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Letters to the Editor

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August 24, 2017

Take the environmental politics out of food production

It is disappointing that the role hard-working Australian food producers play in feeding our nation and others throughout the world continues to be hindered by those seeking political gain.

Recently, we have had full-page newspaper advertisements from the union-funded GetUp organisation that denigrate food producers as it tries to score a political head in the form of Water Minister Barnaby Joyce.

It is unfortunate, and to the detriment of our nation, that these environmental lobby groups ignore the full facts in their quest for ideological goals.

They will not acknowledge our food producers are among the most efficient and environmentally responsible in the world, and have been forced to make significant financial and productive sacrifices to ensure water is available for environmental flows.

It is also a bitter pill to swallow when we read GetUp advertisements attacking our food producers that are authorised from an office in Pitt St, Sydney arguably the most environmentally damaged area in Australia.

Imagine the uproar if regional Australia demanded the city of Sydney be demolished and the land returned to its original natural state?

That may sound ludicrous, but it is precisely what city-based environmentalists are demanding, despite having virtually no idea of the food producing environments they claim need protection.

What we need across the Murray-Darling Basin and other agricultural areas of Australia is common-sense policy that encourages food production (we all need food!) in collaboration with environmental protection.

—Vicki Meyer

Deniliquin, NSW

Moira’s excess funds should be used to benefit ratepayers

Why has Moira so much excess funds, and why is the shire council not using these for the benefit of its ratepayers and residents?

The shire’s annual report shows it had a surplus of $2.4million in 2016-17.

A good deal of beneficial work could have been done around the shire with those funds.

It is also sitting on cash and ‘other financial assets’ of $24.7million.

Think of what could be done with that amount!

In the meantime, the shire’s rates revenue rose by 6.8 per cent last year.

There is no reason why a public body that has a guaranteed income each year (such as the shire and its rates) needs to retain such a large sum of financial reserves — they’re equal to three quarters of its annual rates revenue.

Why is this money just sitting in the bank and not being spent on beneficial purposes?

It is, after all, ratepayers’ money, not the shire’s.

If the shire council has plans to spend the excess funds, let’s hear them.

If not, tell us why it takes such a conservative financial approach.

—Mick Shadwick

Burramine

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