Let dogs in public areas
I recently wrote to council requesting that dogs on a leash be permitted, with restrictions, in parts of Lake Pertobe and the Botanical Gardens.
The response - a resounding no because in the past dogs have attacked children and bird life.
I can take my dog on a lead to the Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens and to Gasworks Park Farmer's Markets but I can't in "Australia's most liveable region"?
Were the dogs responsible for these "attacks" on a leash and in control of a responsible person at the time?
If so, then logically these dogs could potentially attack anyone, at any time or location.
These local laws are outdated and unreasonable as the vast majority of people are responsible dog owners.
Definitely apply restrictions to playgrounds, restrict the number of dogs in the control of one person, the length of the leash and impose heavy fines for owners who don't pick up after their dogs.
Name and shame them (it's hard to pretend it's not your dog when you're standing at the end of the leash).
But let's be a little bit more cosmopolitan.
If any candidate running for council election is prepared to support this, you have my vote
Carolyn Fitzgerald, Warrnambool
Why no legal bill?
On Monday night the council met to complete its program of work before the election caretaker period started.
They seemed to complete all the things they had set out to do and it was a long list too. But they managed to leave us all with one large mystery.
Legal advice pertaining to the dismissal of our chief executive officer was sought and provided, but not paid for.
Why did the solicitors who provided this advice provide council with an invoice only to later withdraw it?
Was this legal advice properly authorised by the council and, if not, who sought the legal advice?
Has the council retained this advice or is it being held by the councillor or councillors who commissioned it?
If this advice was received and used by a group of councillors but not paid for; does this make it a gift or a benefit?
Was this gift or benefit authorised by the council after the fact?
Are these councillors now in breach of their own new gift policy (councillors)?
Has this gift or benefit been listed on the council's register of gifts, benefits and hospitality as required by the council's own very new transparency policy?
Has council even created a new registry of gifts, benefits, and hospitality yet?
So many questions.
Perhaps the council would like to answer some of them before the election or will they leave us waiting for the Local Government Inspectorate to answer them after the election?
Jim Burke, Warrnambool
What about the Eureka flag?
Harold Thomas, the man who designed the Aboriginal flag has every right to say who can and can't use it. He owns the copyright. Governments seem willing to do whatever it takes to maintain controlled access to this flag and will purchase the rights. That's good news.
But what of Australia's splendid and meaningful flag; the Southern Cross of Eureka? The flag described by the Lisa Chesters of the ALP as a national symbol.
The designers of that flag, believed to be Anastasia Hayes and her friends, women of the Ballarat goldfield, didn't have the knowledge or the inclination to copyright their work. I understand that copyright is automatic once a work is created but must be renewed at intervals but who knew about that among these pioneers? Who would have even have considered it?
No government has lifted a finger to take action to protect the Eureka flag. It's unbelievable that the government is willing to take positive action to protect the Aboriginal flag but ignore this significant emblem of our democratic governance.
Many good men died beneath the Eureka flag with the results that we enjoy. How important is that? Surely it is worthy of government action to protect this flag from the abuse it now suffers.
Let's do something about saving our flag. Write to newspapers, talk with your friends, get it on social media, and importantly write or email the politicians.
Ian Braybrook, Castlemaine
Debating team wins
After three close losses by a total of 9 points, our Brauer College year 9 debating team, comprising Sienna Gladstone, Isabella Condon and Hayden Maher, competed against Melbourne Girls' Grammar School, an elite private school, on Monday, August 24 via zoom. Our team was supported enthusiastically by our chief assistant, Lily Smith. These students are in my year 9 SEALP (accelerated) English class.
The debate topic was "That we should ban private gun ownership" and we were arguing the negative case. Our team worked with great dedication in researching this topic, constructing their arguments, anticipating rebuttals and in writing their scripts. All our communication was via emails and zoom. We even had a zoom session on the Sunday afternoon before the debate, such was their determination to win.
As was the case in our previous three debates, our Brauer College students performed absolutely magnificently, from start to finish.
- Sienna Gladstone: 1st Speaker Neg. Sienna was named by the adjudicator as our Best Speaker. Brilliant!
- Isabella Condon: 2nd Speaker Neg. Our "Shining Light", with her composed and measured rebuttals and arguments, was our equal-best speaker.
- Hayden Maher: 3rd Speaker Neg. Hayden achieved his personal best in this debate. A wonderful effort!
I'm exceptionally proud to announce that Brauer College defeated Melbourne Girls' Grammar School! What a tremendous achievement by our superb debating team (and Lily Smith as our chief support) from my year 9 SEALP English class!
Scores: Brauer College 225 defeated Melbourne Girls' Grammar School 223.
Tony Curtis, Warrnambool
Tough times across country
Cracks are appearing everywhere; they always do in a crisis. Most can be traced back, although it may seem strange, to the austerity-driven policies of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and those who still follow in their ilk today. Therefore, Australia is now reaping the havoc created by the Aged Care Act 1997. This federal legislation enabled the establishment of a federally funded system of privately-operated aged care. This aged care system has been deliberately designed with few checks, balances or oversight of how taxpayer funds are being spent.
However, it is designed to attract investment from the private sector, thereby reducing pressure on the Federal Budget, so that the budget, as Thatcher advocated, remains balanced or in surplus. It also creates a profit opportunity for the private sector, underwritten by the taxpayer, however the system is seemingly without consistent mandated standards to ensure the proper care of residents.
Such inconsistency has been the cause of much anxiety for residents and their families, as well contributing to the tragic impact of COVID-19 in care. While there are some excellent facilities, others are definitely not so. However, all is not lost. We do have a sizable sector of State-operated Aged Care throughout much of country Victoria. Might it be time to discard the federally funded and inspired system of aged care and make aged care an integral part of the State health system?
A detailed analysis comparing the federal profit and not for profit systems with the Victorian State system is urgently necessary; not only for the management of COVID-19, but also other critical ongoing matters: primarily the proper care, health and happiness of the residents, but also working conditions, training and renumeration for staff, transparency, and community satisfaction. Costs to both residents and taxpayers must also be evaluated.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care, along with nearly every commentator, are in agreement that the federal profit and not for profit aged care systems are broken. Could a comparison with the State system shine a light on how the federal system may be modernised, or even if it ought to be abandoned?
Peter Small, Gritjurk
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