We can all help
It is wonderful to see the support given to those affected by the devastating fires in the Upper Murray and other parts of the country. We must sustain the effort in the months ahead when the rebuilding process begins.
Perhaps we could initiate a scheme along the lines of 'adopt a farmer' and towns or parts thereof could collect equipment and distribute the much needed goods to a farming family of their choice.
The following is but part of the massive list of requirements that will be needed to help with rebuilding of devastated farm lands: Concrete posts, steel posts, fencing wire, fencing tools, shovels, wire netting, axes, chainsaws, petrol, diesel and containers, fuel pumps, water tanks, post hole diggers, water pumps, generators, ropes, tarpaulins, galvanised piping, all manner of tools, ladders, horse saddles and equipment, hand-held radios, torches, roofing iron, and the list goes on.
I would refrain from donating cash to any state or federal government appeal as down the track this money historically disappears into consolidated revenue.
Funds managed by reputable business leaders will ensure all donations reach those in need.
Kevin Ginnivan, Corowa
Problem an opportunity
I write in reference to your story in The Border Mail (January 8) on the power crisis in the Upper Murray.
Amongst the devastation of the fires in the region and given the months estimated for power distribution infrastructure replacement, an opportunity exists to improve the outcome and ongoing viability for farmers and landholders in the area.
My proposal is for funding to be made available, either by governmental or through donated rebuilding schemes as a matter of urgency to make these properties self-sufficient through construction of individual solar arrays with back-up battery systems, effectively taking them off grid, diverting current stock of panels and battery systems to this rebuilding phase as a priority. This would alleviate to urgency of running powerlines back to these locations, often through bush areas contributing to the fire risk. It would also have the added bonus of reducing the overall carbon footprint of the entire area.
Surely this proposed initiative is something that all sides of discussion could find some common ground in supporting with the added bonus of getting people, who have been through so much, a step closer to normality in the shortest time possible and with ongoing benefits.
Danny Chamberlain, Wodonga
No fireworks thank you
To hold fireworks in Sydney or Melbourne this Australia Day would be at the very least insensitive to the people in fire ravaged regions.
Australia day this year should be about ways to help fellow Aussies in regional Australia and not about festive times around the Harbour Bridge or Opera House. Perhaps the landmarks could feature images of our regional areas. If images of a horse racing event can be projected on the Opera House, why not some real Australia? This Australia day must be respectful and thoughtful. It is time to remind city dwellers about the drought and the battles of farmers.