Lifestyle

Letters to the editor

by
April 12, 2018

‘Their sheer hypocrisy is mind-boggling’

WE HAVE our top cricketers publicly lambasted and punished but consider the mild criticism and sanctions imposed on some high-profile overseas players.

Our players (rightly so) have apologised for having succumbed to the culture deeply embedded in all sports, of winning at all costs; losing sight of what sport is about: the joy of participating, being magnanimous in defeat and humble in winning.

Our politicians, current and past (and some previously high-profile sportspeople) have been quick to self-righteously jump on the bandwagon with their criticisms.

Their sheer hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

If we focus on our politicians: their misdeeds have been massive.

Two glaring examples are:

1. Our electricity crisis

■of failure to supply cheap, reliable power

■of foolishly closing cheap, reliable coal-fired power generation installations while encouraging by massive subsidies the development of costly, unreliable wind and solar

■while pursuing this we export our cheap coal to Asia, where they are rapidly building new low-emission coal-fired power stations

2. The unforgivable mistake and devastation inflicted on our nation with the implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Turning us from when we were considered (Prof John Briscoe, Harvard University) to be the world leader in arid zone water management to dismantling 100 years of irrigation development to maintain an estuarine lake system as fresh (Lakes Alexandrina and Albert), squandering 3 million megalitres a year in the attempt to secure a few critical votes in key SA electoral seats.

Surely the media should focus its attention on issues of major importance to the future prosperity of Australia.

They should be calling out those responsible for needlessly causing such destruction to the major irrigated agricultural sector and power affordability and reliability.

Our mainstream media has declined to hold to account our elected leaders for steadfastly refusing to admit their mistakes and the massive harm being done, putting at risk our future food security and prosperity.

All political parties and politicians are equally guilty.

If you have concerns regarding these matters, as I do, please attend the forum organised by ‘Speak-Up’ at 11am at the Moama Bowling Club on Friday.

Neil Eagle

Barham

‘Politics above personal religious sentiment’

OUR local State member, Mr Peter Walsh MP expressed his support for the decision to recall two Liberal MPs to Parliament to defeat the Fire Services Bill (the “Age” Tues April 3 page 2).

The two upper house MPs had asked to be excused from the Good Friday sitting on religious grounds, and the Labor Party had followed long standing parliamentary practice and ‘paired’ the two with two Labor members, who went home for the long weekend.

The Coalition’s leadership, of whom Mr Walsh is a member, reneged on the deal and ordered the two Liberal MPs to attend and vote.

Much to the public’s horror the two MPs ended their religious feelings and attended – in itself an abomination.

To ask the two MPs to go against the religious sentiments they expressed on their feet to Parliament, and renege on a long standing arrangement that makes Parliament workable, is nothing short of deceit.

When your readers come to vote at our State elections later this year they should caste a thought to the way our Member has supported the deceit of Parliament and put politics above personal religious sentiment.

Tony Lawler,

Echuca

Calls for a Locky hairdresser

“WHO will cut my hair?”

Unfortunately Lockington’s hairdresser had to ‘shut shop’ and move for personal reasons and now the community, without these special services, would dearly love a replacement.

The community wants to ‘shop locally’, also some members have not the time, nor transport, to go to another town.

Senior citizens with ‘gophers’ have been able in the past to take themselves to hair appointments without the need of a car, and children go after school hours without inconveniencing farming families.

Lockington would dearly love to see a hairdresser functioning in town as soon as possible.

Beryl Marshall

Lockington

Bills of interest

LAST week the following Bills were introduced to the Victorian Parliament, which may be of interest to

Murray Plains residents:

■Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018

■Education Legislation Amendment (Victorian Institute of Teaching, TAFE and Other Matters) Bill 2018

■Justice Legislation Amendment (Access to Justice) Bill 2018

■Liquor and Gambling Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

■Long Service Benefits Portability Bill 2018

More information on the proposed Bills can be found at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/legislation.

Please contact my office if you need help accessing this information.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Walsh MP

Member for Murray Plains

Thank you all so much

THANKS to some fabulous people in Echuca my husband’s recent car accident has left him with only minor physical injuries but given us both many positive memories.

