Letters to the Editor – January 5

Church needs fundamental changes

Father John Fitzgerald is correct in recognising the Catholic Church failed our children, The Standard, December 16. What to do about this is the issue. His statement that it can’t happen again is only credible if fundamental changes are made by the church and other organisations as strongly recommended by the Royal Commission. Our elected politicians and all relevant bodies have to get on with it including sexual abuse victims being properly compensated. It must not happen again has to be the shared objective with no ifs and buts. Also his reference to ‘alleged perpetrators’ fails to acknowledge that many paedophile clergy such as Gerald Ridsdale have been convicted by the courts with others avoiding prosecution through death before exposure. The health and safety of our young people is paramount and any obstacles to this must be recognised and dealt with. 

Tony Delaney, Warrnambool

Turbine heights lift decision questioned

As a reasonably regular visitor to the Moyne Shire area I am astounded permission has been given to destroy the environment with higher wind turbines at Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner. I have no doubt some will be happy they are going ahead, especially those who’ll be financially supported to have them on their property. However, there are many more who will be rethinking their holiday arrangements as the beauty of the areas are being turned into industrial sites, not suited to spending time relaxing in. The tourism industry must be in fear of the ramifications. Further I am sure there are others such as myself who would like to know if the changes to the planning permits of these sites were presented to the EBPC who are there to ensure the environment and endangered species are not adversely affected. Changing the size and location of individual turbines could cause changes in the environment and therefore the EPBC should have re-assessed these sites. There is little doubt these massive turbines which were originally designed for offshore operation will change local weather environments, will the local authority and the state government be ready to compensate people for damage caused? If people doubt these could do any such harm they should do some research and see how it has been proposed in the USA that arrays of turbines could have prevented flooding from Hurricane Katrina, with work now beginning on designing such an array to prevent future disaster. We already know no matter the size of these turbines they can only operate if the wind is blowing, but it doesn’t blow all the time, or even at a level to produce sufficient energy to service any industry or the number of homes  in Warrnambool.  Such claims are based on ‘notional’ (speculative, hypothetical) capacity not an actual capacity which would require them to operate at a full capacity 24x7. To destroy Western Victoria in such a way beggars belief and only shows the State Government has no desire to seriously consider the environment, lives and livelihood of local communities when ideology and stupidity take over.

Jackie Rovensky, Port MacDonnell

Fix crumbling roads not install barriers

In 2014, Labor made a promise to invest $1 billion to improve rural and regional roads. They’ve since been spending that money installing wire rope barriers before fixing the cracked and crumbling road surface – it’s illogical. It’s yet another example of stupidity and a lack of common sense from this government which has the sole focus of improving the city while the regions are left with the crumbs from the table. Premier Daniel Andrews and Roads Minister Luke Donnellan need to wake up and start spending money fixing dangerous road surfaces and intersections to actually improve safety for all road users. 

Roma Britnell, Member for South West Coast, Warrnambool