Recently I spent three weeks in Geelong Hospital. Whilst there I witnessed first-hand the care, kindness and compassion shown by the nursing staff. We hear almost on a daily basis the dire situation our health system is experiencing, with doctors and nurses working under difficult circumstances.
I had never been in a large hospital before and was amazed at how frantically busy each day is. I saw how surgery had to be prioritised; this is no fault of the surgeons - it is just the way it has to be due to a lack of staff.
Even though they were run off their feet, the nurses were always kind and polite, genuinely caring for their patients.
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I then had a few days in Terang Hospital and it was like a breath of fresh air to be in our small and intimate hospital where care is on a more personal level.
Since being at home I have been so impressed by the follow-up care with other medical appointments being made for me. I really want to praise and thank the nurses who are part of the district nursing team. They have all been so kind and caring. It is the most wonderful service and I am very grateful for their visits.
Even though our health system may be broken, the health professionals are not. All praise to them for the wonderful work they do.
Margaret Connellan, Noorat
Bill shock and skyrocketing costs of fuel, groceries, power and gas are driving a new level of financial anxiety for families and small business trying to recover from the pressures of the pandemic. But there's more pain to come with the Labor Government set to increase more than 2150 state fees and charges from yesterday.
It'll mean more cost increases in our everyday lives at a time when many of us can least afford it, with hikes to apply on licences to drive or hunt, for planning applications and on building permits.
Under the Labor Government, we're already carrying the burden of 40 new and increased taxes - despite the premier's 'iron-clad' promise of "no new taxes" before the 2018 election.
Since 2013-14, Victorian tax revenue has increased by an eye-watering 80 per cent from $16.9 billion to a forecast $30.5 billion in 2022-23. Labor is addicted to taxes and charges.
Their mismanagement and waste on major projects - now more than $28 billion - is forcing Daniel Andrews and his Treasurer Tim Pallas to grab revenue from everywhere they can.
When you head to the ballot box, remember this November that only a change in government will stop the waste.
The Nationals will guarantee no new taxes and an audit of all big major projects to rein in the waste. Because our children, and our children's children shouldn't have to pay the price of Daniel Andrews' inability to manage our state's budget.
Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals
It is distressing to learn Australia's national greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2021 as the economy began to return to pre-COVID practices.
We had the golden opportunity to transition our post-COVID economy towards a cleaner and more prosperous economy; yet the Morrison government squandered it all on a "gas-led recovery" which did nothing to revive the economy.
Good climate and energy policies, and significantly stronger environmental laws, are needed to drive long-term emission reductions in Australia. The Labor government has much to unravel after a disastrous 10 years of climate negligence.
Ching Ang, Magill, South Australia
There is no doubt Australians live in a wonderful country: clean air, abundant food, plenty of space, work for nearly all - one could go on and on.
But what about our magnificent native animals who go back in history for millions of years - have many of these been forgotten by Australians in the rush to "develop" the country? The answer would certainly have to be yes. It does not paint a pretty picture.
An excellent recent report produced by the Australian Conservation Foundation Investigations Unit indicates Australians have treated our native animals very poorly indeed: 25,000 hectares of koala habitat approved for destruction in 2011-21.
Greater gliders, swift parrots, forest red-tailed black cockatoos and spot-tailed quolls had a 12,900-hectare total area of habitat approved for demolition.
In the five years to 2016, the government approved 80,000 hectares of threatened species' habitat for destruction, but then the amount went up to 120,000 hectares in the following five years.
Mining accounted for 72 per cent of the total habitat destruction approved under the national environment law.
Australia has the terrible distinction of having caused the extinction of more mammals than any other nation. Our newly elected federal government surely must now urgently enact environmental law reform, so our national environmental laws really can properly protect our native animals.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank, South Australia
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