I note with interest the consultation process under way by Warrnambool City Council to construct a new art gallery at the current site or at Cannon Hill. This provides a perfect opportunity for the council to be brave and consider the future of Flagstaff Hill as part of a consolidated masterplan.
Flagstaff Hill has run at a significant loss and a cost to ratepayers for many years now and, despite many attempts, it has not returned to its glory days. Maybe the era of replica heritage villages has ended.
An opportunity exists to consider either incorporating the new art gallery into the existing Flagstaff Hill facility, or taking on a bolder challenge by fully revamping the existing site and not simply dismissing it as being too hard and controversial.
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A car park is already in place and Cannon Hill can remain as it should - a valued green space that provides a seamless connection between the beach precinct and the CBD.
Otherwise, it looks as though we will continue to see a significant portion of our rates continue to cover Flagstaff Hills' operating shortfalls.
Brendan Ryan, Warrnambool
Jo Archbold is worried about the wrong thing ('Bigger fish to fry...using gas', June 18). The Andrews government has no plan to make our state gas-free and Victorians are free to use their gas appliances for as long as they choose to do so. In fact, the current Victorian planning laws insist developers of new projects still connect to gas "where available".
This is in spite of numerous councils pushing to have this requirement to connect a second, and potentially unwanted, energy supply removed. This impost not only builds in the potential to keep emissions high, it actually increases building costs.
Insisting on gas connections also fails to take into account that town gas itself will increase in cost. This will happen because, inevitably, more consumers will detach from gas and there will be fewer customers to share the cost of maintaining the pipes.
As far as "supply" goes, last year Minister for Energy and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio gave consent for an existing exploration gas well underneath the Port Campbell national park to be developed into a production well. The earlier temporary ban on onshore gas exploration and development was also lifted.
So it is definitely not true that the Andrews government is anti-gas or looking for Green votes. As a very worried science teacher, I wish they were.
Lesley Walker, Northcote
Contrary to one correspondent's opinion, Victorians will benefit significantly from 'getting off the gas' ('Bigger fish to fry...using gas', June 18).
First, going "all electric" allows us to use renewable energy: the cheapest, cleanest form of energy that assists us to address climate change. Policy maker and entrepreneur Saul Griffith estimates Australian households will save $5000 a year by 2030 as a result of living in fully electric homes.
Second, going electric is better for our health. Most are unaware that 12 per cent of all childhood asthma cases in Australia are directly attributable to cooking with gas stove tops.
Via subsidies for electric heat pumps, induction cook-tops, electric vehicles, batteries and renewable energy, governments should be supporting Australian households to become part of the solution to the climate, energy, and cost-of-living crises in which we find ourselves. Now is the time to move toward a cleaner, gas-free future.
Amy Hiller, Kew
Regarding a letter by Jo Archbold, it was disappointing to see such a thoroughly ill-informed rejection of the need for a concerted government-led response to the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
The thrust of the argument was that calls for immediate and strong action to address climate change are ill-informed and stand to cause many ordinary people significant, unnecessary financial cost and inconvenience. Included among the erroneous claims is: "the hole in the ozone layer healed itself many years ago.
Jo Archbold is ill-informed. The ozone hole remains and has not corrected itself. It still develops every spring over Antarctica. It appears to be slowly contracting, but as a result of concerted international action to phase out the aerosols that cause ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, which had become widely used by the 1970s.
Concerted international governmental intervention has been necessary to turn the corner on this threat, with the first major step forward having been the 1987 Montreal Protocol which aimed to phase out the primary ozone depleting chemicals.
Financial and technical assistance was extended to poor countries to assist them in the transition. By the 2000s, the production and use of these chemicals had virtually ceased.
The issue of ozone depletion does not demonstrate the futility of concerted governmental action on such matters.
To the contrary, it provides a shining example of the benefits of concerted, direct government and intergovernmental action to head off dangerous human-induced environmental change.
Ernest Healy, Woodford
The Salvation Army is again very humbled by the generous support of the Australian public for our Red Shield Appeal this year.
As we approach the end of financial year, the Salvos are still appealing to the community as we aim to raise $36 million by June 30.
For more than 50 years, Aussies have continued to support The Salvation Army, allowing us the privilege to be on the frontline, walking alongside individuals doing it tough around the country, all with the mission of bringing hope and support to those who need it most.
For me, the Red Shield Appeal isn't just about raising much-needed funds for our 2000+ services - it's about coming together to support one another, to remind our neighbours and local community that no matter how tough times are, we're here for each other, ready to give a helping hand when needed.
After the past couple of years which have seen devastating social isolation, natural and health disasters, and the current shocking rise in the cost of living, it has filled The Salvation Army with overwhelming gratitude to see so many people generously give their money and time as we work together to provide vital support services for people doing it tough in local communities around the nation.
When there's work to be done, Aussies roll up their sleeves and get stuck into it. And Australians should know that thanks to their generosity and support, The Salvation Army is once again ready to roll up their sleeves and ensure we continue to serve communities across the country.
To your readers, from all of us here at The Salvos: thank you - we couldn't do it without you.
Major Bruce Harmer, The Salvation Army Australia National Public Relations Secretary
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