Letters to the editor

CONTROVERSIAL: The ADLER A110 shotgun has become a political bargaining chip for the federal government to pass its industrial relations legislation.
CONTROVERSIAL: The ADLER A110 shotgun has become a political bargaining chip for the federal government to pass its industrial relations legislation.

Tired of the blame game

I THINK that anyone interested in politics is tired of governments always blaming the previous government for just about anything.

The prime minister really shocked me today when he blamed state governments for the continued ban on the shotgun that the Liberal Democrat senator is apparently using as a bargaining chip in negotiations re the industrial laws that the government is promoting.

The PM’s comment seems to reveal that, for him, ideology is more important than the safety of the people.

He also accused Labor of being responsible for refugees dying at sea.

Did he include the loss of a boat which was lost with an estimated 300 plus people on board?

If I remember correctly, that happened during the Howard years and was hushed up for some time.

He can correctly claim that the boats are not coming, but is that just because boats are being turned back?

It would be interesting to know how many have been turned back.

Mary Kidson


Reverse flawed policy

IT’S been a fascinating week for anyone interested in water policy and politics.

Firstly, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) finally acknowledged, after a number of years, the social and economic damage of its Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Nothing has yet been done to protect the rural towns that are being unnecessarily hurt by the plan, but at least now we have admitted there’s a problem, so perhaps there will be attempts to fix it.

Then we had the NSW government’s backflip on banning greyhound racing.

What does this have to do with water policy, you may ask? In fact, it has a lot to do with it.

Just like there was flawed legislation that was going to decimate a rural industry and at the same time cost jobs and economic activity in greyhounds, so is there flawed water policy that is costing jobs and economic activity.

There is, of course, one stark difference: Governments have yet to ‘fess up’ that they’ve made a mess of water policy and need a full review of past decisions and the socio-economic cost.

The greyhound drama was followed soon after by a change of direction with shark control. It was interesting to note that the scientist providing advice to the Premier on shark policy has a love of sharks and apparently believes they should be protected, even at the cost of human life.

This, in fact, is a similar view to the scientists who have been advising governments for many years on water policy. Their priority is not their fellow human beings and as such if hard-working Australians are collateral damage for helping a tree grow or a frog breed, then so be it.

At last the NSW government woke up to the crazy advice it was receiving on shark protection and took action to save human lives. Let’s hope it soon decides to take the same stance with water.

And finally the Snowy Hydro Scheme was added to the national heritage list.

This is the scheme that was developed to divert water and help food producers grow crops and livestock to feed people throughout the world, while at the same time developing a multi-billion dollar industry that brought prosperity to the Murrumbidgee and Murray valleys in NSW.

Does the heritage listing mean this scheme could now revert back to its original reason for being? I suspect not.

So at week’s end we still had greyhound racing, our surfers are safer and Snowy Hydro will be protected into the future.

I wonder if we’ll ever get around to protecting those who grow food – which they can’t do without water.

Sarah Macdonald