Cut back vegetation
I walk with a group of ladies along Pertobe Road and the foreshore walkway down to the Lady Bay, and for weeks have noticed the dry material that has built up over many years.
Some vegetation has been cut back and left where a footpath has been laid in recent months concerns me greatly. It is only a matter of time lightning will strike or someone is careless with a match or cigarette.
I know this is crown land and provisions to protect native vegetation is important, but do we need a tragedy to happen before some action is taken to remove some of the fire hazard material and make some effort in cleaning up this area.
No one in their right mind would allow all this rubbish to be accumulated around private property, and one has to ask why the council has allowed this dangerous situation to get to this stage. Imagine a fire happening in the middle of the night with campers holidaying at our foreshore and trying to escape the area. Immediate action should be taken "now" not in the months to come.
Margaret Lang, Warrnambool
Highway duplication needed
In the late 1960s frontage to the Princes Highway between Warrnambool and Allansford was purchased and the dual highway established. Great move forward!
Throughout the 1970s land was again compulsorily acquired from Allansford to Panmure for what landholders were told was the eventual continuation of the dual highway with the first stage being one lane in each direction. This new route enabled the elimination of two railway crossings and many hazardous bends. Another excellent move!
However, over forty years later, the plan has only been half delivered. The second two lanes have not been constructed. Very recently I viewed plans to widen the existing highway to facilitate the installation of a wire rope barrier up the centre white line, another barrier on each verge and an overtaking lane west of the Panmure rail overpass.
Apart from the overtaking lane still one lane each way. Given that land surveyed and paid for in the 1970s lays idle, this six kilometre stretch of contamination will do nothing toward dealing with traffic volumes of the future and is an absurd use of public funds. Bad move!
Abandoning the wise foresight of the planners of yesteryear and the landowners (most of who had farms dissected) who took a hit for the team in the name of progress for future generations, is a huge step backwards for our district.
Regional Roads Victoria and the TAC tell us that the said barriers save lives. Make no mistake, so do two lanes in each direction. Don't waste our money - build roads and bridges - not fences.
Mick Mahony, Allansford
No way to VLocity trains
Warrnambool doesn't need high speed VLocity trains. We need upgraded new trains more comfortable and to run on time.
Michael Ray, Warrnambool
Not the time
I'm mortified that while mega fires have devastated massive amounts of Victoria, Roma Britnell claims the state government is city-centric. The state government has been aiding rural and regional firegrounds as priority over finishing a few metres of local road.
Now is not the time for divisive political cheap shots. The Premier was invited to criticize the lax federal government and he graciously declined. If Roma Britnell wishes to play games, she can apply to Bridget McKenzie for funding.
Glenda McIntyre, Camperdown
Concern over verdict
In regards to the Will Pickett verdict that was reported on 14/1/2020 - I think the Office Of Public Prosecution (OPP) failed the community with finding Will guilty. The OPP indicated that Will did not act in self Defense, where the video evidence demonstrates he did act in self defense. A person can only make a decision in about a second, in the video Will had about a second to make a decision after turning around. For the OPP to say about a second is enough time to make a decision to defend or leave is wrong.
Michael Bell, Heywood
Fix our environment
When will our Coalition representatives obsessed with the economy come to a real understanding that a healthy economy goes hand in hand with a healthy environment?
Lose your environment and thereto goes your economy.
Russell Allardice, Port Fairy
Business case for VLocity trains underway
Like many people who live in rural and regional Victoria I share the aspirations of the Warrnambool community who rely on their train service every day - whether it's residents commuting to Geelong and Melbourne or visitors to our beautiful south-west coast.
That's why I was pleased to visit Warrnambool last week to announce local passengers are now a step closer to more frequent and reliable train services, with work starting today (Monday 20 January) on the first stage of the line's upgrade - which will provide more reliable, safer services along the line.
Most importantly, these works will deliver a fifth daily return service to Warrnambool every weekday, making the return journey to Melbourne or Geelong in a day much more realistic.
Just three years ago we added the fourth daily return service. The Andrews Labor Government knew the Warrnambool community wanted more services and that's why these works are so important.
