A brilliant performance
I'd like to congratulate the Holiday Actors on their recent production of Mamma Mia. I attended the Saturday matinee enjoyed watching the sheer brilliance of so many fine local performers. I would also like to commend the hundreds of volunteers who were supportive behind the scenes. Without their contribution these high quality performances would not be possible.
The entire production was absolutely top-notch. Mamma Mia entertained thousands during our very busy summer period - not only local enthusiast but visitors too. This is one of the reasons why Warrnambool is the most liveable city in Australia.
I have been privileged to live opposite Toad Hall where the cast and crew rehearsed in the months leading up to the premiere. Their dedication, hard work, commitment and talent certainly paid off.
The bar has been set very high, but I have no doubt when the Holiday Actors combine with the Warrnambool Theatre Company in their next production, Cats, it will again be amazing. I'm look forward to attending.
Tony Herbert, Warrnambool
Fire forum a 'distraction'
Rather than listen to expert advice over twelve months ago warning that the prolonged drought and higher than average temperatures had the potential to cause a catastrophic fire season, this government seems capable of doing everything to distract away from its own policy failures.
The Liberal Party-organised community meeting in Terang was based on the Scottyfrommarketing distraction, blaming lack of hazard reduction as the sole cause of the bushfires. Initially blaming Greenies, urban tree huggers and dole bludgers to take the heat off the PM, this distraction was undermined when forestry management across the country refuted this, blaming lack of opportunities to undertake burns in many drought-ravaged areas.
The real reason, according to the forestry experts, is the government ignored their warnings when we still had time to act. Yes, in retrospect it is easy to criticise but in this case the arrogance of the PM resulted in a lost opportunity to engage in informed dialogue with experts across the country.
The battle is clearly not finished. The government's response - informed dialogue and policy evaluation? - no, it has decided to engage in a blame game that will vilify anyone that stands in its way.
Rob Graham, Terang
I attended the Terang Bushfire Forum on Friday, January 24 organised by Beverley McArthur MP. Having been raised in country Victoria and now city-based, I was keen to hear from experts, such as former CSIRO scientist David Packham regarding bushfire prevention.
The forum facilitated a fair exchange of concepts regarding bushfires and fire prevention measures from a range of speakers. There was general agreement regarding the necessity of fuel reduction, and acknowledgement that a dryer climate is contributing to the intensity of bushfires. It is not accurate to say that there was a "collision" of views, or that the forum "toed the federal government's line" regarding hazard reduction burning, as reported in The Standard on January 25. The forum was particularly timely, very informative and hugely successful.
Fred Ackerman, Taylors Lakes
Learn from fires and act now
Councilor Trotter points out that due to State Government policies and regulations it has become too hard, and in some cases impossible, for local government to carry out fire control measures. If it is too hard for local government to carry out fire management just imagine the problems faced by private land owners!
The State Government has forced, through local councils, planning laws which make our property in Scotts Creek a death trap if a fire comes through. We have 60 acres of old growth forest in the middle of our dairy farm on which the planning authorities have slapped an environmental overlay in other words it cannot be touched (even though we have to pay full shire rates on this 60 acres). As a result, this 60 acres has a fuel load of at least 50 years on its forest floor, waiting to explode!
The St Patrick Day fires came within a couple of kilometers of our property, not to mention the Ash Wednesday fires which were also extremely close. In the Corangamite Shire there are hundreds of similar properties facing the same catastrophe. It is time that the powers of be allow private property owners to conduct fuel reduction, properly supervised, when safe to do so, to protect their families and livelihoods and neighbors who surround us.
Its time to take a stand. This is about life and death in the country. Lets learn from the recent fires and act now.
John Vogels, Scotts Creek
An amazing effort for fire relief
Australians have responded tremendously well in helping fire-ravished victims to recover in the recent months. Many who cannot help personally have given generously to help replace houses,buildings and farm fences on their fire-blackened properties. Australians are proud of the men and women of the CFA, some of whom gave their lives, and the volunteers who pitched in to meet immediate needs.
Australia Day fell on the Sunday this year; those who worship may take
some consolation from the words in Romans 8.18; the sufferings of the present
time cannot be compared at all with the glory which shall be revealed to
Pauline Hanrahan, 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 at standard.net.au/comment/your-say/ and in print