EASY WAY TO STOP MIS­USE

Tablelands Advertiser - - NEWS -

AGAIN we have clear ev­i­dence of the mis­use of par­lia­men­tary “ben­e­fits/ en­ti­tle­ments” by a mem­ber of the fed­eral Par­lia­ment. This has pro­duced a flurry of let­ters of anger in the news­pa­pers and on so­cial me­dia.

I would like to point out again that there is an easy way to stop this abuse of tax­payer’s money. It would be very sim­ple for par­lia­ment to pass a law that made it manda­tory for all politicians to spend their own money for trans­port/ ac­com­mo­da­tion in the first place, and then send in a claim for re­im­burse­ment, ac­com­pa­nied by all of the rel­e­vant re­ceipts and reasons for the claim. This claim would then be as­sessed by an in­de­pen­dent body to de­cide whether it would be paid or not.

Af­ter all, this is what ev­ery­one else has to do. PETER BEATTS, Ma­reeba

Then we hear of Sun­wa­ter chas­ing so­cial crick­eters to buy a per­mit to play at old Ku­lara, which con­firms Sun­wa­ter is run by bu­reau­crats not busi­ness­peo­ple.

Dredge to in­crease dam vol­ume? No. Sell sand to in­crease profit? No. Cut trees to im­prove safety? No. Chase crick­eters to get a per­mit? You betcha!

Evolved cor­po­rate logic is highly un­likely to crawl out of a primordial bu­reau­cratic swamp; the ‘cor­po­rati­sa­tion’ was only about as­set sales and noth­ing to do with com­pet­i­tive­ness or wa­ter se­cu­rity.

Rather than sell Sun­wa­ter we’d be bet­ter off break­ing it up and giv­ing con­trol of Ti­na­roo Dam back to its user groups where it be­longs. PETER CAM­PION, Tolga

POWER COSTS TO SURGE

ELEC­TRIC­ITY prices in Queens­land are high and ris­ing.

This is threat­en­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of ir­ri­gated agri­cul­ture across Queens­land.

The cur­rent elec­tric­ity pric­ing frame­work is fail­ing elec­tric­ity con­sumers and is di­rectly and ad­versely af­fect­ing the in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness of Queens­land’s ex­port ori­ented ir­ri­gated agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries, risk­ing turn­ing this pil­lar of our econ­omy into a stump.

If Er­gon En­ergy’s pro­posed new tar­iffs are ap­proved by the en­ergy reg­u­la­tor, then sum­mer power costs will surge.

Er­gon’s pro­posed tar­iffs, set to take ef­fect from next year, would pe­nalise fi­nan­cially strapped home­own­ers, busi­nesses and farm­ers dur­ing the sum­mer, when they use power the most.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion, com­mis­sioned by Cane­grow­ers and car­ried out by eco­nomic con­sul­tants Sapere, found the Er­gon pro­posal was far from jus­ti­fied.

The re­port sug­gests that the de­gree of net­work con­ges­tion upon which the pro­pos­als in Er­gon’s Tar­iff Struc­ture State­ment de­pend has been over­stated by two or­ders of mag­ni­tude based on Er­gon’s pub­lic data on zone sub­sta­tion con­ges­tion.

The scale of this pric­ing dis­tor­tion is a whop­ping $1.8 bil­lion over five years.

This re­port is our smok­ing gun to say – yep, Er­gon En­ergy has just been a cash cow to print money.

The long-term so­lu­tion is to fix the reg­u­la­tory rules to en­sure it de­liv­ers fair re­turns rather than ex­ces­sive re­turns to the net­works and the State Gov­ern­ment that owns them. KERRY LAT­TER, Cane­grow­ers Mackay chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer

CON­VER­SA­TION ABOUT FU­TURE

PETER Cam­pion has to­tal missed my point in his re­ply let­ter in ‘Opin­ion’, Table­lands Ad­ver­tiser, De­cem­ber 23.

Far from be­ing an alarmist, I am a re­al­ist. I do not dis­pute his fig­ures on CO2 and its im­por­tance for food pro­duc­tion. Even if he wins his ar­gu­ment the world still has much big­ger prob­lems than CO2.

Even if we get back to 2,000 ppm CO2 as there was when coal was pro­duced mil­lions of years ago, it will not be a so­lu­tion to the world’s prob­lems. Food is plen­ti­ful for those who have money to both pro­duce it and to buy it.

Be­fore the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion hu­mans lived sus­tain­ably be­cause of the lack of tech­nol­ogy, but we have not learned to live sus­tain­ably with 21st century tech­nol­ogy.

It takes 9 ha of re­sources to pro­duce a stan­dard of liv­ing as ex­pe­ri­enced in the USA and at the other end of the scale it takes 1 ha of re­sources to live with a stan­dard of liv­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in the third world coun­tries. Aus­tralia falls in the mid­dle at about 5 ha of re­sources. In Aus­tralia land is un­likely to be a lim­it­ing fac­tor but wa­ter will def­i­nitely be a fac­tor or vi­tal im­por­tance when it gets short.

