Don’t shut us out
I write as a very concerned Victorian citizen, deeply worried about the possibility that our much valued state forests could be turned into national parks.
This cannot be allowed to happen for numerous reasons, because these state forests are an integral part of Victorian living for city dwellers and country people alike.
They are precious areas for recreation enjoyed by many thousands of Victorians over many generations.
We Victorians need to know that we can go into state forests to walk our dog, ride our horse, collect firewood.
We need to be able to go bird watching, bush walking, mountain biking, pan for gold, fishing and set up our easels for painting landscapes, establish our bee-hives, and prospect for gold with metal detectors as a healthy recreation.
I am a third generation Australian, my children are fourth generation, and my grandchildren fifth generation.
My late father was a recreational prospector, as am I, and my three brothers also.
Three of my children have begun prospecting, and four of my 10 grandchildren are beginning to enjoy the same interest in the open spaces of Victorian state parks.
We prospectors have unreserved respect for the Dja Dja Wurrung people, and for all Indigenous people.
However, I am an Australian too, and I, and my family should be able to enjoy the same access as they do.
If our state forests are converted into national parks, all these above mentioned recreational activities will be lost, and the countless millions of dollars spent in small country towns adjacent, will dry up.
Above all, closed-up and locked-up national parks become a virtual fire bomb with the build-up of rubbish and dry growth creating enormously dangerous conditions in the peak of summer.
Consider the firefighters who risk their very lives when they are called upon to fight the inevitable annual bushfires, which destroy our protected plants and animals and leave the ground barren and bare.
In my view, the so-called Greenies lead the push to close Victorian parks. Please don't be fooled by their do-good facade because their grab for power is totally detrimental to the whole of Australia.
This government must address urgently the need to manage the obvious environmental problems we face in our Victorian parks, such as illegal dumping of rubbish, noxious weeds, feral animals (especially wild cats), erosion, fire fuel in the way of uncontrolled growth, and not be swayed by politically motivated minorities.
I write this letter on behalf of my wife, Margaret, our family and our friends, and the many others who share our view.
Please don't lock up our Victorian Parks. We are entitled to the freedom these parks give us.
Brian and Margaret Lyons and family, Yarrawonga
Mine must be stopped
The federal government faces a legal challenge after sanctioning a plan by Indian mining giant Adani to pump billions of litres of water from a river in drought-stricken central Queensland to feed an open cut coal mine.
Last week Adani announced it would self finance and soon begin constructing.
Environmental Minister Melissa Price has decided to waive a full environmental assessment for a pipeline that will extract up to 12.5 billion litres of water a year from the Sutton River in central Queensland.
Please stop Adani.