Who wants better roads?
Last week your newspaper called on the community to stand together and demand action to fix our crumbling roads. In the nearly four years since I was elected as Member for South West Coast, I have been taking the message of this region to Spring Street, using every opportunity I have to raise the condition of our roads. But I need the communities' support. This week I have launched a petition calling on the government to provide greater funding to help bring south-west roads back to a safe standard. This is a fight for our whole community, every single one of us use our roads in some way, be it children travelling to school on the bus, getting to or from work or in the case of the transport industry - using them for work. We have seen before what can be achieved when we stand together. We were told we would never have an Air Ambulance Helicopter based in the region but the community; a petition attracted 28,000 signatures, the second biggest the Victorian Parliament had ever received. That chopper has now been here for 10 years and looked after more than 2000 people in their time of need. Our community was told it would never have a cancer centre, but again we rallied and now we have a wonderful facility that is helping keep people close to home, their families and friends as they have treatment for cancer. Over the coming weeks I will be out-and-about, across the region, collecting signatures and I ask for your support to help me send a strong message. The parliament will only accept hard copy petitions - electronic petitions are not accepted - so I need people to help me collect as many signatures as possible. If you can help, I would love to hear from you. This is our opportunity to send a strong message to the Labor Government that enough is enough; we will not stand-by any longer as our roads fall apart and while billions of dollars are pumped into projects in the city. Stand with me, together I know we can achieve great things for our region.
Roma Britnell MP Member for South West Coast
Road argument holes
There are more and deeper holes in MP Roma Britnell's more-money-for-roads mantra than there are in the roads themselves. No amount of public funds can now, or will ever, pay for a road network flogged by freight. Ms Britnell's short-sighted, party-politcial, knee jerk blames an equally short-sighted, ALP, city-centric government, while her federal counterparts sit on a proposal to get the freight industry to pay more to fix the damage their vehicles cause to roads and communities which host big freight, 24-hours a day. The proposal has been on the table for 10 years, valuable time wasted to modernise the movement of commodities with revitalised rail. Ms Britnell is asking her constituents to sign a blank cheque, backed by their taxes, so federal and state governments can slip it into the pockets of big business.
Frances Thompson, Nelson
Hands off Moyne
In response to a suggestion (letters June 30) to merge councils and one disfunctional council is better than two. Sorry, Moyne is not disfunctional and financially extremely healthy. And yet Warrnambool is in serious trouble financially, according to the Essential Services Commission. Let's sort Warrnambool City Council out, and not go down a path of "robbing Peter to pay Paul".
Charles Cowell, Wangoom
Justin Howard's letter I assume refers to merging Warrnambool with Moyne Shire and looking at the map of the shire boundaries. I fully understand the rationale although I cannot comment on the 'dysfunctional' dimension. We are moving to the Moyne Shire in a few months after visiting the area for about 25 years for work and pleasure. It looks like a well run region and we look forward to the move. If you want to see dysfunctional council arrangements have a look at Tasmania. Launceston (about 2-3 times the size of Warrnambool) used to have 6 separate councils and is now down to 3 although the bulk is covered by the city council. It seems to me that Warrnambool is doing a pretty good job at being a regional centre with a healthy CBD, hospital, university and TAFE campuses, sporting facilities etc. Moyne seems comfortable with its collection of villages and towns and rural property. Port Fairy is a national gem and I think that owes a lot to local administration. It seems to us that there is a healthy symbiosis between the two areas with some creative rivalry. The last time I went to the Port Fairy 'Folkie' I listened to Canadian Harry Manx play with backing by a Warrnabool string quartet and the product was blissful. That's what I mean by healthy symbiosis.
Mike Seward, Launceston
Drug rehab centre needed
After a positive start with community support and donations for The Lookout rehabilitation centre, I felt hopeful Warrnambool would finally have access to this desperately-needed resource. However, the recent coverage by The Standard of opposition to The Lookout has filled me with disgust. How short-sighted and close-minded must you be to vigorously oppose much-needed healthcare? The Dennington residents featured talk about drug addiction as if it is some abstract issue, with drug users the bogeymen who will flock to the town in droves, creating mayhem once the centre is open. I have news for them: addiction is already a problem for Warrnambool and surrounds. Those with addiction issues are not the unknown to be feared, they are our family and friends, co-workers and neighbours. Drug addiction is here, and what we lack are the tools for treating it as the medical problem it is. If, heaven forbid, one of your children struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, could you look them in the eye and tell them there was no treatment for them in their home town because of your actions?
Siobhan Simper, Warrnambool
It is glaringly obvious that Powercor needs to improve its infrastructure and safety. The Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission gave the distribution companies a "get out of jail card" to smarten up their ageing infrastructure after Black Saturday. This has not happened. Pole 4 collapsed on my property and caused widespread devastation to my community. We are on our knees praying that they use everything at their disposal to bring their infrastructure up to the highest standards possible. Country people need to have a voice on the Board of ESV as our situation is a world away from sitting up in some office in Melbourne. City people can't understand our losses, our dreams or what our future might look like after the absolute horror of a fire that should not have happened. We want to live. We want safety in our community. Why are we still needing these conversations as we approach 2020? The price of doing something. It's been suggested by people in the energy industry that some of the recommendations were going to cost too much to implement. All I can say is, have you ever spoken to anyone about the cost of losing a loved one in a bushfire? Why was our line, the Sparrow Spur line left in such a rotten dangerous state? Pole 4 was not fit for purpose.
Jack Kenna, The Sisters
I agree with Kim Morton (29/6/19), what poor planning to place a tourist destination in the middle of the Gellibrand River wetlands that frequently floods. There are plenty of other sites outside the wetlands that would be more suited to such a large development and would not put our tourists at risk.
Lynda Avery, Peterborough
Get with program
I believe Israel Falou should keep his interpretation of the Bible's teaching to himself and refer to Matthew 22-35 and Mark 12-28. "Jesus said unto him 'thou shalt love the Lord thy God and with all his mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and all the prophets." Anyone with a mind with today's awareness would see that as loving your neighbour as yourself regardless of what your belief is. Or what he believes. Israel making his own interpretation of something in the Bible to continue the cruel put down of others that happened here many years ago. Just like all religious zealots and extremists do. I thought the referendum fixed that a couple of years ago. Time for him to get with the program.
Jack Patterson, Warrnambool
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