Another week, another handball.
This campaign has already resulted in significant admissions of fault from Powercor, replacement power poles and inspections of thousands of others across the state. It has also resulted in a national first with insurance companies now offering some victims of the fires no-cost compensation offers.
The heroes of the campaign are farmers like Jill Porter and Jack Kenna. The villains? Possibly there are too many to list but let’s start at the top.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews didn’t just decline an invite this month to visit the south-west to speak to victims of last year’s blazes, he handballed it to Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio. Her response was a nightmarish piece of bureaucrat-ese that she and Mr Andrews should be ashamed of.
More importantly than a visit, the state government must be seen to act on implementing the Black Saturday recommendations, giving “teeth” to power company regulators and bringing these corporate giants to heel.
It was a dramatic week in racing with Australia’s leading trainer Darren Weir copping a four-year ban from stewards, shutting down his Warrnambool stables and turning the lives of his 25 or so employees in the region upside down. It was a sad fall from grace but our thoughts are with the employees, who face uncertain times.
Winslow-raised Ciaron Maher has taken over Weir’s Miners Rest stables and many of his horses.
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Here’s a selection of stories from the past week to kick-start your Sunday.