Get the jab today
If we have any chance of returning to a normal way of life and break the ongoing cycle of blanket lockdowns, there is one thing we can all do right now to make it happen: get a COVID-19 vaccination now.
The best type of vaccination is the one that is available to you now.
There are thousands of doses of AstraZeneca available across Victoria right now - it's safe and incredibly effective against the COVID-19 vaccine.
But they are no good sitting in a fridge - they need to be in people's arms.
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There has been a lot made of the complications that are associated with AstraZeneca, but in reality they are incredibly rare. The chance of death from the vaccine is one in one million.
You are more likely to be struck by lightning than dying from having the AstraZeneca vaccine.
I've had both doses of AstraZeneca - I had zero side effects and zero complications. I've encouraged my four children to have it as well.
I understand for very few people it may not be the right vaccine due to their medical conditions, but for most it is perfectly safe and highly effective.
This virus isn't going anywhere, it's not going to just disappear; people will still get sick into the future with COVID-19.
But with high levels of vaccination, the symptoms will be minimised, transmission will be less and we will be able to live with COVID-19 the same way we do the flu or the common cold.
But we need to vaccinate and we need to do it as quick as possible so we can return to a normal way of life.
Please make an appointment today and let's get out of these lockdowns and return to the way of life we all love so much.
Roma Britnell, MP Member for South West Coast
Sad state of affairs
The COVID-19 wrecking ball has smashed another regional event - the Warrnambool Show has been added to the growing list of agricultural shows forced to cancel.
Ballarat and Camperdown have all bowed to the inevitable despite not one case of COVID-19.
The fault-lines are many.
Firstly, the carnival sideshows and some exhibits travel from elsewhere - including interstate - and we all know the pernickety nature of the border permits.
Secondly, we could still be in lockdown when the due date arrives.
Thirdly, the layers of bureaucracy and form-filling required to run such an event are so unwieldy it simply becomes too hard.
Think of the number of COVID-marshals required, or the head-counting to make sure density limits aren't exceeded.
These limits also challenge the financial viability of the show.
Consider, also, that events cannot get insurance for COVID cancellations.
Such a position could result in financial ruin for the show society.
And then consider the nightmare scenario of the premier clicking his fingers and shutting the event down midway - because of a single case in Melbourne. Mayhem would follow.
No, it is not surprising the COVID-cancellation snowball has rolled into Warrnambool.
And while this happens - the premier handballs Western Australia our biggest sporting event for the year, the AFL grand final.
Strange how WA bans everyone from entering the McGowan fiefdom of WA. All except footballers, that is.
For some reason I keep forgetting we're all in this together.
Bev McArthur, Western Victoria MP
What a mess we are in
There is no excuse for 'chairman' Dan Andrews extending the lockdown in western Victoria where there are no active cases of COVID-19.
Our children are missing vital class learning and social time. Instead they are staring at four walls and computer screens.
This is no way for students to learn and develop.
A walk down Warrnambool's Liebig Street says it all: businesses closed and going broke fast.
I feel for those businesses and their staff - being thrown out of work by Dan Andrews, with no COVID-19 in the region.
There are three reasons why Andrews can suspend Parliament and keep in place the emergency powers that allow him to impose whatever restrictions he likes, while hiding behind state health officials who tell him what to do.
He was given this open-ended authority by three MLCs: the Greens' Samantha Ratnam, the Reason Party's Fiona Patten, and our own Upper House MLC, Andy Meddick.
These three MLCs should be held accountable for this mess we are in.
Andy Meddick should be held accountable for our children not being at school, and businesses being closed and going broke.
He should be held accountable for every job that is lost, because behind every job is a person who has to eat and pay bills!
While your jobs, your income and your children's education is not important, Andrews, Meddick, Ratnam and Patten have given themselves a tidy pay rise with your taxpayer money. Open our schools and our businesses now, premier!
James Taylor, Framlingham
Here's what needs to happen
Eighteen refugee support groups from across Victoria met this week and developed the following resolution in response to recent events in Afghanistan.
The groups are calling for five major actions to support vulnerable people in Afghanistan and to assist distressed Afghanis in Australia who have families trapped there:
- Ask the government to provide permanent protection for all refugees from Afghanistan who are currently on temporary protection visas
- Ask that refugees from Afghanistan can apply to bring their families to safety in Australia
- Seek a special humanitarian intake of 20,000 of the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan, in addition to current humanitarian intake
- Ask the government to lift the ban on resettlement of refugees currently in Indonesia to Australia through the UNHCR
- Work with our international partners to pressure the Taliban to take genuine steps toward peace and reconciliation.
Rural Australians for Refugees, Warrnambool
Years ago all storm water in central Warrnambool ran into a deep gutter along the west side of Japan Street from Lava to Koroit streets where it entered a large tunnel which is still there and, hence, right through to the flume and emptied out into the ocean in a heavy storm.
As kids, we walked through this to the flume - it still exists.
By simply installing culverts for one block in the old gutter on the west side of Japan Street and rebuild the old flume buried under the sand, it would no doubt fix the ongoing problem.
Terry Manley, Dartmoor
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