CLUELESS POLITICIANS NOT BACKING THE BUSH
The NSW Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage (OEH) are silently sitting on huge amounts of water. Some water was legitimately purchased. Some water was taken from irrigators and communities to appease environmentalists. Other significant volumes are lost from production through convoluted rule changes that continue to complicate and blur the actual massive volume of OEH’s acquired nest egg.
Gladys Berijiklian’s drought rhetoric is insincere and heartless with this knowledge. To add insult to injury the voluntary contributions’ fixed costs are born by the original owners, the irrigators, so consequently rural communities are also suffering.
In the grip of the most intense and widespread drought in many years, farmers watch helplessly as their stock suffer under extreme conditions. Now is the time for the State Government to dip its hands in the State environmental bucket and reallocate this water for the production of feed and fodder.
Gladys’ government departments are opening up the dam gates to allow environmental water to make its way down to South Australia through the 29 opened barrage gates and out to sea.
Perhaps to salvage some common sense our premier could direct the reallocation of some of this water to help ameliorate this catastrophic drought and allow fodder crops such as sorghum, clover and lucerne to be watered this spring and boost hay supplies.
Supplies of hay are exhausted in NSW and Queensland. With the fast diminishing reserves in South Australia and Victoria we turn westward for a solution which will see most animal producers go broke. To bring a triple road train across the Nullarbor will cost more than $40,000 in freight alone.
The current ‘environmental watering’ of 500 ML/day in the Murrumbidgee equates to approximately 500 tonnes of sorghum hay or 1200 tonnes of oaten hay being splashed off downstream every single day. The Lower Lakes Hindmarsh development and the Southern Ocean would appear to be a worthier cause?
We are also seeing irrigators making decisions, right now, to abandon their winter cereals as temporary water prices soar. OEH has little accountability with water management as they operate in isolation to other Commonwealth water departments who also release water to the exactly the same environments.
The sad fact is we have no one in politics with any idea and those who may have some clue that things are blatantly wrong are too gutless to stand up for rural communities who they supposedly represent.
Helen Dalton, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party
NOMINATE A LOCAL HERO
The majority of Australians are touched by the impact of mental health in some way.
Many live with the daily burden of anxiety or depression, or care for a loved one. Devastatingly, thousands of Australians die by suicide each year and many more make an attempt. It is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age, but it can be prevented.
There are thousands of people working tirelessly to make a difference in this field and their efforts could not be more urgent. Anyone who knows of such a person would no doubt appreciate their achievements, but I would encourage them to take it one step further and nominate them for the Australian Mental Health Prize. The prize was established to acknowledge those who are doing innovative work in this area. Acknowledging those who work or volunteer in the industry is an important part of the process to destigmatising mental illness.
Nominations are now open and I urge people to nominate people in your area. More information and nomination forms can be obtained from australianmentalhealthprize.org.au. Entries close on 7 September.