Letters to the editor - October 13

Save the trees

With much disappointment I recently read in your online paper that the Shire of Moyne intends to cut down the beautiful street of trees (James Street) leading to the South beach in Port Fairy.

This should not be allowed to happen.  Surely, a strong council, with a forward looking approach could arrange for a better solution. For example: they could be trimmed (managed growth) on a regular basis. If a vote were to be taken, and a fundraiser were to be established, I would be willing to make a donation. The trees remind me of the “Game of Thrones” road, in Northern Ireland. I believe that the council could do more credible benefit to (and for) the community by saving the trees - and promoting them rather than chopping them down. What can you or I do to stop this unfortunate and misaligned blunder within the Port Fairy township to continue?  Can we do anything?

Doug Sproal, California, USA

Road funding re-think 

Response to "Call to dismantle VicRoads" article (The Standard, September 29). Vote 1 Local Jobs MP James Purcell has stated that some councils would not have the expertise and equipment to manage major roads. Emma Kealy Member for Lowan is concerned that councils may not be trusted in directing state funds to state roads. The Mayor of Moyne Shire Council, Jim Doukas, has stated clearly that councils have the staff, the equipment and the ability to maintain and upgrade state roads, or oversee work let to contracts, providing state funding is allocated. Cr Doukas also mentioned that the State Government’s push for councils to share services, which makes this an ideal situation where several councils could come together to undertake management of state roads. Cr Doukas also explained that any allocated funding specified for a particular purpose can only be spent on that particular purpose. The CEO from Southern Grampians Shire Michael Tudball suggested councils currently had the capacity, with state funding, to carry out roadworks on state Roads. These political concerns are only a cover up to take one’s mind off the real reason why political parties are not keen on delivering funds directly to the state roads, where it is needed. Political parties prefer to direct funding through intermediary bodies such as VicRoads, where the majority of funding is eaten up before it gets near the road, then criticise and slam the opposition when our roads fall into disrepair. The reason is obvious, political parties like to think they are in "control" of maintaining state roads for political gain, when the proposal of returning responsibility to councils is adopted, then we will see the return of value for money put to good use, but the big problem, which political party would take the credit? This is the only reason which will delay this proposal from getting up and running.

Wallace Hill, Macarthur

No to mine 

Community members living in and around Warrnambool might be surprised that they are financially supporting the development of the Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine and the associated Abbot Point Coal terminal. The Federal Government is planning to lend the company $1 billion to build a railway line for this project which translates into a contribution of about $1,280,000.00 from the good citizens of Warrnambool.

Aside from environmental breaches the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine poses a threat to agricultural production and water resources. The provision of an unlimited 60-year water licence, is a commitment that is at odds with water practices throughout the rest of Australia. The burning of coal regardless of whether it is in Australia or India produces carbon dioxide which rises and concentrates in the atmosphere at about 6000 metres.  Carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for up to 1000 years and contributes to droughts, prolonged bush fire seasons, ocean acidification and warming, severe hurricanes, flooding and spread of disease.

I would argue that elected political leaders have been mandated to protect the interests of the whole community and it is a wise government that knows how to change its mind when confronted with irrefutable scientific facts. That is not a loss of face, but a sign of leadership that has the best interests of humanity in mind. Investments in the mining and burning of coal is not in the best interests of our Australian communities. Many citizens value clean air, water and food for ourselves and our children above the toxic by-products of mining and burning fossil fuels such as coal.

Patricia Nesbitt, Woodford