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Letters to the Editor

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October 11, 2017

Gautam Adani and Coal

We are receiving information about Adani who appears to be a billionaire rogue. However he is not the real problem.
What we must really fear is that our government and the Queensland Government are supporting the rogue.
They appear to be preparing to help Adani to finance his project.
It seems that Adani’s Australian projects are seriously in financial trouble.
Could this mean that taxpayers money would be used?
The Australian Trade Minister, Steve Ciobi had Trade Rules altered so that mines could be financed this way.
If that mine goes on, Australia’s reputation will be lowered.
Worse than that.
Adani’s group has been given free use of the underground water for the use of the mine for 60 years.
Worse still.
If we look into the future, using the information from the past, there is a very strong case that the entire country surrounding the mine will be less able to produce the numbers and quality of the present cattle herds.
That applies to the water and the trees and the feed.
Unless something is done now to refresh world climate, the future is looking bleak.
The Australian and Queensland Governments will tell you that a large coal mine would supply opportunities for employment.
That may be so, but in the long term the ruination of hundreds of square kilometres could mean less opportunities.
Here is another occasion where politicians are making short-term decisions with an eye to the next election.
The opportunity is here, now, to make power from renewables.
Surely planning now for a clean way to create electricity is better than a filthy, unhealthy coalmine.
Let’s stir up the politicians.
It’s time they considered other people.

Ron Neilsen

A lesson learnt....will we?

The Yarrawonga Mulwala Historical Society recently learnt how the preservation of an iconic bridge can re-invigorate a town and its tourism industry.
Members Alex and Ann were amazed to learn how the community of Ironbridge in Shropshire rallied against government plans to demolish their historic bridge for its iron content during World War 2, when metal was scarce and badly needed for the war effort.
The bridge is the first cast iron bridge in the world, dating from 1779.  It spans the River Severn, the longest river in the country; it replaced a ferry service. 
The construction of other bridges across the Severn, and arrival of heavier motor vehicles in the 1930s, forced the bridge to be limited to pedestrians only, which in the government’s eyes, rendered the bridge worthless and wasteful.
However, according to Ironbridge museum staff, the community took out historic legal protection on the bridge, preventing its demolition by the government. 
Since World War 2, the bridge has grown in fame, being maintained by English Heritage, Prince Charles being its patron.
The original toll house is now a fascinating museum.  Many old houses in the village have since been restored, and the picturesque main street caters to many tourists, school groups and travellers.
The couple was astonished to see a small boat with two fishermen setting off along the Severn, an inflatable kangaroo seated in the stern. 
When asked why such a toy was in their boat, they replied that they’re Australians who wanted to fish in the Severn and thought the old bridge was special.
The experience of Ironbridge resonated loudly with our Historical Society.
The meeting also viewed the original local petition for the construction of a bridge to span the Murray between Yarrawonga and Mulwala, which was drawn up exactly 100 years later than Ironbridge, in 1879. 
After 15 years of community agitation, the 1892 Yarrawonga Mulwala traffic bridge was built, to replace Halburd’s punt. 
Then in 1924, today’s traffic bridge was constructed by the two states, resulting in the distinctive bend and dip.
Will Yarrawonga and Mulwala let their unique piece of history be demolished and lost forever?
Or will the towns understand the tourism potential behind their iconic 1924 traffic bridge, working to preserve it at all costs when the proposed replacement bridge (green route) is constructed?

Name and address supplied.

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