Remove the seaweed
I well-remember running along the Warrnambool beach as a schoolboy.
Navigating soft or hard sand depending on the tide, there was occasional seaweed by the breakwater.
Hail, rain, or shine, all year round, this was the joy of my life.
My understanding is that siltation of the harbour has always been a problem since the breakwater was completed in 1890.
No doubt this was exacerbated when the open, wooden viaduct that connected the road to the breakwater was filled in with basalt rock in the 1950/60s. This obviously altered the natural flow of the ocean.
Whatever the basic cause of the problem, it seems to me that it should be a priority of the city to remove piles of rotting weed and kelp from our greatest asset (The Standard, 05/02).
Cost is a consideration, but why not a community working bee of one hundred residents every morning, as a labour of love?
This would deservedly and surely make headlines around the world. From afar, Warrnambool remains my home and my favourite spot, the Warrnambool breakwater.
It cannot be beyond our collective will and effort to reclaim a pristine beach for the experience of everyone.
Dr Neil Hooley, Essendon West
More facilities needed
I agree with Patti (The Standard letters, February 6 re: McGennan beach) in that we have a wonderful, safe and accessible beach. All it lacks is a change room and toilet.
Gwen Horwill, Warrnambool
Recovery focus needed
There's a lot of talk about recovery from COVID-19 shutdowns but months after the harsh lockdown ended, I'm still hearing the same message: the Andrews Government's focus is in all the wrong places.
This week we learned that Daniel Andrews is sitting on millions of dollars in small business grants that was intended to be a lifeline to get them on track to recovery.
Yet he's poured at least $7.7 million into legal fees to hide the truth of what went wrong in Labor's bungled hotel quarantine program.
It's a hard pill to swallow for hundreds of thousands of Victorians whose livelihood was decimated by COVID restrictions and border closures.
The Liberal Nationals know that hundreds of thousands of Victorian jobs and small businesses depend on our agriculture, tourism and international education industries.
We're urging the Victorian Government to adopt our plan for recovery.
This should include working with National Cabinet on a national approach to the definition of 'COVID hotspots' and to ensure that border closures are only implemented as a last resort.
A dedicated facility should be immediately established in regional Victoria for the quarantine of seasonal workers to get them on-farm and helping our farmers harvest crops, before they rot.
Other measures that must be implemented are further rounds of the tourism vouchers program - including for travel to Melbourne - and a blueprint to bring international students back to Victoria for study this year. Businesses, employees and communities will need more support as we rebuild our economy post the COVID second wave.
Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals
Council ready in new year
It's been quite the start to the year and we couldn't be more excited to be back into it.
Moyne has so many hard-working, dedicated volunteers that give so much to their local community.
Council's Community Grants Program has now opened and is aimed at supporting those volunteers and community groups in getting their ideas off the ground.
Two grant streams are available - the community assistance fund, which is now open, and the festival and event fund which opens April 3.
Check out council's website for information on how to apply.
Speaking of events, it's been great to see our community event organisers adapting so well to the ever-changing hurdles of restrictions - with kudos to the team behind the Port Fairy Folk Festival for their smaller-scale, sold-out event.
Mention must go to Colin McKenna on being named a member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (OAM) for significant service to the community.
A self-made businessman, his philanthropic endeavors and community contributions have had invaluable positive impact on the community of Moyne.
In the lead up to International Women's Day on March 8, we're launching the 'Inspiring Women of Moyne' series, celebrating women who make meaningful contributions to our community.
Nominations can be made on our social pages (Instagram & Facebook) and on the website.
Also open for applications on the website are our Academic Support Scholarships, offering financial support to students starting tertiary education in 2021.
I hope you've all had a safe start to the new year and have been able to enjoy some activities in the sun within our great Shire.
Daniel Meade, Moyne Shire Council mayor
Policy a load of...
Confirmation the Andrews government plans to classify animal manure as industrial waste gives new agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas the opportunity to prove she's on the side of farmers.
This is ridiculous over reach and has potential to create a whole lot of red tape for farmers who reuse manure as fertilizer on pastures. It will also impact on other agriculture businesses like sale yards and abattoirs. Farmers have recycled animal waste for years without issue.
There are rules and regulations about where and how it can and cannot be used. This has been happening for generations without issue, why does the government feel the need to get involved now? The Andrews government is again showing just how out of touch it is with the agriculture sector and rural communities. Animal manure isn't industrial waste - it's animal byproduct and that's how it must remain.
We don't need a raft of new forms and permits to be able continuing what has been done safely and effectively for generations. Minister Thomas has been telling everyone she understands farming - now is her chance to prove it. She needs to step-up, support the agriculture sector and put an end this ridiculous policy.
Roma Britnell, South West Coast MP
'Awaiting numbers with interest'
I find interest in the number crunchers finding that recidivism is really high now in sending criminals to prison.
And suggest that the courts should not be sending them there.
From what I observe if you do currently end up in prison the magistrate or judge has decided your crime is definitely worthy of such a punishment.
Gone are the days when some poor guy struggling to feed his family is caught catching a fish in some really wealthy squatter's river and ends up in prison for 10 or 15 years.
And thankfully too that they are gone. You do really have to do something worthy of the prison punishment if proven guilty to get a term.
These number crunchers seem to insinuate the reason they are breaking the law is that they have been sent to prison in the first place. And I admit that could be correct. Maybe. Speaking as someone who has been inside I somehow cannot see the logic in it however.
I would like these expert number crunchers to do me a little favour. If they have access to those recidivist numbers I was hoping they could do the same exercise on people that have been charged by our police. Obviously for a reason the police have deemed worthy of a charge and are hoping to get a prison term and are let off with a bit of a slap on the wrist by the courts.
Told to go home and be a good little boy or girl. Then reoffend again. I really think the recidivism of these crimes in our communities all over Australia would far outweigh the recidivist numbers sent to prison. I await those numbers with interest if anyone has them.
John Patterson, Warrnambool