Our fire started when a rotten pole hit the ground on March 17, 2018, St Patricks Day. As the days and months rolled by we met with Powercor, Energy Safe Victoria and the state Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio. It felt like the only time they told the truth was when you asked them their names. For a government to treat Victorian citizens in such a way is heart breaking. Country people have built communities, raised families and their ancestors have fought in every major conflict Australia has been involved in over the last 100 years. Uncle Kevin was a prisoner of war in the Second World War, he would be inconsolable knowing the people he was trying to protect would get treated so badly by a government we helped elect. When electricity came to The Sisters over 60 years ago, dad would shear sheep during the day as mum and my oldest brother would do the milking so they could pay for the electricity. It's time now for Powercor to pay their way. When Jeff Kennett dismantled the State Electricity Commission in the mid 1990s and introduced us to Powercor and the other companies, he set it up in favour of the power companies and left the victims to row without oars.
Jack Kenna, The Sisters
The debate rages
Debate on issues is important but on the reality of climate change the train has left the station for most. Opinion polls accept the important work of almost all scientists who advise of the climate crisis and measures to combat it . Michael Cane with many current and former politicians and some media commentators are in denial. The Tony ''it's crap'' Abbott sort. Increasingly media reports are having an influence. Graphic footage of polar ice caps and glaciers reducing and melting and its impact on wildlife concern many. Out of season bushfires are now commonplace and severe and longer droughts a huge challenge for our farmers. Weather monitoring of the first 19 years of this century show warmer temperatures. Some Pacific island nations face rising sea level disasters. Of course there are conspiracy theorists who say these and other events did not or are not happening and its a carefully crafted conspiracy. Like the moon landings didn't happen and was a NASA Hollywood studio production. The reduction of CO2 emissions is critical and that's accelerating the move to renewables over fossil fuels. Mr Cane should know that governments have always subsidised energy production through tax breaks etc. Wind and solar for example will come at a dollar cost but not with a polluting impact on our fragile environment and ecosystems. Finally his claim that renewables will lead us into poverty is unsubstantiated nonsense.
Tony Delaney, Warrnambool
Avoid public stoush
Rather than having a public stoush over a private meeting that didn't go according to 'custom', why not just skip that meeting altogether. All it does is provide another opportunity for things to go wrong. Do your number crunching privately beforehand by all means, but one official election with a final result is surely better than public airing of issues with a meeting which has no official recognition. It would be a more collegiate approach if everyone invited their families to support all councillors in the official act of the public mayoral election. Perhaps all councillors could read and commit to some good advice for working together: https://www.tripbuildermedia.com/2017/05/committees-top-five-principles-committee-effectiveness/ Especially all councillors should attend meetings with open minds and an intention to find a solution together rather than just preconceived ideas of how to progress.
Glenda Fry, Warrnambool
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