Food production at risk
WHAT level of importance do Australians place on food production?
Most people probably think it’s important but in general take it for granted, which mirrors the attitude of our federal government.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences has predicted this year’s production of major crops to be slightly higher than the five-year average, although this depends on timely rain and good conditions.
What if the timely rains don’t come? This happens all too often, which is why politicians of last century, with more foresight than those of 2015, built dams so we could save water and use it to grow food for domestic and international consumption.
Now we pour it down the rivers in the name of environmental flows. Yet in our major food bowl the responsible entity, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, has never bothered to undertake effective research to determine the true value or cost of these flows.
At the same time we are strangling parts of our food production industry and threatening the future of vital areas in our nation’s food bowl and the rural communities that rely so heavily on them.
Perhaps we need a food crisis – which may be closer than you think – for politicians to take necessary action and ensure we have the right balance between water for the environment and water for food production.
MARILYN DANIELI, Kyabram
THE Spirit of Anzac was a remarkable exhibition, and anyone who had ancestors in World War I will be moved to sadness and pride as they look at the display and hear the recordings of the horrendous battles and condition our brave soldiers had to endure.
Living hell would be the only way to describe the conditions of muddy trenches, waiting for a bullet or explosion to end their lives, as they see the lifeless bodies of their mates lying nearby, an experience that drags on for days and nights for weeks.
I have always felt a deep regard and pride for all our brave men who have enlisted in all wars to keep our Australia safe and free.
The Spirit of Anzac exhibition is an educational masterpiece for older school students to learn about and be proud of our Anzacs.
As I walked around the massive, excellent exhibition, I gave thought to my three great uncles, all local men who fought so gallantly at Gallipoli, Somme and more. Visitng the exhibition, I felt the Spirit of Anzac as I took in the amazing displays of how World War 1 was fought 100 years ago. Lest we forget.
Thank you to the organisers of this unforgettable experience and to the friendly, helpful volunteers.
DAWN CRAIG, Lavington
Not a war in my name
WELL now we have a “war-time government”. And make no mistake, nor be misled about talk of “strictly limited engagement” in Syria. Just one day after the announcement that Australia would join the US coalition “bombing IS targets” in Syria, it had already become a “commitment lasting two or three years”.
How did such a virtual declaration of war on the Syrian state pass through parliament practically unopposed, and almost unnoticed?
Have we been tricked, as we were 12 years ago by Tony Blair and US neocons into invading and destroying Iraq, or more recently into launching a blitz-kreig on Libya that replaced Muammar Gaddafi’s secular socialist state with a terrorist hellhole?
We need only look to today’s front pages, where suddenly our callous and manipulative leaders are showered with praise for their “generosity” to Syrian refugees. And we have been tricked so cleverly that the very people who marched in protest over the US war on Iraq are now silent on this covert “regime-change” operation in Syria.
Now is the time to stand up and say “this is not a war in my name”.