Letters to the editor

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Letters to the editor

Praised yet concerned

My first memory of the Crookwell Showground is of 1944 when Bryson Bensley won the blue ribbon over my red in the Boy Rider under 9 years class, he beat me again in 1945.

Since 1953 I have rarely missed a show. My visit this year was to the neatest and best appointed showground in my lifetime and I write to congratulate Paul Anderson and all the AP&H Committee on their great achievement.

The cattle judging area with its two rings, new pavilion and trees is as good as any country showground in England or NSW that I have seen.

The tents  and seats for shelter and the general tree planting around the pavilion and main ring is wonderful. Crookwell should be very proud of our showground.

My concern at the long-term lease of a section for wind turbine transport has been deepened by my visit.

John Carter, Crookwell

Moved by hardship

Over the past 12 months, I have received hundreds of letters from farmers and locals in rural and regional communities hit hard by the impacts of drought.

I have heard your concerns and I have been working hard to ensure we implement effective measures to reduce the burden of the drought on your families, businesses and communities.

In recent weeks many people across your community would have opened their Local Land Service rates to see the balance was zero. We waived the rates for this period to relieve some of the financial burden for all landholders across the state. I fought hard for this measure because I know that when cash flow is poor, an extra bill is the last thing anyone wants.

I will continue fighting for NSW farmers, no matter what region or industry they are a part of. I will not stand idly by while our farmers’ Right To Farm and security is threatened.

Our farmers rely on their land to produce world-class products to contribute to an ever- expanding industry. They deserve to have assurance that their land is secure and their right to farm is protected. To protect these rights, we have introduced an Agriculture Commissioner, who will provide an advocate for the protection of a landholder’s right to farm in NSW.

It’s imperative that landholders are protected from legal prosecution for exercising their right to farm and functioning effectively as a business in a world-class industry. The commissioner will assist us in providing you with that protection.

A priority issue for the commissioner is the security threat posed by the organisation Aussie Farms. The organisation incites trespassing onto and illegal filming of legitimate farms practicing within their legal rights. For some farmers, the land on which they operate also serves as a home for their loved ones. The actions promoted by this organisation threaten the safety of farming families and I will not stand for it.

Niall Blair Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Water and Trade and Industry