Area News letters to the editor - January 12, 2018.

How many people can remember going to the supermarket and buying Menindee market grapes many years ago and what happened to all the grape growers who produced the Menindee table grapes?

Water is the life line for any farming community, those farmers employed many people for pruning, picking and packing their market grapes and transported to the market, to be sold to the supermarkets and we the consumers enjoyed the grapes.

It was reported on the ABC Lateline those grape growers have lost out, what one saw were acres and acres of dead vines, what happens to the town and the people?

They become unemployed.

The Darling River and the buyback of water by the Commonwealth Government in June 2017 from cotton growers of $78 million for compensation and water entitlements and the grape growers were the losers again.

Governments buying water entitlements in the middle of a drought, if there is no water in the Darling River for the environment, they are buying what?

The Darling River starting point is in the town of Bonshaw in Queensland.

The long distance the water in the Murray-Darling system comes from is a small percentage of the basin area: mainly along the southern and eastern rim, almost 86 per cent of the vast catchment area contributes very little or no regular run off water to the rivers.

The rivers flow slowly as they find their way across the vast inland plains, the Darling, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and the Murray Rivers they all find their way to South Australia.

Today's environmental water comes from dams, take the dams away and we would not be living, water is the life blood of the country communities.

Water has become a complicated business to be sold and traded and farmers who have purchased a farm with no water, have to go on the open market to buy water to produce their crops.

The Commonwealth government has become involved with the buying of water from farmers for the environment, the environment in the old days looked after itself, it would rain and flood, then the dry period would settle in drought, then the rains came and all would come back to life.

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Commonwealth are all involved in water.

Water has become a political game, too many chiefs and how many departments are involved in water?

The Australian Constitution = 100 nor abridged right to use water.

The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of the state or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the water of rivers for conservation or irrigation.

The Commonwealth had no constitutional right to be involved in water management:

The Commonwealth government used international agreements RAMSAR to gain control of water from the states.

In 2007 the Howard Government lost the election and the legislation that was basis of the water act.

The incoming minister of the Labor government Penny Wong amended the legislation and it was put through parliament, which is today's legislation and that's why our problems with today's politicians with no practical experience in water, environment and agriculture and our country communities and farmers are the losers.

The Liberal government's new Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is committed to take more water, an addition of 450 gigalitres to the Murray-Darling plan.

The total amount of water targeted from irrigation communities, to be returned to the river system is 3200 gigalitres which = 3,200,00 megalitres.

The total area of the Murray-Darling basin covers 1,058,800 square kilometres, or 14 per cent of the total area of Australia and contains over 40 per cent of Australians farms and over two million people live in the basin.

Fran Pietroboni, Griffith.

I am for the Monarchy

This refers to the letter by Betty Brady entitled Republic v Monarchy in the Area News dated January 8, 2018.

The British ruled India for 190 years. During the British regime there was complete law and order in India. People were happy in all aspects. But after the British left in 1947 there was the worst communal massacre in India between Hindus and Muslims in world history. Now there is no law and order in India. There is corruption high prices and worst lawlessness in India. I was a child when India became free. My dad and mum used to say the British rule was for better than this so-called freedom. This may happen in Australia too after the end of Monarchy Australia may become a third world country under the republic.

Under the Monarchy in Britain there was never a bloodshed since the War of Roses in 14th century. There is only one exception when King Charles I was hanged on January 30, 1649 due to the conflict between British Parliament and Royalty Oliver Cromwell declared Britain a Republic. But this Republic badly failed and the British people themselves called Charles II to the British throne. 

Amar Jit Singh, Griffith.