Virus does not discriminate
Make up your mind church leaders, would you prefer people returning in large numbers and spreading COVID 19; or deal with the present situation of a couple plus children being able to visit a different home each day, travel to most parts of the state, and all the other entitlements we now have.
You only have to look at the UK, the USA, France and other countries about to enter a third wave of COVID 19 why we must follow the rules. With churches in Australia making $30 billion per year - tax exempt - in this country I would have thought that using video conferencing technology would be used to deal with people's mental, spiritual and emotional health.
As for Ms Britnell's comment regarding religion being forgotten by the Andrews government, the church is no different to any other organisation or group when it comes to the spread of COVID 19. The virus does not discriminate or differentiate between groups. Health and safety first.
Gavin Arnott, Warrnambool
The show must go on
I was saddened to read that Wunta and Port Fairy Folkie have been cancelled due to COVID. When January's visitors depart and summer begins to head towards autumn our community and our traders will need support.
Could council step up and support an autumn celebration for locals and visitors? A buskers trail in the CBD or at the breakwater, a series of concerts at the community garden amphitheatre, Lake Pertobe and Civic Green, 'Arts on the Grass' painting competitions on the Civic Green or at the FJ gardens?
Low cost, innovative and creative celebrations that connect community, provide some paid work for local artists, attract visitors and bring the city to life under whatever the COVID rules are at that time.
I would be happy to help organise some of these events.
Bruce Campbell, Warrnambool City Council candidate
Regional media neglected
Recent press about the difficulties faced by regional TV and other media highlight the neglect by the federal government of regional areas.
The Australian Financial Review, September 17, addressed the issue faced in regard to maintenance of regional transmission towers, and the inability of ABC and SBS to pay for these charges.
With even more government cuts to ABC etc, one must conclude the government wishes those services in regional areas to cease. The emasculation of the ABC recently, and the forced redundancies due to funding cuts has been one of the saddest sights I have ever seen.
I would welcome our local federal member's input on how he plans to reverse this trend. And the suggestion that we might still get these services online is laughable when one considers the standard of service many in regional areas get from NBN. Not so bad if you live in a large town, pity those of us who do not.
Charles Cowell, Wangoom
Thanks to our frontline
There's no denying that our healthcare workers are brilliant- they always have been in my eyes.
Our nurses and doctors work tirelessly to look after their patients and to ensure they feel better.
Orderlies, cleaners, catering and admin staff work hard to make sure the whole system runs smoothly and calmly.
They do this even in the most chaotic and busy circumstances.
But this year every single person working in our hospitals have been on the frontline of a new fight as the global pandemic impacted our lives, putting themselves at risk to make sure the community was kept safe.
To them I say thank you.
Roma Britnell, South West Coast MP
Cracks in energy
Beware farmers; the script is being written for an assault on the gas under your farm.
Any extraction measure will be used as long as it achieves the objective, which is securing a cheap gas supply for eastern Australia. To hell with Australia's impeccable reputation as a producer of clean and green food and fibre.
Gas is what we need, we will have it now, and too bad if it destroys our farmland and water aquifers!
Our present predicament is the result of a failure of public policy, primarily evident in government agreements to allow the export of more gas than our current gas fields can sustain.
Currently Australia is the biggest exporter of liquefied gas in the world, exporting 78 million tonnes annually. Qatar is the next largest, exporting 77 million tonnes.
However, Qatar is in the process of increasing exports to 110 million tonnes and the low-cost structure is reported to make further development of Australia's offshore gas reserves for export uncompetitive.
There have been 20 long years of policy failure regarding energy.
This policy inertia has paralysed decisions on energy investment.
The founder of the Liberal Party of Australia and our longest serving Prime Minister, Robert Menzies advocated that one of the most important roles of government is to deliver policy certainty, giving the people confidence for planning and investment. This seems to no longer be a priority. Today politicians are very adept at wedging their opponents to gain political advantage. After 20 years we are now told, at the eleventh hour of an energy shortage, that it is to be gas to the rescue. This is not the only energy related problem.
The electricity grid was designed to take electricity from power stations located close to the energy source, coal, to energy users, such as our cities or large users like Alcoa at Portland.
But few people understand that like water, electricity can only flow one way. For example, from Yallourn to Portland.
However, increasing amounts of electricity from solar and wind are not still being generated at Yallourn.
The grid needs to be completely reconfigured to accommodate the dispersed nature of electricity generation. That is a massive investment on its own. And where is the public policy to plan for it?
Peter Small, Gritjurk
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