Letters to the Editor



Dear Editor,

I have spoken to many people locally who have had property damage, home invasions, vandalism etc. and called to report to police, where nobody has turned up and no reports were taken.

It appears that the real numbers are very skewed against what is happening ‘on the ground.’

I have noticed that the postcode 3629 was number one for crime via RACV reporting covering Coomboona/Mooroopna/Undera/Ardmona/Mooroopna North area etc.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Farrar




Dear Editor,

Some may criticise Bob Katter, but no one can deny that he puts his electorate and people before political ladder climbing. He has made a real difference to his electorate and given his constituent’s opportunities.

How amazing is it when the leader of such a small party from Queensland can secure funding for investment in not one but two irrigation schemes in northern Queensland.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government with our local member as one of its team is throwing $13B at destroying already well established, efficient and modern irrigation systems across southern NSW and northern Victoria.

Bob Katter continues to fight for his constituents and gives them hope, instead of prioritising personal or political gain, which is rampant within the major parties.

I wonder what it would take for governments to make genuine investment in our electorate?

At present we have a national party federal water minister who seems committed to destroying our region, and a state national party member who is not prepared to ‘stick his neck out’ to protect us. Even our local Nationals’ Senate candidate refuses to oppose the recovery of additional water, despite its potential damage.

With state and federal elections on the horizon voters in the Murray Valley need to think very carefully about what makes a good representative and who will fight for what their constituents want.

It seems neither our National or Liberal representatives are able to influence their city-based colleagues, who are more interested in environmental votes than our sustainability. If they do not show substantial change in coming months, we need to send a clear message of discontent through the ballot box.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Hateley




Dear Editor,

I believe our justice system has betrayed Australia’s often cited fair go for all and has shown no common sense or compassion in the prosecuting and jailing of Jatinder Panesar.

Jatinder Panesar was not speeding, was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, was suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnoea and has shown genuine remorse. He was charged with three counts of dangerous driving causing death, three counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury and one count of failing to give way. He had the book thrown at him.

Have you ever been just a little over the speed limit, didn’t see the sign, vehicle, or pedestrian etc. We are all guilty of not being able to concentrate 100 percent of the time and of making unintentional mistakes but most of us are not guilty of assault, rape, molesting of children, murder or driving when intoxicated or under the influence of illegal substances.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, so why have we thrown a boulder at Jatinder Panesar? It is not in the public interest to imprison anyone for actions that are unintentional, part of the human condition and are not of criminal intent.

We can’t take away the pain this accident has inflicted on so many people, but we can learn from it. We can improve visibility at all intersections, we can install rumble strips, we can improve mini bus safety and design, we can have technology in all vehicles to improve driver awareness and we can educate the public about sleep apnoea.

My confidence in the legal system has been eroded. I am sad and angry. I have been trying to find out how I can voice my displeasure with the cruel, harsh, unreasonable, unnecessary and uncivilised sentence handed down to Jatinder Panesar. I am finding it very difficult. I am not well connected. I don’t do networking. I don’t belong to the upper echelons of our egalitarian, classless society.  I feel powerless and I am. I have been to the offices of local state politicians. They are busy, elections you know, perhaps I could contact the attorney–general. The attorney–general is busy too and may take some time to respond, elections you know. Our local member is busy as well, elections coming up, will take at least a month to get in her diary, no one jumps the queue at her office so that seems fair. At the court house I was met with blank faces when I enquired how I could express my disquiet. The local paper said write a letter not much else can be done and that the judge has made their decision. They don’t think they would be able to do an article on sleep apnoea.

I understand all this, but it makes me want to scream. This has happened before. Not everyone has been jailed but they have had their lives tipped upside down and time and money has been wasted when common sense and decency should have prevailed. Accidents like this will happen again. I just hope you and I are not involved.

Yours sincerely,

Debra Barnes