Letters: Border Mail readers have their say on the issues of the day

Need to work together

The Border Mail of August 3 contained a piece ‘Murray Darling Basin Plan: Selective views not helping debate’ by Shelley Scoullar which made some very important points.  

The Murray Darling Basin Plan is complex and was established to try to rectify many of the very serious issues, such as salinity, death of native species, loss of wetlands, etc affecting rivers and communities right across the Basin.

It’s certainly not perfect but it does aim to fix the problems caused by the over-allocation of water in the Basin.

But the one point I must disagree on is the “nor has anyone in South Australia or our media outlets, highlighted the significant issues in the Lower Lakes, which must be addressed to achieve a balanced and effective Basin plan. Instead we have a traditionally estuarine system which … we are trying to “fix” with huge quantities of upstream water from the Murray”.

Communities, agencies and governments across South Australia work hard to better understand and manage the complex challenges of the Lower Lakes, to determine the most efficient ways to manage the assets and restore the ecology.

Under natural conditions the median flow reaching the sea at the Murray Mouth would have been 14,000GL per annum.

Under the highly altered system we now have with multiple dams and locks and the use of water for human consumption and agriculture, water extraction in the Basin had more than tripled in the 50 years to 1994.  

Median annual flows from the Basin to the sea were only 20 per cent of what they would have been under natural conditions and the lower reaches of the Murray experienced severe drought-like flows in over 60 per cent of years compared to 5 per cent under natural conditions.

In a highly altered system, we cannot just focus on one part of the system to change. Changes are required right across the Basin. That fact was recognised by the four states and the Commonwealth who are parties  to the agreement which established the Plan under the Water Act.

We will all have to work together if we are to achieve outcomes that balance the needs of all parties.

David Thurley, Lavington

A right to our say

Even though it was one of the Coalition’s election promises to have a plebiscite re same-sex marriage, we now have some MPs saying that if we do have “a public expression of community opinion” –  a plebiscite (as promised) – then like spoilt little children these same MPs won’t accept those results. 

We have a right to speak for ourselves and not have some MPs who behave like snotty nosed brats dictate their terms to us because a result may not (but also may) go in their favour.

GO POSTAL: Malcolm Turnbull prepares to speak about his party's same-sex marriage approach on Tuesday, with two readers backing the idea of the public getting a say.

GO POSTAL: Malcolm Turnbull prepares to speak about his party's same-sex marriage approach on Tuesday, with two readers backing the idea of the public getting a say.

I don’t want politicians voting on my behalf, and rest assured I will be man or woman enough to accept whatever the result happens to be, whether I like it or not. Just give us our right of opinion as was promised to us.

Chris Turton, Lavington

It’s the democratic way

Can we trust our politicians? 

Can we trust the opinion polls? 

Can we trust the biased secular media?

It was good to read in The Border Mail, August 3, that Sussan Ley said she “hoped a plebiscite could happen”.

To get to the truth regarding people's wishes about same-sex marriage we need to have a plebiscite so that the “silent majority” can let their true feelings be known. 

This would be democratic.

It would also save the members of parliament from displeasing many of their constituents, by them being forced to vote one way or the other.

I don't believe a plebiscite would be a waste of time. Let's have one and see what people really think.

Grace Strachan, Howlong