What's in it for ratepayers?
It is incumbent on the current Warrnambool City Council to debunk the commonly repeated belief
that the city's saleyards are important infrastructure and profitable. Depreciation, holding costs and lost opportunity costs are enormous, not to
mention the time officers, councillors and consultants have devoted to a
facility. Less than three per cent of the cattle numbers come from within the municipality
so what is in it for ratepayers?
The Warrnambool yards are a health and safety risk, an animal welfare risk, a financial risk and there is a perfectly good selling centre at Mortlake. The Caramut Road site would be keenly sort by investors and developers and could provide an influx of jobs and opportunity for Warrnambool.
Warrnambool City's budget is under stress maintaining existing facilities and services as well as providing for a growing population with high expectations. Council could use the estimated $7 to $10 million to pay down debt and improve other assets.
Council needs to treat ratepayers with respect, explain the risks and provide the facts about the potential losses, the animal welfare issues and the depth of the impending investment gulf.
An informed community will support council and together they can make the correct call.
Chris O'Connor, Terang
Flooding poses questions
The flooding the other day in Warrnambool, is it a warning of things to come when you look back to when the Founding Fathers of Warrnambool had to borrow 12,000 pounds in the 1840s to construct the drain into Stingray Bay to save the township of Warrnambool.
Conditions of the loan was to be the first Nation Park in Australia be set aside to accommodate peak flood height until flood water could drain out to Stringray bay.
Since then this vision has had much encroachment into this area set aside to hold flood waters to save Warrnambool from flooding, that stretches from behind the dunes from Warrnambool to Port Fairy.
As a landholder behind Kelly's Swamp, now we have a bike trail over the swamp and its levy bank, that now restricts both water flowing onto the swamp from the Merri and draining back off into Stringray Bay.
Plus the lack of drain cleaning on the salt drain against the dunes has given rise to salting of Kelly's Swamp that is a haven for water fowl. Given the fact that lagoon at the end of Gorman's Lane is now three times saltier than the sea.
This lagoon was once a fresh water lagoon pre drainage work done in the 1920s at the cutting. It has meant the loss of water bird haven in this lagoon.
The land around the salt lagoon at Gorman's Lane is now an unviable salt marsh land, all this can be traced back to lack of work done in the Warrnambool Moyne water catchment area.
Robert Rowley, Illowa
Great to see visitors return
What a great summer period we're having, terrific to see visitors return to Moyne Shire. A big thank you to our local businesses and residents for being so accommodating and welcoming.
We are excited to hit the ground running in 2021. Mid-January will see the launch of Council's third Love Local shopping competition. This time around we're focused on 'Moyne Escapes', with a range of voucher packages up for grabs. There are 11 prizes in total, each made up of a voucher to one of our great country pubs, paired with a unique Moyne experience, such as a Tower Hill tour, fishing charter, stand-up paddle board lesson etc. You just need to spend $20 at any local Moyne business to enter.
Our terrific Movies Under the Stars open air cinema series commenced this week in Port Fairy. With events planned right across the shire, visit our website to secure your tickets for an event near you.
We're looking forward to Australia Day celebrations, even if they will look a bit different this year. We will be hosting an event at Garvoc Hall to present our Australia Day Awards and welcome three new Australia citizens. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions mean numbers are limited and attendance is by invitation only.
Council's first listening post was held in December. In 2021 these are planned to be held monthly at different locations around the shire. They provide a great opportunity for the community to speak directly to councillors and have a say.
I would also like to extend a big thank you to all of our community volunteers who have put in the hard yards over the break to assist with the influx of visitors, your generous work is invaluable to our community.
Cr Daniel Meade, Moyne Shire Mayor
It was pleasing to read that the new Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Mary-Anne Thomas, grew up on the land (Minister's farming past, The Standard, January 14). Ms Thomas also acknowledged how much technology in agriculture has developed and the need to address climate change and emissions through the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan. Agriculture's main contribution to emissions is through methane and nitrous oxide. The 100-year warming potential of methane is 20 times that of carbon dioxide, and for nitrous oxide it is 300 times. Agriculture emits more than half (57 per cent) of Australia's methane emissions. And for nitrous oxide it is nearly three-quarters (73 per cent). Farmers who succeed in reducing their emissions through improved practice must be supported and rewarded financially. The Minister might start with her department's excellent booklet "Making cent$ of carbon and emissions" and then finding ways to fund farmers to implement the ideas within.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
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