And what about water?
I thought my ears were deceiving me. Did I really hear the Environment Minister Sussan Ley supporting a royal commission into the bushfire crisis?
"A royal commission would certainly get to the bottom of the matter," she said.
Which leads me to ask: Why is it important to get to the bottom of the bushfire crisis, but not the water crisis which we have been facing for many years?
In recent times we have been highlighting the wasted water through mismanagement during a time of shocking drought.
Some farmers have taken the extraordinary step of taking out a class action to seek compensation for their losses.
Ms Ley's response has been to insist she is not allowed to talk to the leading farm advocates in our region who are part of the class action. So, can I ask: Why can't the Environment Minister talk to them, but the Water Resource Minister (David Littleproud) can? (He met with individuals leading the class action in Canberra last month.) Or is the real issue that Ms Ley does not want to talk to them, or other groups including Speak Up that are fighting for our communities.
In January last year (ie. before an election) Ms Ley stated: "The issue of losses must be confronted: it is patently unfair that users downstream effectively have their water 'delivered' to them with the cost in transmission paid for by us."
So why hasn't the Environment Minister insisted that changes be made to overcome this issue that "must be confronted"?
In 2020 it is time for Sussan Ley to stand up and deliver for her constituents. Many are desperate and want action now. A good place to start would be demanding that the transmission losses be shared, rather than the 'unfair' (Sussan's word) current situation. Next, demand the bushfire royal commission be expanded to include other issues around natural resource management, in particular water management.
The member for Farrer should also start meeting with key farm and water advocacy groups in her electorate to get a true picture of the frustrations they are feeling.
Shelley Scoullar, chair Speak Up Campaign
So many giving so much
I was talking to my brother who works in the emergency services and he made the point that many of us may have forgotten that it's not just the firies who have worked hard this fire season. Many emergency services personnel have worked the fires since they started up North.
All emergency service personnel should be commended for the effort they have made while the fires have raged. But they need to be afforded a special break.
Greg Adamson, Griffith
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