Cruelty in live export

We have recently seen yet another revelation of appalling cruelty in the export of animals for slaughter, with more than 2000 sheep dying hideous deaths from heat stress and lack of access to food and water.
Year after year we have seen shocking evidence of cruelty in the live export trade, always revealed by brave investigators, particularly those supported by Animals Australia.
These occurrences are never revealed by the meat industry or the government; both bodies apparently are incapable of ensuring humane treatment of these unlucky animals.
The only way to ensure acceptable treatment of animals to be slaughtered for meat is to set up abattoirs and processing procedures in Australia to produce meat for export. As well as ensuring humane treatment of animals this would provide jobs for Australians.
The justifications provided for live export include religious requirements and the lack of coolstore facilities in some countries.
Religious inspection of killing procedures can be accommodated. Australian foreign aid, severely curtailed by recent federal governments, could easily be directed to customer countries to help set up coolstore facilities to assist with a chilled meat trade.
It is time for the government to ban live export for slaughter and to replace it with an appropriate industry in Australia.

Pat Horan,
Bendigo

 

Council’s waste

Recent letters in the Bendigo Weekly into the shortcomings of the City of Greater Bendigo’s grab for an extra $1.25 million for recycling waste charges sounds very similar to Wodonga.
The ombudsman report into the City of Wodonga slugging ratepayers for its controversial waste management levy was an eye-opener.
The council had charged ratepayers an additional $25 million since its inception in 2002.
The state premier Daniel Andrews made this comment: “The ombudsman’s report makes it plain that monies where charged not only for waste management purposes, but for other purposes to get around rate-capping.”
I hope our councillors have read this report.
There is a possibility for a ratepayers’ class action to recover their costs.
It appears the damning ombudsman’s report is the biggest controversy Wodonga has faced since the infamous CEO and former mayor‘s cut and paste report on a ratepayer funded South Korea trip they took in 2014.
Which raises Greater Bendigo questions – where is our mayor and CEO China and New Zealand trip reports, and what real benefit did Bendigo ratepayers get from these ratepayer funded trips?
The Dunedin New Zealand trip was 15 weeks ago and still no public report to council. It’s not good enough. Was it a waste of ratepayers’ monies and a wasted trip?

Bill Collier,
Golden Square

 

Celebrating acts of good

This week (National Volunteer Week, May 21–27, 2018) we’re saying a huge thank you to the people who take action and make our country a happier place.
Volunteering happens in all kinds of ways. Like the simple act of sharing a social media post about supporting newly-arrived migrants which, when thousands of others share, can have a huge impact.
Other kinds of volunteering require a bigger commitment, like driving elderly isolated people to regular medical appointments and social outings, and can have a profound effect on the lives of individuals.
At Australian Red Cross, volunteers are a lot like our engine room; they support communities when natural disasters hit, make daily phone calls to isolated people, greet customers to our op shops, donate blood, and fundraise for us.
This week we’re celebrating not just our volunteers in Victoria, but everyone who takes action to make our society stronger, more connected and supportive.
Thank you for your generosity and making Victoria and Australia a better place. Find out more about volunteering at redcross.org.au/volunteer

Wenda Donaldson,
Director, Red Cross in Victoria

 

Nationalise gas fields

The sudden promotion of the so-called Monash Coalition Lobby Group’s proposal for extending the life of coal-powered electric generation is disturbing.
Surely a better alternative for south eastern Australia’s future electricity would be a mix of alternative energy sources (solar, wind and sea-wave power and the like), backed by a large natural gas power station for base load insurance, to ensure continuity of integrated supply.
Why not encourage Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia to combine, hopefully with the federal government, to purchase (ie nationalise) the remaining and diminishing Bass Strait, Gippsland and Otway natural gas reserves for our longer-term use?
It is understood gas power has a lower carbon footprint than coal.

David H Elvery,
Bendigo

 

Not acceptable

So much for mandatory sentencing for assaults on police, ambulance or other emergency workers.
Either the magistrates or judges don’t know the law or they ignore it. Either way it’s simply not acceptable.
Under this state government there is no law, no order, no safety for the public or those who serve us so well.

Helen Leach,
Bendigo

 

Politics of envy

Next time you see someone with a nice car, house or coat you like, instead of going green take a moment to consider how hard they may have worked and how much they sacrificed in order to save, or how much they put at risk to be able to afford that possession – because these things are not so obvious.
Consider this next time you vote at an election. We are the most egalitarian nation in the world. Envy and the resentment it produces only harm those who choose to react this way – instead of being responsible for their own lives and taking steps to improve themselves.

Tony Dewhurst,
Kangaroo Flat

 

Volunteers making a difference

With National Volunteer Week under way, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the power of volunteering.
As president of the Bendigo Evening VIEW Club, I’ve seen first hand how volunteering a small amount of time can have a huge positive impact.
Throughout the year, VIEW (which stands for Voice, Interests and Education of Women), a nationwide women’s organisation, is focused on helping disadvantaged young Australians succeed in their education by supporting the children’s education charity, The Smith Family.
Last year VIEW Clubs collectively raised more than $1 million and volunteered over 50,000 hours of time for the charity.
In Bendigo, our club sponsors eight young students under The Smith Family’s Learning for Life scholarship program, provides additional general funds to The Smith Family, assists with the breakfast club at a local primary school and offers assistance to our local Smith Family representative when requested.
It’s truly heartening to see that it can take just a small amount of our time to help these children succeed at school – and for thousands of disadvantaged children, that little bit of time makes all the difference.
In the last year, The Smith Family’s work has reached more than 151,000 disadvantaged children and family members in 94 communities across Australia.
While this is to be commended, there is much more work to do. With 1.1 million young Australians living below the poverty line, these young people need our support more than ever so they can escape a lifetime of poverty.
If you’re interested in finding out more about VIEW, please do get in touch and together we can make a lasting positive difference in our community.
For more information go to view.org.au.

Cheryl Scully,
President, Bendigo
Evening VIEW Club