Solar rejection ‘disappointing’
As a ratepayer and resident of Corangamite Shire I am disappointed with the ‘rushed’ decision by councillors to reject the solar farm application, the usual opponents of renewable energy outnumbered ratepayers citing often far fetched reasons for rejecting the application. The main reason put forward by the council was the use of `high value agricultural land’ for such a venture; however the land in question isn’t prime quality dairy land. In fact, further south, prime quality land is being used for forestry an industry offering limited employment and additional fire risk all under the approval of council. At a time when our federal government is chasing potential investors in coal generated power with little success and our current power generators are no longer able to keep up with demand we should be encouraging large scale investment in renewable energy in this region. This region requires reliable power; the dairy industry for instance cannot afford to face blackouts because of short sighted governments and councils refusing to acknowledge the changing landscape of power generation in the future. A venture such as this would complement the wind power industry in the region providing reliable energy supplies for industry and the community, the monetary investment would be a real bonus for the region’s businesses and an additional revenue source for the council that rejected the proposal. Sure the original proposal may have had some flaws but rather than reject it outright, a proposal as significant as this deserves an opportunity for feedback and further council and community consultation to arrive at something the community accepts. This could be a major opportunity lost; one that residents will regret as energy prices soar and reliability issues become a driver of economic growth in regional Victoria, 550 ha represents an insignificant percentage of agricultural land in this region where as the benefits offered by such a venture represent a significant economic windfall to this region.
Rob Graham, Terang
The fires on St Patrick’s Day that burnt through areas of south-west Victoria allegedly ignited by Powercor electricity assets need never have occurred. My family had cattle on four properties that were burnt by the Kilmore Complex fire on Black Saturday. The fire was fanned by strong north winds about 4.30pm to 5pm when the temperature was at its most extreme around 46 degrees Celsius. That fire was ignited by a SWERE wire snapping at Kilmore due to extreme winds. So I understand the frustrations of farmers affected by the Sisters-Garvoc fire and their concerns about Powercor assets. My family and I made recommendations in a written submission to the Royal Commission and I also attended the Royal Commission meeting in Colac where Tim Pallas was present and seeking public input for the inquiry. I clearly stated at this meeting and in my submission that no amount of engineering solutions could stop fires being started by electrical assets when a system is placed under extreme pressure due to a severe weather event such as Black Saturday or St Patrick’s Day. The St Patrick’s Day fire would not have had an ignition source if Tim Pallas and the Royal Commission actually listened to me when I told them the only solution was to turn the power off on days of extreme weather conditions, particularly when gale force winds are forecast, which is what happened on St Patrick’s Day. My suggestion, as someone who experienced first-hand the most deadly fire in our state’s history, was immediately howled down by every dairy farmer present because they could not milk their cows. So is missing or delaying one milking more traumatic than having your cows burnt alive, your fences, pasture and infrastructure destroyed and possibly human lives lost too, like many of my neighbours who lost their lives on Black Saturday? Apparently so. Then there were more howls of complaint by those attending the Colac meeting that they could not run their air conditioners, fridges, freezers and that the shops could not trade etc. Maybe if people were less selfish and common sense prevailed no one would have lost their farms, homes, business and livelihoods on St Patrick’s Day
James Taylor, Framlingham
The recent massive electricity black outs in Victoria and South Australia are called reality, reality is the observable evidence of facts. The Victorian experience still occurred despite the forced shut down of some huge industries. As has been forecast by the use of a medium called common sense, this is just the start of our massive social and economic pain by the action that has been taken solely based on the proven dud predictions with respect to man made Co2 emissions. Germany’s massive foray into renewables led to disaster and now they have just or near completed five coal fired power stations. They are not alone with another 708 of the same worldwide in exactly the same category. Think before you vote.
Michael Cane, Warrnambool
No WiFi choice
How can Cudgee, 10 minutes out of Warrnambool, apparently have no access to NBN fixed wireless, when most houses around us already have it? It’s not like we can choose ADSL as that’s not available and the satellite options are expensive for not much data. Our options in 2019 are few and far between.
