I HAVE just received the renewal notice for my home insurance policy.
To my astonishment there has been an increase of some 40 per cent. Prior to that the previous increase was less than 3 per cent.
The fires in Margaret River last year were given as a reason for this massive increase.
My water use charges have also had a massive increase, due to sprinklers being left on to save our house from the fires during the two and a half days that we were absent from our home, again at a cost to ourselves of some $500 extra in water usage.
I don’t see the DEC running around Margaret River and compensating the residents for the extra costs that residents have incurred due to the DEC’s lack of diligence and care when lighting the fires that devastated Margaret River.
Paul Ullinger, Margaret River
Rivers at risk
FOR me, having been to Department of Water briefings on the lower Blackwood over the last few years, little commentary in the press on its welfare has made much sense.
Pollution emanating from the Scott River has been identified by the department’s scientists as the crux of the serious and increasing water quality problems of the estuary, and engineering the Blackwood River mouth as a way to fix them is just silly.
Compounding the stupidity is this: the key issue is the leaching of water-soluble phosphorous from fertilisers used on the Scott plain. There is now available a specially- designed, tested, competitively-priced, low- soluble phosphorous fertiliser for agriculture that would arrest the pollution if used.
Use of such products is mandatory in the Perth region in order to protect the Swan River.
Over five years ago the WA Joint Government and Fertiliser Industry Working Party recommended to the State Government that their use become obligatory in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Swan and Scott coastal plains and yet, although most of the rivers and estuaries in the South West have chronic health problems, the WA Government will not legislate in the face of industry lobbying. All attempts at reform have been stymied by that great imposter, self-regulation.
Thus we go to hell in a hand-basket, in this case at the hands of the government-supported industry group Fertcare and failed Fertiliser Action Plans.
Meanwhile the shire mucks about at the river mouth at our considerable expense.
Rod Whittle, Leeuwin Environment
Silence on forests
AT the risk of being labelled the town boor, I must too express my dismay that the Minister for Forestry, Terry Redman, has been unable to give a reason for logging our forests.
Dismay has turned to incredulity that not one of our representatives, or indeed not one of their electors, has come to the Minister’s rescue, excluding Mike Williams, whose letter in AMR Mail, June 6, informative though it was, threw no light on the subject.
Of equal ineptitude is that this same minister, in his role as Minister for Agriculture, during the long campaign led by farmers, made no effort to protect water or agricultural assets under serious threat of the proposed coal mine at Osmington.
As critical as the issue was, he did not even respond to correspondence.
The Premier should replace this minister with someone who can do the job.
Peter Lane, Margaret River