Dear valued subscriber,
The week started with yet another controversial Warrnambool City Council meeting. This time, councillors voted in favour of the mayor, chief executive officer and a senior officer travelling to Sweden for a study tour. The timing was terrible. Ratepayers for months have made it clear to councillors they need to be frugal after lifting rates by almost double the state government-regulated cap. Yet they signed a blank cheque by approving the trip and expense. Councillors have clearly underestimated ratepayers' frustrations. But again the way some ratepayers vented their frustrations at the meeting was out of line, prompting the council to reveal it has the power to hit unruly people in the public gallery with fines.
Warrnambool is not the only council under pressure. Corangamite Shire ratepayers are far from happy, check out the story below.
Friday was a significant day for survivors of clergy sex abuse. The Catholic Church admitted liability for the first time in a civil case brought by a south-west victim against the Ballarat Diocese. The church's decision will open the floodgates for more compensation claims but the church should not have delayed this case for month. This case and all those to come could also represent an opportunity; to make restitution for one of the darkest periods in the church's history in the south-west. Perhaps most of all it is a chance to recapture some of that compassion which was meant to be the hallmark of Christianity. And out of that, potentially, the whole community can find a way forward on its long road toward healing.
Roads were again back in the headlines. This week we revealed plans are almost ready to kick-start duplication of the Princes Highway between Dennington and Illowa. Sadly, there was a tragic death on another section of the Princes Highway yesterday.
There were plenty of feel-good stories this week, including this one in the lead up to yesterday's Warrnambool and District Football Netball League grand final. Check out our website for comprehensive coverage, including Kolora-Noorat's footy premiership and Merrivale's thrilling upset in the A grade netball decider.
We had a great response to our Leisurefest ticket giveaway last week. Congratulations to the following subscribers, who picked up double passes:
Peter Brown, Terrianne Stansfield, Diane Mugavin, Peter Harkin, Heather Saunders, Sue Bagg, Stephen Knight, Lauren Orero, Kristy Cram, Geoff Nuske, Krista Durham, Angela O'Sullivan, Amy Hayward, Liza McCosh, Michelle Cust, Adele Griffin, Shirley Sharp, Kate Roache, Julie Stapleton, Leanne Morton, Catherine Fitzgerald, Michael Wraight, Andy Macmillan, Michael McArlein, Julia Harrop, Barry Cook, Carolyn Howe, Bev King, Michael Stephens, Theresa Bouchier, Gary Taylor, David Hounslow, Wayne Hopkins, Sheree Hammersley, Marion Truman, Leanne Walsh, Michael O'Reilly, Bradley Porter, Maureen Murnane, JohnThomas, Matt Conheady, Lorraine Bartlett, Heath Murphy, Garry Perrett, Sandra Mugavin, Helene Westwood, Jennifer Hall, Eileen Matthews, Theo Hnarakis, Jim Murray.
Congratulations to the winners of double passes to see the new Angry Birds2 movie: Janaya McDonald, Sue Sheehan, Adele Griffin, Lisa Austin, Tammy Denaro, Carolyn Judd, Narelle Hill, Helen Best (no relation), Jan Greaves, Beck Ryan.
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Here's some other stories that made headlines this week.
Until next week,