Wind farm debate
The front page article in Saturday January 6, James Purcell, Member for Western Victoria, states that trickle down payments to residents neighbouring wind farms would help overcome the division in communities hosting wind farms. I would (and I am sure other readers that will be affected by wind farms) like Mr Purcell's valued assessment in dollar terms of what he would expect to be a reasonable compensation package to be subjected to the following - noise pollution, blade shadow flicker, loss of property value, interrupted television reception, loss of quality of lifestyle. People who live close to the Macarthur wind farm leave their homes regularly to get a decent night’s sleep, I am sure Mr Purcell will be well aware of this. Confidentiallty is a standard clause in wind farm company contracts, beware that once signed you cannot publicly complain about the effects emitted. As for employment opportunities Mr Purcell forgot to mention that re-repairing the crumbling road network in the south-west will create plenty of jobs, as an ex-Moyne Shire councillor, he will know that the construction of the Macaurthur wind farm caused $350 million worth of damaged roads, $350 million that could have been spent within the shire on upgrading roads. So Mr Purcell, what value do you and your parliamentary colleagues put on the quality of life, the readers would like to know.
David Ryan, Willatook
Wind jobs good news
The announcement from Keppel Prince, Australia's leading manufacturer of wind turbine towers, that it will double its workforce to 200 is welcome news for the region. Keppel Prince's expansion demonstrates the benefits of rolling out renewable energy. The turbine towers made by workers from the south-west coast will help Victoria meet its Renewable Energy Target of 40 per cent by 2025 that will see dozens of wind farms built across the state. The news also highlights the key role the region has to play for Victoria to meet state climate laws that legislate zero-net emissions by 2050. Will Premier Daniel Andrews create more job opportunities by setting ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets and committing to deliver Victoria's first climate-focused state budget? The Liberal Party and opposition has been quiet on climate change to date. Yet the community expects it to publicly release a policy well before polling day. With a focus on law and order, the Liberal Party can easily commit to uphold the state's climate change laws.
Leigh Ewbank, Act on Climate coordinator, Friends of the Earth
I have been camping with my family in Warrnambool for over 40 years. I parked in a car park this week and had to spend 10 to 15 minutes working out the meter. I was talking to an elderly lady who was happy to receive a fine because she was stressed over not remembering her car number plate. I have not seen anything so ridiculous. Walking down the main street and the empty shops are so obvious. I have not seen so many before. I will not be bothered stopping in the heart of town again. I think the ratepayers need to look at their council very closely. A beautiful town ‘going down’.
John Box, Ballarat
Road to upgrades
Maybe South West Coast MP Roma Britnell hasn't been paying attention, (Fix Crumbling Roads Not Install Barriers, January 6), but the Andrews Labor Government has doubled maintenance funding and is busy rebuilding more than 850 kilometers of country road across the state. We're also in partnership with the Federal Government to make key upgrades to the Henty Highway, Princes Highway West, Great Ocean Road, Forest - Apollo Bay Road and Hamilton Highway. While doing this, we're also making a $340 million investment to install life-saving infrastructure, including flexible safety barriers along Victoria's 20 highest-risk roads. These barriers are expected to reduce the number of head-on and run-off-road crashes by 85 per cent, saving countless lives. On top of this, we're over halfway through upgrading 77 country level crossings across the state, including the completion of upgrades at 22 crossings on the Warrnambool line. This is in contrast to the Liberals who did nothing in government for country drivers. They sat on their hands and cut funding as country roads deteriorated, which is why we're doing the hard work to get people home sooner and safer.
Luke Donnellan, Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety
Legacy lives on
The tribute to Frank Lodge, The Standard, January 7, includes the lookout at Portland named in his honour. For the record, he also saw the value in a small parcel of titles of about 10 hectares between Cobden Road and Brucknell Creek, Naringal East, securing it as a Country Roads Board reserve. Although subsequently passed to Parks Victoria by VicRoads, it is a priceless example of local creek vegetation, cared for by Friends of Ralph Illidge Sanctuary, as it adjoins that property; protected for all time by wise public servant Frank Lodge.
Shirley Duffield, Naringal East