It is not just CO2 that en­ables bet­ter food pro­duc­tion, it is trans­porta­tion to where it is needed that al­lows cities to ex­ist. Med­i­cal sci­ence al­lows longer more dis­ease-free lives for all those who can af­ford it. But will any of these things mat­ter if we run out of min­eral re­sources, clean fresh wa­ter or clean fresh air?

I do not talk of this gen­er­a­tion or the next but in 10, 20 or 30 gen­er­a­tions. We live an un­sus­tain­able, ex­trav­a­gant life­style with an un­sus­tain­able pop­u­la­tion. I do not know how to fix these and other prob­lems of sus­tain­abil­ity but they must be a topic of con­ver­sa­tion and to rab­bit on about CO2 like it is the saviour of the planet is just be­ing short sighted.

I have been in­volved in agri­cul­ture for more than 40 years and have con­trib­uted to the prob­lem of over­pop­u­la­tion by pro­duc­ing food (wheat and beef) to feed peo­ple all over the world where these com­modi­ties are ex­ported to. It has been both a ser­vice to peo­ple alive now and the cre­ation of a prob­lem for the peo­ples of the world in the fu­ture.

I en­joy the life­style I have worked for but that does not make it right or sus­tain­able and the con­ver­sa­tion has to take place for the bet­ter­ment of ev­ery­one and not just to win one ar­gu­ment on one sub­ject. RICHARD HOLME, Ma­landa

HUGE THANK YOU

THE Clo­hesy Ru­ral Fire Group wish to thank Joe Tor­risi who op­er­ated the In­ci­dent Man­age­ment Team (IMT) on Koah Road for the re­cent fire lit there just be­fore Christ­mas.

Joe, our new IZONE Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer in QFES and for­mer Vol­un­teer and Per­ma­nent Ur­ban Fire­fighter, was piv­otal in bring­ing to­gether Ru­ral vol­un­teers – both lo­cal and out­side Brigades, Ru­ral Staff, Ur­ban Per­ma­nents, Ur­ban Aux­il­iary, Road Tec, Po­lice and Com­mu­nity in a rel­a­tively short space of time to con­trol and make safe the very dam­ag­ing fire.

The IMT, sit­u­ated on the spot at the in­ci­dent, was in­valu­able. Re­ports from those fire­fight­ers on the num­ber of mov­ing fire-fronts and lo­cal ad­vice was recorded and re­sponded to promptly, un­like the pre­vi­ous fire in the Spee­wah area on Clo­hesy River Road, which was con­trolled from Ma­reeba.

Bush fires, which are al­ways mov­ing, are very dif­fer­ent from sta­tion­ary struc­tural fires. Work­ing with the fire and us­ing that im­me­di­ately to your ad­van­tage is learned over many hours of Ru­ral train­ing, just as Ur­ban Fire­fight­ers are pro­fes­sion­als with sta­tion­ary house and struc­tural fires.

To ev­ery­one in­volved a huge thankyou and con­grat­u­la­tions from Clo­hesy Ru­ral Fire Group. Thanks again Joe – one of our boys and girls. YVONNE THOM­SON, Clo­hesy Ru­ral Fire Group vol­un­teer ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cer

BAT­TLING POW­ER­FUL LOB­BIES

THE World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion es­ti­mated that, of the 7 bil­lion peo­ple alive to­day, to­bacco ad­dic­tion will kill 500,000,000.

So pow­er­ful is the Big To­bacco lobby though that it is not in­cluded in the “War on Drugs”, nor is it a ma­jor pub­lic is­sue, and any gov­ern­ment that even tries to stop ad­ver­tis­ing that pro­motes its use will be sued in in­ter­na­tional courts for be­ing anti-free trade.

If our po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives and our me­dia are un­will­ing/un­able to con­front and con­tain such a mur­der­ous in­dus­try, how could we ex­pect them to do any­thing against Big Coal and Big Oil, who make B.T. look tiny.

The bat­tle over po­lit­i­cal ac­tion/ in­ac­tion on cli­mate change is be­tween sci­en­tists with no lobby power, mar­ket­ing skills or pro­mo­tional in­fras­truc­ture, just the scary truth ver­sus the fos­sil-fuel lobby with pol­lies and par­ties bought decades ago and state-ofthe-art mar­ket­ing savvy fight­ing to pro­tect their prof­its and their very ex­is­tence.

When you are look­ing at an­nual prof­its in the tens of tril­lions then spend­ing fifty mil­lion to stall ac­tion and pro­tect that profit for even one more year is a no-brainer. None of this is se­cret, it’s prob­a­bly a tax de­duc­tion. There is no need for pre­pos­ter­ous clan­des­tine con­spir­a­cies to ex­plain the fight or the in­er­tia of gov­ern­ments. What was called cor­rup­tion is now called lob­by­ing. MICK CORLEY, Ma­landa

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