Driven up the wall
It was very frustrating to read The Standard article where the RACV declared the south-west did not have the worst roads in Victoria.
As a person who travels roads, both in Victoria and interstate, regularly I would disagree and say the region not only has the worst roads in Victoria, but would be one of the worst performers nationally.
Rural Roads Victoria's data clearly shows the south-west's arterial road network to be the worst in the state. This evidence is scientifically gathered in all regions and relies on long-standing condition data sets including surface breakdown, rutting pavements and rate of deterioration.
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According to The Standard's article, the RACV's information is just anecdotal opinion, but to read the RACV is advocating to the state government on a survey of members' perceptions and totally ignoring the facts is disappointing to say the least.
We then receive some pontification by RACV executive general manager Phil Turnbull that most respondents suggested poor behaviour and speed to be the biggest contributors to unsafe roads and he believes we should have further speed restrictions on selected roads.
Mr Turnbull then concluded two of the worst road regions were Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast.
Unfortunately, our governments are also guided by polls. They make political decisions on votes and marginal seats rather than the science and data sets.
Chris O'Connor, Terang
Helping expose vaccination truths
Congratulations Mike Seward (The Standard, September 11) on presenting the facts on the history of the vaccination rollout.
These facts reveal that, rather that the government delaying the rollout for political reasons, there was a raft of cautious activity happening to select the most appropriate vaccine for Australia. Testing, availability (timing), safety, local access and price were all taken into account, and by the time the media had its say the general population had to make its decision.
As it turned out, they listened first to the most accessible noise (the media, including Facebook) before turning away from AstraZeneca and refusing to be vaccinated. I received my first dose in April, and was all done early July....no crowds, no side effects, no worries.
So thank you for exposing the inconvenient truths behind the campaign to undermine the perceived "Tall Poppies" which resulted in such a climate of distrust and division in our community.
Anne Rea, Warrnambool
Get on with it
I have been noting of late that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again been using his well-practiced technique of ducking and weaving when at meetings with US president Joe Biden in relation to setting an actual target date in Australia to reach net-zero greenhouse emissions.
It is my opinion, and I am certain many Australians would agree with me, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has made it perfectly clear to Scott Morrison that serious political problems will arise within the federal government Coalition if any attempts are made by him as PM to set a firm target date to reach zero greenhouse emissions.
The future of the present federal Coalition may be determined by how the problems associated with setting a target date related to greenhouse emissions, are dealt with. The delay in this matter has reached unacceptable proportions for many Australians.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank, South Australia
Billions of dollars at risk
While internal squabbling within the federal coalition (between Liberals and Nationals) continues over the idea of a net-zero by 2050 target, global markets have already decided and are moving on towards a zero-emissions goal.
This is why federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg recently stated Australia had to accept that money was being moved to industries aligned with decarbonisation.
For Australia to remain competitive in global markets, our industries and infrastructure need to be relevant in a net-zero trading world.
However, a 2050 net-zero target is not enough; our major trade partners such as the United Kingdom, United States, European Union and Japan have much stronger 2030 pollution reduction targets than we do.
For Australia to not fall behind economically, we urgently need to update our weak and inadequate 2030 target of reducing pollution by 26 per cent.
In the very least, our target needs to at minimal match our trading partners.
To do otherwise will be to miss out on billions of dollars in economic opportunities.
Ching Ang, Kensington Gardens
'Heartening' step but early days
A move to use limited lockdowns, by LGA, gives some long-overdue relief and certainty to regional Victorian families, businesses and communities.
Although it doesn't make it any easier for those of us who still find ourselves in lockdown today, there was some relief when the Andrews Labor Government finally moved away from its policy of blanket lockdowns.
The Nationals have been driving the call for limited lockdowns to be used only as a last resort to stop the spread in hotspot areas.
We argued towns with no active cases shouldn't be living in fear of suddenly having to close because of outbreaks hundreds of kilometres away.
Securing this for our country communities is a heartening step forward, but it's only the first.
A year-and-a-half of snap statewide lockdowns has wrought catastrophic damage on our kids' education, our mental wellbeing and our livelihoods.
There will be many regional Victorians rightly asking what has changed for the government to backflip on 18 months of arrogantly ignoring calls for a sensible approach.
As vaccination rates continue to rise, we all need certainty we are on the road to recovery.
Country communities, in particular younger Victorians, are leading the way with high vaccination rates.
The Nationals will keep fighting for certainty and a positive road forward for our country communities.
Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals, Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria
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