Fix food label laws
It's time to reclaim milk and make changes to food labeling laws so that only products that contain milk can be called milk. There are all kinds of products available purporting to be milk, but they do not actually contain anything that comes close to meeting the scientific definition of what milk is.
Milk does not come from almonds or cashews or pistachios; it does not come from soybeans or oats or rice. Milk comes from mammals. Labelling products as milk, when they do not contain milk, misleads consumers into believing these plant-based products have a nutritional equivalency with dairy when they often do not, containing high levels of added sugar and salts.
If someone wants to order an almond latte at their local café - that is fine, there is no problem with you making that choice, as is your right. But plant based alternatives should not be labelled as milk.
A ban on plant-based products using the "milk" label would bring Australia into line with other countries, including France and Canada, even the US Food and Drug Administration recognises that "an almond doesn't lactate".
I am not advocating for these products to be banned all together - people have the right to choose what they believe is right for them. What I am advocating for is for these alternative products to be labelled for what they actually are.
Roma Britnell, South West Coast MP
Declare climate emergency
Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned and that's exactly what's occurring here in Australia and elsewhere. Morrison in Australia, Trump in the USA and Bolsonaro in Brazil are all fiddling and being ineffectual leaders as the climate crisis deepens.
Drought-stricken Queensland and NSW and the Amazon are ablaze. As the Arctic is losing ice, fires are occurring in unexpected areas including Greenland.In the absence of national leadership, local group Climate Emergency Declaration South West (CEDSW) has formed. Members include students, farmers, senior people, academics, emergency service workers and others in the community.
The discussion has shifted from climate change to a climate emergency. Accordingly, we're running with the majority and not wasting our energy on climate change deniers. We're calling on local councils and shires to declare a climate emergency, creating a policy platform to advocate upwards to state and federal governments for support. Locally students are mobilising with others to run a global climate strike event on Friday September 20. Farmers in this region are hosting climate change mitigation projects.
And CEDSW have set up a change.org petition to gather signatures to support Councillors putting up motions to declare a climate emergency.
So Prime Minister, fudge, fiddle and prevaricate if you must but be aware that community action around Australia is about to burst your Canberra Bubble. See you on Warrnambool's Civic Green on Friday September 20 at 12.30pm. To find the petition link or follow us, search our group name on Facebook.
Geoff Rollinson, Purnim
Where did the ducks go?
I have many cherished memories of exploring Lake Pertobe with excited grandchildren some years ago. Watching the waterbirds, especially the ducks, swimming, waddling, dabbling, diving and dodging the boats and curious kids, and enjoying an idyllic existence.
But where are they now? No callous bloodthirsty duck hunters are allowed here, thankfully! And yet walking through or driving past this lovely area I see instead of my waddling friends - clusters of black invading the lawns!
Water Fowl or "Coots" have taken over! A friend who lives near an inland lake informs me she has witnessed Coots killing baby ducklings! So are these black hordes responsible for the demise of many of our ducks?
If this is the case is there any way these numbers of black critters can be reduced? No doubt they are a protected species, unlike our poor innocent ducks when the slaughter season begins again next year.
I live in the hope that duck shooting will soon be banned - but what's to be done about this ominous 'black invasion'?
Barbara Hill, Warrnambool.
Council, get back on track
Councils must get back on the road to their core duties. Councils should not be putting up rates unless they can show what they have actually done for Warrnambool, not the CBD that they are supposedly looking after and should let ratepayers know the whole costs to Sweden. The road maintenance backlog is an absolute disgrace, especially with council spending hundreds and thousands of our money on trips overseas instead of fixing our roads.
Why they need to go overseas is beyond me, have they never heard of Skype? Overseas trips should be very few, not as many as being undertaken now.
Kevin McCarthy, Warrnambool
Dementia Action Week
During Dementia Action Week, 16-22 September, Dementia Australia is challenging all Australians to think differently about dementia by asking 'Dementia doesn't discriminate. Do you?'. We are calling on our communities to consider how discrimination impacts people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia and their families and carers.
While the number of Australians living with dementia is close to half a million, there are an estimated 1.5 million involved in the care of people living with the disease. In the Federal electorate of Wannon there are an estimated 3,455 people living with dementia this year, which is expected to increase to 4,407 by 2058.Nobody chooses to have dementia.
We can however choose how we respond to the people in our lives and in our community who are living with dementia. We are asking readers to complete a short survey to help us to create an informed, national picture to better understand how discrimination for people living with dementia occurs, and what it would take to shift that discrimination. More information can be found at www.dementia.org.au/dementia-action-week.
Graeme Samuel, Maree McCabe, Chair CEO of Dementia Australia
Members of IPAN SW Regional Victoria recently attended the National Conference of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network in Darwin.
At this event a new report from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was presented. The 80 page 'CHOOSING HUMANITY' report explains why Australia must join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the pathway to do so
All Federal politicians and Shire Councils in Australia are being sent a copy of 'CHOOSING HUMANITY'. ICAN's initiative, won the Nobel Peace prize in 2017
Our group believes that cities and towns have a role to play in showing support for such an important treaty, particularly at a time when the possibility of nuclear war is back in the headlines. Since Warrnambool and Glenelg are already part of the Mayors for Peace network, we ask that both councils endorse the ICAN Cities Appeal and support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, to encourage our leaders at the state and federal level to do the same.
We look forward to council joining the many other cities in Australia that are calling for a more safe and peaceful world.
Julie Hart, Heywood
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