You say: The point of dams is to manage, not waste water

I noted in Wednesday’s Border Mail a letter from Graham Parton of Beechworth opposing the construction of more dams, which seems to echo some of the material in a recent 4Corners program on water diversion for irrigation in northern NSW.

The reason for building dams is to manage water so that it is available when needed, not running out to sea  in winter and spring.

And there a number of sites in North East Victoria – Lake Buffalo, currently 25,000 Ml, has a planned stage two of 300,000 Ml, Lake William Hovell on the King River is currently 13,000Ml with a planned increase to 75,000 Ml – they are both in high rainfall, mountainous country, with minimum evaporation rates. And those are just examples.

The reason for hay being carted north is because there is a drought, a periodic event in Australia's very variable climate. That currently drought affected land is in fact highly productive, with drought perhaps every 10 years.

The Murray Darling Basin Plan is not a barrier – it is, in fact, a legislated agreement – and it can be changed as required by Parliament.

Given Australia's increasing population, and the dire predictions of the climate change advocates of a hotter, drier Australia, we cannot afford to ignore the need to manage our limited water resources efficiently.

And the only way to do so is to store it in winter/spring for use when it is needed, and to manage it for the best environmental outcomes. We cannot return to the halcyon days of 1787.

David Evans, Mohyu

IT TAKES GUTS: A reader agrees with Tim Fischer who said "it takes guts" for America to do something about its gun culture after yet another mass shooting.

IT TAKES GUTS: A reader agrees with Tim Fischer who said "it takes guts" for America to do something about its gun culture after yet another mass shooting.

Spare me the lecture

America the brave? More like a slave … to the National Rifle Association, and gun enthusiasts. Surely the rest of the world sadly must now accept that the words from the American national anthem could not sit in more stark contrast to the America we see today.

After yet another mass shooting, we have to sit through the same old commentary and debate on gun control. I wonder how many thousands of words have been devoted to analysis, debate, commentary and reflection on the awful events at Las Vegas. Time and time again we hear it, and time and time again America ends up doing nothing.

It was crystal clear after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that nothing was ever going to change in America when it comes to gun control. If you don’t do something about your gun problem when someone slaughters 20 children aged six to seven years old, nothing is ever going to sway you to, is it? 

It’s sickening and it’s sad and I am tired of being told every time this happens that Australians “will never understand” America’s gun culture. I don’t need to understand America’s gun culture, and I don’t care to devote any more time trying to understand it quite frankly.

The point that is never made is that the American people actually don’t understand their own gun culture, or certainly not the consequences of it. Why is it that the rest of the world gets the lecture on America’s gun culture when America has so little insight itself? The simple fact is there is a price to pay for that gun culture and America has demonstrated, time and time again, that it has still not reached a point where it considers that price to be too high.

Tim Fischer was spot on when he said “it takes guts” to bring about change. And I’m almost certain now that “America the brave” doesn’t have any when it comes to this issue.

Emily Shaw, Wangaratta