Climate stand needed
Opinion polls have suggested that climate change is a significant, if not the most important issue for the coming federal elections, this trend is occurring worldwide with growing rallies and protests calling for action, what's intriguing here is the apparent lack of policy addressing climate change by all parties. The independents and micro parties are fighting the election on issues that cater for their own self interests some of which are decisive and quite abhorrent to the majority of Australians while openly suggesting the science is flawed; the minor parties are not much different targeting a dangerous resurgence of fascism based on the popularity of the Trump administration. Labor has certainly addressed climate change in their proposed policies, though somewhat watered down for fear of a public backlash regarding costs to Australians and the potential impact on business confidence and the Australian economy. The Coalition is in a state of complete denial promising millions of dollars to prop up coal fired power generation and unprofitable forestry ventures, funding new coal mines without rigorous investigation into their potential impact on the environment, ignoring initiatives by industry wanting to invest heavily in renewables (WESTPAC and South Australia, etc), buying water to save the Murray / Darling river systems that never entered these struggling systems, telling school children that their concerns about lack of climate action are merely propaganda invented by the far left and Greens and refusal or confusion regarding Paris climate change targets. The majority of Western World leaders now acknowledge that action must be taken now while we still have a small window of opportunity to minimise the impact, I feel this warning has largely gone unnoticed in the current election battle.
Rob Graham, Terang
I write regarding recent letters in this paper about the current federal election campaign. As a keen observer of politics for 50 years and someone who has run a business for that period of time, I would just like to point out a few things. Unfortunately a lot of the correspondence so far seems to have missed the fact that as recently as last October Scott Morrison visited the electorate of Wannon. We were one of the first electorates the new Prime Minister visited. Prime Minister Morrison didn't just come here, he announced the largest investment in Victoria's tourism infrastructure in recent history - $88 million for the 12 Apostles precinct. This built on the previous $104 million in funding to improve the Warrnambool rail line, which was followed by $80 million for our roads of strategic importance including the Princes Highway. The Deputy Prime Minister came to Wannon for this one. The Morrison Government has also provided $5 million for the Warrnambool CBD works and over $1 million towards the Matilda Room extension at the Warrnambool Racing Club. Just earlier this year another $1 million was delivered to upgrade Lake Pertobe. All my dealings with Dan Tehan show someone who is passionate about our community, fights strongly for our region and gets results. No one can fairly say he hasn't delivered. The time is long over due for the Daniel Andrews state government to do its bit and add funding to the $80 million for upgrading roads in South West Victoria instead of playing politics.
Don Bartlett, Liberal Party member, Illowa
Rich get richer
The coalition is at it again. Bribing us with the promise of huge tax cuts over the next five years. But who will benefit the most from this $50 billion largesse? The rich of course! Lower paid working people will get the grand amount of $20-$25 per week and on an upwards sliding scale those on $200,000 per annum, including most politicians, will get $220 per week. As usual conservative governments ensure that the rich get richer and the rest of us should heed Joe Hockey's advice and get a better job. The Labor Party's tax cuts propose that the sliding scale goes in the opposite direction. Of course if the present government get back in we might find that their tax cuts could be a John Howard style non-core promise.
Bill Norton, Timboon
Our Warrnambool City Council-managed Lady Bay boat ramp is dudded again. On the back of every receipt I get for payment of boat rego and fishing licences it states all monies go towards the maintenance and building of infrastructure for the benefit of boat users and fishermen. Unless you use Warrnambool facilities should be added to this diatribe. I will not buy a fishing licence or pay my boat and trailer rego until something is done to improve this crap. If I get fined (anywhere) I will go to court and sue the managing body, (Warrnambool City Council) for their failure to provide these improvements to make it usable and safe. Then hearing of some government spending, I thought maybe I was a bit premature, wrong, this will not happen in my life time, another review, another consultation, another consultation, another consultation, bugger me, let's have another consultation. I stand by my first, "don't pay fees". If they can't deliver, I won't pay.
Dallas Bridgman, Warrnambool
As a member of Warrnambool Rural Australians for Refugees & South West Victoria Love Makes A Way I have significant concern for the way we as a nation are currently treating people who come to us seeking asylum. The answers to the following questions will determine how I vote in the upcoming Federal election.
1. Do you support Australia working with other countries in the Asia/Pacific region to provide funds and solutions for assessment and safe settlement of people seeking asylum?
2. Do you think the government is justified in depriving young adults in immigration detention of tertiary education and work rights?
3. It would be much more cost effective to have people in community detention in Australia with work rights. Would you support this as a better option?
4. Do you support family re-unification?
5. Knowing it is NOT illegal to seek asylum in Australia, will your party continue to use the term 'illegal'? If so, why?
6. Do you support an end to offshore detention of people seeking refuge and asylum? If not, why?
7. Will you introduce permanent protection visas (PPVs) for those refugees in Australia who currently have temporary protection visas (TPVs)? If not why not?
8. What is your (party's) position regarding increasing numbers of destitute people seeking asylum being referred to country towns and regional centres?
9. What are your views of rural resettlement?
Katherine Stewart, Warrnambool
'Better off without jumps racing'
Re your story 'Criticism of May Racing Carnival laughable (April 29), says South West Coast MP, Roma Britnell', respectfully, I would like to question the claims made by Roma Britnell that ".. over the past nine years an average of 5 horses have died across Victoria and South Australia." Records we accessed showed that over the past 9 years (2009-2018) 65 horses have died in jumps racing across Victoria and South Australia, with an average of 7 horses dying per year. And this is likely to be an underestimation, since deaths due to jumps racing that do not occur on race day are often not counted. Of course nobody wants to see horses die or be injured (in jumps races), but Melbourne University research found a horse in a jumps race is almost 19 times more likely to be seriously injured or to die than a horse in a flat race. So if you care about your horse and don't want to expose it to a high risk of serious injury or death - why would you enter it into a jumps race? Indeed the industry has tried to improve safety, but the average number of deaths per jumps season (2009-2018) in Victoria alone is 5. It is not only the unacceptably high number of deaths in jumps races that is concerning, the impact on horses of injuries and collisions is also a problem. Besides the pain caused by (relatively frequent) injuries and collisions, some horse rescue organisations suggest horses who have been run in jumps races are harder to re home, due to the cumulative injuries they have suffered. Furthermore, at the end of a jumps race horse's career, we have no way of knowing what proportion of horses are re homed versus the proportion sent to slaughter. Victoria and South Australia are the only Australian states that still permit jumps racing, other states stopped it years ago due to both the danger it poses for horses and riders and a lack of community support. Families and their children don't want to see horses crashing through jumps and suffering serious injury or death and surely the horse racing industry's brand is better off without jumps racing.
Dr Rebekah Eyers, Animal Welfare Advocate, RSPCA South Australia
- Letters on election issues must bear the name and full address of the writer(s). Responsibility for election comment is accepted by Greg Best, editor of The Standard. Writers should disclose any alliance with political or community organisations and include their phone number for verification. Election candidates should declare themselves as such when submitting letters.