Where to start on LLS staffing?
I read the article "LLS staffing under spotlight" (The Land, June 29, p3) with interest.
I find it trite that Member for Northern Tableands Adam Marshall is questioning the current government about Local Land Services staffing levels given his party, while in power, presided over the department until early this year.
Throughout the past 13 years, I have been associated with the "services" provided by the LLS and its predecessor, the Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA).
While LHPA was focused on agriculture, the same cannot be said for the misaligned chimera that is the LLS we see today, which I will remind readers was created during the recent run of Liberal/National government under the advice of an external big four consultancy firm.
The past coalition government did little to create a sustainably funded and resourced LLS. Instead, it provided ad hoc funding arrangements and pushed the responsibility and risk for pest animal control to the primary producers.
In the Central Tablelands region, we have seen increased staff levels, but few of these are hands-on field officers working with farmers.
What we have observed is that these office-bound bureaucrats want to run "training programs", rather than get into the field and do hands on pest control programs like those previously conducted by the LHPA and its predecessor, the Pastures Protection Board.
So, what I say to the current and former governmentsis, stop throwing money around without a proper plan and start engaging with primary producers and employ some staff that want to get into the field.
Maybe it is not the LLS staff that are the problem, but the office management who seem to have come from the non-agriculture focused departments when LLS was created.
PETER SIPEK, Munmurra Pastoral Company, Turill.
Bring back the people's bank
There is a lot of discussion about rising interst rates and mortgage stress.
However, there is no discussion about banks charging interet on loans they create out of nothing.
For transparency, all bank loan agreements should have an origin of funds declaration clause stating that "the sum of the loan was created out of nothing under a capital adequacy ratio of 10 to one", for example.
People need to wake up to the lop-sided terms of bank loans and not get caught up in the make, break and take debt trap.
It is no surprise that there are record debt levels and record bank profits built upon banks' creation of credit out of thin air.
The licences of the major banks should have been refreshed years ago due to breaches of financing obligation.
Former Australian Democrats senator Paul McLean highlighted banking corruption and malpractice during his time in the Senate. Also, the 2018 Banking Royal Commission heard from people who had become victims of banks' predatory practices.
Rather than have a bankers dictatorship that has closed hundreds of bank branches in recent years, there is a need for a people's bank to restore some balance.
This can be achieved by having a people's bank operating out of post offices Australia-wide.
BERNIE BOURKE, Balliang, Vic.
SA's water to cost communities
Last month, when questions were being asked about the wisdom of piping water nearly 400km from the Murray River in South Australia to Whyalla, SA, for a new hydrogen plant, the SA Minister for Energy and Mining, Tom Koutsantonis, said this should not come as a shock because "almost every industrial purpose in South Australia takes water from the River Murray. It's where we get all of our water from, so this would be no different".
Then, in Federal Parliament, Minister for Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek explained the Murray-Darling Basin Plan needs to be delivered "in full" for environmental reasons, as well as "economic reasons for industrial development" in South Australia.
Neither the SA Government nor the Federal Government should be destroying farmers and communities in Victoria and NSW, as well as inevitably increasing food prices, just so South Australia has a cheap and easy water supply for its industry.
Desalination, infrastructure upgrades and other more sensible options must be considered.
TANYA GINNS, Murrami.
Failing to address the cause
When I read an ABC article featuring what was referred to as "waterlogged land" in South Australia's south-east being turned into an "agricultural engine room" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
If there had been sufficient research for this article, the author would have discovered that these south-east drains are the primary reason for the environmental degradation of the Coorong, which led to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
So now, we channel water from Hume and Dartmouth dams to the Lower Lakes, Coorong and Murray Mouth to try and repair the damage that has been caused by the very state that wants upstream communities to come to their rescue. And it's all at the cost of agriculture, jobs and prosperity upstream, in particular the mid-Murray regions in Victoria and NSW, not to mention increased prices at the supermarket for everyone.
Effectively, South Australians want the eastern states to repair their damage by demanding that undeliverable volumes are sent down the Murray River, and with clever political tactics they have conned the Federal Government into acquiescing.
SHELLEY SCOULLAR, Albury.
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