Letters to the editor - February 23

Keep Fun4Kids 

I was astounded to read about the axing of the yearly children's festival. How can this be? It is mostly run by volunteers. It doesn't just benefit the children and parents of this town, but many other towns as well. It brings much needed trade to the town, trade that has been flagging due to the “ïmprovements” that have been put in place. Of course, there is money for this. Even though my children and grandchildren are too old for the festival, we often get very welcome visits from people we haven't seen for ages. This festival has been a much needed asset to the town. It and those cute dogs have put our town back on the tourist map. Can you imagine cancelling the Folkie, or Irish Festival? It's more than money, much much more. Have those that want to cancel it ever been and seen the children's faces? Can you put a price on those faces and the enjoyment the festival brings? I'm sure money can be found in those horrid parking meters that fail to return money put in them when you have to leave the parking spot unexpectedly. It used to be nice when you could leave money in the meter for someone else, or give a ticket to someone else. I appeal to the better judgement of the council to rethink this matter. The children, the parents, the caravan parks, the traders, all want to see it retained. Pretty please councillors, keep Fun4Kids, we all love this fabulous asset.

Sylvia Attard, Warrnambool

Farewell Fun4Kids

They say all good things must come to an end and that time has come for Warrnambool’s Fun4Kids Festival. While it’s disappointing to see the festival wound up it’s also important to celebrate the enormous success it has been over the past 19 years and what the festival has done for Warrnambool and surrounds. It has given thousands of people a reason to visit our region in the traditionally quiet time of the year – providing a mid-winter boost for accommodation providers and hospitality premises. It’s also provided thousands of TAFE students with practical hands on experience in a wide range of fields including tourism and early childhood care. I congratulate everyone who has had involvement in the festival over the years, from the hundreds of volunteers, to the TAFE students and the council’s organisers who have worked tirelessly to ensure a great festival year after year.

Roma Britnell,  Member for South West Coast

Payrise ‘joke’

You have got to be joking. The Victorian Government just awarded themselves a five per cent pay rise. Why? The audacity of them, how do they justify this? What has changed to allow for this?....nothing. They do this because they can. Yet penalty rates were slashed from the poor everyday worker, who has constant trouble making ends meet, with very little hope for a payrise, let alone five per cent. Australian politicians have a lot to answer for, their greed is beyond belief, their indifference is callous and cruel, their self importance is obscene.They think they have the right to behave like this. They need to practice as they preach, live with the conditions they impose on us.They are in their positions by the grace of us the people. They take this for granted and live their lives at our expense. Shame on you, shame on all of you.

Vicki Walter, Warrnambool

Power costs hurt

The cost of our electricity is increasing and we are told that the actual cost of generating it has doubled over the past year yet The Standard constantly has articles from such as Victoria’s Minister for Energy and the executive officer of the Future Business Council lauding the reduced costs to be expected from the transition towards renewable energy and how vital this is for Victoria’s future. I ask whether in fact it is this transition that is the cause of the huge increase? Over a year the outputs of both wind and solar are around one third of their rated capacities and it continuously varies from zero to maximum. The two kinds of back-up which are flexible enough to match this capriciousness and to maintain constant supply are hydro and simple cycle gas turbines but as we have very little hydro, the fall-back position is simple cycle gas, such as the new power station at Mortlake which cost $640 million. The Macarthur wind farm which Mortlake matches, cost $1billion so it is vacuous to say that wind energy is free. The big catch is that combined cycle gas, which employs a further steam cycle but is not flexible enough for wind back up generates an additional 50 per cent. Could it be that combined cycle gas without wind would have the lowest cost? At last count, 56 per cent of South Australia’s gas generation was simple cycle. Pumped hydro is being welcomed as a method of storing electricity for use when needed and for which many millions are being allocated. Being a retired hydraulics engineer I gasp at the high efficiency being claimed for this process which I can guarantee will return less than half of the electricity that it consumes. I have inspected an effective pumped hydro system in South Africa which uses regular cheap night-time electricity from the Koeberg nuclear power station. We are all paying for the privatisation of the electricity supply which now has financiers in charge.

Graham Keith, Warrnambool