Mercury Letters, April 13 2017

Dementia must be on agenda

A new report has found that the number of people with dementia in Australia has soared to more than 400,000 - that’s one new case every 6 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.

Dementia is one of the major chronic diseases of this century.

It is already the second leading cause of death in Australia and we know that the impact is far reaching.

In the Heathcote, Kiama, Keira, Shellharbour and Wollongong state electorates there is estimated to be 8,400 people living with dementia, which is expected to increase to an estimated 10,700 people by 2025 and 18,900 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, nor are we taking risk reduction seriously in order to try to reduce the numbers of people living with dementia in the future.

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.

Dementia can be a confronting, isolating, confusing and difficult disease to live with. But your readers living with dementia are not alone. We encourage your readers who have a diagnosis of dementia to contact Alzheimer’s Australia on the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Our professional and compassionate staff can provide free advice and support for how to manage now and into the future.

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

Same sex inequality 

Australia's largest corporate giants intend spending $5 million on further promoting same sex marriage. Slogans will appear everywhere from TV to Qantas boarding passes but ads that simply caution viewers to think about the consequences have been banned by channels 7 & 10.

Italian fashion designers, Dolce and Gabbana, both gay men, have raised honest concerns such as the exploitation of surrogate mothers needed to provide male couples with babies and for governments to actually legislate for children to be raised without a mother.

For daring to express the opinion that it is cruel for children to be taken away from their mother, Gabbana and Dolce have been largely boycotted by the LGBT community.

Same sex marriage laws are not so much about equality as inequality for anyone with alternative views.

Kim Furst, Fairy Meadow

Support for lowering penalty rates

This letter is prompted by one from M Ryan Illawarra Mercury on April 5 when he says 80 per cent of people do not support lowering of penalty rates.

I beg to differ, I would suggest at least 95 per cent agree with it.

Look at the support we give to goods purchased from third world countries in lieu of purchasing Australian made products.

We expect government to support local industry, ie.  Blue Scope but we continue to purchase imported goods from countries that do not pay penalty rates.

Surely this tells us penalty rates are too expensive?

Ross Taylor, Thirroul

Thirroul Beach early morning by John Pearce. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

Thirroul Beach early morning by John Pearce. Send us your photos to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.