Pour attention on the arid state of our west

HOT AND DRY: Reader Kenneth Harris of Glendale argues discussion should begin about an injection of ‘new water’ into drought-stricken communities in western NSW. OUR country is again gripped by drought and our attention is drawn to the plight of the farmers.

Invariably our eyes are drawn to pictures of dust and stock culls, followed by the effect on supermarket prices andfunding increases to help their situation. Before Mother Nature can step in, people are forced off the land. Families and communities breakdown. The only thing we can be sure of is that the cycle will be repeated.

About a year ago I wrote to the Premier on the subject of “the trillion-dollar economy”, a subject she brought up previously. There has been little coverage since on how or when NSW would achieve this milestone. I suggested that in order to continue to be the dominant state economy, weneedto ensure all sectors enjoyed success. This includesagriculture and regional communities.

Drought and deprivation is not a good selling point when it comes to encouraging our population to settle west of the divide.To my knowledge there has been no “new water” introduced west of the divide for decades. While there has been much discussion about water in the Murray-Darling catchment, it has always been about allocating water that that was historically already there. The idea of diverting water from the eastern seaboard is not new. Recently there was a proposal to divert water from the Richmond River to Queensland.

We have not had much rain for the last month,if any,so we consider it is dry.Try to imagine communities with no rain for years. That is a far cry from Sydney, where desalinated water was considered not good enough for consumers unless mixed with water from the catchments.

The 2009 Commonwealth government report on drought support makes interesting reading, particularly in the amount and variety of support available.Yes, it’s in the billions of dollars, but not a word or discussion, political will or vision to promote ways of resolving this important issue.

How do we get water into the western catchments of NSW?I would love serious discussion to take place to see if it is possible.I don’t think you can diminish the idea based on the fact that it would be expensive, not when you have a government willing to spend multiple billions of dollars on transport infrastructure and football grounds. In my opinion these projects are not truly nation building and give a false impression on how our economy is going.

Kenneth Harris,GlendaleNO STEEL CITY NEEDEDONCE more a shipping container storage and processing plant hopes to use the former BHP site (‘Port chief chasing container trade’, Newcastle Herald,1/8).

It has taken 20 years for Newcastle to lose the tag as a dirty industrial city and now they want to go back down the same path.

If you ask me ashipping container site would be an eyesore, employing very few people and clogging up roads with an endless convoy of trucks in all directions.

One would have hoped that BHP left this valuable suburb of land to the people in recognition, and appreciation, for generations of hard work, that made the BHP what it is today.I propose sporting and recreational facilities enclosed in park land trees and faunafor the people to use, something the inner city desperately needs.

I say suburb because the area is big enough to create a green haven big enough for all to use, far better than a steel and concrete jungle.Maybe call it garden park.

Carl Stevenson,Dora CreekDON’T BAGSOLUTIONI’VE always loved my “single use” plastic bags, not realising the damage they do to the environment. After watching War on Wasteon the ABC I now know.

Our household has almost achieved zero use of the bags now for over a year.

Coles have now decided to give away their larger reusable bags for free.

Are they kidding? Coles spokesperson’s quote that “some customers said that they needed more time to transition to reusable bags” makes me wonder what these people would do in a real crisis if they needed to make real transitions(loss of a loved one, home, job etc). It’s just a bag and it’s stuffing up the environment.

The 15-centcharge is quite minimal and I don’t know anyone who could not afford somewhere between 15 cents and $1 to pack all their groceries, but it may make them bring them back next time. If you leave the bags in the car, then pack your groceries at the car as many shoppers do at Aldi.

I believe a packaging company at Cardiff some 15 years ago offered supermarkets fully-biodegradable bags made from potato starch and they were not accepted because of the price.

Wake up NSW. We are the only Australian state not banning the single use bags. Such a fuss.

Let’s now look at plastic straws and disposable coffee cups and give us viable alternatives to all these disposables.

Denise Lindus Trummel,MayfieldPROBLEM GOES PAST WILSONTHE resignation of Archbishop Philip Wilson (‘Bishop out’, Herald,31/7)does not fix the systemic problem of an institution that concealed the sexual abuse of children by priests.

I think bishops and archbishops have been caught in the same web as the offending priests. The way I see it, their identity was subsumed by the organisation to which they belonged. Their identity and their lives had been made identical with their ministry. Taking away their ministry would destroy who they were.

When the self has been replaced by the rule-keeping celibate, the self ceases to exist. Then empathy becomes problematic.

I believe Wilson’s apparent lack of remorse or contrition suggests a lack of empathy, and his earlier unwillingness to resign suggests his role had become his identity.

Mark Porter,New LambtonAMSTERDAM SETSEXAMPLEWE AREhere in Amsterdam on holidays. Here the streets abound with trams and pushbikes rule the road. In the CBD there is very little car traffic butthere are thousands of people roaming the streets.

With the new light rail at the pointy end of its build, can I ask our city councillors how they want our city to look and feel?What I see here in Amsterdam could be replicated in Newcastlealthoughthe drug laws are different here.

I know our city sends our representatives around the world to observe other cities for ideas. May I suggest a contingent come to Amsterdam to look what makes this Dutchcity work?

Andrew Whitbread- Brown,Cardiff HeightsSHARE YOUR OPINIONEMAIL [email protected]出售老域名.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.LETTER OF THE WEEKTHE Herald pen goes to John Carr, of Toronto, for hisletter about the Newcastle art gallery and potential options for its expansion.

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