Let­ters to the ed­i­tor

The Riverine Herald - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

‘In­ac­tion from all lev­els of gov­ern­ment beg­gars be­lief’

ZERO wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion for NSW farm­ers draw­ing gen­eral se­cu­rity wa­ter from the Murray River ir­ri­ga­tion is heart­break­ing for our ir­ri­ga­tors and towns­folk across the re­gion, as we all rely on the pros­per­ity of the farm­ing com­mu­nity. ■ We are pump­ing gi­gal­itres of wa­ter into our forests while our farm­ers’ crops and pas­tures are dy­ing, their live­stock are hun­gry and rice grow­ers’ pad­docks lay dor­mant; ■ Our Murray Dar­ling Basin Plan is in tat­ters along with the con­sen­sus of coun­cil to with­draw from the Murray Dar­ling As­so­ci­a­tion due to our re­gion not be­ing fairly rep­re­sented; ■ We have locked up our forests which we flood with en­vi­ron­men­tal wa­ter, en­sur­ing the for­est floor grows to fos­ter bush­fires; and ■ The tim­ber in­dus­try has ground to a near stand­still and our farm­ing com­mu­nity is of­fered coun­selling for men­tal health. The Murray dams like Dart­mouth and Hume were built for drought mit­i­ga­tion. They cur­rently hold sig­nif­i­cant wa­ter in stor­age (Dart­mouth 89 per cent full) yet NSW farm­ers have a zero al­lo­ca­tion. How is this fair and just? The in­ac­tion from all lev­els of gov­ern­ment beg­gars be­lief. I can only imag­ine how the chil­dren are cop­ing in this as­sisted man-made dis­as­ter through the lack of wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion. The cost in lost pro­duc­tion and hu­man health is enor­mous. I would like to sin­cerely thank Leanne Whitely, Tony Ryan and the band of vol­un­teers who de­liv­ered over 800 hampers with do­nated goods from com­mu­ni­ties far and wide. The stream of hay run­ners pass­ing through our towns from the South and West is a con­stant re­minder of the ‘Aus­tralian Fair Go’ which doesn’t ex­tend to our state and fed­eral pol­icy mak­ers. Gen Camp­bell Deputy mayor Murray River Coun­cil THE un­prece­dented release of per­sonal de­tails in cab­i­net doc­u­ments by the Pre­mier means coun­try Vic­to­ri­ans who gave up their per­sonal de­tails to the An­drews Gov­ern­ment’s Pick My Project and En­ergy Saver web­sites can have absolutely no con­fi­dence their per­sonal de­tails will be kept se­cure. Vic­to­ri­ans were asked to sub­mit per­sonal in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing phone num­bers and home ad­dresses to Pick My Project to be con­sid­ered for fund­ing. Daniel An­drews must give all Let­ters to the ed­i­tor must be no more than 300 words. All let­ters must in­clude the au­thor’s name for publi­ca­tion and a res­i­den­tial ad­dress and phone num­ber for clar­i­fi­ca­tion and ver­i­fi­ca­tion. Un­less emailed, all let­ters must in­clude a sig­na­ture. The ed­i­tor re­serves the right to edit or with­hold let­ters.

No. 10078

Re­gional Vic­to­ri­ans a guar­an­tee that he will not leak this in­for­ma­tion for po­lit­i­cal gain. Daniel An­drews’ de­ci­sion to use the pub­lic ser­vice to leak con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion for po­lit­i­cal pay­back has re­sulted in a mas­sive breach of the pri­vacy of in­no­cent Vic­to­ri­ans. The An­drews La­bor Gov­ern­ment says the unau­tho­rised release of in­no­cent Vic­to­ri­ans’ in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing health and fi­nan­cial records, was “un­for­tu­nate”. There’s no line the Pre­mier for Mel­bourne won’t cross to win. Peter Walsh, Mem­ber for Murray Plains

‘No con­fi­dence per­sonal de­tails will be se­cure’ Re­spect and hon­our their sac­ri­fice

