Protect avenue heritage
Re Moyne Shire’s decision to remove all the Cypress tress in Mortlake's Avenue of Honour. Here I was foolishly thinking that a council did more than cave to the voices of a vocal few. (And I remain unconvinced that this is really what the town wants). I thought they would be thinking about protecting the heritage of the town into the future, regardless of what a current minority might be pushing for. I thought they would protect what makes it iconic, special, unique, not rip it out by its roots and burn it to ashes. The destruction of the current avenue will be an unforgivable act of vandalism.
Leanne Hampson, Mortlake
Tree cull ‘over reaction’
In regard to Anthony Brady’s article reporting on the replacement of the Mortlake avenue of honour trees,I’d like to ask why the decision has been made to destroy all the trees in the Avenue when based on the figures, only 11 per cent of the 191 trees are affected? This seems to be a serious over reaction when there is so much that’s intangible and irreplaceable at stake. These trees mark the passage of time since WW1 in this the final year of the 100 year commemorations with the final being on 11/11 this year, marking the Armistice. Not only do these original trees, with their size and majesty reflect the years that have passed, but they connect us physically with the soldiers they stand for. They connect us with the families of these men too, past and still present. It’s well known that the history of WW1 is not a finite thing, that it’s living still - on the battlefields where the events took place and also within those families who were affected by the war. The emotions are still very current and heartfelt. You will recall the recent campaign fought by a small group of Australians (myself included as well as an individual whose four great uncles are all named by plaques under the Mortlake trees), to cancel a wind farm on a French battlefield at Bullecourt. Commemoration and respect for history and sacrifice was considered important enough in that case for the French government to request the cancellation of that project following the intervention by our own government.
Veronica Di Toro, Essendon
Age no barrier to jobs
It was very disappointing to read the article Economic boom creates glut of vacant jobs across south-west (The Standard, May 23).The article states there is "a desperate need for young professionals" because the demand for "accountants, financial planners and the demand for health specialists is ongoing". In the current climate, with pension ages rising and the increasing difficulties that many older people experience finding employment, one would imagine that these positions are exactly the sort that they might be expected to fill.
Paul Bucci, Port Fairy
Drugs, yes they are a fact. So a residential rehab centre is inevitable but where? I think the people of Dennington have been blind-sided. The rehab centre should be in Warrnambool, that’s commonsense.
Shaun McCallum, Dennington
No to oil drilling
The organisers of the meeting at South Beach on Saturday must be congratulated with 300 people calling for a stop to drilling for oil in Bass Strait. If an oil spill occurred we could lose a cold variety of coral reef that has been mapped to show it is far bigger than the Great Barrier Reef. Bass Strait has half the seaweed varieties on earth that has the potential if farmed would feed 30 billion. Bass Strait’s wild coastline has the greatest number of shipwrecks on earth. Bass Strait has the greatest wave energy potential on earth that can supply all of Australia with sustainable electricity yet political decisions put this all at risk if they go ahead to drill and have an oil spill. We have some of the best clean fishing areas on earth in Bass Strait, whales seals sea birds and cleanest migratory feeding grounds on erth in Bass Strait. And what do politicians see the tourist industry worth to Bass Strait towns?
Robert Rowley, Illowa
National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the generous individuals who help make our communities what they are. Whether it be looking after the canteen at the local footy club, delivering Meals on Wheels, tending to the local environment, responding to emergencies with the local CFA or SES, or helping with fire recovery like BlazeAid, we are all better off for their efforts. Without the tireless efforts of volunteers, many organisations in the area simply would not be able to function. According to the ABS, more than one in three Australians volunteer. In regional areas, 41 per cent of people report volunteering. They are the threads that bind communities together, across the Western District, Victoria and the country. It was particularly heartening to see local volunteers acknowledged in this year’s Warrnambool Australia Day Awards, with Ray Lougheed and Barrie Baker recognised for their community work. Of course, for many, as well as giving something back to the community, volunteering itself is a fulfilling and enriching experience, a way to make new friends and derive a sense of purpose. Nominations are open for the 2018 Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards, which celebrate the enormous contribution of Victoria’s volunteers. Nominations close on Monday 28 May, at the end of National Volunteer Week (May 21-27). To nominate a volunteer, visit www.volunteer.vic.gov.au/awards.
Gayle Tierney, Western Victoria MP