No to rates rise
On the day our interest rates were lowered due to low growth, our council received the go ahead to lift our rates by a higher amount than normal. We, the ratepayers, did not want this. We are struggling. As they keep beautifying our city, have they asked the businesses if they have financially got back on their feet from doing Liebig Street. The answer is no. People aren't coming back to the city. People got used to not using the main streets when they were a mess and they cannot use the parking meters. We do not need more streets closed to be beautified, we don't need rate rises, we need a council that listens to what is important. I hope they won't wonder why they don't get voted in again.
Tracey Mckenzie, Allansford
Make it marginal
So the south-west has missed out on road funding again. Frankly, despite all the finger pointing, the voters in Wannon are principally to blame. Whether you like it or not, government funding in Australia is closely tied to how marginal a particular seat is. We used to call it pork-barrelling. Both sides of politics engage in pork-barrelling, and the latest election was no different. But Wannon voters continue to slavishly stick to one side. Until the voters of Wannon come to grips with the power of their vote, and make this seat ultra-marginal, both state, and federal, we will continue to miss out on essential funding, with all the negative consequences.
Eric van der Wal, Warrnambool
While I support repairs to the breakwater and to the boat ramp, I am alarmed by the abandonment of the sand study that James Purcell mentioned in The Standard. To enclose the harbour or build a spur on the existing breakwater without a very careful survey by people who are experts in coastal geomorphology in a time of rapidly rising sea levels seems foolhardy and risks irreversible damage to the coastline and potentially to our city's economy. There are many Australian cases of coastal alterations which were thought to be a good idea at the time but ended in disaster. Portland Harbour is an example. The proposal to build it was researched comprehensively using radio-active trace elements to explore the effects of changing currents on the nearby coast. But wasn't extensive enough and the loss of beaches, land, houses and roads that occurred on Dutton Way and Allestree Beach devastated the individuals living in those communities. To reduce the wave activity in Warrnambool harbour many years ago, the viaduct connecting the breakwater to the mainland was boarded up resulting in significant silting of the harbour. This, combined with the effects of building the breakwater in the first place, brought about a huge change in sand movement in Lady Bay. I strongly urge the council to ensure that an expert scientific survey is conducted before making any changes to the harbour and thereby avoid a possible threat to the environmental and economic future of our beautiful city.
Denis Shackell, Warrnambool
Help keep factory
Only a couple of weeks into the new federal government and already Dan Tehan is proving his worth to the people of Warrnambool and Wannon. Being caught by surprise that one of the major employers in his electorate, the Dennington dairy factory, will close is reminiscent of Sgt Schultz from Hogan's Heroes catchphrase "I know nothing". Mr Tehan has said that government market intervention should be minimal. So, unlike when PM John Howard bailed out his brother's company, National Textiles, back in 2000 and when the Liberal state government bailed out SPC in Shepparton a few years ago, there will be no intervention this time. After all, there are no close relatives affected and Wannon is not a marginal seat. This allows Mr Tehan to go one better than Sgt Schultz. To his "I know nothing" Mr Tehan can add "I do nothing".
Peter Martina, Warrnambool
It is not too late to try and influence our politicians to change their minds and vote to repeal the legislation that makes euthanasia legal in Victoria on June,19. Peter McCallum Cancer Centre states as one of its values, 'our ultimate goal is to improve and save lives' and yet this wonderful hospital, where my own husband was successfully treated, along with the Alfred Hospital is advertising for 'voluntary assisted dying navigators'. We must protest to both of these institutions now that we know of their involvement in the Euthanasia program. We must shame both administrations for abandoning the ethical principles, which have inspired and directed western medicine since the ancient time of Hippocrates. I would like to know who approved this disgraceful decision? Was there any public consultation before such a drastic change in The Alfred and Peter McCallum's ethics of 'care, not killing'? The tragedy that surrounds suicide is shown frequently on television and still the Andrews Government is determined to help people take their own lives instead of tackling increased funding and advertising for hospice care for the dying. No matter what justifications are offered for the voluntary assisted dying legislation, it constitutes an unacceptable departure in our approach to human existence and the sanctity that should govern our understanding of what it means to be human.
Sheena M Clancey, Warrnambool
Flood of questions
Winter is here with all its fury as rain pelts down, winds howl and sea breaks over the breakwater, nature at its magnificent glory. Brrrrr. On the telly it shows the mid-western America flooded, even the builders of the new Ark are suing for water damages, just like the top end of QLD was recently. While the religion of climate change and those in denial are locked in mortal battle, politicians play their little games. I think people need to be reminded at times this is earth and in the last 100 years in Australia we have been blessed with moderate climate. Science says in 1500 we had 25 years drought, oh dear OMG, the shipwreck coast got its name back then as the seas were humongous, not like today. The 1946 floods; did you know they tied the fishing boats up to the Norfolk Island pines in front of the old police station in Port Fairy and in 1967 when I came here, there was a water mark half up The Stump wall as James Street had been flooded. While the old Port Fairy dune tip washes into the sea, as the fairies dance a merry jig, with forecasts of sea level rises of up to nine metres (remember the sea went all the way to Hamilton once, how many farmers have found sea shells when fencing, I have at Bessiebelle). Are climate change people right; all I can say to this argument, we have chucked a hell of a lot of fossil fuel on the fire in the last 250 years. I'd love to see the knitting nanas getting busy and knit some neck warmers for those poor power poles. We can put them up the power poles to indicate what the height the big flood (not Noah's flood) got to and one more for luck, what nine-metre sea rise looks like. Don't blame council for building where you are folks, your choice, if you have not bothered to see their flood predictions. You can rest and be sure the insurance companies have. Let's make Port Fairy power poles the prettiest in the nation, the warmest and the most talked about tourist climate drawcard idea worldwide. Did you realise the Murray at Wentworth is only nine metres above sea level so what is the new sea level to be at Wentworth? I heard when Shane and me did the blessing of the rivers in February, locals then were reminiscing over how high previous floods in the Murray Darling system had been, "floods for thought".
Robert Rowley, Illowa
- Please note: The Standard prefers letters to be less than 250 words. Preference is given to shorter contributions. Letters must include the author's name, address and contact phone number for verification purposes. Letters are published online and in print.