The suspect Atkinson's Lane site for the Lookout Centre is fraught with more than hopeless problems.
The sale, by expressions of interest is hardly a transparent and obviously honest process because the vendors do not have to choose the highest bid: a deal could have already been done with an influential buyer. It certainly seems that way to many of the Dennington objectors when the Selling agent wasn't interested in taking names or contact details from the prospective viewers of the property. It smacks of a done deal and the advertising process looks like it was done to satisfy an appearance of a legitimate sale.
Richard Ziegeler, Dennington
Election needs sizzle
This week I received a letter from the Victorian Electoral Commission and, oddly, it didn't have a Liberal Party flyer in it from Roma Britnell. So I suppose, it really was from the Victorian Electoral Commission. It certainly did have a lot of useful information in it though it did fail to indicate which polling booths would have a sausage sizzle. Some may think that is a little silly but, living in Warrnambool, a good snag on a slice of bread might be the best I can hope for from this election.
Jim Burke, Warrnambool
Horses off beaches
I nearly choked on my breakfast smoothie when I read that a Wangoom based horse trainer said foxes and tides are endangering the hooded plovers at Levys beach. No doubt these are factors but further pressure from commercial horse training might finish them off. What is the specific proven economic benefit of allowing commercial horse training on Levys Beach? Further I understand it is an illegal activity. So how or why were horses allowed on the beach anyway? We place great emphasis on little penguins, Sammy the seal and the southern right whale nursery. Our sustainable economy in an increasingly large part could revolve around eco-tourism.This is where our future lies and Levys beach with its hooded plovers is part of it. We have statues and murals of our magnificent wildlife on our city walls and streetscapes. If we are not vigilant and adopt the same attitude we apparently have towards hooded plovers this is all we may have left to remind us of what was. Race one. 'The Levys Beach Stakes' It looks like the horse 'Self Interest' is a short half head in front of 'Powerful Political Mates' with 'Hooded Plover' stone motherless last. This is a long race of at least four weeks duration until after the state election. Fortunately she is a good stayer the 'Hooded Plover' and may yet prevail. I encourage city councillors not to jump the fence and disqualify her in the shadows of the finishing post. Any body with concerns what so ever about our endangered pristine environment, please contact a councillor and express your point of view.
Larry Abrahams, Warrnambool
Shifting goal posts
AFL Victoria introduced a player points system (PPS) in 2016 in an attempt to foster the equalisation of community football competitions. The premise behind the policy was that an equal and fair competition will lead to interest, which leads to larger crowds, which leads to stronger clubs and competitions. This sustainability angle is noble and legitimate. For those unfamiliar with the workings of the PPS, clubs within leagues have a set allocation of player points that they can use on any given game day. The number of points allocated to each player varies according to their level of experience and their playing history prior to being recruited to a community club. In 2018 the Hampden Football Netball League allocated 40 player points to each team bar two in Port Fairy and Hamilton who successfully applied for additional points. The criteria to gain this exemption can be based on a lack of success, low population base and limited junior numbers. The merits, reasoning and equality of this can be argued another day. The HFNL has recently informed the Koroit Football Netball Club (KFNC) that it is going to be deducted three player points from the previously set quota of 40 points it had set for all non-exempt clubs. Its reasoning and legitimacy is based on a clause in the AFL Victoria policy that states: “reduction of total team points may be allocated for multiple premierships and sustained success over previous seasons.” With Koroit winning the last five premierships, surely it’s case closed. The problem with hitching your wagon to this argument is that two other highly successful teams in Nathalia in the Murray League (four premierships in a row) and Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley League (62 consecutive wins,) have not had any player point reductions. In addition to these inconsistencies is the fact that KFNC is yet to receive any policy guidelines as to how and why the figure of the three player points was decided upon. Interestingly, the very same policy from AFL Victoria states that its number one objective with the PPS is to: “support equalisation of community football competitions.” The irony of this statement, in light of this decision to dock Koroit three points is stark. How can you table a policy, which purports to support equalisation of community football competitions, and then make one team have an unequal starting point? Shifting the goal posts is a wonderful metaphor for changing the criterion (goal) of a process or competition while it is still in progress, in such a way that the new goal offers one side an intentional advantage or disadvantage. I wonder if the HFNL and AFL Victoria think-tank appreciates that the average punter well knows that the use and purpose of a “policy” is as much about power and control as it is justice and fairness. This decision is short sighted and incorrectly assumes a common definition of what success is. Let alone how success is gained and maintained by a small country town club like Koroit. The problem with shifting goal posts is that they can come back to haunt you when the conditions change.
Stephen Madden, East Warrnambool
I am angered by the ongoing comments and pressure being exerted by the Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, as mentioned in The Standard (31/10/18), inferring that the local racing industry in our region will collapse if unable to access local beaches for ongoing training purposes. Will there really be a mass exodus of local trainers as a result of a ban on the use of the Levy’s Beach area? It would be interesting to ask Mr. Pakula where he thinks that local trainers will go, or which other communities in Victoria would allow race horse training on their beaches? To my knowledge, there are no other beaches in Victoria where race horse training is allowed. Darren Weir has already set up a considerable horse training stable north of Ballarat, so it sounds as though he has already planned ahead. Maybe they will move to Plumpton where Patrick Payne is looking to replicate the beach and dune conditions in a training facility on private land - but hang on, that would make this whole saga look extremely ridiculous if they didn’t really need beach or dunes to train on. There is also the Warrnambool Racecourse itself, which has a huge land area at a bargain price which could be used to develop other facilities. Better yet, maybe our local trainers deciding to leave the area could relocate to Black Rock where Mr Pakula lives, and he can harass the Bayside Council and the local Black Rock community with ridiculous demands on their behalf? I honestly wish that Mr Pakula would just get on with serious ministerial work that does not involve pressuring the Warrnambool community.
Monique Ferrier, Warrnambool