TO SPEAK of government drought assistance to farmers is not realistic, or denies the reality of our changed climate. We will not get something like reliable rainfall and liveable summer temperatures again until we’ve replanted and regrown a good portion of the approximately 92 per cent of Australia’s trees and forests that we’ve killed and cleared and ‘thinned’ for grazing over the last 230 years.
Trees and forests make rain clouds, cool our surroundings and continent, slow strong winds and soak up flood rains. Without them we get little rain, unbearably hot summers, tornadoes, and deadly flood run-off called an inland tsunami. We are incapable of stopping the clearing of our remaining forests, much less are we capable of re-planting lost forests.
Normal paddock and field agriculture exposed to the elements has had its day. Farmers need to look to the big shed vertical farm (BSVF), a closed environment structure where you grow plant protein crops in multiple layers or levels hydroponically. A layer of beans or chickpeas, say, above a layer of corn, and so on, using red and blue LED growth-lights, powered by rooftop solar panels with a paddock full of solar panels alongside. Bug-free, no fertiliser run-off, minimal water use and re-use.
The glass-walled tower is a superseded idea. The BSVF needs to be tough-walled, hail and tornado-proof, with its first growth floor above flood level.
Wheat is already a wholefood. To grow it, then use it to raise or fatten cattle or chickens or pigs is wasteful double production. People are starting to value add, making burgers, sausages, schnitzels and nuggets from wheat protein, soy beans and oats, say, with plentiful country jobs and far fewer heart attacks and cancers than from animal product diets.
I believe climate ruin is with us, as is the 21st century. Captain Cook’s era of agriculture is yesterday. It’s time for the resilient to try new ways of farming. Don’t wait for leaders and saviours. Trees and forests are starting to turn brown and die of a drought stress we have caused by previous massive deforestation. Things are going to get a whole lot worse before moves are made to water-harvest flood rains with underground storage and replant forests. Brace, change and deal or end up a dodo.
MANY tenants of the Department of Housing are there because they have experienced unfortunate circumstances which are out of their control, such as fires or floods, or they have been debilitated due to accidents, victims of domestic violence or been diagnosed with mental illness for various reasons.
Some other tenants have been placed straight out of jail after a history of drugs and crime, some of them have used weapons such as guns. Mixing vulnerable people who have a need to feel safe and out of harm's way with criminals who are taking advantage of their new digs as a post-jail drop-in centre and drug haven, verbally and physically abusing vulnerable tenants, particularly women, using threats and intimidation is not OK.
Complaints go unheard. Vulnerable people are expected to just wear it. Why? Because all people living in Department of Housing are lumped together and considered as the lowest of the low. Everybody is treated as scum. What about the man who nearly died in a car smash who lost his wife, successful business, house, car, hopes and dreams? How about those who are victims of child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, who are unable to hold down a job as they are just trying to survive? They have to endure the ongoing stress of cohabiting with criminals and live in fear.
My point is the criminals, drug addicts/dealers should never be placed with decent, struggling people who just want somewhere safe to stay with a roof over their heads.
REGARDING Speers Point dog park (Letters, 31/5): people need to be careful when taking their dog there. These dog parks are not as ‘safe’ as people would like to believe, and not all dogs should be taken to one. Overly aggressive or shy dogs should not be taken. People need to be very mindful that not all the dog owners act responsibly, and not all the dogs are socialised enough to be running loose. Dog owners should have some control over their pet. Last Saturday afternoon we spotted quite a number of larger dogs running amok and fighting with other dogs while their owners stood back, talked and ignored their dogs. The other owners were trying to get their own dogs away. I make this post to make people aware
HAVING recently witnessed the vitriolic and venomous performance and exaggerated facial expressions of Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash during a belated media conference following her refusal to toe the line and answer questions from the Senate committee on the leaks from her department, which alerted the media to the Australian Federal Police raid on the offices of the Australian Workers’ Union, I am astounded at the level of hatred displayed.
So much for Malcolm Turnbull's pledge to “civilise” parliamentary behaviour. The determination of this woman to please her superiors has clouded her better judgement. Union bashing by her has reached the point of being seen as acrimonious in the extreme. Obviously the powers of the Senate committee are being tested to the limit, it remains to be seen if they can be enforced.
I for one am grateful Minister Cash does not represent my electorate.
THERE has been much talk over the recent weeks regarding the as yet unnamed grandstand at McDonald Jones Stadium. In my opinion and, I've little doubt, many others’, that honour belongs to former soccer star Craig Johnston. The 15-year-old lad from Speers Point, who in 1974 paid his own fare to the UK to trial with Middleborough. He was told by the manager “you're the worst footballer, I've ever seen in my life, get the next flight back to Australia, you're wasting your time”. In 1986, 12 years later, Craig scored in Liverpool’s FA Cup win over Everton. Craig is a great Novocastrian, he can certainly hold his head high.
THE Herald pen goes to Lindsay Brown for the letter on Williamtown rate relief.
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