Opinion

Letters to the Editor

by
April 05, 2017

Shirley O'Bree with Purple Day teddys.

Classic’s improving cod numbers

LET’S give a little credit where credit is due.

Your article ‘Environmental benefits are flowing’ (Riverine Herald, March 29) states water releases near Mathoura are boosting Murray cod populations – for which the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is claiming credit.

Let’s look at the facts.

The Labor Party took our working forest and turned it into a national park. They said this was because the Natural Resources Commission believed climate change might cause 100-year droughts.

Those predictions were based on computer modelling and we now know the NRC was not very good at that.

As if to disprove their worst fears, nature soon afterwards delivered serious flooding over the next two years.

The regulators and infrastructure that “deliver water into the creeks in the forest” were actually built by the Forestry Commission to save the trees from drowning.

But one of the main reasons Murray cod numbers are improving is due to our small country towns running their fishing classics each year, not only to benefit their communities, but to raise money to restock the rivers with fingerlings.

The small town of Mathoura alone has released more than 350,000 fingerlings.

They have been doing this for years.

As I said; let’s give credit where it is due.

Chris Crump, Mathoura

Volunteers are restocking rivers

WHILE it is nice to read ‘environmental benefits are flowing’ (Riverine Herald, March 29) and are claimed to be boosting the Murray cod populations, it would also be nice to see due credit given to the role of the volunteers from the region’s various fishing classics who every year actually purchase fingerlings and restock our rivers, thereby also boosting the cod numbers and promoting tourism.

And perhaps it should be pointed out (a) this ‘environmental’ water has been taken from food production and (b) over-zealous misuse of this magical stuff has in the recent past given rise to the untimely death of many of those purchased fingerlings through black-water events.

One of the factors in the creation of black-water is the increasing amount of debris being deliberately left on our forest floors.

Past practice was to burn leaf litter in order to reduce bushfire fuel but that has been found to violate sacred environmental commandments even though there were far fewer black-water mass killings during the hundred years or so that good housekeeping in the forests was considered a virtue.

David Joss, Mathoura

Thanks for your support

WE WISH to thank the many Echuca, Moama business houses, Rochester Chemmart, the Moama Singers and the wider community who contributed to our very successful Purple Day.

We raised $3352.

Special thanks go to the 208 Primary School, which had an excellent Purple Day on March 24, raising $792.90.

This brings our total raised over the past five years to $16,210.

To the Riverine Herald for your great publicity before and after Purple Day, it was greatly appreciated and added to the campaign’s success.

John and Shirley O’Bree, Echuca

Help fight youth homelessness

EVERY day, there are 44,000 homeless young people around Australia.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day is today and I implore you to support the cause and spread the message of ending youth homelessness.

I always say that youth homelessness and the way we treat our disadvantaged young people is our national disgrace.

We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world yet we still can’t manage to give the support and care to those who need it most.

Homelessness is often invisible to everyday Australians.

Sure, we pass those sleeping rough in our major cities but the realistic embodiment of homelessness is much different.

Homelessness is not just sleeping on the streets; people you come across in your everyday life can be homeless without you even noticing.

Homelessness can include couch surfing, living in refuges and sleeping in cars.

You may not visibly recognise these people as homeless, but their experience is real and traumatic.

Homelessness is not knowing where you will stay on any given night, not having somewhere safe to go after school or not having any fixed place to call home.

At Youth Off The Streets, we tackle all sides of homelessness.

We provide crisis accommodation and homelessness services to young Australians and we have recently increased funding to tackle family violence, the leading cause of homelessness in Australia.

I go where I am needed most, and the areas I work in have seen great improvement as my youth workers connect with the local young people.

This Youth Homeless Matters day, won’t you stop, think and spread the message about our invisible homeless?

Father Chris Riley, Youth Off The Streets

Duck season is ‘distressing’

YET again, the opening of duck hunting season has produced distressing and sickening scenes featured on our television screens.

We witnessed peaceful bushland shattered by the blast of numerous guns, and tiny lifeless or maimed bodies falling from the sky.

What followed was damning evidence of shameful behaviour.

Hundreds of these bodies had been heartlessly discarded like garbage.

The crime of these beautiful creatures – they dared to exist and share in our world.

In another time, it was common to hear people refer to the sacredness of, and respect for, life.

Nowadays it seems the selfish pursuit of pleasure ignores and overrides any damaging consequences to others, and absolutely nothing is safe from human intervention.

It is incomprehensible how killing anything can be regarded as a pleasure let alone a sport.

There is surely nothing sporting about pitting small, defenceless creatures against gun power, human intelligence and skill.

Unsurprisingly, politicians, in defence, hide behind dubious excuses of financial gain, so that once again, selfishness, greed, and the power of the almighty dollar win, while compassion, respect – and in this case, nature – worryingly, are the losers.

Jan Wood, Echuca

Don’t scroll past starvation

RIGHT now 26 million people in East Africa are at risk of starvation. This is the equivalent of every woman, child and man in Australia regularly going hungry.

Famine is very serious. It is only declared when four out of every 10,000 children die each day and one in three people are so malnourished they are too weak to go to school or work.

If famine were declared in Australia, 1700 children would die from starvation every single day.

This is a crisis that cannot be ignored. Over time, we’ve become almost immune to hearing about food in Africa.

It’s easy to scroll by images of hardship in your Facebook feed to something that makes you smile instead. But this time, we can’t scroll past.

If you’re old enough to remember the 1984 famine and Live Aid, then you must understand that this is teetering on the edge of chaos on a larger, more profound scale.

Right now, conflict is making it very hard to gain access to the famine declared region in South Sudan, Unity State. But once the door opens, and the TV crews arrive, we will begin to see just how horrific this is. We already have reports of children eating weeds and water lilies to survive.

The good news is that Plan is working in South Sudan, right now, handing out food and protecting girls and women from being abused, doing all we can to keep children at school as food becomes harder to come by and children are forced to forage.

The UN estimates that it requires $4.4 billion is needed to stop famine spreading to other countries in Eastern Africa. Plan International intends to raise $40 million to help do our part.

We can avert this crisis from becoming worse, but the time to act is now — go to www.plan.org.au/give/appeals/south-sudan-famine or call 13 75 26.

Ian Wishart, Plan International Australia chief executive, Melbourne

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