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Your views: on mining farmland, political legacies, and population growth

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on Marshall Government divisions over allowing miners onto farms, debate significant government achievements, and question the pursuit and impact of population growth.

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Commenting on the story: Mining Bill impasse as department ‘overrules minister’

I believe that in Australia you only  “own” the topsoil of your property and don’t benefit from any mineral wealth below.  

I do find it a bit naïve of Premier Marshall to claim such wealth for the people per se, especially as the reality is that whatever is found is extracted by a private company who on-sell and keep the profits. 

The only benefit for the government on behalf of us humble citizens is the agreed royalties negotiated to be paid. Even there in comparison to other countries we get sold a pup.

The farmer should have a right to say what happens on their freehold land and our environment. It seems we are riddled with abandoned mines around Australia causing great ecological harm.

 Does the farmer get rent paid as they do with wind and solar farms? The issue is more than just recalcitrant farmers. Alexandra Elrick

Commenting on the story: What will the Turnbull-Morrison government be remembered for?

Mr Manwaring tries to criticise the Turnbull-Morrison government as not achieving its own conservative goals, seemingly without understanding conservatism at all.

For a start, Manwaring uses Edmund Burke as some sort of conservative barometer when Burke was not conservative at all but a Whig (let alone the avowedly liberal John Stuart Mill!).

Conservatism is about conserving, it’s not about reform for reform’s sake, so a conservative government would have achieved its goals by doing nothing, by definition.

Thus the comparison with Whitlam falls flat; of course a conservative government is not a reformist liberal government—how could it be?! It seems the Whitlam comparison was mainly used to be able to refer back to Morrison as a failed Roman Emperor—odd to say the least when no matter how magnificent a failure it might have been, the Whitlam Government was still a failure.

Conservative voters prefer quiet non-achievement over glorious disaster. The proven abuses requiring reform that Manwaring identifies were in fact corrected by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government. Even if you don’t like the way they did it, same sex marriage had been an issue for over 10 years—and they solved it. If anyone did the same for energy policy they’d be the hailed as the greatest PM of all time.

The only failure of actual policy identified is energy, and Morrison is hardly the first to fail there; every PM going back to Howard has ended up on the wrong side of that issue and it seems Shorten will have his turn to fail on energy policy, like the rest of them, soon enough. – Kym Jackson

Commenting on the story: Population growth plan “risky, costly and problematic”

I am constantly struck by the bizarre cognitive dissonance prevailing in the debate around SA’s (and Australia’s) population growth. In your article we read that: An inquiry into SA’s migration settings has also been told the State Government must aggressively pursue interstate migrants, targeting explicit marketing campaigns at “people from Melbourne and Sydney… who don’t want to live in megacities”.

So we should set ourselves on the long term path to grow Adelaide into another lifestyle-degraded, expensive, congested, environment-destroying megacity by recruiting migrants fleeing megacities?

And this at a time when our health infrastructure is already inadequate, our roads are becoming congested and continued city growth is threatening the character of SA’s wonderful assets, the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and the Adelaide hills, not to mention Adelaide’s parklands?

At a time when, worldwide, we are concerned about the growing divide between the elites and the rest of us, and the radicalisation of some segments of society this leads to, we want to give further advantage to the elites -the big businesses and property speculators that profit from population growth – while degrading the lives of the less wealthy even further?

And all in the holy name of GDP growth that is a misleading concept with little connection to improvement in quality of life.

Look at the actual data – there is no correlation between population growth and the per capita GDP growth that actually matters to individuals. You can have per capita GDP growth (development) without population growth. Many nations do this.

In a world where future fuel supplies are uncertain, natural habitats are being lost to expanding cities and the expanded agriculture required to feed them, and CO2 emissions threaten climate stability, we need to reduce humans’ impact on the environment.

But every extra human mouth to feed and body to clothe and shelter cancels out the efforts we make in reducing per capita consumption and environmental impact. For the sake of our children’s future, the growth must stop. – Michael Lardelli

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