Philip Machin (Letters, May 8) writes that claiming culling kangaroos is necessary to prevent their future starvation is ironic. However, culling techniques are designed to be humane. Is it not true that, by humanely culling a certain percentage of kangaroos, we can limit overgrazing and prevent the cruel and prolonged starvation of thousands of animals?
Mr Machin claims that culling is unnecessary as kangaroos have lived harmoniously with threatened species in the past. However, human impact on dingo populations has all but removed the kangaroo's only natural predator, allowing their numbers to explode, unregulated. Fertile farms surrounding kangaroos undermine kangaroos' natural population control, meaning their populations do not stagnate naturally when they should.
Mr Machin thinks it redundant to kill natural grazers only to use other methods to control vegetation, such as mowing and backburning. However, kangaroo grazing cannot be monitored or controlled. Deliberate methods like back-burning and mowing can be monitored, and increased or decreased in targeted areas. The difference is that one method is not sustainable, and one is.
Mr Machin claims that the government disregards certain scientific evidence against culling, but my own research has found that the vast majority of experts in the fields of veterinary science, agriculture, and parks and wildlife services agree that culling is necessary to maintain a sustainable future.
Like Mr Machin, I was once opposed to the culling of kangaroos, but my survey of the available evidence has convinced me otherwise.
Annabelle Gilling, Red Hill
Hitting the wall
In line with Mr Diskordia's (Letters, May 12) brutal but potentially quite valid negative comments regarding ACT government funding, it is comforting for residents to remember that if the ACT economy and its citizens both fall on their economic bottoms then there are far more empty Woolies trollies than there are residents to appease the demand, but it may be safer to get in early and grab one now just in case.
The pollies, of course, will not need one.
Wayne Grant, Swinger Hill
Gun control courage
Perhaps the joint 4Corners/Al Jazeera portrayal of One Nation's ineptitude in its dalliance with the National Rifle Association helped swing a convincing vote against establishing Collector's gun range, despite a majority of the 50 people speaking being in favour ("Collector gun range rejected by council", May 12, p3). This decision demonstrated rare courage on the part of council, in the face of carefully crafted presentations of purported benefits, of which it is difficult to conceive of any.
That this is a representation of a proposal demonstrates the tenacity of those who would espouse this type of facility. Reports of taxpayers funding $77m, over five years, proves firearms lobbyists effectiveness and ability to access upper levels of authority (politics). Gun control measures introduced by Howard have never been fully implemented, those that have are being constantly attenuated by states for crass political motives to ingratiate narrow interest groups. A move by Tasmanian Liberals to water-down gun laws was countered by "community's 'deeply held concerns' over safety". Queensland's Katter Party opposes any tightening of gun laws.
Should defence industries wish to test weapons and technology Woomera would be more suitable.
Most "veterans'" love affair with guns will have ceased amidst the carnage of the battlefield. In future conflict Dad's Army militia would be out of their depth against drones and cyber technology.
Albert M. White, Queanbeyan
Reflection on student or teacher?
With reference to Education Minister Ms Berry's comments on NAPLAN, that it is used to "point out dumb students", I suggest that poor results in that test might rather illustrate poor teaching.
As a comprehensively experienced and highly qualified secondary teacher, I have not encountered a "dumb " student in ANY school in Victoria, NSW or ACT.
My concern is the trend of education departments to employ "generalist teachers" who are "approved and/or willing" to teach various subjects, years 7 -12.
The minister's statement that she used a "poor choice of words" raises questions about the quality of her teachers. The teacher maketh the student!
Elizabeth Blackmore, Holt
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