No lasting impacts from three days off school
In response to the article (The Standard, February 15) on Corangamite councillor Kate Makin's
alarmist attack on the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the
Victorian Government with regard to the three day shutdown of schools I would
like readers to consider the following points:
Councillor Makin does not consider the necessity of the speed required to shut down schools to keep Victorian students and families safe.
All parents have access to the DET website which provides support activities for students.
All teachers are working either at school or from home providing support for students.
Parents who are essential workers have the option to send their children to
Three days away from school will not have longstanding effects on students. Better to be absent from schools for three days than potentially acquire and spread COVID.
Are the views of Councillor Makin her views as she states, the views of the Corangamite Shire or the views of the Victorian Liberal Party? If this sounds familiar the same questions were being asked when her husband served the Corangamite Shire as a councillor and mayor and also ran for preselection for the Liberal Party.
Gavin Arnott, Allansford
Corella cull 'drastic solution' for 'minor problem'
Officials from the Terang Golf Club and cricket ground are considering a cull of corellas because of some damage to the turf, this seems a drastic solution to a relatively minor problem.
I walk through the areas in question regularly and yes, they have scratched the ground in places, but to destroy such an intelligent bird that mates for life is barbaric.
Culling is indiscriminate, there is no guarantee that rosellas and other rare bird species that live in the area will also be poisoned and suffer an agonizing death.
Terang residents should voice their opposition to this cruel proposal before we find ourselves with a lovely golf course and walking track devoid of wildlife.
Rob Graham, Terang
Boxer's story from Africa to Oz 'inspiring'
What a wonderful, inspiring story on Kenyan boxer Brian Agina (The Standard, February 6).
A breath of fresh air in these times of 'racism' being used as a political football by some in the media and elsewhere.
Brian, keep loving Australia and being happy to live here and grab hold of the opportunities to enhance your dreams. God bless you Brian.
Rob McCue, Digby
'Good reason' to oppose duck shooting
In response to the opinion piece "Shooters Ask For Education". Ongoing professional polls continue to show the majority of Victorians oppose bird shooting, with most recent polls showing the strongest opposition came from regional Victoria. There's good reason.
Bird shooting is not only inhumane, wounding at least one in every four of the tens of thousands of birds shot even in "restricted" seasons (which is why other states have banned it), but highly destructive to the wider community.
Studies including by The Australia Institute, show majority of tourists avoid areas where shooting occurs. Loss of tourism to rural areas which need it most is one thing, loss of public amenity for other recreational users (whose taxes pay for the waterways) is another.
Loss of peaceful enjoyment of their properties (their legal right) by the ever increasing numbers of rate paying rural residents is another again.
Shooting nearby from before daylight for weeks on end sends horses through fences, children into tears, farmers into trespass alert, disrupts sleep of shift workers and prevents working from home. And let's not forget the taxpayer funds being poured into compliance monitoring and law enforcement - as if our police resources aren't best utilized elsewhere.
Aside from being expensive to taxpayers - most of whom are opposed to bird shooting - compliance monitoring is a largely futile effort. Even the army could not monitor the thousands of public waterways open to shooting - so many that authorities can't map, signpost or even estimate their number. The risk therefore to the public, let alone the thousands of protected species which are collateral damage in duck shooting, is to most, unacceptable.
Shooters speak of the waterfowl identification test (WIT) as if to try to justify the carnage. But this is a once off written test which many of today's shooters would have done years ago. Sadly we recently saw the effectiveness of that. Knowledge gaps published in December showed only 13% of shooters knew what to do with a downed bird and only 20% accurately answered a three part question on identifying game species.
Whilst it may be called a "tradition" for a few, duck shooting has always been a minority choice of recreation. Last season there were only 7000 active duck shooters across all Victoria. Conversely over 866,000 domestic tourists birdwatched (Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey year ending December 2019). Pity the former hampers the latter. It's not rocket science to figure out which activity is better for our rural economies.
It's time to leave duck shooting in the past alongside steel traps. It's time for the few duck shooters remaining, to choose an alternate recreation less cruel to our waterbirds and rural communities.
Kerrie Allen, Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting inc
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