With reference to an article in The Standard ("Long Wait Prompts Call for More Ambos", September 24) regarding a three-hour wait for an ambulance. I can't imagine a more distressing situation. However, in fairness, I would like to share my experience, which could not have been more different.
In recent days I have needed to call the ambulance on two separate occasions.
Both times they have arrived within 10 minutes. I cannot praise enough my treatment by the four officers who looked after me.
They were professional and caring in every aspect of their work, providing me with physical comfort and mental re-assurance.
On arrival at the Emergency Department one encounters humanity laid bare: groans from a traffic accident victim, a person in handcuffs, frantic knocking from someone who wants to leave, the cry of a small child contrasting with querulous questions from a dementia patient.
And in the background the hisses, beeps, pings, rattles and rolls from the machines keeping us alive. Rising above it all the disembodied voice from the loud speaker announcing an alert.
The additional burden of COVID can only have exacerbated the ever-present pressure, felt by everyone in this department.
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My admiration for the people (at every level) coping with these workplaces is boundless.
Their dedication is amazing and they deserve our admiration.
We, the general public, should give thanks for the work they do every day and which we only appreciate when we arrive at their door.
Dale Margaret Vagg, Warrnambool
It is a huge relief to the community that Ted Rayment has been appointed as the new acting chief executive officer of Lyndoch Living, following on from the important initial work of interim CEO Jamie Brennan.
The Standard article on September 22 quoted Mr Rayment as saying there will be an investigation in the way Lyndoch's board receives reports from management after concerns key information might be escaping the scrutiny of directors.
Mr Rayment pointed out this was one of the "urgent issues" identified by Mr Brennan with the need to change the way reports were provided to the board. This is to involve key issues clearly highlighted at the very beginning of a board report to ensure good decision-making.
It is a key responsibility of all boards, including the Lyndoch board, to ensure information needed is received in an effective way to enable board members to exercise good governance, reasonable care, skill and diligence.
It is unacceptable it has taken an acting CEO to bring to the attention of the Lyndoch board that key information may have been escaping their scrutiny.
The board must have realised something was gravely by non-compliance findings of four aged care performance reports.
Mr Rayment has vowed to work out "what went wrong" at Lyndoch and ensure it never happens again.
The "what went wrong" at Lyndoch happened under the watch of the current board.
The board should do the right thing and resign.
Helen Bayne, Warrnambool
Thank you Carol Altmann for all you have done in exposing the enormous problems at our beloved Lyndoch that have so worried the community, and that the board has so obviously ignored. The ongoing silence from Lyndoch management and the board caused great suspicion as to motives for the almost complete run-down of a once-wonderful community facility. Was this intentional, with plans to then privatise?
We are all aware of enormous government funding provided to Lyndoch. Was this being spent on the residents or on peripheral issues such as sponsorship of the Warrnambool Racing Club?
Carol, the Warrnambool people cannot thank you enough for your tenacious efforts to save Lyndoch.
Helen Job, Warrnambool
What I do not understand is Kevin Knowles was a violent repeat offender; how was he allowed to have complete free range within Kirkstall?
I realise fear was his main tactic and fear can make you react against your true feelings. But surely when a person makes a complaint against Knowles, the law knowing his history are obliged to act.
It seems Knowles did what he did because there were no consequences. Why? Was he so intimidating that he even had the law bluffed? Surely if he knew how to minimise his crimes, then the law could also find ways within the law to shut this brute down. Am I being too simplistic? It begs belief he got away with all he did.
That Travis Cashmore was driven to take matters in his own hands is a sad reflection of a flawed system, that allows a thug to reign supreme.
Freedom is a fragile happening - we all take it for granted, until it is gone. All it took was one nasty piece of work to gain the power and there you have it. I truly hope Travis has not died in vain, that his courage and actions are the creation of new laws that do not allow this nightmare to happen again. RIP Travis, you have earnt it.
Vicki Walter, Warrnambool
The article published in The Standard ("Bird Endangers Skate Park" by Ben Sylvester, September 24) acknowledges the Latham's snipe habitat is protected under the EPBC Act 1999.
The area proposed for the skate park is only 20 metres from Sandy Cove where over the past four years over 70 Latham's snipe have been counted. Eighteen birds is of national significance. Due diligence would suggest the site initially chosen is "not the right place".
The South Beach Wetlands and Landcare Group met with the shire as part of the consultation process and communicated that the skate park was too close to significant snipe habitat.
The group has a proud history of working with the shire to support Moyne's Community Vision which states among other things, "Our natural environment is our biggest asset".
The identification of the initial site for the skate park being too close to significant snipe habitat will see this "vision" realised and the skate park built in a more appropriate place.
In fact, in the discussions with Moyne it was agreed the skate park could be relocated 200 metres from Sandy Cove and cause little or no disturbance to the birds.
