Letters to the editor - November 17

Save the koalas

In light of the recent attack on a defenseless animal (no they are not really, killer drop bears for any tourists reading this) they are a native Australian animal, which I fear really will be extinct in my life time or perhaps even before. The main contributing factor, being humans impacting habitat. Whether it be by the urban sprawl having been created by us wicked selfish humans, which will only move further out into the precious bush with population growth and the millions of people from abroad, that would, if given the opportunity, immigrate here. How will any of the koalas survive given we are taking their food, the massive gums that once stood all over Australia. Add to that the millions of cars we are driving between the spasmodic patches of bush that have survived and plantings of modern times, it is a disaster for them. The poor animals have not got a hope against us humans. Reality, every day I have to travel the Princes Hwy in one direction or another. In recent weeks it is nothing to see up to three dead koalas squished into oblivion on the road or side of roads intact, within 20kms. This week I travelled the opposite direction with worse results. Six dead koalas in a space of 30kms. We are urged to stop and see if they and other mammals such as kangaroos have any young alive in the pouch. We seriously need to work on this problem as well as the mentally sick humans who would physically try to hurt both our native fauna and flora. This world is on a downward spiral and I am sure there will be a karma bus waiting for the meanest humans to die slowly at the hands of something else. Maybe it will be as has been said before. The meek will inherit the earth. Well the meek are the poor animals, all of which suffer at human hands.

Naomi Barley, Terang

Funding commitments

I write following last week’s front page story ‘United We Stand’, in which Warrnambool City Council called on me to use my position to secure funding for an upgrade of Warrnambool’s Reid Oval. It is true I have a unique bargaining power which I have used to secure $7 million for South West Health Care, $2m for Moyne Health and $2m for the Port Fairy Bowls Club, plus funding for suicide prevention, planning permits for local jobs, a permanent ban on fracking, support for Deakin University, the CFA, jumps racing and voluntary assisted dying, plus many others. Your local Liberal member Roma Britnell must immediately commit to fund the Warrnambool Special Development School, Warrnambool Library and Port Fairy East Beach tip. We are an overwhelmingly safe Liberal seat and it is difficult to get a Labor Government to commit to funding - especially when the Liberals will not promise a single dollar. I will use my position as a Spring Street deal broker to garner support from the Labor Party but we need the Liberal Party to commit to funding these projects too, so no matter who wins government, our region will come out on top.

James Purcell, Member for Western Victoria, Port Fairy

Planning query

Why is it that the council issued a permit for a new housing development off Huntingfield Drive in Warrnambool’s east without considering the access/egress for current residents? What are the council officers paid for? The solution is simple. Council puts its money where its mouth is, buys a couple of the housing blocks and develops them into the required access road. Other councils have done it over the years.

Bruce Mitchell, Berwick

Rail trail worry

I am a keen cyclist and recently rode the Ballarat to Skipton rail trail and the Port Fairy to Warrnambool rail trail.  was enjoying both experiences until some kilometers out of your picturesque city I came across what could only be described as a stench. I was astounded to find the source of this problem was a rendering facility situated between a pristine dune system and a lovely wetlands.  As I stood just meters from the open gates of this facility looking at piles of animal bones and unrecognisable waste, I could not get my head around why a council would allow such a factory to be built in such an environment. I was in the process of checking out these rail trails for a group ride as I am president of a large cycling club and a member of Bicycle Victoria. I believe the Warrnambool City Council needs to way up the value of the environment and the tourism potential of the area and consider having this facility moved to a more appropriate location. I can only hope that my concerns as an outsider are listened to.

 Murray Shaw. Wangaratta

Long-term impact

As the issue of China’s global influence continues to feature in Australia’s political dialogue (The Standard, November 11 and November 15), it is also appropriate for our local authorities, businesses and individuals to consider carefully the full nature and effect of the relationships that are being built with foreign entities. We are rightly thankful for the benefits of global trade for our local businesses. However, this week has seen the delay from publication of author Dr Clive Hamilton’s very important book on Chinese influence in Australian politics and business. I encourage us all to note the issues of freedom which this book’s non-appearance has raised. We should not think that this does not or will not affect us in the south-west: considered carefully, it is apparent that these national issues are directly relevant to our wellbeing and freedom. At the same time as welcoming tourism and trade, we must continue asking hard questions about how overseas influence will affect us all in the long term. I urge our whole community, including council and businesses, to seek a balanced understanding of the long term effects of foreign involvement in our region. The publication of Dr Hamilton’s book would help us understand one aspect of these issues, and would contribute to a stronger long-term future for the region.

