News

Some birds will die

by
June 30, 2017

Beyond the unsubstantiated shotgun vitriol and way too many adjectives to make reading easy, I thank your correspondent Mr Matters for raising one important issue on wind turbines — some birds will die (So who do we believe, The Telegraph, June 22).

Like doing nothing about climate change has consequences, so too action on climate change.

The many solutions in renewable energy will have some impacts on communities far and wide, be this on birdlife in the USA or Whiteheads Creek, or on whole communities in Gippsland who for a century have worn ill-health from coal burning at many levels while we have clean electricity in Seymour.

No longer.

Coal pollution and climate change risks all. Wind turbines, however, have a limited risk.

We have roadkill deaths from motor cars all the way from Seymour to Whiteheads Creek, but we don’t stop driving.

This is collateral damage that none of us like, but it is real.

Some birdlife will die from wind turbines, although I’d have to suggest that birds are amazing at flying very fast around obstacles without peril.

However, more birds will die from unchallenged climate change.

Independent studies have suggested 1/15 more deaths from coal power than wind though.

And about BEAM — BEAM Mitchell Environment Group is a regional volunteer-based group working to save and improve our environment, from birdlife to forests to opposing dams to addressing planning issues for 25 years.

We make no apology for being strong in accepting climate change is real and proposing local solutions we can all take responsibility and ownership of.

Renewable energy is a current priority, and solar, wind and pumped hydro all have local advantage and provide local ownership in Seymour.

I invite your correspondent to join BEAM and get active on an exciting future, while we can.

— Peter Lockyer, BEAM Mitchell Environment Group secretary

Priorities wrong

Recent newspaper articles reveal that the Victorian Government has accumulated $466million in landfill levies, rising to $531million this financial year.

Rural and regional councils are to share in $2.7million to control roadside weeds and pests, an average of $48000 per council.

A total of $9.6million will be spent on installing solar panels on Melbourne trams, with $110million spent on establishing a plantation in the Latrobe Valley for the timber industry — a strange investment considering the Heyfield Mill is closing.

To top things off, $8.1million is being spent upgrading the Parks Victoria website.

Municipal Association of Victoria president Mary Lalios said that councils were concerned about the lack of transparency around the Sustainability Fund, yet the state government has chosen to spend landfill revenue on totally unrelated purposes.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio’s whimsical response was that levy funds were used to ‘‘provide broad benefits to the Victorian community and contribute funding to Victorian government agencies that work to protect the environment and ensure sustainable use of resources’’.

Why isn’t more of this money being spent on fixing rural and regional roads and footpaths?

Why spend over $127million on some fanciful ideas and only give rural and regional councils $2.7million to control roadside weeds and pests, Minister?

Clearly yet another ministerial figurehead who has lost touch with reality.

A recent UNICEF report card only confirms this state government as a bunch of jokers with their registration plates declaring ‘‘Victoria, the Education State’’.

The UNICEF report ranks Australia 39 out of 41 countries for quality education, which probably explains why this Andrews Government got elected.

— Brian Mawhinney, Kilmore

Bounty gone to the dogs

The Andrews Labor Government’s lack of interest in the wild dog control program looks to have extended to the resoundingly successful fox bounty.

Foxes and wild dogs are a massive blight on Victoria’s landscape, wreaking havoc on livestock and our native fauna alike, yet Labor is turning a blind eye and failing to listen.

The Premier for Melbourne just doesn’t get it: the only good fox is a dead fox, and the only thing better is a dead wild dog.

Labor left High Country landholders in limbo for two years after axing the wild dog bounty and sacking the Wild Dog Advisory Committee.

While Minister Jaala Pulford has given in to pressure from farmers and finally replaced the committee, it’s disappointing that there are less landholder representatives, there are no women, and one of the members has previously criticised wild dog control measures and reportedly described farmers as ‘‘extremists’’.

— Peter Walsh, Agriculture Shadow Minister

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