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Letters to the editor

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November 01, 2017

Thanks for supporting Relay For Life

ON BEHALF of Cancer Council Victoria, I would like to sincerely thank the community of Echuca-Moama for supporting the recent Echuca-Moama Relay For Life.

There 190 relayers on October 21-22, in 15 teams walking overnight to show that Hope Lives in Echuca-Moama for those experiencing cancer.

During the Relay, there was laughter, tears and no doubt, a few sore feet. But the strength shown by local community members was a public display of support for anyone in Echuca-Moama with a cancer experience.

So far more than $42,000 has been raised by Echuca-Moama relayers, which will help fund Cancer Council Victoria’s support, prevention and research programs.

The money raised at Echuca-Moama Relay For Life will help Cancer Council Victoria continue to provide programs including:

■Funding some of Victoria’s brightest researchers and their cutting-edge projects each year to help detect, treat and beat cancer.

■Important prevention programs like cancer screening, Quit and SunSmart to make sure people have all the information they need to cut their risk of cancer. A particular focus this year is on improving bowel screening rates, with the latest statistic showing that only 42 per cent of eligible people in Shire of Campaspe complete the free at-home screening test. We recommend bowel screening every two years between the ages of 50 and 74.

■Support services including a pro-bono legal assistance service to help those affected by cancer who may be struggling with issues such as wills, early access to superannuation, debt matters, or returning to work.

■Our information and support line, Cancer Council 13 11 20, where qualified cancer nurses give people information and support.

■ Our Living with Cancer Education Program, which provides information for people experiencing cancer, facilitated by trained health professionals. There is a Living With Cancer Education Program happening in Albury on November 7.

Thank you again to everyone who relayed and helped continue the fight against cancer.

Todd Harper

Chief executive

Cancer Council Victoria

Murray candidate appreciated your vote

I’M WRITING to the voters of the seat of Murray in the recent NSW election to thank everyone who supported, encouraged and entrusted their vote with me during the recent by-election.

Although the campaign was short and hard fought, your determination to stand up for your community was commendable and in some cases courageous.

I am hoping to frequently visit your area and meet with you.

There is so much we need to do to add value to our area, maximise production and improve support services to maintain and improve our quality of life.

Helen Dalton

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate

‘Time the Wentworth Group was brought to account’

AS A representative of 1600 hard working Australian food and fibre producers, I am unfortunately compelled to respond after reading ill-informed and short-sighted comments about water flows in the weekend’s metropolitan media.

Firstly, it is time the Wentworth Group was brought to account.

For the Wentworth Group’s spokesperson Jamie Pittock to claim rivers are being “actively destroyed” because water flows are not high enough is laughable enough in itself. To blame Victorian and NSW Governments, who are trying to deliver a balanced Murray-Darling Basin Plan for their communities, is unconscionable.

Mr Pittock believes it is okay to flood private property along the Murray River and its tributaries, which indicates he did not visit the region during last year’s flood event and see the personal devastation, not to mention traumatic death of wildlife and nature fish from the associated black water event.

Would he feel the same if his own house was flooded by a flawed government policy built on incomplete ‘scientific’ evidence?

When will these scientists and governments to whom they report to realise that basin plan water volumes as proposed will simply not fit down the system. For example, there is a constraint called the Barmah Choke which is a narrow stretch of river. Trying to force water through this section is like trying to get peak hour traffic through a major metropolitan freeway when half the lanes are closed. You simply cannot get the flow!

In relation to comments about charges from Murray Irrigation Ltd for water flows, there are additional issues that need to be considered.

MIL, and therefore its food producing shareholders, is responsible for maintaining the company’s vast infrastructure and these food producers pay fees and charges to ensure it is kept in efficient condition. This totals $18 a megalitre, which is a significant impost on each farming business.

When governments realised it was impossible to send required volumes of water through the ‘natural’ system to meet South Australia’s extreme demands it wanted to use this MIL infrastructure, yet pay only $1.75 per megalitre for the privilege. Surely no-one could think it reasonable for farm producing businesses to pay 10 times more than government to use the same infrastructure?

MIL, quite rightly, has been negotiating a higher price, more reflective of the government’s own ‘user pays’ principles, to help ensure there is not further financial burden on its shareholders. These shareholders have previously stated publicly they are happy for governments to share their infrastructure, but do expect at least reasonable recompense.

In conclusion, when are we going to reach a point where attempts are made to achieve reasonable balance in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan? This could start with the Wentworth Group supporting efforts by other states to encourage recalcitrant South Australia to play a role in the implementation of an effective plan.

Graeme Pyle

Chairman

Southern Riverina Irrigators

‘We’re getting ripped off’

IN ECHUCA/MOAMA last week LPG has gone from 69.7 at most outlets from 75.9.

Today at Coles Express and Woolies Moama it was 85.9 a litre, an increase of just over 16 cents a litre in a week.

What the hell is going on.

It’s outrageous.

I will not be filling my car with LPG at Coles or Woolies.

The federal government are gloating how they’re getting the cost of gas down for households and businesses while overseas buy our gas for a fraction of what we pay.

Of course they get extra money in excise from LPG.

So not a word from government.

We were encouraged years ago to use LPG, it was cheap and clean to run.

Many people converted.

I’ve had a dual fuel car for six years and it’s really economical.

The ACCC tell people to shop around, that’s a bit hard in Echuca/Moama where they’re like sheep, one puts it up, they all follow.

We’re getting ripped off on higher grocery, power, gas and other essentials, and yet wages and pensions aren’t increasing.

Lynne Hall, Barmah

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