Smart metres are too smart
Whatever you do don't let anyone install a smart electricity meter.
The following sent to my previous supplier in Sydney is evidence of that.
Yes I am writing again and yes I am complaining again. Yes I know you are going to send me the same standard letter telling me I am getting charged so much because of this that and the other.
No I do not intend to pay to have my meter checked as I have done this before and it's all fine
Why is it that my electricity bills are equal to or higher than when I had an additional two adults and three children living here?
In my previous letter complaining about my $678.46cent bill I told you that only my wife, me and a dog live here. I thought I should let you know the dog died at Xmas so now there are only two of us living here and I am still not in the house 14 hours a day. Luckily I didn't cremate him in the electric oven or you would have charged me another $50.
My bills have always been more than they should be but since you installed that wiz-bang smart meter my bills have turned into extortion.
If you can locate the 10 people who must be living under my house and using all my electricity I would be most grateful. Also could you please check to see if any of the local drug dealers have tapped into my electricity to run their hydroponics?
Funnily after this letter my bills dropped a lot.
Frank Pearce, Bega
Dairy farmers face impossible task
On Saturday, at a polling booth in Candelo in the Bega Shire, I found a curious poster: Vote 1 for a Dairy Royal Commission. It wasn't a Labor poster. It wasn't even a Shooters Fishers and Farmers poster. It was for Nationals candidate Trevor Hicks.
Mr Hicks made the call for a royal commission the centrepiece of his campaign and claimed that he would 'cross the floor' for it. It appears that the only way the National Party can convince dairy farmers to support their candidates is to promise to vote against the Coalition that the Nationals are in when they get to Canberra. They never do.
The Australian dairy industry needs active government intervention. The roots of the current crisis go back to the Howard government, where the Nationals served as handmaidens to John Howard's deregulation of the dairy industry.
The dairy market co-operatives scrambled to get market share while the processing sector amalgamated or was sold off entirely. It did not take long before the multinationals took over and the supermarkets began using their purchasing power to dramatically reduce the farm gate price for Australian milk. Dairy farmers now face an impossible task. The current system gives them no bargaining power to negotiate price, while they are forced to absorb the rising cost of electricity, feed and water.
Successive Nationals agriculture ministers have failed to stop the exodus of small dairy farmers from the industry.
That was all happening before the drought. Production is now at the lowest in a quarter of a century. Breeding herds are being sold off, heifers are being exported to China, farmers are going bankrupt.
On top of that, the summer bushfire season devastated some of Australia's richest dairy pastures. Farmers in those regions are now in the painful process of rebuilding in an industry that is rigged against them.
Dairy communities sent a message to the National Party over the weekend. The booths in Bega Shire swung away from the Nationals on primary, and on 2PP they swung to Kristy McBain.
My advice to the Nationals is to put their boots on and roll their sleeves up.
They can start by implementing their election promise to deliver a real-time dairy payment system and a trading platform that would give more say over how and when they sell their milk.
Labor Senator for NSW Tim Ayres