Numbers game

The taxpayers voted those politicians to Canberra to govern the country, look what they did, back-stabbing each other left, right and centre.
It is so sad to see it happen.
Leadership challenge is not new, Paul Keating eventually became prime minister, not in the case of Peter Costello though, but there was no public confrontation.
Mr Abbott, backed by some influential allies in the media sector has a long history of attacking/bullying his opponents:
1. Putting Pauline Hanson in jail by a technicality when she started to gain popularity and
2. The attacks to Julia Gillard constantly when she was PM, even criticised her at her father’s funeral, prompted her famous misogynist speech.
It is just plain ugly to orchestrate this whole saga to deal with Mr Turnbull, maybe a payback to Turnbull taking his PM job?
To run a country requires a balancing act, you can’t please all parties, there is no need to give tax incentives to big companies, because they know where to park their monies.
Not at the expense of low income earners and pensioners.
Anyhow it is a numbers game in politics, please consider.

Ann Tang,
North Bendigo

New thoughts

As a recent arrived resident of Bendigo, I have read much about the problems of Hargreaves Mall. Certainly the mall in its current state is not very appealing.
I have spent much time in Denmark over the past few years and have visited many large towns that could offer some pointers for the Hargreaves Mall.
First, has Bendigo Marketplace killed Hargreaves Mall? Not necessarily.
I visited several towns which had shopping malls close to the town centre; in some cases, the mall had taken the life out of the rest of the town centre, in others, the “ordinary” town centre happily co-existed with the nearby shopping mall.
The secret here seemed to be offering a good alternative series of shops so that the shopping mall and the town centre complemented rather than competed with each other.
A bigger problem I see with Hargreaves Mall is that it is too wide to be successful in its current form. It is often said that “nature abhors a vacuum” and the same is true of a retail environment. There is just too much empty space in Hargreaves Mall.
There are a couple of solutions to this. One would be to add shops, kiosks and/or cafes in the centre of the mall.
This has been successfully done in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall.
Alternatively, re-open the mall to (calmed) traffic. In Danish towns where the shopping street was a similar width to Hargreaves Street, the street would be left open to two-way traffic, however, with a reduced speed limit.
Generally some sort of pavers would be used to calm the traffic. There would be a single traffic lane in each direction with a single lane of parallel parking each side.
Generally the parking time limit would be 30 minutes to ensure a high turnover of parking in this area. Footpaths would be widened each side to enhance the pedestrian and retail experience.
Another problem, aside from the many empty shops is that, the shops in Hargreaves Mall don’t “engage” with the mall, presenting a “closed” appearance.
In Danish towns, shops along a shopping street, whether or not it was open to traffic, would have racks of clothes and other goods on the footpath outside the shop, adding much colour and life to the shopping area.
This would be the case even in winter, which is much colder than a Bendigo winter.

James Proctor,
Strathdale

 

Pathway of destruction

A message for the leader of the opposition Bill Shorten and the Labor party is not to get to cocky and complacent that they are certain winners at the next federal election when ever it may be called.
People are fed up with the disgraceful behaviour from all sides of politics over the last five years.
Remember you have been elected to represent the nation not your own self interest or the party lines, you need to listen to the concerns of the nation, the problems we are facing and make life easier especially for the elderly and the farmers that are doing it tough along with everyone else.
The sad thing is that governments have put this nation in this position by selling off all our commodities in electricity, gas and water, if these commodities had have been kept under government control we wouldn’t be in this sorry state of affairs.
One wonders how long Scott Morrison can hold the sinking ship afloat before the rumblings by the wreckers again start to erupt and cause chaos.
This once-lucky country can’t keep going down this pathway of destruction without doing what is right, we need honesty and integrity and most of all we want strong leadership.

Ivan Kitt,
Bendigo

 

Bad manners

My wife and I along with many others spent Sunday afternoon at the Capital Theatre being entertained by the Bendigo Brass Band, their youth band and other performers.
The concert was a tribute to the Anzac spirit, those who had fallen during World War I, as well as supporting Legacy who provide much needed support for the families of defence personnel.
Sad then that this moving occasion was spoilt in part by a small minority who refused to stand for another nation’s national anthem.
An act that seemed even more childish when one realised that the concert was in fact proudly sponsored by an avowed republican.
A person who obviously has the ability to differentiate between entertainment and politics, someone able to understand that standing for a nation’s national anthem is a sign of respect not a sign of subservience, if it was we would have no medal and flag raising ceremonies at Olympic and Commonwealth games.
This act was not only disrespectful to that nation but also to the Anzac spirit we were there to acknowledge, band members and others who put on such a wonderful performance.
We often hear people complain of the lack of respect shown by today’s generations; well I’m afraid this juvenile display gave them a perfect example of bad manners and disrespect for them to follow

David Arscott,
Kangaroo Flat

 

Parking bad for business

The demand for parking in the city is high. Yet our council has waived around 200 bays in the past year, it’s madness.
Business people know a lack of parking is a barrier to customers coming to their business, and is bad for business.
Council has policies to encourage consolidation and infill development, yet it is denying shoppers and visitors car parking spaces by waiving much needed bays.
It is obvious our city councillors are ignoring the plight of business and of shoppers – particularly the elderly and infirm.
Not all citizens are able to walk or cycle through heat and rain to gain benefit from council’s claimed high-quality urban design which eliminates parking. Public transport is doubtful.
Have councillors any idea how much parking the city has, and how many bays they can afford to lose?
Parking is of increasing importance in city areas. Why not undertake a city-wide car parking space census?
It is incumbent on our council to work out the best way to reclaim and repurpose parking space in ways that enhance efficiency and liveability for all, while minimising disruption.
Pretending bikes, walking and buses is working is a joke.
Parking problems have also spread to the residential areas. Council approved small house lot sizes with limited parking.
The result, once-lovely nature strips are becoming car parks. Council needs to wake up, not ignore the problem.
One wonders if all this is playing into the hands of developers as well as being a ploy by council to gain more revenue from parking fees and fines?
Do councillors represent the residents, developers or unrealistic planners?
To my knowledge council has never asked Bendigo residents their opinion on car parking needs.

Bill Collier,
Golden Square