At a time when the cost of energy and gas is front of mind, it's fantastic to read that Warrnambool City Council's electricity future-proofing has saved ratepayers $150,000 ("Energy saving plan buffers price hikes", The Standard, June 7).
While moving to renewable electricity and using new energy-efficient LED street lighting has been fruitful for both costs and the climate, it seems that nearly half the gains will be lost to a $70,000 blowout in the AquaZone pool's gas bill.
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Proposed pool blankets are a great first step in reducing heat and water loss, yet surely, with gas prices exploding, now is the time to ramp up the future-proofing by getting off the gas for good and replacing it with renewable sources of energy across the board.
Making the switch would mean we could warm our pools while keeping our budgets and out planet out of the red.
Karen Campbell, Geelong
Money doesn't grow on trees
For the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 financial years, Warrnambool City Council was allowed to exceed the cap on council rates to give them the opportunity to get their accounts in order.
I am not aware this was achieved.
Warrnambool City Council has grandiose ideas for spending, creating an even bigger debt burden.
I am talking about the $3 million-plus plan for refurbishing the library for council use. (The Standard, May 7).
Is more room needed due to increases in staff? This equals increasing salary cost. What are their salaries? Many people have suggested it would be better suited for a permanent exhibition of local Aboriginal Art and Artifacts and a cheaper renovation.
Then we had two exceedingly expensive proposals for a new art gallery (The Standard, April 2).
A third vision for the gallery was submitted, keeping it in situ, but gaining more space and very much cheaper plus stopping the loss of "sacrosanct" central city "Green Land" much loved and used by the public.
Where is all this money coming from? It is a very difficult monetary time for people in Australia. Where are all these ideas coming from?
It certainly can't be from the all newly elected council members and I doubt from the previous one as it has been an ongoing theme.
This "pay more than we ratepayers can afford" attitude is not acceptable, especially with so many cost rises.
Tricia Houghton, Warrnambool
As the fastest-growing community in the Moyne Shire, ensuring the ongoing delivery of healthcare services in Koroit is a key priority for Moyne Shire Council.
Council has been working closely with Moyne Health Service in relation to the former Koroit Hospital site since 2020 when significant structural issues were uncovered in the main building. The three-hectare site, known as Spring Park, is situated on Crown Land with Moyne Health Services appointed as the land manager with overarching responsibility of the land and buildings.
The estimated cost of repairs to the building meant Moyne Health Services has made the decision to demolish the former hospital building and work towards building a new, fit-for-purpose community healthcare facility at the site.
Moyne Health Services applied for consent from council's building team to demolish the building, which was granted on May 26. Additionally, a private building surveyor issued a planning permit for the demolition of the building on May 31.
This process was completed in line with all legislative requirements. Council is now supporting Moyne Health Service's future planning for the site through a budget allocation towards a masterplan and ongoing advocacy to the state government in support of Moyne Health Service.
The site has a public use zone applied, which means the land must be used for health and community uses into the future.
Moyne Shire Council will continue to work collaboratively with Moyne Health Services to ensure the best possible result for the Koroit community which will again see important community health services offered at Spring Park.
Mayor Ian Smith, Moyne Shire Council
Problems we need to solve now
Australia is ranked the world's second-biggest exporter of coal and exports of natural gas are ranked in fifth place. When both coal and natural gas are utilised by overseas buyers, carbon dioxide - a major cause of climate change - is released into the atmosphere.
It is often said that Australia is only a minor contributor to world climate change. However, the exporting details herein clearly show Australia is in fact a major contributor to global warming.
Many difficult-to-solve problems are associated with reducing the exports from Australia of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, but if climate change is to be dealt with in a serious manner, the reality is that answers have to be found and actioned as soon as is possible, if climate change is to be beaten.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank, South Australia
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