As we all try to get over this Covid problem, the Port Fairy Shire ... oops Moyne Shire ... decides to show us all how they're willing to support the ratepayers and businesses in the shire. Let's have the staff Christmas party in Warrnambool as it's easier that way (The Standard, December 17). Good for Warrnambool but as for Moyne, not so much. Couldn't they find one suitable venue in the shire? One off the top of my head is Woolsthorpe. Couldn't they utilise some of the marquees that instantly turn up at the folk festival? Couldn't they utilise the catering facilities of some of the struggling hotels in the shire and bring the food to the central area. Does all the staff have to be at the one venue anyway considering the size of the shire? In any case, they couldn't find a suitable venue at short notice.
John Bos, Hawkesdale
Over the last two weeks The Warrnambool Standard and some other newspapers have published feature stories about the Silent Killer that has become one of Australia's biggest health problems - obesity.
However, the most important questions were never asked let alone even answered. Why haven't we had a Royal Commission into the underlying causes of obesity? No inquiry into a disease that threatens the health of the whole community, because the dominant narrative in Australia wrongly defines obesity as an expression of individual choice, rather than our economic and political system.
The problem is an increasing fast "food swamp" that is often subsidised by local,state and federal governments ( with tax payers' money) without any consideration for the collateral damage to public health. Indeed the One Nation Party in the Senate does its best to protect the very industry working to compromise public health - the sugar industry. While the Andrews government agreed to subsidise eating out in Melbourne's restaurants by up to $44 million even though people who eat out at restaurants are more likely to become obese?
Obesity is a chronic disease that is the symptom of yet another problem today that dominates our parliaments - it's called pork barrelling!
John Glazebrook, Terang
The old tradition of leaving a bottle or two of beer out for the garbos at the end of the year may be a thing of the past, but you can still thanks waste collection workers and other essential local government workers this Christmas.
At each of Victoria's 79 local councils, local government workers deliver essential services that we rely on every day.
From road workers to librarians, emergency management specialists, aged and disability care workers, and the workers who are up collecting our bins and recycling while most of us are still in bed, local government workers keep our communities running.
The work of waste collection has changed a lot with skilled workers driving high-tech vehicles and collecting bins at a great rate.
So even if it's not with a bottle of beer, say a big thank you to waste collection workers this Christmas by giving them a friendly wave in recognition of the critically important work they do.
Lisa Darmanin, Secretary, Australian Services Union
In a Labor-aligned podcast over the weekend, Daniel Andrews bragged Victoria's COVID response should be celebrated as a "triumph". I doubt the more than 800 Victorian families who lost loved ones last year, after coronavirus escaped the Labor Government's failed hotel quarantine program, would agree.
Neither would those Victorians who are still struggling with their mental health or who lost their business and their livelihoods in Labor's lockdowns. Now, new pandemic laws that hand the Premier and the Health Minister too much power to snatch away Victorians' freedoms are threatening the hope that our state is firmly on track for normality and certainty.
With the help of Independent MPs, Daniel Andrews passed pandemic legislation last week that will enable his authority and arrogance to grow. The laws give any current or future government too much power over the lives and livelihoods of Victorians with no proper oversight or mechanism to make sure mental health and the economy are considered in future lockdown decisions.
The Nationals will repeal this bad legislation, if elected to Government next year. We've also committed no more lockdowns under an elected Liberal and Nationals Government - no ifs, no buts. After two years in and out of lockdown and complying with a web of illogical restrictions on our lives, Victorians deserve certainty we're firmly on track to recover and rebuild.
Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals
This Christmas will be tough for the 49,000 Victorians who lost their job in October and for small business owners, like those in hospitality and accommodation, that are still desperately struggling to fill staffing rosters.
The Victorian Liberals and Nationals believe that restoring our state's crown as the nation's manufacturing powerhouse is a crucial step towards this goal. Three decades ago, manufacturing employment accounted for about 17.2 per cent of our state's jobs market. At the end of August 2021, that had sunk to 8.4 per cent. The COVID pandemic is just one contributor to this decline.
Investment in the private sector to assist in job creation is what the Liberal and National parties do best. That is why at this critical time, we will make it a priority to recover and rebuild our manufacturing sector with a $2.5 billion Rebuilding Jobs, Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund.
It will create thousands of jobs, provide huge certainty for our supply chains that are currently lacking and give career choices to young people, particularly those outside of Melbourne with a minimum of $1 billion to be spend in regional Victoria. Globally, manufacturing is transforming rapidly, and Victoria must keep up.
A vibrant manufacturing sector is critically important to help our state recover and rebuild.
Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals, Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria
The Standard prefers letters to be less than 250 words, preference is given to shorter contributions. Letters must include the author's name, address and contact phone number for verification purposes. Letters are published on our website standard.net.au and in print.
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