Free parking for donors
I can’t believe this even needs debating but we are dealing with Warrnambool City Council, blood donors are a very special group of people, what they give freely goes on to save many lives and helps with the treatment of heaps of local people, lots of those recipients I am sure are in fact councillors or family members, blood donors don't discriminate. What they give freely goes to anyone who needs it, no questions asked, so lets get rid of the bloody parking meters near the blood bank, it’s easy, the council meets, all councillors vote in favour of free parking for blood donors, passed unanimously, problem solved. However that would be a miracle so, as a voting ratepayer at the next council election, do not vote for any councillor or incumbent that does not support free parking for blood donors. I’m angry, bloody leeches WCC, wake up and listen to the citizens of Warrnambool. They put you there, they can and will kick you out.
Dallas Bridgman, Warrnambool
No enclosed harbour
The misguided comment in both the editorial and the 'Open Cheque for Harbour' article (October 9) seem to consider that Warrnambool has a "harbour". In fact Warrnambool has a foreshore, involving a beach and a boat launching ramp. Of these two attributes, by far the most important both economically and socially is the beach, and suggestions to enclose the boat launching ramp seriously endangers this beach. The detailed study already completed on the 'harbour' options clearly acknowledged that sand build up around an enclosed boat mooring area and its entrance would require annual dredging costing about $400,000. Two issues arise from this conclusion. Firstly, where is this large amount of sand coming from? The technical study report suggests it's coming from the main beach. Secondly, who is to pay for the on-going dredging cost? The city's ratepayers or boat ramp users seem to be the only options. To suggest as Mr Blake does that "Portland has a magnificent harbour" underlines these problems. Portland used to also have a magnificent foreshore with sandy beaches right through to Dutton Way. Now, due to the "magnificent harbour", the foreshore is an eroded wasteland. Beach users now need to go to Bridgewater Bay for a swim. If the weather conditions make a repaired boat ramp too dangerous for recreational fishermen to launch, then the conditions are probably too dangerous for them to go boating. If they do wish to proceed then the boating facilities at Port Fairy, only half an hour drive away, should satisfy their needs. Warrnambool beach is of fundamental appeal and importance to both local and visitor communities. It is far too important to the city both for our life-style, and economic wellbeing to endanger for the lazy and selfish desires of the relative minority of 'boaties'. By all means let's have a good basic boat launching ramp, but an enclosed 'harbour' we do not need.
Barrie Baker, Warrnambool
Leave open space alone
In protest of Warrnambool Art Gallery front page (The Standard, October 6) wanting to carve up Warrnambool’s Civic Green for the sake of grabbing more gallery space. The recent Jamieson Street art display was a hit all in a school hall. They made the most of a small space. WAG has plenty of art space without the need to revamp the only public open green space in the city centre. Just look at the picture behind WAG director on page four and all that floor space that already exists. The Civic Green should be kept as an open space used by all for many reasons. Used for setting up stalls for markets, for leisure, folk bands and festivities, Christmas plays, used for rallies converging there to have their voice heard, like the Free Tibet rally, and the Wunta breakfast festivals. Above all this open lawn space it is attended by families and visitors to have a look through telescopes on clear nights. We are a keen group of stargazers who call out to Warrnambool to a familiar safe and accessible area that is the spacious Civic Green. This space should be left untouched.
Michael Toms, Warrnambool
Not worth the punt
That pang of guilt you feel when running late for a child’s school concert. The dread of having to explain to a partner that there’s not enough money for treats this week, like dinner out or a movie. Or that sick feeling in your stomach when a piece of work doesn’t live up to a manager’s expectations. Each of these examples may signify a gambling-related harm, the effects of which could be considered ‘minor’ if experienced in isolation or as a one-off, but that can also easily escalate. During Victoria’s inaugural Gambling Harm Awareness Week (October 8-14), the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is encouraging communities to participate in at least one of more than 50 local activities taking place throughout the state under the banner of TALK. SHARE. SUPPORT. Family and relationship problems, emotional and psychological issues, financial losses, and work- or study-related difficulties are harms commonly experienced by individuals who gamble in a risky way, but also affect others, including family members, friends and workmates. Community discussions are a vital first step in reducing or even preventing gambling harm because talking openly about harm, in general, makes it easier for people who have been affected to share their personal experiences and okay for those currently affected to reach out. About one in five Victorians experience gambling harm every year, which means it’s an issue for us all. Let’s tackle it together. If you or someone you know is experiencing gambling harm, free and confidential professional support is available by calling Gambler’s Help on 1800 858 858 (24/7) or visiting gamblinghelponline.org.au.
Louise Glanville, CEO, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
Marching to utopia
How can we forget? I know some very, very smart people, some who have excelled in all forms of academia but who have forgotten our history so inexplicably so as to advocate for socialism. Full blown socialism should be as abhorrent as a Nazi flag but it seems to be a shining path to so many on the academic left and some fairly widespread pockets of the community. A large bulk of our political leaders actually boast membership to socialist and even communist sympathy groups in college and beyond. The rancid memory of over 20 million dead in the last century alone seems to not shy them away? The information coming out of the Gulags in the 1970s and ‘80s was horrific enough to ensure that being labelled a socialist was as derisive a remark as would be possible and the resultant shattering of the wall of lies surrounding communism forced a rebranding of the political ideologists to deconstructionists to postmodernists and that is where they remain today, same ideals and goals but new shiny brand names. The oft cited class war between the proletariat and the bourgeois never eventuated so it had to be remolded to oppressor and the oppressed and that’s the state of play today with ever increasing numbers of oppressed victim groups all trying to outdo themselves and take up arms against the ruling white elite of the capitalist patriarchy. I see some very intelligent people spout this nonsense as if it was emblazoned on their foreheads, the vast bulk of the media and Hollywood seem to have embraced this mantra wholeheartedly even though in the socialist utopia they describe their own livelihoods would be eliminated, with only one party propaganda being shown on screens and only one state newspaper to be published, that seems to be awfully short sighted I consider? The resounding argument I hear when I point this out, and even when I point out that the Nazi party was actually the national socialists, is that the Nordic countries have the happiest people or even that Cuba has the best schools and medical care. These retorts do not hold water on closer inspection, with the veracity of reports from Cuba being notoriously inaccurate and the complete refusal to believe that the Nordic countries are all now governed by center right parties and they all have extremely high rates of taxation with an extremely ethnocentric population. Once again bearing true Margaret Thatcher with her insight that “the problem with socialists is that they eventually run out of other people’s money”. Unfortunately the long march that Victoria is on is a well-worn dangerous path to this imagined utopia, with hugely increased government spending and the incessant growth of said government busybodies that contribute a sum of net zero to the state’s threadbare coffers. The countless new regulations and rules that intrude even further into our private lives with all the presence of an Orwellian two way tv screen. And who can ignore the eyesore of homeless camps and tent embassies that befoul the once beautiful city with drug taking and dealing taking place in broad daylight. Then again maybe a good dose of real live socialism is what these people need, it seems that in all the minds of the social change warriors, they see themselves on a podium and not a gulag and I am damn sure that if they obtained what they all wish that the cries would drown out any grand final crowd. Maybe it’s time to teach actual history at school instead of imagined theories and feel good fluff.
Scott Norris, Warrnambool