PM's hypocrisy over watches saga
The Prime Minister refuses to apologise to Christine Holgate, former chief executive of Australian Post, for spending $20,000 on watches for four staff members for a job well done at the expense taxpayers.
Yet the Prime Minister or any one from the government refuses to state how much of taxpayers' money was spent to get the former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann a cushy job as OECD Secretary General. There have been reports of millions of taxpayers' dollars spent for the former politician to get the job.
It appears its OK for the federal government to look after their own but not OK for a chief executive to look after their staff.
Ian Bates, Bendigo
Most old growth forests protected
Trevor Scott (Letters, April 10) opposes the logging of old growth forest. I appreciate his concern, but it is a fact that the vast majority of old growth forest in Australia is already protected from logging.
Harvesting of old growth forest in Victoria has been banned for some time. Not only that, the ALP has deemed that all native forest harvesting will cease by 2030. This is in spite of the fact that only a tiny 0.04% of native state forest is harvested each year. In relation to carbon storage, Mr Scott also seems unaware that all state-owned forests must, by law, be regenerated after harvesting.
The subsequent regrowth rapidly takes up carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, while the timber products derived from the harvesting continue to store carbon for many years. This is a great, largely carbon-neutral, system that does not contribute to global warming.
In conclusion, declaring a forest, old growth or not, as a National Park does not 'magically' protect that forest from bushfires, feral animals, or noxious weeds. This means that the likes of the Bob Brown Foundation do not truly "save" a forest like the Tarkine, even if they are successful in preventing timber harvesting.
Peter Fagg, Blackburn
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Camping rights under the radar
The Andrews government should extend the time for public consultation regarding new camping rights along riverside leased farmland. Regional Victorians are justifiably outraged that their health, safety, prosperity and amenity has been traded for a 2018 election bribe. But with COVID-19 and other distractions, this issue remains largely below the radar for metropolitan voters.
Who wants our precious waterways to be polluted with poo - human and canine - and associated rubbish from campers? Why should farmers become the de facto police along 17,000 km of water frontages? It's a furphy to think any "rules" will be enforceable along such vast distances.
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This year the vista is green. But just wait till El Nino returns, water levels drop and paddocks dry up. Throw in the stench of excreta and the soap from camp washing, and say goodbye to platypus and other flora and fauna.
Duck shooters are renowned for leaving toilet paper, poo and litter at wetlands every year. If this can't be controlled, why extend their camping rights?
The Andrews government has sold us all down the river and inexplicably, the Coalition and Greens voted for this too. It's environmental vandalism.
Joan Reilly, Surrey Hills
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