Duck mystery solved
In response to Barbara Hill's letter (September 14), I can tell you where all the ducks have gone, and the coots are not responsible. Lake Pertobe had an avian botulism outbreak which started on Australia Day weekend in Jan 2019. I retrieved the majority of the 160 plus dead and dying ducks during this outbreak. For 8 weeks I witnessed mainly ducks, but also swans, moorhens, coots, seagulls, eels and pelicans as they lay paralysed and drowning. Those that were still alive l ferried to the vet to be euthanised. The duck population has not yet recovered.
Increases in water temperature, high nutrient levels and deoxygenated water are all factors that contribute to avian botulism. When these conditions occur concurrently avian botulism can result. However, there are simple steps that can be taken that may help to reduce these factors.
We cannot control water temperature but we do have some control over the nutrient levels and anoxic conditions. I met with senior council staff in relation to installing signage to educate people on the dangers of feeding ducks bread, not only for the ducks health but for the water quality (nutrient levels). I gained no comfort in their response that "signs would clutter the area". I also raised the issue of spraying glyphosate around the lakes edge as glyphosate feeds toxic algae (anoxic conditions). This was flatly dismissed. Other cities have signage warning about the dangers of feeding birdlife bread. Other cities now use steam to control weeds instead of using glyphosate.
Nothing has been done by council to reduce any risks of avian botulism occurring again. There are no signs informing people not to feed bread to ducks and council are still spraying glyphosate around the lake. WCC needs to follow the lead of other councils who have these practices in place.
Alexis Creed-Sycopoulis, Warrnambool
Get on with The Lookout
VCAT planning appeals and sittings result when two or more opponents disagree about planning permits in Victoria. In the current WRAD battle, many of the local residents at Dennington were aggrieved by the clumsy planning process initiated in April of 2018 by WRAD wherein, the plans for the development were flimsy and inadequate on many levels, not just security.
As it turned out Warrnambool City Council were also dissatisfied with the information provided to them. All parties, proponent and opponents were given their day in court, as is our law.
Considerable cost was expended by WRAD (from their funds), by Warrnambool City Council and by the residents of Dennington as each presented evidence to the umpire.
The umpire has voted. WRAD needs to get on with the business of providing a high class therapeutic unit that all parties can be satisfied with - no more money needs to be spent on fighting the decision
Kerry Ziegeler, Dennington
Break confessional seal
It never ceases to amaze me of the indifference and callousness of many priests within the Catholic system. Breaking the confessional seal is the least of their worries, what a load of holier than thou, evil rubbish. The perpetrators go to the confessional because they are absolved of their crime/sin. In others words, the Church by not divulging the perpetrators crime/sin they are allowing further crimes of the same nature.
It's a crime in itself to hide behind the confessional, and blab on about it being sacrosanct. There are sins and there are sins, some are not meant to be held within. The law of God is the Church's law, it's not a community, state, country law. It's a sad and questionable God that would agree that rape of children , time after time, after time, is unsolvable.
There is not a God, or a church that I would align myself with that allowed such blatant acts to go unchecked and still to this day, waffle on about confession, being the right law. Time to check into reality, the Church's law collapsed when the very first child was abused. You are a disgrace probably even in the eyes of your God.
Vicki Walter, Warrnambool
Don't allow abusers to re-offend
The company line promoted by Father Eric Bryant (The
Standard, September14) in not reporting child abuse information from the
confessional allows such abusers somewhere someday to reoffend. The fundamental
objective underpinning the Andrews government legislation is that all measures
to protect our young and eliminate this hideous crime must be taken.
means state law has precedence over church law or tradition where a tension
arises. It is not the law of God that he conveniently claims to justify the unjustifiable
. Many practising Catholics including other priests dont support what Eric
Bryant and Peter Comensoli publicly espouse . Understandably these priests are
reluctant to speak out in a rigidly undemocratic institution tightly controlled
by an all male and conservative hierarchy .
Tony Delaney, Warrnambool
Doing nothing the biggest mistake
Do not think the simplistic statements made by
Roma, Dan, and Bev concerning students protesting on their lunch hour
represents the complex, competing interests each politician is juggling in this
time of climate crisis. (The Standard, September 18)
Put yourself in their shoes having to respond to party dogma, vested interests in fossil fuels and related jobs and donations, personal attitudes that may or may not be aligned with clear, scientific evidence, and the need for re-election. This has resulted in decades of failure to adapt to our climate crisis.
Evolution is a process of survival of the fittest. It occurs in nature and in social organisations. We must learn from failures so we can fit into or adapt to the ever-changing landscape.
The successful organisation (civilisation in this case) is one that adapts more quickly to changing circumstances. For example, new research suggests that green growth climate mitigation policies are not sufficient for reaching the ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to well below 2°C by the end of the century.
So weak policies toward Paris targets are already recipes for failure. We must be more courageous, nimble, and ambitious. Nature has no competing complexities. Her ancient and successful decree is Adapt or become Extinct. As we adapt, we will have to make many small mistakes and learn from them rather than cover them up or deny them. As the school kids are saying, doing nothing is the biggest mistake of all.
Don Swanson, Warrnambool
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.