The upgrade will deliver a new 2.2km crossing loop at Boorcan, which will increase the reliability of passenger trains, as well as supporting the south-west's thriving agriculture sector by allowing freight to be moved to the Port of Melbourne more efficiently.
As part of the works, a further 12 level crossings up be upgraded along the line, on top of the 22 we've already upgraded - making the Warrnambool line safer for train passengers, motorists and pedestrians. This work begins today.
With work now kicking off, we're completing a business case for Stage Two of the upgrade - scoping out what else needs to be done to ensure VLocity trains can run at speed along the line in the future.
I understand how much Warrnambool passengers want the comfort and speed of VLocity trains - and we'll keep working and investing to make that a reality. These upgrades take us a step closer, with all our level crossing upgrades to date now suitable for the faster, lighter trains to run safely along road crossings.
After years of under-investment, the track is in worse shape than we originally thought and will need significant work to increase speeds from their current maximum of 115kph. That's why with work on Stage 1 underway, we'll get on with the business case for stage 2.
In the meantime, with works starting this week, the extra daily return service between Warrnambool and Melbourne will be delivered bringing a big boost to train services for the region.
Jacinta Allan MP, Minister for Transport Infrastructure
When I went public with documents leaked to the Liberal Nationals in March 2019 showed the government has abandoned plans to run V/Locity trains on the Warrnambool line - Minister Jacinta Allen rubbished what I was saying and said a Labor Government would run modern V/Locity trains to and from Warrnambool (The Standard, March 7, 2019).
But on Saturday, she finally told the truth and said there are no immediate plans to run new and more reliable trains on the Warrnambool line.
Since this upgrade to the Warrnambool line was announced in 2017, during the Premiers only visit to Warrnambool since becoming Premier, Labor has continually said modern V/Locity carriages would run on the line. We now know that it has been a lie.
The Federal Liberal Government has recognised the importance of high quality passenger and freight rail infrastructure to help make our regions more accessible. In fact 91 percent of the total cost of the Warrnambool line upgrade is being funded by the Federal Liberal Government.
It was the Napthine State Liberal Government that invested $10 million in a new passing loop that allowed for a fourth daily passenger service - replacing the one ripped out by the Bracks/Brumby Labor Government.
The State Labor Government now need to come to the party and do their job and upgrade the trains to run on the upgraded line - otherwise only half the job will be done. Rolling stock on the Warrnambool line is over 30 year old and is plagued by continual breakdowns which severely impact the line's punctuality and reliability.
Warrnambool line passengers will see no improvements to punctuality or reliability while we continue to run trains that are more than 30 years old and are being continually replaced at short notice by busses at no doubt a huge cost to the taxpayer.
The Andrews Labor Government has misled Warrnambool and the south-west since this project was announced - over promising, under delivering and lying about it the whole time.
Daniel Andrews needs to remember he is the Premier of all of Victoria and needs to start governing for the whole state.
Roma Britnell MP Member for South West Coast
Fuel loads exaggerated
The Cane theories against the reality of climate change continue in this newspaper. Anthony Canes statement (The Standard 18/1/20) that in relation to bushfires blaming the climate change myth is wicked ignores the fire chiefs and their firefighters as experts on the ground. Scott Morrisons refusal to meet them last April has politically damaged him.
Words used like myth and wicked indicate desperation and an absence of evidence based argument . While fuel loads are recognised as playing a part, they have been exaggerated by some as causal factors. Along with arson they have been seized upon to deny any role of climate change in bushfires while scapegoating environmentalists with assertions of green madness .
His contribution almost matches Michael Cane and his climate change denial and therefore renewables not needed construct . He inferred the Alfred Hospital linked renewable sources of energy to expensive heating causing poverty and hypothermia deaths amongst the elderly. The public affairs department of the Alfred rejected any such link or inference in their study. While it does reference energy costs as a contentious issue there is no speculation as to why or any mention at all of any energy sources including renewables. An alarming attempt to implicate a reputable institution on serious issues.
Tony Delaney, Warrnambool
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