Collie River’s future looks grim
State and Federal governments have poor track records in looking after the health and wellbeing of our freshwater rivers.
Many rivers have died, climate change has resulted in reduced rainfall and ground water has been over allocated.
Regulatory authorities continue to make silly decisions, the latest example has been to divert the south branch of the Collie river into a former open-cut coal mine, a huge hole that can hold 29 gigalitres of water.
The river can no longer take its ancient path and native fish can no longer migrate upstream.
The future is very grim for the river downstream during summer, low and empty river pools will result in fish deaths and other bad environmental impacts. No man-made lake should rob a river of its water.
There is an urgent need for regulators to commit to dinkum pool supplementation of the downstream south branch river during summer and to cut out the wishy-washy promises that do not hold water.
Ed Riley, Collie
Bottom line has its price
WA has an elevated credit rating, while the The West Australian reports on homelessness and homeless camps in Premier Mark McGowan’s own electorate (News,11/6), with the death of a homeless man.
It is not enough for the Premier to refer this to his euphemistically called Department of Communities.
The WA Government is basking in the accolades of being elevated by Moody’s in its credit rating.
It is good news for the State’s financial bottom line as it means interest on State debt is reduced. The Liberal Opposition will be wondering what happened to their supposed mantle of being better “economic managers”.
However, though the Government is to be congratulated for sound economic management, we are again reminded of the pain that has delivered this economic result. And that pain has been exposed in The West’s article on homelessness.
It is a question of priorities. The WA Government has reportedly overseen a fall in economic activity to 2010 levels, with the worst employment figures in two decades.
The austerity campaign of the Government is at the expense of the community. Homelessness, premature deaths, rising crime, youth despair — these are all the crown of thorns that the Premier must wear, while at the same time banking the (unexpectedly large) royalties delivered by the mono-economy of iron ore mining.
Mr Premier — where is your conscience?
Jerome Frewen, West Perth
Tired of this cruelty
On Monday on Manus Island, a refugee tried to end his own life by self-immolation. He is not the first to have done so and he will not be the last.
Four men detained by Australia for almost six years are in a critical condition as a result of attempted suicide since last month’s election.
Twelve men have died as a result of their incarceration on Manus and Nauru since 2013.
Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Papua New Guinea was found to be illegal and unconstitutional by the PNG Supreme Court in April 2016, but the Australian Government seems to have no regard for the rule of law.
Australia’s detention on Nauru of asylum seekers, 90 per cent of whom were subsequently recognised as refugees, entitled to our protection, was illegal when they were sent there. Two years later, LNP and Labor voted together to make this inhumanity legal.
Nothing justifies this cruelty. Asylum seekers have not broken any law. As an Australian, I am sickened by our nation’s continued inhumanity to people less fortunate than ourselves. Marilyn Beech, Albany
The West’s report yesterday.