Crikey readers have returned in force to the comments section, taking the opportunity to rail against the Murray-Darling crisis (which Guy Rundle said yesterday was symptomatic of our system and society), Tanya Plibersek’s plan to raise entrance scores for teachers (which five teachers denounced yesterday as foolhardy) and the implications of Peter Dutton’s plan for a national child sex-offenders register (which Kishor Napier-Raman pointed out followed an unconvincing international precedent).

On responsibility for the Murray-Darling fish-kill

Paul Munro writes: The fact that 100 year old cod are now victims of the husbandry of Australia’s natural resources speaks volumes about the abysmal state our governance has fallen into. Cotton industry extractions, sale of big holdings to overseas interests not concerned with accountability downstream, abolition of independent agencies and enforcement of feeble checks and balances can all be sheeted home to the politicians you denounce. Let us hope that the current crisis brings upon us some sort of revival of public accountability and strategic planning capacity at national government levels. Why does such a hope seem unrealistic?

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The hood writes: Why do rural voters vote National? The federal Nationals, Barnaby, Canavan et al spend their time promoting coal mines, gas fracking and the big agricultural corporations that run massive cotton and rice facilities that are sucking the Basin dry in a time of drought. On the flip side, they’re deriding climate change as a greenie conspiracy. What are they doing for family-run farms and rural communities? Ziltch, it seems to me, but the locals still vote for them! Mindless stuff.

On Helen Razer and decluttering the mind 

Helen Esmond writes: When you have had the monumental task of clearing out a deceased relative’s dwelling, or of emptying a house full of stuff for someone going into hostel accommodation, you will find a strong impulse to de-clutter your own nest ASAP.
Indecision about possessions can mean you hang on to stuff that creates a big headache for someone else eventually. “Loved person X gave that to me” is one of the worst traps!
And let us all beware of becoming an old person who buys stuff over the internet thinking it might be useful….

On Dutton’s child sex offender registry

Richard Stortt writes: These are approaches that are truly more dangerous than they are useful. Unfortunately, the most effective answer is to spend money on rehabilitation and on, where the risk is deemed high (irrespective of the crime), monitoring of the person concerned. Too touchy-feely, right? Better to just roll out things that sound good but which will not actually help.

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