Letters to the editor

By Riverine Herald

Thanks ERH

RECENTLY I had reason to present at ERH (Echuca Regional Health) emergency on two different occasions and found the staff and facility to be of excellent standard.

I wish to extend my thanks to the doctors, nurses, admin staff and volunteers on duty, made my stay more enjoyable because of their presence.

Julie Oliver,


Truth and justice are not beyond reach

OVER the years, many letters to the editor have presented many opinions on different matters, including my own.

This letter I write is possibly more unusual than most as the contents are not of my opinion but the philosophy of many.

Such philosophy is in the form of quotes and the many facts contained in such would be hard for anybody to dispute.

Listed are just some of those that relate to the happenings of today including social, political and moral issues.

1.The triumph of evil flourishes when good people do nothing.

2.You can’t declare the truth as a prohibited item.

3.The truth cannot be destroyed, only smothered, obscured and distorted by propaganda and brainwashing.

4.Today many of our leaders are divorced from realism.

5.Rarely do they honour the words and promises that they squander so profusely.

6.One necessary ingredient of heroism is the acceptance of responsibility.

7.If we are to preserve civilisation, we must first remain civilised.

8.Nature will never follow people, but people would be better off by following the laws of nature.

9.There is no illness on earth that God has not provided a remedy through nature. All the chemical companies of the world combined are not as efficient as a stray plant you may crush underfoot.

I also include a text from an address given by Prince Charles to the Shakespeare birthday lectures.

Contrary to your opinion of Charles, his words ring true regardless of your nationality.

“For us, all roots are important: roots in our landscape and local community: roots in our cultural and literary heritage: roots in our philosophical and spiritual traditions.

“If we lose touch with them, if we lose track of where we came from, we deprive ourselves of a sense of value, a sense of security and all too frequently a sense of purpose and meaning.”

Finally a comment of my own in regards to the attitudes of many – and that is the common term ‘there’s nothing you can do about it.’

This term is a fallacy and a defeatist attitude by those not prepared to speak out publicly on what they believe is wrong.

This is best left to the other person.

A thought to be remembered: Action can only be achieved by fostering unity in large numbers.

Bruce Archibald,


Basin plan targets are ‘nonsense’

AS ALWAYS the devil is in the detail.

Although it is pleasing to see some level of sanity return towards a more balanced approach to water sharing by not removing a further 605gL from productive use, there appears to be a failure to acknowledge the massive damage already inflicted on the irrigation sector and the reliant communities by the removal of over 2100gL of water so far from irrigation.

This is in total contradiction to the House of Reps Interim Report into The Living Murray where 10 of the 11 across-party politicians recommended no water be removed from productive use as the science, as presented, could not justify it.

Embedded in this bi-partisan agreement is a green light being given to the acquisition of a further 450gL.

This was a belated thought bubble by the then minister, Tony Burke, and was provided so long as it had no adverse socio/economic impacts.

Any rational person should see that it is not possible.

We now see the impacts of the existing reductions in the annual availability of water and the escalating costs of temporary water.

For example, Victorian Goulburn-Murray Water and NSW Murray Irrigation are now reduced to delivering approximately half of their previous historic water use.

This obviously puts at risk the future viability of those organisations and their reliant irrigators and communities through the erosion of production and resultant efficiency decline.

The final clause of the agreement to reaffirm the 80,000mL per day at the South Australian border completely ignores two compelling issues:

■That the constraints in the upper part of the system makes that target impossible without 3rd party impacts, which is contrary to stated government policy.

■The most recent flood event where in November/December 80,000 to 95,000mL per day passed over the barrages, through the Coorong and out to sea. As MDBA’s David Dreverman stated, “.. surprised how little sand was removed through the opening to the sea.” Then only weeks later, by 9 January, the dredges were again operating to keep the mouth clear.

Obviously, the basin plan targets are nonsense.

In effect, one of the main targets under the basin plan of 80,000mL per day at the South Australian border, will achieve nothing in maintaining the opening from the Coorong to the sea.

This is instead of the obvious solution of building Lock 0 near Wellington, opening the barrages in low flow periods and letting the southern ocean tidal action maintain the opening.

This would save needlessly squandering three million megalitres annually – the equivalent of the capacity of Hume Dam.

Perhaps of greatest concern is the attempt by the MDBA to downplay the loss of jobs and activity in the Murray River region to reasons other than the basin plan.

In reality, all reduction in economic activity is related to water lost to production and government decisions.

This began with the CAP in the early 1990s to the Living Murray and now the basin plan water recovery.

These decisions were all politically driven to secure inner-city votes with both major political parties being equally culpable.

Let us not be misled.

In irrigation areas, water is the vital factor driving economic activity.

To pretend otherwise is peddling mischief and misinformation.

Neil Eagle,


Recognise signs of stroke and act

THE Stroke Foundation has welcomed the Victorian Government’s $4.2 billion budget boost to health announced in the state budget on May 1, and called for increased access to emergency stroke treatment as well as improved access to health services for stroke survivors when they leave hospital.

It was encouraging to see the Victorian Government ‘getting things done’ by increasing investment in paramedics and hospitals. It is now vital we ensure Victorians who experience stroke are accessing these services.

Victoria is home to some of Australia’s and the world’s leading minds in stroke. We have some of the best emergency stroke treatment in the country, but not enough Victorians are accessing it.

Currently, just 39 per cent of Victorian stroke patients are arriving at hospital within the 4.5 hour window for clot busting treatment – treatment we know saves lives and improves outcomes for stroke patients. Why? Simply because not enough Victorians know how to recognise the signs of stroke and call an ambulance.

Stroke can be treated and it can be beaten, but only if patients can access the right treatment F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to recognise the signs of stroke. Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped? Arms – Can they lift both arms? Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you? Time – Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

The $25 million Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund provides an opportunity to increase access to emergency and urgent care by ensuring someone in every Victorian household knows the signs of stroke.

It also provides an opportunity to give all Victorians a fairer future after stroke by connecting them with services and supports they need after leaving hospital. I look forward to seeing more detail on the fund and working with Better Care Victoria to enhance access to services and improve health service quality and performance.

It’s time to ‘get things done’ to stop this killer disease devastating more Victorian families.

Stroke Foundation also welcomed the Victorian Government’s commitment to improving health services in regional areas, continued commitment to the State Disability Plan and mental health initiatives.

I look forward to working with Health Minister Jill Hennessy to ensure more Victorians avoid stroke, access appropriate stroke treatment and recover.

Sharon McGowan

Chief executive

Stroke Foundation

Bills of interest to you

THIS week, the following bills were introduced to the Victorian Parliament which may be of interest to Murray Plains residents:

■Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

■National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018

■Justice Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2018

■Serious Offenders Bill 2018

■State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2018

More information on the proposed bills can be found at parliament.vic.gov.au/legislation

Please contact my office if you need help accessing this information.

Peter Walsh,

Member for Murray Plains