Dear valued subscriber,
Dan Andrews has repeatedly said his Labor government would "govern for all Victorians".
But when it comes to roads in the south-west, he and his government have failed.
Our roads continue to crumble and fall apart. Funds to maintain our roads barely fill the potholes. One is filled in, another opens up down the road. It's like a game of whack-a-mole. But sadly the government doesn't know how to play.
The federal government in May announced $60 million for the Princes Highway between Warrnambool and Port Fairy and encouraged Mr Andrews to add extra.
The state's response has been underwhelming. It wanted to wait for the federal government's Princes Highway strategy to be finalised before considering opening the purse strings.
The strategy was released last Friday, albeit not in full. Who knows what devil is in the detail? Regardless, it highlighted areas west of Colac needing upgrades.
We again asked the state government if it would top up the $60 million from Canberra. Again it failed to give a yes or no answer.
We requested an interview with Roads Minister Jaala Pulford, a member for Western Region, who covers the south-west. We were told our questions did not fall under her portfolio. We requested an interview with Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, whose portfolio covers the issue. The request was denied. Why?
Politicians are elected to represent voters, this government espouses to govern for all Victorians. Yet it can't answer basic questions. It won't.
The government is not listening to south-west residents. It is hoping the issue will go away or we will tire of asking. It won't. We won't. South West Coast MP Roma Britnell's petition calling for road upgrades has more than 8000 signatures. 80-plus year-old grandmothers have walked blocks just to find a petition and sign it.
Ms Britnell intends tabling it in parliament soon. Surely the pages and pages and pages of names will have an impact on the government.
Dan, we're part of Victoria too.
It's been a big week for development stories as Warrnambool continues to grow. A second big apartment-style development is on the drawing board for the city's north, the former Criterion Hotel site which has been unused for almost a decade is about to rise from the ashes and residential land sales are booming. The city is expanding. The key though is to maintain our city's liveability. The increase in houses usually means more vehicles on the roads in those neighbourhoods so the city council will face challenges as it manages the growing pains.
Footy never seems to be out of the headlines even though it is almost summer. It's sad East Warrnambool, with a century of tradition, is in recess. But the club is determined to fight back, something former players support. It's also disappointing that interleague footy might not return in 2020 with AFL Victoria reviewing the concept's future. It says an overwhelming majority of clubs across the state don't want interleague clashes. If the community championships cease, it will be a backward step for proud competitions like the Hampden league, which has a rich interleague history. The concept provides a stage for the region's talent to shine, it creates lasting friendships among club rivals and it brings added exposure, potentially growing the game.
Are you a cat lover? For your chance to win one of five family passes (admit 4, valued at $90) to the Cat Lovers Show at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton on November 30 and December 1, enter here. The show is the purrrfect day out with loads of entertainment including demonstrations from cat trainer extraordinaire, Catmantoo, and educational talks by some of Australia's most renowned animal experts, including Dr Chris Brown, Dr Katrina Warren, Bondi Vet's Dr Danni Dusek.
The winners of last week's giveaway - tickets to the Spirit of The Rolling Stones - were: Trevor White, Lynette Skilbeck, Marg Watson, Theresa Bouchiet and Jamie Nicolson.
Here's a selection of other stories that made headlines this week.
Until next week