Time to kill coal
The question I’m most asked about the Adani Carmichael coal mine is why our governments support this destructive, polluting project. The answer is largely because of the unhealthy relationship between the fossil fuel industry and our politicians.
Fossil fuel companies donate money to political parties and they, in turn, create policies to support the industry. There’s also a well-established revolving door of former politicians who’ve gone from government directly into well-paid fossil fuel jobs, including the following 24 MPs, many of whom are household names. From the Liberal Party: Peter Costello, Alexander Downer, Nick Greiner, Peter Lindsay, Ian MacFarlane, James McGrath, Nick Minchin, John Olsen, Arthur Sinodinos, Michael Photios and Michael Yabsley. From Labor: Nick Bolkus, Greg Combet, John Dawkins, Jim Elder, Craig Emerson, Martin Ferguson, Gary Gray, Alan Griffiths, Wayne Matthew and Tony Mooney. From the Nationals: John Anderson, Larry Anthony and Mark Vaile.
These heavyweights have no difficulty getting an audience with our current politicians and shaping policy. It’s beyond disgraceful and it’s got to stop. If you share our anger and frustration over this situation, please come to the Stop Adani “funeral for our future” in Australia Park on Saturday from 1pm-2pm and wear black to mourn for the loss of our future. Eulogy will be provided by Professor Kate Auty, ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and Environment.
Lizette Salmon, Wodonga
Attack is unfair
Your correspondent David Everest is once again flailing around demonstrating how little he understands about the Murray Darling Basin Plan and attacking what he calls “a green-driven bureaucracy that does not even live in the region”.
His concern is that “dairy cows are being sold, along with lambs and weaner calves, due to the lack of irrigated pastures” a situation he describes as “a disgrace”. He believes water storages have been “hijacked” by environmental concerns and implies that farmers should have first pick of any available water and environmental conservation should come a distant second.
The problem with that is it ignores the level playing field that has already been established by the water market. The environment, or more specifically the state and Commonwealth environmental water holders, compete with farmers in the same market and pay the same price as farmers.
The drought is affecting the natural ecosystems as much as it is affecting farms. It seems whenever farmers see water flowing past their property and into a conservation zone they demand a change to the system, although I have yet to hear a sensible alternative to the basin plan. Fortunately the main parties and most of the independents agree so there is virtually no chance of a change to the plan.
The harsh reality is that we live in a different climate now and we can expect less water for farming. The solution is not to plunder someone else’s supply and destroy native ecosystems; it’s to alter the farming activity to allow for less water.
As for this “bureaucracy” not living in the region, this is a silly criticism that keeps cropping up from Mr Everest. The charge that they do not live in the region, and by implication that therefore they can’t make sensible policy, is nonsense.
Graham Parton, Beechworth
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here