Christian Schultink, Assistant Secretary, Democratic Labour Party of Victoria, Warrnambool

Over to MPs now

Now the much anticipated referendum results are interpreted and the apparent wishes of the community are known we must now put our trust, maybe foolishly, in our elected officials to vote on the matter, and just that matter with no legalese speak or quasilegal terminology that enables the legislation to be used for any of the oft lamented side clauses that are hidden until some legal eagle funded by an interest group decides to twist the original meaning to suit whatever agenda that is fashionable. The side note of course is the long term effects of the chipping away at the sanctity of the original family value systems. With the no fault legal system covering divorce and accepted practice of advocating for a separation at the drop of a hat by media outlets and social justice warriors and the continuing war on the male “patriarchy” that sees fault in just being a white male as well as the escalating assaults on male behavior labelled as toxic masculinity, the idea of staying in a marriage union is almost laughable and to actually stay married for 10 or more years is now remarkable.

In days gone by the requirements of a successful marriage encompassed dedication and some darn hard work followed closely by truthfulness and the ability to allow compromise, all of these traits are sadly declining in this current society as we grow increasingly selfish, inflexible and jaded. Our desires and wants are becoming more scant and materialistic and this is even shown in the schools of our children. To ask a child now what they want to be when they grow up elicits one of three responses, pop star, actor or film star whereas when I attended school the top three were doctor, fireman and police officer. The contrast reveals that one group wants the trimmings of huge wages and attention focused on them while producing nothing of societal worth while the other imagines civic service and long hours to obtain community respect. This to me speaks of a worrying trend in community spirit and direction. It has long been true that once you destroy the history of a culture or usurp its appeal to the youth, that culture will adopt any historical standpoint or social cause that will fill the void. And as we have seen by the repeated attacks on the historical events that shaped this nation and its value system especially in regard to the ANZACs and any war memorial the intelligentsia will stoop to lower levels than one would have thought possible. Attacking these long dead patriots and minimalizing their sacrifice with trite and twee derision and scorn is to assume ownership of a history that belongs to us all, living and passed. Unborn and born. That to me indicated an assumed moral superiority and disregard for the general society and its wishes and desires.

The university led assaults on what has been a successful productive inclusive culture have attempted to label us racist and misogynistic anachronisms of a failed colonial imperialistic past that we should be ashamed of and to seek penance by fading into the abyss of time and becoming extinct. This gross misinterpretation and misrepresentation of facts has been incredibly damaging to the young impressionable minds that are immersed in this drivel and we are seeing the effects already. As the southern culture in the US declined when the state stepped in and separated thousands of fathers in the late 60s and early 70s with marked decreases in literacy and numeracy as well as a climb in the rates of violence and sexual promiscuity leading to large increases in unwed mothers and children being raised in state care being directly linked to failing family traditional structures and no countervailing cultural assistance to keep the value system alive , we are now experiencing a similar effect here in our great land. We have increasing state control in the family unit as well as in the commission of our everyday lives that has led directly to the welfare state that we experience now and the full effects are only just starting to become apparent. With the desecration of bottom up hierarchy supplied by a healthy family unit replaced by the top down convoluted bureaucracy that the state provides is at best Orwellian and at worst Stalinist and presides over a complete dissolution of the values and traditions that a close knit family and community can provide. At every turn the state steps in with regulatory might and unblinking scrutiny and the biggest loss is the sovereignty of the person and the freedom of self. In some cases, in particular the family law system, the actual rights of the individual are called into question with requirements such as due process are cast aside to protect the oft spurious “rights” of a plaintiff. Of course once the matter progresses to the courts and rights of the free individual become the matter of police intervention, warranted or not,  the state once again obtains a serious foothold into the sanctity of that family unit and assumes the big brother position in omnipresence. I see this whole matter as an indication that our society has indeed lost its way and the encroachment on our sovereignty and dignity by the state extremely worrying, but then again Malcolm Turnbull and Bill shorten are to be completely trusted, aren’t they?

Scott Norris,  Warrnambool