Tim Barr, Cudgee
To the three lovely women who stopped to assist when my frightened dog tripped me on Warrnambool’s Promenade around 10am-10.30am last Sunday. Your caring concern, your thoughtful consideration, your ability to listen to what I needed to help me to my feet and the fact you waited to check I was alright are greatly appreciated. That you respected my judgement when I said I was OK to continue is also important. I am fine. Little damage but a broken metatarsal and the indignity of wearing a cast for a while. Again my heartfelt thanks. And Hani, my dog is also fine.
Glenda Fry, Warrnambool
Discussions drowned out
After the wash up of the Australia Day celebrations and the protestations we are in the midst of a changing tide of realization. The calls of invasion day and change the date have been drowned out by the more radical demands of eliminating the date all together, that as we are aware of course was the goal all along. The weary pundits that claimed that to bend to the will of these thugs was to just invite an even more outrageous demand as they would feel emboldened by the success have been proven correct again. The end goal is now loudly proclaimed to be the destruction of the society that has allowed those repugnant voices the platform they so readily deny others. The recent upsurge in these large scale demonstrations is a troubling development no matter which side of the political divide you fall. There are no new converts to come out of any of these violent abusive shouting matches and any message is drowned out in a hail of profane abuse and threats. The enemy of discourse is violence and we are seeing that increasingly becoming the norm and in some cases it’s almost expected. The ability to discuss and dissect any issue with clarity and thought is one that is no longer appealed to by the leaders of these groups, screaming “racist” or “Nazi” is not a reasoned reaction to a statement you wish to counter. The very issue of Australia Day has fallen into this quagmire where any real discussion is immediately drowned out with recriminations and hate being the default position, we can no longer hope for a peaceful resolution and an honest discussion on the grievances of any portion of our amassed population without the race politics and right/left dichotomy tainting the waters. Even the legalities inherent to a conquered peoples compared to a settled population in respect to any native title rights already given cannot be discussed without abuse being tendered. The vast majority of the Australian people want to live in peace and are grateful to be in one of the safest, cleanest and prosperous countries on earth, we have no interest in attacking the past or uprooting our ingrained cultural values and heritage to suit the unceasing strident caterwauling of a band of malcontents that would protest if the sky rained $100 bills. The interesting thing is that there are political figures that fan the flames of these conflagrations without thought for the freedoms this nation allow them, we are of course a nation that was almost in statewide mourning over cricketers cheating but pass the theft of campaign funds as if it’s almost expected and nothing to stress about. These political figures may rue the day that we as a people start to really care about our government and its foibles beyond the Twitter style attention grabbing headlines (perfect example was the accusation that the cotton farms around the Darling were responsible for the fish kills when a 10-minute research session revealed that the real blame lies at the feet of several government agencies and a crippling drought that had only left the news cycle a few weeks before). Once again we are left to navigate the real issues and truthful information for ourselves and lament the implementation of a brave new world.
Scott Norris, Warrnambool
The citizens of Warrnambool have a right to know what the current state of the Belfast Coastal Reserve (BCR) is prior to Warrnambool City Council allowing racehorse training back into this important and sensitive area. The reserve is an asset and resource which belongs to the whole community, and thus should be managed with meticulous planning and care. Currently WCC are planning to conduct a taxpayer funded environmental impact study to be done after race horses are allowed to use this area, and this will render any process of ongoing environmental assessment and monitoring useless. Unless this is indeed a strategic plan of WCC, thorough and independent environmental assessment must be completed prior to any return of racehorses to this area to allow meaningful and future objective assessment and monitoring to occur. The community has an expectation that WCC will use logic, good planning, and most importantly transparent processes when making decisions prior to allowing this highly contentious activity in this area to occur. Failure to do this will result in blatant negligence in managing this highly valuable resource appropriately, and we the tax payers will have to provide the money for repairing the damage done in years to come.
Monique Ferrier, Warrnambool