Letters to the editor Sept 18

We need to stop voting for the Liberals and Nationals

This week we've seen fires wreak havoc, again. This week we've seen people put their lives at risk to stop fires, again. This week we've seen the leaders of the state Liberal and National parties and local state and federal 'Nats' visit impacted areas offering 'thoughts and prayers', again.

The people of the mid-north and north coast need to call the Liberals and Nationals out, again.

The great journalist Laurie Oakes was right when he called the political class that Ms Berejiklian and Mr Barilaro symbolise as 'political pygmies'. Both have small ambitions.

Both are afraid to lead. For our sake, they need to be ambitious, lead and to follow the evidence of consensus science, and quickly.

These Liberals and Nationals are implementing policies that are putting the lives of people, property and our precious ecosystems at risk, indeed danger. Local people must act. They need to stop voting for the Nationals. It is a life and death matter.

Have a look at the recent Federal Election results in Cowper, Page and New England.

These are the percentages of people who voted for the Nationals in the areas around two big fires: Bostobrick 62%, Ebor 55%, Tenterfield 70%, Guyra 76%, Yamba 54%, Yamba west 66% and Maclean 67%

These people are voting for the accelerated onset on climate change and, more specifically, more frequent and ferocious bad weather events, be it fire or flood.

It is is dumb. They're voting for people who are hurting them. It needs to stop. They need to stop for their sake and the sake of their children, grand children and the future existence of their towns. It is that serious.

The Nationals? They sit back, laugh and say, "Thank you for smoking".

Andrew Woodward

Former Cowper candidate and President, Bellinger River Branch of Labor

Protect the Kalang

I am a young mother lucky enough to raise my four children in the beautiful Kalang valley. Our life out here really centres around our river: we drink it, it waters our crops that feed us, it keeps us cool in the very humid summers and brings beauty to our everyday.

Not only do we have a pristine river but the biodiversity of our fragile forests and rainforests is uncharted. They are home to an enormous list of critically endangered species including the functionally extinct Koala.

Forestry Corp's plans to log the headwaters of Kalang on an industrial scale fills me with a real fear for the future of Kalang. We have so much to lose here and for what? Nice Australian hardwood floorboards for wealthy Chinese and telegraph poles?! Ironically Forestry doesn't even profit, they lose millions of dollars every year at the taxpayers expense. Please help us save our precious headwaters. Get involved any way you can.

Rachel Borodin, Kalang

Logging of Kalang headwaters

Up in the Kalang headwaters, the pockets of old growth and rainforest are exquisite. Slopes once too steep to log have become seed sources for the surrounding naturally regenerated forest which is rich in biodiversity.

There are many habitat trees that provide the nesting hollows needed for the incredible variety of rare and special creatures that live and breed there. Citizen scientists have just found a breeding colony of the beautiful greater glider. Along with the Koalas, one wonders what else has not been accounted for by forestry's inadequate surveys.

This area is of equal significance to the Dorrigo World Heritage National Park, which attracts so many tourists. We need to leave the Kalang headwaters intact to provide wildlife refuge of significant size to ensure survival of healthy breeding colonies. Extinction happens when habitat is chiseled away. Australia is in an extinction crisis. Ecotourism, on the other hand, has so much untapped potential here.

This is serious! At a time of severe drought with no end in sight and bush fires all around us, our local member and water minister Melinda Pavey, needs to step in and stop all logging in water catchments. It's obvious isn't it? If we do not act now we may lose our clean river, our forest and this biodiversity hotspot.

Gillian West, Kalang

Feeding ourselves

One of the major problems that we humans face in the distant future is to be able to produce enough food for our ever increasing population. Even on our continent (the driest and getting drier) and despite wonders of modern agriculture we will have trouble maintaining or increasing our food export rate from our current 60 per cent of total production.

Well, I have one very sound suggestion which will help considerably. This is to dramatically increase the utilisation of our existing home gardens to produce more fruit and vegetables. All areas from average house blocks of 100/500 square metres down to the apartment balcony can be used for food production, and it is so easy to distribute all the fruit and vegetables not required for personal use - give some to the neighbours, food op shops and even organised markets (for small monetary return).

I know many of you are thinking, "use these areas to produce attractive flowers and the like". Well the answer to this is the artificial flower industry which is well equipped to produce all sorts of wonderful lookalike flowers which will last for ages.

So stop and think about it - what small contribution can I make to help the next 10 or 100 generations?? Simply just promote the proposition of growing food products in your own piece of our planet.

Finally to the current flower-only producers, I do apologise for being so practical.

Lindsay Moulden, Repton

River catchment

Towns only 80km west of us are out of water. The birds and animals are moving east to the greener wetter coastal areas. The people will follow.

This is the worst drought in recorded history and what are are governments doing to protect our water security? The Murray Darling Basin is on its knees both environmentally, culturally and socially. The government is not delivering.

Melinda Pavey, you are our local member. You are the Minister for Water. What are you doing to stop Forestry destroying our precious catchment?

Because governments are failing us, it is our civil duty to defend our water supply and ensure water security by actively campaigning to protect our river catchment from industrial scale logging.

They ignored the science out west and the government subsidised huge dams upstream in the Murray Darling. Here, our taxpayers are subsidising the destruction of a biodiversity hotspot, on the extremely steep, most erodible soils in the state, in our headwaters.

Will we ignore the science again? Let us all stand up to them and support the Kalang headwaters being included in the Baalijin Nature Reserve.

Let's start pushing for a science based and environmentally accountable forestry policy in NSW.

Ridiculously unsustainable contracts to Boral should be torn up and the whole situation reviewed. For a start, how about a moratorium on the logging of any catchment in NSW until this drought is over.

For our children's sake we need to stand up for common sense. It is remarkably uncommon these days.

Breon Carden, Hyland Park