Letters to the editor

| Bendigo Weekly | 24-Mar-2011 2.34

Train delays

The Liberal-National Government has just passed 100 days in office and already local Liberal-National Government MP Damian Drum is selling out Central Victoria.
Instead of standing up for Central Victorian train travellers and demanding the vital Regional Rail Link project is built, he is trotting out government lines and refusing to back its construction.
Labor has a record of building up regional rail services, with extra trains on the Bendigo line. Labor backed the Regional Rail Link to give Central Victorian travellers their own dedicated rail line into Melbourne.
Being separated from Melbourne suburban trains is a long held wish of country train travellers. It appears that under Mr Drum and his government it will be our nightmare if the Liberal-National Government rip away Bendigo’s rail link to Melbourne.

Jacinta Allan MP
Member for Bendigo East

Devisive subdivisions

At the February 9 City of Greater Bendigo council meeting it was recommended that a permit be issued to subdivide land opposite the Botanical Gardens into 52 residential lots.
Most concerning is that the proposal will include 16 lots of 330sqm in Scott Street which will feature a row of 14 two-storey town house style residences over looking our treasured Botanical Gardens.
In response to one resident’s objections, two town houses have been changed to single storey for neighborhood character reasons.
We believe this should apply to the Botanic Gardens precinct too.
The nature of these dwellings is not consistent with the single storey dwelling character of the area, will dominate the streetscape and impact on the openness of the Botanic Gardens.
We believe this will detract from the amenity of the gardens that people currently enjoy.
This application was exempt from public information. Considering the development will impact on the public gardens and local traffic, we believe the council is obliged to inform the people and give the opportunity for ideas to be contributed to allow the gardens and development to exist in harmony.
If concerned the development will (a) adversely affect the Botanical Gardens precinct and (b) increase traffic problems, please make your council aware of your concerns and any objections.

Marg and Len Gaskell,
White Hills

Council proposal meets expectations

The Victorian Electoral Commission is currently reviewing council’s shape, the number of councillors, and its representational performance and potential.
Public consultation and invitation of submissions began in February and a number of varying scenarios have been submitted by interested parties, individuals and the current council.
The VEC will produce its preliminary report at the end of March. Further consultation with submitters will occur during April and a final report will be issued in May.
I believe that this debate is healthy and the outcome is, therefore, more likely to serve the community better.
Personally, I have attempted to promote discussion at the council table to arrive at an agreed position.
I presented options that encompass all of the submissions, now lodged with the VEC, without bias or favour.
Council has decided to submit, to the VEC, an arrangement of nine councillors representing single wards with a major rearrangement of ward boundaries – being three inner urban wards, and six wards which encompass part of the urban area and the adjacent rural districts.
This decision was adopted unanimously by council and happens to accord with my own preference.
I have 40 years of close association with municipalities throughout Victoria and four years as a councillor in Bendigo in two very different wards.
This experience has got to have some meaning for councillors who are dedicated to service to their ward and the overall betterment of our city.
The issues, as I see them, are the spread of responsibilities, and the ability to readily and sensibly respond to residents’ matters of concern, the connection of community of interests, and to maximise councillors’ focus on their own election (ward).
No other arrangement will deliver this outcome.
Certainly, all councillors have a responsibility to respond, and decide, on all issues throughout the municipality – but surely, there needs to be a local champion representing the best interest of each locality.
The VEC will decide our destiny, in the fullness of time. Whatever the decision, Bendigo will progress because it will, and must.
I feel that the residents are used to having a go-to person (councillor) and the council’s proposal retains this expectation, better aligns the community of interests, and provides a broader perspective for Councillors with regard to the urban and rural aspects of our city.

Cr Bruce Phillips
City of Greater Bendigo
North West Plains Ward

Government has lost control

There’s no denying it: the violent uprising at Christmas Island proves that the Gillard government has lost control of the irregular maritime arrival and detention centre situation.
The Howard policy worked – it saved lives and it saved the taxpayer money; lots of it.
Since Mr Rudd and subsequently Ms Gillard tried to operate the Department of Immigration the whole affair has become a shambles.
The asylum seeker population, growing by the month, cannot be contained and more spaces are frantically being created on Australian soil.
No matter that we already have a severe shortage of affordable housing and the National Rental Affordability Scheme has been scrapped; now there is more competition for the little we have.
We certainly don’t need the troublemakers.
It is time to go back to an immigration policy that works.
H. Leslie

Due process not followed

What a proud moment for the Gibbins family with the council finally passing a motion to name the Kevin Gibbins Field at the Epsom Huntly Regional Reserve after the well-respected late councillor.
My only reservation is that this council did not follow due process as set out in the Geographic Place Names Act 1998.
They did not advertise the original proposal for public consultation and allow the people he served to decide the most appropriate recognition.
Robert K Smallpage
Reader commented on 09-May-2011 11:44 AM5 out of 5 stars
The City of Greater Bendigo Council needs to stop placing rocks around the city (an example is along the median strip in Eaglehawk Road, Garden Gully – and also in Charing Cross, adjacent to Rosalind Park). Charing Cross used to look majestic with grass
and bright, vibrant flowerbeds in the median strip on which the Cenotaph is located, and also the surrounding areas (near Rosalind Park and View Point). I believe that the council should redecorate Charing Cross now that the drought is over, and bring it back
to its former green, colourful and vibrant glory – because it really is the first thing visitors to our city sees! Thank you, Joseph Gould.
Pauline Symes commented on 27-Jun-2014 11:08 AM5 out of 5 stars
I am not for or against the Mosque being built in Bendigo however l am against making people who have objections to the building of the Mosque being treated badly. These people have a right to voice their opinion. Their reasoning may be from fear or misunderstanding however they have a right and not be labeled bigots. My question to our council is , Where thier fears and objections addressed? My family has a long and proud history of fighting and protecting Australia in all branches of the Armed Forces over many generations so we can have the right to voice our opinion in a Free and democratic society. As to the bad press Bendigo is getting for these objections, The press are the ones who instill fear and misunderstanding with their reporting. My only request is address the worries of people who have objected and dont make them feel like they are bigots because their opinion is different from others.When we have an issue or feel a situation is wrong , we have the right to stand up for those convictions. Thank you Pauline Symes


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