Willow waste: a problem for waterways nationwide

On a recent walk around Lake Wendouree it has been noted that scores of willow saplings have been planted next to the waters edge. 

Despite some sentimental attachment, the introduced willow has a repuattion for choking watewrways across Australia.

Despite some sentimental attachment, the introduced willow has a repuattion for choking watewrways across Australia.

The Victorian Department of Agriculture has declared the Willow a noxious weed two years ago. This is because willows soak up massive amounts of water, their root systems choke streams and willow leaf litter depletes oxygen in waterways thereby reducing habitat for our dwindling aquatic species. Catchment authorities around Victoria have received millions of dollars in government grants to clear out many streams and rivers of willow trees. Pollen from willows can be carried over 100kms and infestations are common and once established are very difficult to eradicate. 

Ballarat is in dire need of revegetating with locally native trees. The Ballarat City launched the “Greening Ballarat Action Plan” in March 2016. Within this 90 page document is a clear commitment to responsibly manage our waterways and revegetate our city with local native species. Willow trees should have no place around our lake or in our public spaces. 

Sue Dean, Ballarat

Cricket woes

The one thing that we can demand is that Cricket Australia's investigation is thorough and complete and all the facts garnered are presented to us, the Australian public. There is no place for confidentiality and secrecy of information in this matter.History tells us that some people as leaders are absolutely inspirational, think Weary Dunlop but others like General Thomas Blamey were self absorbed with fundamental flaws only revealed in moments of unguarded stupidity and arrogance.

Gerard Ansell, Cooparoo

Cricket Australia should interview all cricketers,such as Chris Lynn,who states that ball tampering or any other form of cheating occurs at any level and on a regular basis. Such statements brings the game into disrepute and should have been reported immediately.
On the current test cricketers problems we must not forget both Steve Smith and David Warner lead the team to threaten withdrawal from test matches unless given massive increases in fees. Cricket Australia granted these increases and have been rewarded with this cheating debacle. Severe penalties must be imposed

Ernie lee, Kenmore

Better connection needed

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has revealed massive deficiencies in the rollout of the NBN across regional Australia.  The independent survey from the ACMA has found that one in three households are left without phone or internet services when connecting to the NBN.  More than 10 per cent of households continue to be without services after more than a month. This is a far cry from what NBN Co and the Government claim. Put simply, this is not good enough for business or households who rely on these services for work, study and online transactions.  It is a shocking indictment on Malcolm Turnbull and his second-rate copper NBN which is just not up to scratch.

Labor has long called for action to improve people’s experience of connecting to the NBN.  The Government must update Australia’s telecommunications consumer-rights framework to include real consumer protections and guarantees.  In 2018, it is absurd that our Universal Service Obligation provides rights for phone boxes but not a household internet connection.  That it guarantees access to a telephone but not essential broadband services.It’s time the Government get serious about this problem. The Government needs to act and act, without delay. They cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand on this matter.  Doing nothing is simply not good enough.

Stephen Jones MP,  Shadow Minister for Regional Communications