Surely one dis/functional council is better than two. For the greater good of the region let's make it happen.
Justin Howard, Warrnambool
Good coastal planning
The 'Not so Great Ocean Road' editorial (The Standard, June 22) is a very timely reminder of the need for good planning that 'is not at the cost of the environment ....as that is what tourists are coming to see'. Good coastal planning is guided by plans and strategies developed after consultation with the community. The Shipwreck Coast Master Plan was developed after several years of community input. The vision for Princetown includes low key adventure and recreation opportunities and some upgrades to the existing camp ground to include glamping and cabins. The proposed resort planned for Princetown is totally inconsistent with this vision and is an example of an appalling planning decision that will irreversibly impact on the landscape and natural values of the area. There is nothing 'eco' about the large resort with a 300 seat restaurant, accommodation, function rooms and swimming pool on the floodplain of the Gellibrand River estuary and nationally recognised wetlands. Waste cannot be treated on site and will need to be trucked down the Great Ocean Road to be disposed of in another town's facility - this is not an 'eco' resort and this is not good planning. It is these poor decisions and incremental changes that will eventually destroy the very thing we and visitors love about our coast.
Kim Morton, Princetown Wetlands and Estuary Preservation Inc
I refer to the article in The Age, "Bushfire plan face fresh cost blowout", "Victorians to wear cost of $109 million powerline safety blow out" and The Standard's previous stories. While we focus on the cash blow out of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL), is it now timely, and even overdue to question the efficacy of this technology? While proven for increased reliability overseas, it is an entirely unproven technology for safety. And that is what recommendation 27-34 of the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission were aimed at, safety of rural Victorians and saving lives. To prevent ageing and failing electrical infrastructure from causing deadly and devastating fires. As a victim of the St Patrick's Day fires, where all fires involved electrical infrastructure, I find myself asking would REFCL have stopped our fires? Simply, the answer is no. Nor would REFCL have prevented any of the fires started from electrical infrastructure on Black Saturday. REFCL only works on multi phase powerlines (not SWER) and only in very specific instances of 'wire to ground' and limited vegetation faults. 80% of deaths in bushfires in Victoria's recent history are attributable to fires started by electrical infrastructure. They are deadly and devastating. What price do we place on human life? Or livelihoods and communities? Why have we chosen the last line of electrical defence? Where are the evidence based and peer reviewed studies? The Grimes report (2018) identifies cost outweighs benefits. Perceived benefits are untested and unproven, and may be far less than originally thought. Why is the government and ESV continuing to back away from proper implementation of recommendation 27? REFCL has ongoing costly implementation issues, it can only be supplied by one Swedish company (whose profits have skyrocketed) and yet it would not have prevented any of the deadly fires in Victoria's recent history. So not only is the cost blowing out, we may well be spending money on technology which will not deliver true bushfire mitigation. REFCL does little to reassure me that I won't be burnt out again when Powercor's ageing network fails next.
Jill Porter, The Sisters