This missive from two of Environment Southland's councillors will stir the pot, that's for sure!
Jan Riddell and Maurice Rodway have gone public, not to defend the council over the recent charges of sloppy practice, coming from farmers and editors, but to remind readers of the Southland Times of the original motivtion for the council's actions in inspecting stock trucks on and around Gypsy Day - that is, to try to stop the spilling of cow shit onto our roads and into our environment.
I expect there will be responses to their shared letter and I look forward to reading what others think. It would be good to hear from road-users, rather than more of the grumpy farmers that have already expressed their ire through the letters to the editor section of the paper.
Here's the letter:
A curious imbalance of justice exists in the trial by media.
Environment Southland must always behave impeccably and, granted it has not, mainly at levels deeper than that of the prosecuting officer.
These issues will be fixed.
However, the reasons for the council having to act have faded into the background.
The roads of Southland are doused with cow manure around Gypsy Day every winter, causing a serious road hazard to motorists, and in some cases pollution to streams.
This has been forgotten in the excitement.
Sediment, rich in fertilizer and bacteria, washes off the land that has been churned to a muddy slurry by stock that are grazed too close to a stream.
It pollutes rivers and estuaries.
The only concern with the anonymous editorial writers is that Environment Southland must always dot the 'i's and cross its t's.
Yes it must, but if the roads weren't splattered with cow manure, and the rivers and estuaries weren't polluted, then it wouldn't have to get involved in the first place, would it?
The other side of the story, eh! Who'd have thought there was one of those?