I know first hand how gambling can affect a family, like when you go to do your shopping your card says declined because your spouse has gone to the club to play the pokies. Some times you cannot even pay your rent.
It's embarrassing. It's dehumanising. The kids go without, there is no social life at all because you don't have any money. Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries do not happen with no money.
It destroys a marriage - it destroys a lot of things.
Heather Davis, Bega
View from the other side
First of all, your editors are entitled to their view however misinformed it may be. The antics of drunken display are only by a few, but focused on by the media.
The number of horses who sadly have died through injury or other is also few when taken in context. They are also grieved over because no-one that I know in this industry races their horse wishing for that outcome, but accidents happen.
It could have been in a paddock playing or many other scenarios. Don't forget athletes in all sports suffer injuries, some life threatening and some even die, I do not see anyone ranting about that.
Gambling - well gambling in some form has been around for a very long time and I think if you did a study I do not think horse racing would be the biggest avenue.
But you have lumped in with all of the other misinformation to do with horse racing and in particular the Melbourne Cup.
As for lower attendance, perhaps a lot of people in this industry are getting a bit longer in the tooth and now watch the racing from the comfort of their lounge on their TV - you can see more.
I have been in this industry for a good number of years breeding and racing on a small scale and find it frustrating to see persons in the media going off on a tangent when they have not taken the time to really investigate their story in an unbiased manner.
Janet Rush, Hamilton, New Zealand
Swell of dairy support
I'm pleased to have seen such a huge groundswell of public support from around Australia for our dedicated and struggling dairy farmers.
Many of you would be aware of my success in having a code of conduct fast-tracked for the dairy industry, which, among other things, will help set a minimum farm gate price for milk and therefore help farmers actually make a profit.
I hope that local residents will continue to show support for the industry by backing my proposal to add 10c to the price of each litre of milk, with that money guaranteed to go directly to the farmers.
Australians generally have great respect for our farming families. We know it is a tough job, often very isolating, impacted by many uncertainties, and financially challenging - this lifestyle is all the more difficult when there is a lack of adequate government understanding and support for the industry.
Thankfully, convincing the Australian Government to introduce the long-awaited code of conduct is a positive step forward. I have also introduced a private senator's bill to set certain safeguards for the industry into law.
But more can be done, starting with all of us doing our bit to support the farmers by buying their produce - specifically, milk.
To put it into context, we seem to be happy paying $2 for a litre of water, and paying even more for fancy products like almond and rice milk and even up to $7 for a two-litre bottle of coconut water.
So, I think paying an extra 10c for a litre of milk is a sensible move that will help our farmers. It's also a good investment in our rural communities and the future of Australia.