Value for service

There have been rumblings recently from the City of Greater Bendigo wanting ideas how to revive the dull and uninspiring Hargreaves Mall.
Unfortunately the horse has bolted due to the decision made by the council somewhere during the time between 1990 to 1994 when the city was put in the hands of administrators when the council was not functioning properly and was under investigation over poor
management.
There were plans or ideas to build state offices on the site of the old railway lines in the goods yard.
These plans were squashed under the Kennett government and the Bendigo Marketplace plan came to fruition and supported by council, hence the slow death of the central business in the main CBD.
Also the closing of Hargreaves Street between Williamson and Mitchell streets, to put in the Hargreaves Mall was also a factor in the collapse of the CBD.
Landlords are also to blame by continually increasing rent on premises, which has also put pressure on businesses.
The introduction of parking meters has driven people away, and some of the street redesigns haven’t done anyone any favours.
Especially the latest disastrous development at the intersection of Mitchell and Hargreaves Street, took away parking bays and loading zone in Mitchell Street between Hargreaves Street and Bath Lane to create more table space on the footpath of a coffee shop which has recently closed.
Provide free parking in the CBD even if you put a two- or three-hour limit.
They have created a bottle neck in Hargreaves Street by placing a lawn area and the waste of $30,000 on a seat that provides no protection from the weather to anyone that sits on it.
Then we are confronted with the councillors wanting another pay rise. It appears that they are only there for the money, not to represent the community with better services that they don’t receive.

Ivan Kitt,
Bendigo

 

Focus on reusables

Thank you, Peter Cox – I would support any consumer based action group to reduce waste and to
recycle.
I know there are health regulations in Australia which might restrict some of the excellent developing country initiatives: in Pakistan, takeaways are often in reused cereal boxes.
However, fruit and veg should be bought unpackaged; hard plastic around six and 12 packs must go.
People can buy glass coffee and tea containers for takeaways. Leave them in the car.
Cardboard boxes and cloth bags are great.
And whatever happened to brown paper packages tied up with string?

Kate Olliver,
Spring Gully

 

Surprising statements

In her letter “Parents’ Responsibility” Bendigo Weekly, February 9 former councillor Helen Leach makes some rather surprising
statements.
Aside from her condescending referral to refugee children as ”somewhat unfortunate”, she seems to have missed the point about what it is that motivates the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children (GADRC).
It does not seem to have occurred to Ms Leach that many of the children the grandmothers want to protect may simply no longer have parents, or may have been separated from them during the ordeal of their journey.
It is precisely because these children are isolated, traumatised and vulnerable that
The grandmothers are seeking to protect them.
Ms Leach is right about one thing – the government is certainly not responsible for the conception of children in detention. But neither are the children themselves.
Nor are they to blame if their parents are no longer there to look after them.
As a grandmother herself, I would have thought Ms Leach could at least understand where the compassion and concern of the GADRC group is coming from.

Julie Hopper,
Bendigo

 

Station neglect
Congratulations to the PTV genius who finally (after many years) thought it was a good idea to place rubbish bins on both platforms at the Bendigo railway
station.
Now we just need some more brilliant thoughts on doing something about the rubbish and dead trees etc. that have built up over years, especially on the eastern side of the station.
The neglect that PTV/VicTrack have allowed to go on over the years is disgraceful; if it was private property, there would be action from the authorities for sure.
As well as the visual impact of the litter is the danger to the public (fallen trees lying over footpaths for weeks) and to the environment with serious weed infestation.
The days when stationmasters had pride in the appearance and function of their stations are now, sadly long gone.

Stuart Symonds,
Quarry Hill

 

Expo in the mall

With a multitude of fantastic businesses already in Bendigo could our council encourage and support these businesses in showcasing what they have to offer by putting on expos in the Hargreaves Mall throughout the year.
The mall could become known as Bendigo’s expo hub.
Just imagine if all florists in the Bendigo area set up colourful displays for a day or two in our mall how beautiful that would look.
Plant nurseries could add to this display.
Wineries such as Balgownie Estate could showcase their new glam camping and other wineries such as Bendigo Wine Bank who also offer accommodation could join in and make it a wonderful display.
Mon Coeur, Provincial Home Living, The Complete Garden are all exceptionally beautiful businesses along with many other existing businesses, showcasing them in our mall would look stunning.
Bendigo Discovery Centre could put on a fabulous science display that would attract many young people.
Our bakeries could join forces and show the public just what is available in our beautiful city.
Advertising our city in such a way could perhaps attract new business who would want to be part of our forward thinking city, the possibilities are endless.
With imagination and forward planning the centre of our city could thrive again. Just a suggestion.

Lorna Wight,
Bendigo

 

Open letter to the PM
Dear Prime Minister,
I write in relation to the announcement regarding sales of defence equipment.
One of the moral issues of our time that has concerned responsible citizens is the whole area of arms trafficking.
I am very much aware that both the US and the UK amongst others, have made enormous profit from arms sales.
Technically it may have been a legal process.
In the shadows have been many less legal arms dealers.
The result has been the proliferation of deadly weapons in the hands of warring parties and the mutilation and death of countless innocent people, and the continued destruction of property.
Your announcement means that we “peace-loving”, “generous”, “people of good will”, join the warmongers.
Instead of standing firm for peace and mercy, we ruthlessly join those who spread war, violence, death and destruction.
There is no other use of these instruments which are euphemistically labelled “defence”, than for war and death.
Even the “virtuous” Bushmaster is a weapon of war. And all for the sake of boosting the economy and the promise of jobs – a good vote catcher.
Prime Minister, this policy is short sighted and brutal.
We unashamedly join the warmongers rather than work for peace and goodwill.
By this policy we nail our colours to the mast and say, “We believe in war and violence – here are the instruments.”
We are admitting that we are greedily pragmatic. This is not a long-term policy of national security but more akin to contributing to the inevitability of war

David U’Ren,
Jackass Flat