Mildura Weekly : Friday February 13 2015 Vol 9 No 14
10 OPINION MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Harness racing requires ‘overhaul’ Sir, I WRITE in response to your February 6 article ‘Cramp camp rocked by harness race fixing allegations.’ In regards to the race fix- ing issue, it’s time the harness racing industry in Victoria had a complete overhaul, starting with the Victorian Harness Racing board. Race fixing and other issues seem to be rife in the industry. I am no longer an ‘inter- ested spectator’ of the sport, having followed it for years. No one wants to go to the trots and see the same horses, connections etc. win over again. It’s about time the little bloke in the industry was given a fair go, as it is hard enough just getting horses a start now- adays, let alone getting to the track with the entering fees etc. attached. Because of this monopoli- sation of the industry, we see a lot of people getting out of harness racing all together. The New South Wales harness racing industry has clamped down on these issues with good effect, and now en- joys a much healthier industry as a result. Kim Aitken Mildura Long, hard water story Sir, The reality of the legacy of La- bor’s water buy back scheme, implemented by Penny Wong, can be seen across the Mildura – Swan Hill horticul- tural districts. Where once there were family owned farms criss- crossing over the land, there are now abandoned blocks and hard stories to tell. Between 2008 and 2012, with the drought tight- ening its grip, over 3000 irrigators in the Murray- Darling Basin sold their water entitle- ments back to the Commonwealth. Plantings were left to wither and the land, with nothing to sustain it, was left valueless. Productive land dropped by 6000 hectares in under a decade as farmers, who felt they were left with no option, sold their water. Regardless of intention, the buy-back scheme target- ed struggling industries and five years on, the full impact of the policy is plain to see. Farmers, who sold their water but couldn’t sell their land, are now facing the cost of re- purchasing their entitlement and the cost of re-establishing plantings and infrastructure. Sound water management and policy must encourage sustainability, promote ef- ficiency and drive productiv- ity. Quite clearly, the former Labor Government’s policies failed to do this and conse- quently, the Swan Hill and Mildura regions have seen a dramatic decline in horticul- ture. The current government’s approach, which includes the Sunraysia Modernisation Project, supports farming by improving efficiency and pro- ductivity and yet still returns 7GL of water to the environ- ment. There are still challenges fac- ing horticulture however, recent developments are positive steps in the right direction. The SMP is allow- ing year round ac- cess to water, im- proving grower confidence in delivery and allowing the op- portunity for crop diversifica- tion, whilst improving water quality and community safe- ty, with the removal of open channels and the need for pre-filters. Additionally, three new free trade agreements, al- low farmers to expand their markets, encouraging growth rather than reduction. The scars left behind by the buy-back scheme are still raw, both on the land and in the hearts of growers but with the implementation of the SMP, there’s fresh hope and a valuable lesson in the impor- tance of good water policy. Andrew Broad Federal Member for Mallee Grand plan for bio-mass waste • From Page 9 “You look today and there’s nowhere near the timber mills there used to be, with firewood becoming more difficult to source and more expensive to purchase. “It’s what got me thinking that there is a market for affordable and sustainable alternatives like bio-mass fire logs.” Fred said he had first started to in- vestigate the prospect of creating bio- mass fire logs using sawdust, designing a purpose-built machine that took sawdust and turned it into something usable. While not ideal due to the sheer vol- ume of sawdust needed to make any po- tential business viable, Fred’s machines did spark interest from another company – Eco-Recycle. “They approached me with half a doz- en wax cardboard boxes, and asked if I could do anything with them,” he said. “I had a look at the wax cardboard boxes and built another machine that could also transform them into fire logs. “The wax wound up being ideal for fire logs, and we were able to get a busi- ness going for two years transforming un- used wax boxes into fire logs.” From there Fred expanded the ma- chines into making feed blocks for horses and cattle using lucerne (something he is involved in today in Mildura), before coming up with the idea to adapt the ma- chines to cater for Mildura’s abundance of bio-mass. Fred said his current goal was to share his ideas with others in the community. “I simply want to get this information out there, and would be more than will- ing to talk to people about the idea and how they can get involved,” he said. “If I can get enough people interested, I believe I can have fire logs available in time for winter.” Those interested in finding out more information about the initiative are asked to contact Fred on 0401 601 807. THERE are now 22,000 more Golden Perch in the Murray River, thanks to the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club and its angling club. “The Club and its angling club have been involved in stocking the Murray River since 1989, and our efforts are now supported by the NSW Department of Primary Industries through the ‘Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Stocking program,’”Coomealla Club general manager Craig Muir said this week. This year’s release of Golden perch was undertaken yesterday from 11am at the Dareton Boat Ramp It takes the accumulated number of Golden perch and Murray cod fin- gerlings released during the past 25 years to more than 450,000. Pictured taking part in yesterday’s release are Angling Club presi- Something fishy going on at Dareton dent, Ron Woods, left, and Bruce Malcolm, from Uarah Fisheries, Grong Grong, NSW. Uarah Fisheries supplied the fingerlings. Photograph: PAUL MENSCH BEAT THE PRICE RISE ON HUGE RANGE IN STORE AT GREAT PRICES 80 Pine Avenue Mildura P: 5023 2846 www.wallersmildura.com.au Monday - Friday 9:00am-5:30pm Saturday 9:00am-2:00pm Monday–Friday: 7:00am–5:00pm Saturday: 8:00am–12:00pm Sunday: Closed TIMBER BUILDING MATERIALS HARDWARE FLOORING CLADDING TRUSS & FRAME WINDOWS DOORS DOOR FURNITURE KITCHENS PLUMBING TOOLS FASTENERS REINFORCING DECKING ROOFING DAHLSENS MILDURA 973–1029 Benetook Avenue 3502 Ph: (03) 5023 1111 email@example.com d DAHLSENS MILDURA YOUR LOCAL BUILDING SUPPLIES TEAM. Here to help you build. From Foundation to Fit Out.
Friday February 6 2015 Vol 9 No 13
Friday February 20 2015 Vol 9 no 15