Letters to the editor – December 8

Bill different to vote

It did not take long for the Yes campaign in the same-sex vote to show their true colours. Prior to the vote, Mr.Shorten and others claimed that the vote had nothing to do with transgender marriage. Columnists ridiculed anyone who said otherwise. Attorney-General George Brandis said it would allow two men to marry or two women to marry. But Mr Turnbull, a supporter of the Yes vote,has now admitted that the Bill which has now passed allowed marriage between “two persons”, which includes transgender persons who may marry each other or anyone else. This is not what we were asked to vote on, which was “same sex marriage”. It clearly was about transgender marriage, despite the denials. As a result, transgender theory such as is already being taught in some schools under the guise of anti-bullying in the so-called Safe-schools program, will be extended to all government schools as promised by Daniel Andrews; parents cannot opt out. Under  the program,13-year-olds are taught homosexual practices as part of the course. In the UK a Jewish school was threatened with loss of funding if it did not teach transgender theory. You would have to be incredibly naïve to think that what has happened where same-sex marriage is legal will not be replicated here.

Jim Hanrahan, Warrnambool

Bridge inaction criticism

Re Warrnambool City Council’s decision to hand back $600,000 federal funding and leave the old Allansford bridge closed to heavy vehicles (The Standard, December 6). Warrnambool City Council wins first prize for being dumb. I drive a truck and dog (trailer) with a total weight of 45 tonne, I could do 10 trips per day from the quarry at Lake Gillear, did any of you go for a ride in a truck that has to enter the Princes Highway exiting Allansford onto the highway and head west towards Warrnambool? From a standing start I would be doing 20 km/h as I reach the bridge on the highway, vehicles have passed me over double lines over the bridge on the highway, I have had B-doubles lock their bakes up so as not to run over me. I get constantly abused by those who don’t observe the 80km/h restrictions in place, they come around the bend from the east and there I am doing 20km/h, at least when we could use the old bridge we were in the left lane on the dual highway and had no problem merging, so when someone is killed or maimed I will be expecting the Warrnambool City Council to be paying compensation.

Dallas Bridgman, Warrnambool

True Christmas meaning

With all of life’s distractions, we sometimes forget the true meaning of Christmas. When we are caught up buying presents and over indulging in food, Christmas can be a time when we often forget what really matters. But bad experiences and misfortunes can culminate at Christmas time, which means for vulnerable and marginalised Australians, Christmas can be the hardest time of the year. For the Salvos it’s our busiest period, with more than 300,000 families and individuals seeking assistance. We give out more than 500,000 gifts and toys, and serve over 10,000 meals to those who don’t have the means to celebrate Christmas. We can only meet this need because year after year Australians come together and stand by those doing it tough. This, I believe, is the true meaning of Christmas. So this holiday season let’s remember those going it alone. By donating $29 to The Salvation Army's Christmas Appeal, you can help put a present under the tree and food on the table, bringing hope where it’s needed most.

Neil Venables, National Secretary for Communications, The Salvation Army

Maritime not horses

At the third point of his ‘Harbour Plan Questions’ (The Standard letters, online, 24 November) Keith Prest has identified one of the most important features of the harbour area: that it is primarily a maritime precinct and not a horse training facility. Further to this, we should remember that this is a *public* [italics] area. The presence of horses on Lady Bay beach is a continuing embarrassment to Warrnambool and its council, and this is one of the key issues that should be resolved in order for best use to be made of the space. At present, we have one unsuitable activity (not including the operation of the Sea Fitness business, which is low impact and conceivably a workable use of the area) dominating a space where so many other things could be happening. There are many possibilities. Where is the small business hiring stand up paddle boards? Where are the young families walking early, the artists painting, the sailing dinghys being launched? These and many others are all excluded because of this activity. In my view it was wrong the day the first horse ran on Lady Bay beach, and it will stay wrong until the last horse leaves- even if that takes twenty years. I think it is appropriate for the council to remember the maritime nature of the area, to presume no horse presence at all in any future plan, and to conduct full and proper consultation with the community on how the area should be used.

Christian Schultink, Warrnambool