Letters to the editor - August 15

Letters to the editor - August 15

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The use of chemicals in agriculture headlines this week's letters to the editor.

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EXCESSIVE USE OF CHEMICALS IN AG MUST BE ADDRESSED

I refer to the opinion piece by veterinary scientist and Future Fisheries Veterinary Services director Matt Landos, Ballina, NSW, titled 'Agriculture must look beyond pesticide use' (Stock Journal, July 11)

I was interested to read Matt's comments regarding the failing health of farmers.

When our neighbour, a general practitioner, transferred to working in a farming district of WA, she commented in conversation the higher rate of cancers among farmers and country people compared with her city clinic and she referred to it as "farmer's disease".

Unlike the major parties, the Health Australia Party raised these concerns at the last federal election, but sadly the media failed to promote our party.

Chemical use in agriculture needs to be addressed and stopped as it is out of control, with more chemical combinations being created to counteract the weed resistance to the existing chemicals.

Do we really need to throw more money at research and development when we have been farming for many thousands of years without these chemicals?

You only have to listen to farmers using traditional farming methods like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in the United States or soil and farming agronomist Maarten Stapper to name a couple, or any organic farmer, to understand traditional animal and farm management systems.

Farmers need to be paid a fair price for their input, but sadly corporate retail chains usually dictate the price to farmers who are often selling their produce below production costs.

Many dairyfarmers are selling or have sold their farms and other fruit growers have ploughed their trees into the ground. The present model is not working.

Matt raised many good points in his letter as there are many other chemicals being used, not just Roundup, which has glyphosate as its active ingredient.

You only need to look at the chemical register on the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website to see the full list of the chemicals being used by farmers, some of which have been banned in other countries.

I believe it is well-known that smaller farms are more productive than larger farms, while at the same time creating jobs.

This is a win-win for country towns, health of farmers and animals and also the health of the people who are eating the food.

Emily Wallis,

Health Australia Party WA secretary,

Innaloo, WA.

NEW MEASURES TO SHORE-UP DOMESTIC GAS SUPPLIES

I welcome a range of new measures announced by the Morrison government to help secure gas supplies, put downward pressure on prices and encourage new investment.

I have been, for a long time, an outspoken advocate for establishing a national gas reservation scheme so that future gas export proposals will also provide sufficient gas into the domestic market.

The announcement last week that we will examine whether a reservation scheme could succeed and be applied at the national level is very welcome news.

In the past, approvals of large gas export projects have not adequately considered the impact on the domestic gas market and that has contributed to some of the price and supply pressures we have seen in recent years.

We cannot afford to continue to approve the export of gas if our domestic market needs it. The equation is simple, more gas supply will drive down gas prices.

We want to ensure we have a functional domestic gas market with the lowest possible prices for consumers. It's about lowering the household bills, protecting our industries and creating jobs.

Tony Pasin,

Member for Barker.

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