NDIS money should not go to farm­ers

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

Many can em­pathise with the plight of farm­ers in the drought. They are run­ning a busi­ness in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, pres­sured by mar­ket forces that tell them what and how they must farm, de­spite what the land can re­al­is­ti­cally pro­duce.

They get squeezed by mid­dle men and large com­pa­nies that force prices down, caus­ing them to over­stock to eke out a liv­ing.

The banks are not their al­lies ei­ther, for they are out to make a profit at all costs, the big­ger the bet­ter. Cli­mate change is chang­ing even more so the con­stant fluc­tu­a­tions of weather that farm­ers have had to fac­tor in to their busi­ness since farm­ing first be­gan.

Gov­ern­ments are forced to sub­sidise farm­ers so that small com­mu­ni­ties don’t wither and die like the grass in the pad­docks.

How­ever, farm­ers now are faced with yet an­other ma­jor is­sue. Be­cause drought is the flavour of the month and per­haps the Fed­eral Coali­tion Govern­ment is try­ing to shore up votes in elec­torates, money al­lo­cated to the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance Scheme is be­ing “re­pur­posed” to as­sist farm­ers.

Money is be­ing taken from one very much marginalised group to sup­port the drought af­fected farm­ers. The NDIS took years to be agreed to and be­gin its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son stated cat­e­gor­i­cally that his govern­ment would fully fund it.

Now that is all up in the air even be­fore the NDIS is fully rolled out. Com­mu­nity groups, NDIS re­cip­i­ents and the gen­eral pub­lic were not asked about the change.

Farm­ers were not con­sulted about where their new money was com­ing from and hope­fully they won’t be the ones ac­cused of this fla­grant breach of trust by the govern­ment.

They need sup­port, but should that be at the ex­pense of the long-term needs of a very dis­ad­van­taged group within our so­ci­ety?

I wonder how our lo­cal fed­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tive views this “re­pur­pos­ing” and whether he will be pub­licly stand up for the dis­abled in our com­mu­nity. Greg Tuck, War­ragul

They were di­rected by cel­list Zoe Knighton cel­list and the other mem­bers of the Flin­ders Quar­tet, vi­o­lin­ists Ni­cholas Waters and Wilma Smith, who was for many years the Melbourne Sym­phony Orches­tra's con­cert­mas­ter and He­len Ire­land vi­ola in an ar­range­ment of a well known aria from Ponchielli's opera, La Gi­a­conda.

War­ragul can be jus­ti­fi­ably proud to boast such a fine per­for­mance space as Wes­ley soon to be com­ple­mented by the re­fur­bished West Gipp­s­land Arts Cen­tre.

West Gipp­s­land will no longer be the ne­glected cul­tural desert but the envy of the re­gion. J. Barake, War­ragul

In the Gazette (16/10) in an ar­ti­cle, “Baw Baw in­ti­mates sup­port for log­ging” it was re­ported that coun­cil ap­par­ently sup­ports the cur­rent log­ging regime.

This con­trasts sharply with the an­nounce­ment on Oc­to­ber 18 by the Strath­bo­gie Shire Coun­cil that it passed a mo­tion that calls on the state govern­ment to end na­tive tim­ber har­vest­ing within its shire.

Back in April this year our neigh­bour­ing South Gipp­s­land Coun­cil also called on the govern­ment to stop log­ging na­tive forests within its shire. Both the Strath­bo­gie and South Gipp­s­land Coun­cils recog­nise the eco­nomic ben­e­fits that flow from pro­tect­ing their forests.

The state-owned VicForests and its sup­port­ers have been con­ning us for decades that VicForests fol­lows world's best forestry prac­tice.

That con was ex­posed when both Bun­nings and Of­fice­works an­nounced re­cently that they will stop sourc­ing tim­ber and pa­per from our na­tive forests specif­i­cally be­cause of VicForests’ in­abil­ity to meet in­ter­na­tional bench­marks for sus­tain­able forestry.

In our own shire this lack of sus­tain­abil­ity is most fla­grant around Noo­jee, where plans are afoot to clear­fell right next to the town — de­spite Vicforests’ own so­cial im­pact as­sess­ment rec­om­mend­ing against it be­cause of the detri­men­tal ef­fects on Noo­jee's tourist econ­omy.

