News

‘It’s time to clean up our game reserves’

By Riverine Herald

‘It’s time to clean up our game reserves’

AN ELECTED Liberal Nationals Government will clean up Victoria’s neglected state game reserves by giving users a greater role in maintaining them.

There has been growing concern that Victoria’s 200 state game reserves (SGRs) are being poorly managed under Daniel Andrews, with reports pest animals and weeds are getting out of control, damaged fencing and inadequate – or non-existent – signage.

It’s time to clean up our game reserves and give users a greater role in their management.

A Liberal Nationals Government will transfer management functions for Victoria’s SGRs to the Game Management Authority, from Parks Victoria, by making the relevant amendments to the Wildlife Act 1975.

It means members of Field and Game or other registered hunting organisations will have the opportunity to be part of better management and conservation of our game reserves, for the benefit of these natural environments and the enjoyment of tens of thousands of recreational hunters in Victoria.

Hunting contributes more than $435 million to the Victorian economy each year generating about 4500 direct and in-direct jobs, largely in regional Victoria.

But this is at risk with the threat of a Labor-Greens government.

The Greens are no friend to Victoria’s recreational hunters, with their stated policy objectives including banning all duck hunting and “the end of recreational hunting on public land”.

Only a Liberal Nationals Government will support better recreational hunting in Victoria by cleaning up our game reserves and giving users a greater role in maintaining them.

Peter Walsh

Member for Murray Plains

Government ‘totally out of touch’ with rural Australia

AT THE Drought Summit the Prime Minister made an announcement which included a $15.3 million mental health package.

Money that could have stayed in the government’s pocket had government made good decisions in the first place.

For irrigation communities poor government policy is a major cause of mental health issues.

The lack of vision for long-term water security shows the government is totally out of touch with the needs of rural Australia.

Currently the government is spending $13 billion to remove water from the very regions which were established to drought proof the country.

Now they are spending $5 billion to make rural communities and farmers more resilient.

Right now the Murray Valley in NSW is in a manmade drought, with water in storages yet farmers on zero allocation – a major source of stress emotionally, financially and mentally.

The mental health issues of farmers across the southern basin would have been considerably improved if the government had announced they were spending some of the $5 billion on projects in South Australia to improve the management of the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

Returning the South-East drains to the Coorong and installing Lock 0 could potentially free up thousands of gigalitres of water for rural communities.

Instead of watching the Murray River run a banker at many places, the Murray farmers could be producing food for the rest of the country, rather than stuck on zero percent and becoming part of the problem.

Unfortunately, the Drought Summit has missed a golden opportunity.

Rural messages are not getting through to our politicians and it is time to get voices into Canberra who will represent the grass roots and will be listened to.

Darcy Hare

Barham NSW

Small business the first to hurt in a drought

THE $5 million drought future fund announced on Friday by our Prime Minister again highlights how far away our decision makers are from rural reality.

There seems to be very little mention of small business that relies on farmers for its very survival.

Small business in rural towns is the first to feel the pain in a drought.

Rural communities in the Murray Valley are currently in a manmade drought as water flows right past and to South Australia.

The Australian government is spending $13 billion on dismantling the country’s drought proofing, which was already established by our forefathers – its $5 billion band aid is not a long term solution.

Fix the mismanagement of fresh water by South Australia and you would free up thousands of gigalitres of water for production and then you have drought resilience.

I can only say that it is becoming increasingly obvious that Canberra is not taking any notice of our elected representative.

Either that or they are being given the wrong messages.

Kevin Sutton

Stanhope

Eco tourism the way to go, says resident

ONCE again our misinformed Member for Murray Plains has got it wrong about the rubbish strewn around Richardsons Lagoon, blaming summer holiday makers for the rubbish left behind by duck shooters.

We, the residents, do the cleaning up of shotgun shells and dead native birds, not to mention the faeces and toilet paper all around their camps.

I’ve lived on the banks of this lagoon for 10 years and never seen anyone from GMA or Peter Walsh.

I noticed an article in the Riverine Herald when a resident from Richardsons Lagoon delivered dead native birds, a shot pelican and thousands of spent shotgun cartridges to your office.

Was that the summer campers?

How dare you blame the campers who contribute millions of dollars to our local economy, unlike duck shooters who contribute nothing to our local economy.

It’s time for change. Eco tourism is the way to go for these wetlands, bushwalkers, bird watchers, artists and kayakers.

Not the sound of gunfire for three months of the year.

Harry Pugh

Torrumbarry