Port Fairy has three nationally significant snipe habitats.
If Moyne Shire truly believes "our natural environment is our biggest asset" then let's build the skate park "in the right place" so that the birds and those delighted by riding the concrete wave can live in harmony.
Don Stewart, chairperson, SBWLG
I must respond to Labor candidate Kylie Gaston's article on road funding (The Standard, September 26).
As someone who has had 35 years managing road construction, life-cycle maintenance costs and applying for funding, I must vigorously dispute Ms Gaston's assertions as a fabrication.
Clearly any observation of the deteriorated state of the road network is evidence of lack of funding to maintain the roads at an acceptable level.
Potholes form nearly always when the bitumen oxidizes and goes brittle.
This allows water in through the cracks and the traffic then pumps the water under the bitumen surface and removes the surface to form a pothole and deforms the road pavement.
The solution is a very simple one and that is to continue to reseal the surface with bitumen and a five to 10 per cent rubber addition in the bitumen prior to the life-cycle of the road surface every 10 to 14 years depending on the stone used in the surface, plus some other considerations such as traffic volume.
Failure to maintain the roads will see them perform satisfactorily for most of their life-cycle normally up until about two years prior to the end of their life.
Small cracks will appear as the bitumen becomes brittle and if maintenance is not carried out when required, the bitumen shatters like glass over the next 12 months, causing major potholes that could potentially require the whole of the road to be reconstructed at a massive cost.
Good roads can handle wet weather and rain if the surface is adequately maintained.
The maintenance costs are a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars required to reconstruct the road when it has reached catastrophic failure due to lack of maintenance. This is the situation we find ourselves in currently where the roads are a ticking time-bomb that will massively deteriorate with pothole and pavement failures, requiring massive increased funding to bring back to an acceptable standard.
This is a direct result of the Andrews Government failure to understand road maintenance requirements and properly fund the life-cycle costs of the road network.
Without significant increased funding, the whole road network will continue to deteriorate.
If resealing the surface is not done when it is needed near the end of the surface's life-cycle, then like the failure to paint your house on a regular basis, the paint will flake off as will the bitumen on the road.
Labor's lack of expenditure on road maintenance is clearly evident to anyone who travels on our roads by the sheer number of potholes and pavement deformation that are damaging vehicles.
Their failure to understand road maintenance requirements and properly fund them will lead to significant deterioration of the road network over the next couple of years.
This will cause significant maintenance costs to vehicles and increase cost to the transport industry, taxpayers and council rates as more effort is required to keep patching the roads rather than fix the actual cause. Costs will rise, service will deteriorate, and users will be faced with an increased cost burden.
Labor fails to plan and manage the road network and the evidence is there staring us in the face for everyone to see in the form of potholes and rough surface.
Neil Allen, Tower Hill
Success in any job should be celebrated. It generally doesn't happen overnight and is, almost always, the result of a pursuit for excellence. This couldn't be more true in the case of the farming sector.
Generational focus on improvements and refinement is what it takes to become something very special - be it in grain development, or dairy genetics to achieve the creamiest milk, or in aquacultural reforms.
However, the latest success I want to celebrate is that of lamb and beef producers.
From the south-west of Victoria, our best have travelled to Sydney and returned with a national crown firmly placed on their heads.
At the Sydney Royal Show, the Midfield Group won the Champion Lamb and Overall Branded Meat Grand Champion.
It really is quite an extraordinary effort to be the best in the nation.
Starting nearly 50 years ago, Midfield Meat has grown to become the largest multi-meat abattoir in Australia, processing almost three million animals every year.
It is fully Australian-owned by the McKenna family, employs 1500 people and its beef, lamb, veal and mutton products are sent to 90 countries.
What makes Midfield's success so good is that it represents a whole-of-food-chain focus on excellence. The success started on farm - in paddocks - and spiralled all the way to the presentation on a plate - via marketing teams, buyers, sellers, boardrooms and ultimately, consumers. It is the result of years of effort, of attention to detail, of determination to be the best.
At a time when social media can create overnight sensations - this reward firmly puts the spotlight on those who understand that, in the real world, time is the essence to perfection and nothing replaces hard work.
Beverley McArthur MP, Member for Western Victoria
The future of our children, grandchildren and their children is dependent on the health of our planet and climate.
There is little doubt the evidence shows excessive carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to warming of the atmosphere and the resultant changes to our weather patterns and rising sea levels.
When we see our political leaders proudly displaying lumps of coal in parliament, we know we have been let down either due to our "leaders" having limited emotional intelligence or receiving donations from powerful lobby groups.
Don't waste your vote with a 'Donkey vote' at this state election - vote for evidence over ideology.
Dr Michael McCluskey, Independent candidate, South-West Coast
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