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  • Volatile, controversial lead-up to election

    2018 - 10.21

    MY FINAL thoughts on the 2015 state election.

    Perhaps we could say this has been the most volatile and controversial election in our history.

    I see mining, poles and wires, the future of TAFE, education in general and health issues as occupying centre stage.

    All extractive industries are under very intensive scrutiny, none more so than on the Liverpool Plains. This is a no-no of monumental proportions.

    No matter what it costs, it must be stopped, and the plains established as a no-go mining area.

    The Chinese owners would surely know that an extraction of 30 million tonnes of coal on the Yangtze or Si Kiang would not be countenanced by the Chinese government. Why then should locals be happy?

    Our four candidates of all persuasions have agreed in principle that it is highly undesirable, but vary in their intensity.

    While Kevin is against the proposal, he’s jammed between a rock and a hard place, as his Sydney colleagues have approved it.

    Both Labor and Greens are vocal in their opposition.

    We are thankful that Tony Windsor had sufficient acuity to shift final decisions to the federal sphere, allowing Barnaby to get more time.

    However, as Nationals, both of these gentlemen will need to roar like lions and not squeak like mice, to ensure this abomination is put to rest forever.

    I rather agree with Peter Draper travelling a more middle-of-the-road path when he says “mining and agriculture can co-exist”.

    I was born, educated and grew up pre-war on the Tingha tin fields. Tingha is in a granite belt, and the effect of mining did not intrude on the black soils of Inverell.

    Extraction industries are short-term and can bring huge benefits, but seldom for more than 50 years.

    Employment opportunities are short also. Extraction is required to advance economies, but it can only co-exist in the right place at the right time and be strictly controlled in Australia’s interest.

    It would be helpful to voters if candidates could indicate how long it would take for the current income from the poles and wires to equate to the sale price.

    Finally, I suggest it is time for all candidates to express their contributions to education, and particularly TAFE, in terms of people, rather than bricks and mortar,and place increased moneyaccordingly.

    Gordon Clive Barnes


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