Short and sharp
Between Rhiannon and Sarah Hanson-Young the Greens have proven beyond a doubt that their party can run itself under a bus without even leaving the driver's seat.
Yvonne Rance, Griffith.
Lay off the rice
I was delighted to read a recent article highlighting the threatened Australasian bitterns which are breeding in Riverina rice crops.
In the past 35 years I have visited my uncle’s rice farm, which was featured in the article, and have been constantly inspired as I see our farmers being wonderful custodians of the land, although when you think about it this is not surprising – they have to ensure the sustainability of their land to protect their livelihoods, and that of the future generations.
It is unfortunate that too many people do not get the opportunity to see the passion of our farmers, who efficiently produce food and fibre for our nation, as well as others throughout the world.
At the same time they look after the environment and help threatened species like the Australasian bittern.
Australian rice growers, who are among the most efficient in the world, feed over 20 million people throughout the world each day, at the same time as providing a wonderful breeding habitat for birds and wildlife, in particular numerous reptiles and amphibians.
I am constantly amazed and disappointed that we have so many people in our society, including politicians and taxpayer funded bureaucrats, who do not see or appreciate the value of our farmers not only for what they produce, but also their role as environmental caretakers.
Anna Brazier, Beaumaris.
Plan impacts entire community
MIA and Riverina businesses are being denied the chance to employ people, including apprentices, let alone expand their operation.
Those in the agricultural sector are most affected, but they are certainly not the only ones suffering from reduced farm income throughout the NSW Murray region.
A business which continues the see the stark reality of less production in the region is Taskersm, Deniliquin which has been operating for almost 90 years.
Third generation owner Jamie Tasker has seen the impact of reduced water for food and fibre production in recent times.
This impact was highlighted by a report released this month, which estimated the cost at the farm gate of removing water from productive use in the NSW Murray is $120 million per year.
But it’s worth a lot more than that to the local community, especially when the multiplier effect is considered.
Jamie Tasker points out that less production means there is less money being spent in town on contractors, fertiliser and chemical distribution companies, truck operators carting grain and a whole host of other businesses.
“With less money from production there are less people employed on farm and past the farm gate, so there are less families buying groceries, clothes or going out for a meal.
“A vast range of businesses supplying all imaginable goods and services are forced to suffer. It’s not just those directly involved in the agricultural sector,” Mr Tasker said.
He pointed out that with less available jobs there is population decline, which leads to fewer school students and therefore fewer teachers.
There can also be an impact on the range of health services and number of doctors. “The list is never-ending. And what for? Where is the unequivocal scientific evidence that proves the amount of water taken from productive use for the environment is needed?”
Speak Up Campaign, Deniliquin .