Petitions are useful

May 23, 2016

A petition important to the Greater Shepparton Botanical Gardens group is close to its closing date before being presented to the city council.

Columnist John Gray (News, May 19) again questioned the value of petitions.

This was no surprise because John Gray was just revisiting an opinion that he has previously expressed on the subject several years ago.

He was one of a few people who said they believed petitions were not worth the paper they were written on.

However, I believe that petitions have a place in various government circles and elsewhere, otherwise they would not be accepted by the authorities such as municipal councils.

This petition asks the council not to take $50000 from a proposed allocation to the Greater Shepparton Botanical Gardens group and give it to the Chamber of Commerce.

The petition is being well supported across Greater Shepparton, showing that the gardens group is worthy of full financial support, and also showing that the council is willing to accept petitions.

People distributing the petition tell me that most of the public asked to sign the document are happy to do so and are satisfied with reasons given for the petition.

Only a minority of the general public would believe petitions are of no value and are not taken seriously by the council.

Submitted by - Bill McCarthy, Shepparton

Water help crucial

The Project, Waleed Aly and Tom Whitty have provided a wonderful service to the dairy industry with their reporting of its present crisis.

Well done The Project, the report presented last week was well researched and factual.

One area I would love to see just as accurately researched and reported is the Federal Government’s role in this crisis.

Government water policy has seen many changes in availability of affordable water, which farmers must have to grow our everyday foods.

This has severely impacted on water availability for dairy and other farmers who put our daily staples on the table.

Speaking to numerous dairy farmers their biggest concern is the lack of affordable water.

If dairy farmers did not have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on water as a result of government policy then the extra kick in the guts from the present crisis, due to poor management decisions, may not have been the straw that has broken so many backs.

I think the Federal Government needs to put up its hand and admit it has played a significant part in the serious predicament our dairy farmers are in.

We also need journalists such as those from The Project to help educate everyday Aussies on the real facts. If this does not occur to help facilitate better water policy the dairy industry won’t be the only one in crisis.

Submitted by - Shelley Scoullar, spokeswoman Speak Up, Deniliquin

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