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.
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 email@example.com 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