I know our coun­cil has seen that doc­u­ment. Why does Baw Baw see only tim­ber, and not for­est? Craig Forsythe, Neerim North

I have a cou­ple of mates that are in­volved in sides in the Al­ber­ton league. They are very un­happy with what has been done to their sides.

It seems that the early di­rec­tors/com­mis­sion­ers have re­signed or been re­placed for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

Surely be­fore any­thing more is done to any leagues the peo­ple be­ing paid should spend time re­search­ing this prop­erly. I be­lieve this was all started by the ini­tial di­rec­tors/com­mis­sion­ers. Gary Payne, Bun­yip

Bou­quet to the lovely man who re­turned my lost key so promptly. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate your hon­esty.

I can’t be­lieve the com­ments in The Gazette to­day (Gaz 23/10) about the dis­play in NAB about the his­tory of our West Gipp­s­land Hospi­tal. To the kill joys who can’t see that get a life.

Bou­quets en masse to Anita, Nathan and War­ragul Toy­ota for of­fer­ing to dis­play mem­o­ra­bilia from West Gipp­s­land Hospi­tal. Awe­some dis­play.

The re­sult could see ap­prox­i­mately 80,000 hectares of pub­lic land chang­ing sta­tus, and in the process ex­clud­ing cur­rent le­gal users from this land. The driv­ing forces be­hind this sta­tus change pro­posal in­clude the usual grab bag of far left green ac­tivists.

The im­pli­ca­tion is that we will be locked out of large seg­ments of pub­lic land. Peo­ple such as horse rid­ers, trail bike rid­ers, hunters, prospec­tors, dog walk­ers, min­ers, campers, four wheel driv­ers, fire wood col­lec­tors, api­arists, moun­tain bike rid­ers, tim­ber work­ers and car rally en­thu­si­asts will be neg­a­tively af­fected if this VEAC re­port is adopted.

It’s not just Cen­tral Vic­to­rian pub­lic lands un­der threat from green ac­tivism. The Strath­bo­gie’s, the Emer­ald Link and the Great For­est are all tar­gets on the Greens hit list. Huge ar­eas of bush­land will see par­tial or to­tal lock­outs.

Cur­rently an or­gan­i­sa­tion called the Bush Users Group United (BUGU) is fight­ing these pro­posed changes to land use in Cen­tral Vic­to­ria. BUGU has asked all cur­rent Vic­to­rian par­lia­men­tar­i­ans where they stand in re­la­tion to lock­ing cur­rent le­gal bush users out from pub­lic lands.

Re­sponses from the Lib­er­als, Na­tion­als, SFF and most In­de­pen­dents are all pos­i­tive for re­tain­ing the sta­tus quo. They sup­port Ac­cess for All Vic­to­ri­ans to pub­lic lands. La­bor and the Greens have not re­sponded, but ap­pear to sup­port lock­ing us out.

With the up­com­ing Vic­to­rian elec­tion, BUGU asks all vot­ers to think care­fully about who you vote for. Do you sup­port lock­ing peo­ple out of the bush? Or do you sup­port ac­cess for all? The choice is yours.

Mark Shan­non, Muck­le­ford

Bricks to ev­ery­one that park in dis­abled car spots and do not dis­play a dis­abil­ity sticker. This is very frus­trat­ing and dis­ap­point­ing.

A Brick to ir­re­spon­si­ble cat own­ers and the shire for mak­ing no ef­fort to en­force the cat cur­few. When cats took fish from our pond the shire of­fered a cat trap but their was a wait­ing list.

A whole colony of blue wrens has been wiped out in School Rd and other na­tive birds killed. A pol­icy is use­less un­less it is prop­erly en­forced.

Bou­quets to the lovely young woman who had seen me sit­ting in my wheel­chair out­side the Drouin Post Of­fice last Fri­day, wait­ing for my taxi, and had pur­chased flow­ers which she gave to me, as she said 'to brighten my day'. This sweet, car­ing and gen­er­ous ges­ture gave plea­sure, not only to me, but to all those I told about it.

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