Firstly, sincere apologies to the other driver. We hope all is well with you.

Thank you to the calm nurse who spoke gently to my husband and supplied information on the phone to the ambulance; and to the person who ran home for a towel.

Thank you Louise for coming to the Emergency Department to see how my husband was going.

The highway patrol sergeant, tow truck driver, fire people, paramedics, and police were empathetic and efficient.

The doctors and nurses in the Emergency Department, although very busy all day (and seemed to need another doctor on that shift) did their best for my husband for eight hours until he was transferred, with the help of a kind lady who said “all the best, will be thinking of you”, to a ward with skilled caring staff.

The discreet volunteer lady in the Emergency Department was much appreciated as were the ward clerks, friendly hospital receptionists, informative pharmacy staff, helpful physiotherapist, and experts in the radiology department.

The discussion about resuscitation with one of the ED doctors was sensitive, clear and informative.

Thank you to the ladies in the cafe for the great coffee.

Gary at Hertz car hire went above and beyond to be helpful, more than once, and his sense of humour gave me some big laughs at a difficult time. Thank you to all at O’Neills. We hope our car is now an organ donor. Echuca has a lot to be proud of and we have much to be thankful for.

Maybe the council could review the intersection of Sutton St and McKinlay St where we have previously witnessed accidents — a better signed intersection is just one block away at Sutton St and Darling St. Possibly a warning sign on the road surface would help in the meantime.

And lastly, a big thanks to my wonderful mum and her network of friends in Echuca for their love and support. Thanks Joan for remembering rescue remedy.

Clare Bennett, Leopold

Hands off historic tree

A MAGNIFICENT river gum, estimated to be between 250-350 year old by VicRoads’ own arborist from Bendigo, will soon be removed to make way for the new bridge crossing.

The tree, which sits grandly at the corner of Warren St and Campaspe Esplanade, Echuca, just two blocks from the port, is described by the Vicroads’ arborist as being “a healthy tree with no disease, strong and able to survive another 80 years”.

Vicroads says it has no option and yet I have presented them with several options which would enable the huge gum, standing stately and proudly at the entrance to the main tourist precinct, to remain intact

The tree is fondly called ‘the octopus tree’ due to its unique and quirky branches, which over the years have resembled a huge octopus

If you could please make those who live and love in this beautiful city aware the last of the magnificent river gums close to the town will be removed when there are viable options and alternatives for its preservation

I do not know of another tree of this age or size close to the town centre which has greeted and farewelled locals and visitors.

It would be a travesty – and beggars belief – that it cannot be saved by some innovative thinking.

Jennafer Whelan,

Echuca

Almost time to unite Southern Basin

THIS Friday there is a very important forum being conducted in our region that I would encourage farmers, business operators and community members interested in our future to attend. It has been organised by the Speak Up Campaign and is titled ‘Uniting the Southern Basin’.

The forum will not only discuss impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan on our communities, but also sensible options that can ensure we maximise environmental outcomes and regional prosperity. Surely that should be our aim, but unfortunately politics is involved and the ‘aim’ has been clouded.

If we are to overcome the politics we need people power and unity. Through the basin plan’s implementation there are five key aspects that are proving detrimental to the southern basin, which encompasses our regions.

(a) The MDBA’s ‘just add water’ philosophy.

(b) An incorrect view that the Murray River and its storages can fix all the basin problems.

(c) The massive social and economic damage being caused by the basin plan, which reports are telling us is far greater than MDBA modelling suggested it would be.

(d) The political refusal to acknowledge the need for ‘end of system’ solutions.

(e) The indisputable fact that it is a physical impossibility to deliver flow targets down the Murray River without causing catastrophic floods and their associated damage to public and private property.

Where do we and our communities fit? We have a voice and that voice can be registered with Speak Up with support attendance at the forum on Friday from 11am at Moama Bowling Club.

All these issues will be discussed at the forum, but importantly we will also be looking at options to limit impacts and maximise outcomes which will be sent to governments and the MDBA.

Generations to come are relying on us.

Vicki Meyer

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