out just of the Ashford road and let them run. I follow closely behind in the car.

For the past few weeks the state of the road has become poor.

Corrugations are getting deeper and deeper, making for a hairy ride and at times dangerous. My car has been in a slide several times.

I have a choice where I take my dogs for a run but I do feel for the residents that have to travel that road on a daily basis.

What damage must these corrugations do to their cars - literally shaking the car to the core. 

I do hope that these people stay safe.

Bonnie Pallapies

Mulligan Street

Sceptical about NDIS

It saddens me to see and hear that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is presenting much as the National Disability Insurance Scam.

I have been suspicious of it since I first heard that Family and Community Services (FACS), had jumped on its bandwagon and quit direct care to people with disability who live in a FACS run group home in NSW, and instead have a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) take over the running of group homes now run by FACS.

We have been told who that NGO will be now and so far they have said the right things such as my sons will have a Title of Occupancy issued to them which means that on paper at least, they will be able to stay in their present group home until they die, this is just the same as the lease that I signed with FACS back in 1991 and which they have now reneged on.

I have had a NSW Government Ministerial [reply] that states that the men will have continuity of care when the NGOs take over, however it lacks a timeframe thus can be dismissed fairly easily.

I am grateful for a response from any minister as previous attempts have failed. Our new Premier helped break this ground for me.

Is it too much to ask that we could all be near the same book at least, we can get to the pages later?

I call on the state government to step up to the plate again and provide a service of last resort for people with severe intellectual disabilities. They should own this responsibility and not kick it out of field.

The thing is sounding more and more like a ruse, a ruse with good intentions yes, but still a ruse in practice.

No-one knew what they were doing for about two years and alarmingly a lot still don’t know how this thing will evolve/devolve.

I am not sure how they recruit staff but a lot of them are not trained sufficiently to become an NDIS planner-they should first read the story behind the person or people they are visiting and then develop a forward thinking plan with them.

Marie A Cowling

Duri, NSW

Inland rail will not reduce truck numbers

The Federal Budget has allocated $8.4B to commence work on the 1700 km. Inland Rail from Melbourne to Brisbane.

The prime time will be a major benefit to grain and cotton growers at Narrabri and Moree but of very limited benefit to exporters in the Tamworth -New England region.

Currently at Tamworth exporters  road transport their containers 280 km. To be shipped from Newcastle. Using the Inland Rail will require a 170 km. Road trip to Narrabri, off loading and then reloading on to the train for a 590 km. Trip to Acacia Ridge in Brisbane.

Similarly an export container at Glen Innes will require a 215 km. road trip to Moree, off loading and reloading onto the train for a 470 km. trip to Brisbane.

Today that same container takes a 370km. RoD trip to Brisbane for shipping.

These two examples clearly demonstrate that exporters in the Tamworth-New England region will carefully asses any financial and time benefits.

The Inland Rail will not remove trucks from the roads in the Tamworth-New England region, they will still be there but required to travel in a different direction on other roads.

A. E. Stannard.

Bandalong St.