Why is MP so negative?
I write in response to last week's letter to the editor by the local member Roma Britnell, in which she criticises the work I did with Tower Hill during my time in Parliament. Why Ms Britnell felt the need to respond negatively to the Friends of Tower Hill (who publicly thanked me for my advocacy) escapes me. Our electorate would be much better served by Ms Britnell if she spent her time achieving, rather than complaining about everything - schools, roads, agriculture, hospitals - and constantly making negative comments. Is this why the government is ignoring her? While I am no longer elected I do continue to advocate strongly for our region and organise meetings with Ministers and Government Departments for local organisations. I can't wait to see the elected member have positive impact for our region.
James Purcell, Port Fairy
Job well done
I write to thank the organisers of the Replenish Our Planet Living Festival last Saturday in Koroit. Despite a chilly wind it was a great day. There were numerous information stalls and sessions with many directed to the rural sector; great coffee, good food and music, handcraft and plant stalls. Also there were several displays indicating community distaste for the gas industry. A joint stall by Protect the West and Farmers for Climate Action displayed art competition pieces. In recent months local school art teachers were contacted to inform them of the competition looking for student art creations relevant to the topic of climate change and sustainability with substantial cash prizes offered. There were some very clever creations, each with a short description of the development of the piece and it's inspiration. Greta Thunberg is not alone in her concern for the future. Once again, thanks to the organisers, it was a great community gathering.
Andy Pettingill, Gorae West
'Ratepayers lose again'
Australia's most liveable city which now can't keep its lawns mowed or get its public bins emptied is due to the management of our council. What did Warrnambool City Council CEO expect was going to happen in refusing a meeting with the union rep? This situation has now been going on for weeks and it looks like we are not going to see a resolution anytime soon. The longer this goes on the more contractors need to be hired to fill these roles the workers aren't doing. The losers again are the ratepayers of Warrnambool who must again foot the bill for these contractors. We really need a change in leadership.
Benjamin Blain, Warrnambool
Indigenous 'need voice in parliament'
Aboriginal Minister Ken Wyatt and his recently appointed flock of 20 should be promoting how best to give Aborigines a voice inside parliament instead of outside it. Australian democracy is premised on the makeup of parliaments reflecting the people they govern. Yet out of 226 federal politicians only four are Aboriginal. Despite their honourable efforts, they are compromised by loyalty to the parties they belong to and cannot freely advocate for Aboriginal interests. One seat out of 12 elected from each state could be set aside for Aboriginal voters to elect one of their own to give six Aboriginal Senators out of 76. New Zealand has seven Maori seats, Columbia three indigenous seats and Maine in the US has two Indian seats. Australia does not need a referendum because the federal parliament can legislate at any time for designated indigenous seats.
Geoff Clark, Framlingham
Study coast's history
Thursday's climate change parliamentary inquiry will be the first of many meetings as the sea begins its march inland. How do we stop the inevitable erosion of our beachfront mansions and rubbish tips? I suggest before you spend good taxpayers' money I would contact the Yorkshire times in England. We can draw parallels to their soft chalk clay cliffs where the sea undermines the cliffs and like our dunes. only held on the top with marram grass. Plop goes another wedge of shore into the sea sometimes with a house. For the last 40 years Yorkshire coast line has tried everything, till now they are not issuing permits to build within 21 kilometres of the shore line. Looking back at Warrnambool history, the crayfish reefs on the old maps went to the railway station and there was a salt water bath behind the RSL, a windmill pumped salt water up the hill from the sea directely below. Where the Warrnambool yacht club is there was 30 feet of water there, it's all in the old maritime maps. Then we have the sand trap harbour; could Warrnambool please return the sand accumulated there belonging to Port Fairy. The yacht club in Port Fairy there were four low sand dunes before you got to the beach. Marram grass was bought in to control the low shifting dunes in the 1880, since then the grass has accumulated the sand in high dunes that nature intended to maintain the beaches all the way along the coast. So before you make it any worse then it is, perhaps you better read up on history and talk to the locals.
Robert Rowley, Illowa
Anger at 'closed attitudes'
My partner and I have been dwelling over the incident of racial abuse as reported (The Standard, November 11) and considering how to respond. Unlike Gunditjmara elder Charmaine Clarke, we did feel anger that one of us has to experience prejudice. We imagine that Charmaine has had to deal with such closed attitudes her whole life so is well practised.Thus my only response can be to show understanding to people of all backgrounds and tolerance of those who are limited by their own lack of respect. We will continue to hold our indigenous communities in awe for their tolerance and understanding. This incident highlights the urgent need for truth telling, treaty and an indigenous voice enshrined in our constitution.
Peter Mills and Julie Billett, Warrnambool
Rule line through horse training at reserve
Recent comments by Roma Britnell, MP, (16.11.2019), to 'revitalise Tower Hill', are to be commended but there's also an element of hypocrisy. Belfast Coastal Reserve is of equal environmental and cultural significance. Both Ms Britnell and Mr Purcell, along with numerous local councillors, government departments and state ministers are content for control of important areas of BCR to be sacrificed to the racing Industry. We wouldn't dream of allowing such activity in Tower Hill. It appears that it's hard to be impartial when you have vested interests. The BCR Coastal Management Plan should protect the future of the BCR and its significant natural and cultural values, as with Tower Hill. It should not provide a land grab for an industry rife with scandal, wealthy enough to stand on its own feet. More funding and resources to better manage the area would be welcome for both Tower Hill and the BCR. Trainee Aboriginal ranger positions would also provide meaningful opportunities for our community. It's time for the powers that be to distance themselves from this grubby, four-year saga and rule a line through any proposal to allow commercial racehorse training in BCR.
Bill Yates, Killarney
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 at standard.net.au/comment/your-say/ and in print