Letters, August 22: Is drought solution blowin’ in the wind?

Just an observation on the plight of our farmers.

With so much attention now focused on the plight of farmers to stay afloat, it seems the drought is being portrayed as something that has suddenly happened, something that was unforeseen.

We have been in drought conditions for quite some time, but a lack of planning has placed farmers into dire straits financially and emotionally. Not due to the farmers’ actions, but by conditions placed on them.

While driving through Taralga recently I stopped to have a closer look at the wind farm. An incredible sight to see up close, towering structures in the fields, with rotating blades generating power for the grid while cattle look for grass in the drying fields. 

 We hear in the media of the farmers being paid the bare minimum for their efforts ... cattle are starving, the crops are not growing or reaping lesser yields, the farmers are losing thousands of dollars daily in buying feed for their stock. 

While mesmerized by the rotating blades in the afternoon sun, it dawned on me … why are we so opposed to farming energy?  The skeptics argue the generators ONLY work when it’s windy and panels ONLY work when the sun is out.

Did they not understand that crops ONLY grow when the rain is sufficient and livestock only breed when there is sufficient water and feed? As Bob Dylan once wrote “Don’t criticise what you don’t understand, for the times are changing”. 

Our food doesn’t grow in supermarket refrigerators.

Instead of farms relying on loans to survive, why not increase the promotion of farming energy to supplement traditional farming? 

The income raised by the generated power may subsidise the costs of purchasing feed and water for the farmers. It keeps the rural population afloat until the drought breaks, farming methods are revised or other crops are found to give better yields for the existing conditions. 

I haven’t done the calculations, this is just a thought, but looking for alternatives is better than the attitude of “Nup, it’s too expensive to feed myself so I would rather starve than look for a solution”.

With the increase in development in our local area, I wonder if energy farming can be incorporated with our existing farms that are finding it tough to survive. 

Bob Wozga, Harrington Park

Chainsaw catastrophe

Today I awoke to the sound of chainsaws in our area. I discovered that our neighbour, immediately behind us, was in the process of having a beautiful big gum removed.

This gum has housed five kookaburras for many years and I have also seen a pair of rosellas and a pair of king parrots in the vicinity.

My husband phoned Camden Council and they informed him that they had given the resident permission to remove five mature trees from this property.

Apparently these trees had canopy damage … do they realise that these trees are suffering from the recent drought? We are in the "wildlife corridor"area - but we are fast losing habitats.

Reader Pat Durman wants bush corridors and koala habitat protected. Picture: Brian Wyer

Reader Pat Durman wants bush corridors and koala habitat protected. Picture: Brian Wyer

Council has given permission for two more trees to be removed from Benwerrin Crescent and five more from Willoughby Circuit. Last year seven gums were removed in Smalls Road and another five next door to us in Cawdor Farms Road.

Our neighbours complained about the leaves getting into their pool and another neighbour can't stand the noise of the kookaburra's laughing - she claims her family moved into Grasmere for the peace and quiet - but they moved in with a couple of very noisy kids!

Please Camden Council look after our precious trees and consider the impact on air quality/climate extremes, erosion/salinity by removing these mature gums in such large numbers.

Faye Yeatman, Grasmere

Enough is enough!

I was at a meeting in Turramurra the other day and it was a real pleasure to see that schools, council, OEH and residents were all working together to enrich their local bushland.

On the other hand when I read the Advertiser I realise here in Campbelltown, residents are unhappy and frustrated with the number of houses and high-rise being built, with it appears the complete agreement of council. 

We have the last chlamydia-free and expanding koala population left in Australia, beautiful bushland, and heritage properties, but unfortunately we also have traffic congestion, full car parks, air pollution and ever increasing development without adequate schools or even employment. 

I think enough is enough and development has to stop now, or at least until government can supply the necessary infrustructure to cope. 

Pat Durman, Wedderburn

Questions unanswered

Again I ask, can someone from Council or the RMS explain to me the need for the ridiculous sequencing of cross signals at the top end of Argyle Street. 

I noticed two boys going home from school the other day. Both would have been under 10 and didn’t have an adult with them. They were stuck in the middle of the road, had traffic whizzing past them and looked confused.

If they had crossed at the bottom end of the street they would have been safe and sound on the footpath.

I suppose the Coroner might have a better chance of getting answer when someone is killed.

Lets hope it not one of those boys going home from school.

Phillip Dunshea, Camden

Kindness appreciated

My wife and I had breakfast at the Mount Annan Botanical Gardens restaurant on Saturday and sat at a communal table with a young couple in their early 20s.

We exchanged a few pleasantries and when I went to pay our bill the owner informed me that the guy who was sporting a magnificent moustache had paid our bill and just disappeared.

I checked the car park without success and I just want to say thanks to whoever you are for such a kind gesture. This act certainly reinforces my faith in human nature especially the younger generation. Thanks mate and have a great life.

Alan Clark, Glen Alpine

Generous purchase

I am absolutely delighted that Campbelltown Catholic Club has bought the old Fisher’s Ghost restaurant building.

Congratulations to the Board of the Club for this generous decision.

The old building, formerly Kendall’s Mill and later Milby Hospital forms part of the historic precinct of Queen Street and Campbelltown's history. Well done, Catholic Club.

Clarice Stretch, Bradbury

Policy is total rubbish

I am currently helping my elderly mother downsize to an Independent Living Facility from her rented, rural property at Appin.

I have been left speechless this morning by the Council’s waste collection policy.

I rang to book a kerbside pick-up and have been told that there are TWO scheduled pick-ups per annum, June and December. 

I queried whether I should put Mum’s unwanted household items out now for the December pick up (!) - no, likely to result in a fine (understandable).

So, I was advised I could take it to the local tip, problematic as we only have access to a domestic vehicle (hence why wanting a council pick-up); I questioned whether this would be offered as free access then, given that we couldn’t have it picked up, and no, it is definitely not free, normal rates apply.

Therefore, options to get rid of the stuff that the local charity can’t take:

1. Burn

2. Leave on side of road until December and risk fine

3. Break up and dump - ? bush/neighbours/other

4. Hire a truck, find someone to drive it, pay excessive tip fee for truck access and risk breaking my back getting material onto it.

It is untenable, that with the incredible residential growth in the area, the archaic council waste management has not been addressed previously.

I am writing this to you in the hope that by highlighting the problem, council may review their waste management program and the next person may have better luck!

Sarah Etherington, Glen Iris

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