FOR more than 70 years, Aus­tralian peace­keep­ers have played an im­por­tant role in pro­vid­ing sup­port and as­sis­tance to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. On Septem­ber 14 each year, Na­tional Peace­keeper and Peace­maker Day, we hon­our the courage and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of Aus­tralian ser­vice and po­lice per­son­nel who have served in more than 50 multi-na­tional peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions since 1947. While the first Aus­tralian Peace­keep­ers worked as un­armed mil­i­tary ob­servers, bring­ing vi­o­la­tions to the at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, over time the na­ture of peace­keep­ing has evolved to in­clude the man­age­ment of more com­plex and multi-di­men­sional is­sues. These have ranged from op­er­a­tions as mil­i­tary ob­servers, pro­vid­ing lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port, and mon­i­tor­ing cease­fires to land­mine clear­ance op­er­a­tions, sup­port­ing demo­cratic elec­tions, pro­vid­ing polic­ing sup­port func­tions, and fa­cil­i­tat­ing the de­liv­ery of hu­man­i­tar­ian aid. Trag­i­cally, 16 Aus­tralians have died serv­ing as peace­keep­ers. This Na­tional Peace­keeper and Peace­maker Day, I en­cour­age Aus­tralians to re­spect and hon­our their sac­ri­fice. It is also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber and re­flect on all those who have served in peace­keep­ing mis­sions, and those who are cur­rently serv­ing in the Mid­dle East UN Truce Su­per­vi­sion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNTSO), and the UN Mis­sion in the Repub­lic of South Su­dan (UNMISS). Thank you for your ser­vice. Dar­ren Ch­ester MP Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs

Pick My Project is not a level play­ing field

WITH­OUT want­ing to en­ter the pol­i­tics over the Pick My Project ini­tia­tive of the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment high­lighted in Mon­day’s Riv Herald ar­ti­cle, I do want to point out some se­ri­ous anom­alies from one lo­cal’s per­spec­tive. WH IST SPOOF R O P OWE R R IFE TOTEM NEGATED T LEADS T A PEALS I DOLS IR IS MODERAT E E S S I REN Y Y RE­LEASES REAR RESTS SERGE R T I TEMS R SEN­A­TOR E I DER AD IT NO­MAD E P LEAST READY I am a mem­ber of the board of man­age­ment of the City of Echuca Bowls Club. Our Lights over Greens sub­mis­sion is one of 30 project ideas in the area sur­round­ing Echuca that lo­cal peo­ple can vote for. Thirty mil­lion dol­lars has been al­lo­cated for the Pick My Project pro­gram across the state. The bowl­ing club has ap­plied as part of this al­lo­ca­tion for $120,000 to re­place old, sub­stan­dard and un­safe lights over two of our four bowl­ing greens. It is a vi­tal de­vel­op­ment for a club that has a rel­a­tively small mem­ber­ship with lim­ited re­sources. Un­for­tu­nately we are not play­ing on a level play­ing field in a com­pe­ti­tion that sets us up against other lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions. While I am keen to em­pha­sise that all of the ideas sub­mit­ted by lo­cal groups have merit, the bowl­ing club is dis­ad­van­taged sig­nif­i­cantly for the fol­low­ing rea­sons: ■ To be el­i­gi­ble to vote you must live in Vic­to­ria. Many of our mem­bers live in NSW and our bowls net­work which we would ex­pect sup­port from, ex­tends into NSW. None of these peo­ple can vote; ■ Ini­tially, to be el­i­gi­ble to vote you needed to do so from your com­puter. A large num­ber of our mem­bers do not have a com­puter; ■ Af­ter some ar­gu­ment from our club (and per­haps oth­ers as well), peo­ple were per­mit­ted to vote by phone. While this sounds fine, the re­al­ity has been there is only one con­tact phone num­ber, so the process has been slow and cum­ber­some; and ■ In the end suc­cess or fail­ure will be de­ter­mined by a vote count. It is un­likely a small or­gan­i­sa­tion with a lim­ited net­work will be able to gen­er­ate suf­fi­cient votes to get across the line, no mat­ter how much it tries or how cre­ative it is. Big­ger or­gan­i­sa­tions are likely to be the win­ners. The City of Echuca Bowls Club has been proac­tive for a long time in seek­ing fund­ing to ad­dress is­sues at our club, which in­ci­den­tally is cel­e­brat­ing its 100th year this year. We saw the Pick My Project as a new op­por­tu­nity. We are de­lighted the State Gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing money to ad­vance lo­cal com­mu­nity ideas and we are pleased to have the op­por­tu­nity to influence fi­nal de­ci­sions, and we are still hope­ful of a good re­sult. De­spite our best ef­forts, how­ever, we strongly feel let down by the process. Lo­cal peo­ple can still vote (as long as you are over 16 and re­side in Vic­to­ria) with vot­ing clos­ing at 5pm on Fri­day. Peo­ple can vote by phon­ing 1800 797 818, email­ing pick­mypro­ject@vic.gov.au vot­ing in per­son tomorrow be­tween 10.30pm and 1.30am at Echuca Neigh­bour­hood House or by in High St. John Blair City of Echuca Bowls Club

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