Letter to the editor

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 31-Aug-2017


Be aware of our privilege

Can you imagine this? 

Two men are standing together on the boundary at a local football game. They are discussing the much-appreciated playing skills of a relatively new player at their club.

Then one man says to the other, “and he is a great contributor around the club”. And the second responds “yes and did you know he is heterosexual?” 

It is unlikely isn’t it that the last statement would be made. The player belongs to a majority group. Being in a majority group installs a privilege that means your sexuality or your ethnicity or your white skin or many other features do not need to be named.

You are not perceived as a threat to the general order  of things. You are familiar.

I hope we can all be aware of how our privilege can influence our views about same -sex marriage or refugee issues or drug testing for the unemployed. 

First and foremost, think about people and their right to respect. Like each of us, they are contributors to our community. Labelling the other, can hurt and demoralise people but is unlikely to change them. 

Di O’Neil,


Big Australian - big mistakes

BHP CEO, Marius Kloppers, and executive officer, Mike Yeager, in 2011 initiated the purchase of shale gas/oil businesses in the USA for a cool US$20 billion and spent another US$18b developing them.

Roughly US$10b worth of writedowns over the 2015 and 2016 financial years followed.

Now BHP has signalled it is selling the businesses. It is expected to get as little as US$8b for them.

Kloppers’ “visionary leadership” at BHP yielded more than $75 million in cash, shares and performance rights when he departed in 2013.

Sounds like a fairy tale?

Unfortunately for shareholders at BHP it is reality. 

Michael McKenzie,


Where was the care?

As the number 53 bus to Eaglehawk was preparing to leave Bendigo railway station at 3.39pm recently, some 20-30 school children scrambled for the footpath seats to watch as a neatly dressed frail old man (91+) collapsed as he hurried to reach this bus before it moved off.

Dragging himself on all fours and grabbing his bag of groceries, not one of those children watching three to four metres away, came to his aid as he fell, gasping for breath and raising his arm to ask the bus driver to wait a few seconds. They seemed to consider it an amusement.

Where is the teaching in Bendigo schools and homes for compassion and care and consideration for others?

Is Bendigo breeding a race of unthinking uncaring robots?

At least the bus driver of the bus cared and waited.

Edward Chase,


Shortage of staff

A recent report in local media points out that there is a lack of preparation in the construction of the new hospital and a problem with staff retention.

The board spokesperson revealed that there is “a lack of staff available in the Bendigo region and issues in staff retention”.

While our local member of parliament can only add “Bendigo Health recruitment policies were a matter for the health service.”

Why are we paying high salaries to managers and politicians to come up with solutions to the growth in our population, when they cannot come up with answers.

I openly ask our elected representative the following questions:

1. What is wrong with the working environment to cause the lack of retention of trained staff?

2. What are these issues which cause the lack of retention?

3. What relationship does the board have with La Trobe University nursing school?

4. Where are all the graduated nurses from La Trobe University going?

Management of our hospital and its human resources is the responsibility of not just the board of management, it is the responsibility of our state members and our elected city councillors who should be on top of the situation.

Bill Collier,

Golden Square

Bible’s integrity at risk

An issue that is at the heart of the same-sex marriage debate but which hasn’t received due coverage in the media involves the integrity of the bible. 

The biblical position on the practice of homosexuality is quite clear. It rules against it. So then, what of it? Can we have some discussion regarding the significance of this red flag? Does the bible have credibility or not? If not, then we drive on. However, if so, then what? 

One statement it makes, for example, being relevant to the current debate is that there is a very close relationship between homosexuality and a society that has made a considered decision to put god out of the public arena and to sanction a secular approach to life.

That is a clear teaching found in the first chapter of the book of Romans. Now what do we do with that? Shouldn’t we be giving at least some consideration to the guidelines contained in a book which has made such a significant and constructive contribution to the development of many cultures and civilisations over a period of many centuries? 

If not, then perhaps the plebiscite will be just as much an indicator of our level of secularism and low opinion regarding the integrity of the bible as what it will be regarding our attitudes towards the controversial question that is soon to be mailed out to us?

Garry McCay

Kangaroo Flat

A bigger picture 

It’s nice of Lisa Chesters to show such compassion for pensioners facing higher energy prices, and missing out on the pension supplement to help pay their power bill, but that is not the whole story.

The payment was to offset the carbon tax which Labor introduced, but as this tax is no longer current, then the offset has gone to fund the NDIS. There was a one-off pensioner energy supplement paid in June to all those eligible.

But isn’t it Labor state and federal who plan to reach 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 which would send these same pensioners’ energy bills through the roof? 

If Ms Chesters really wishes to assist pensioners, and indeed all Australians, then she ought to be working to reduce the major cause of high energy cost – the clean energy target.

 Helen Leach,


Once great nation

On a regular basis lately when you read the news one wonders where our great nation is heading or perhaps even gone. 

It’s shameful the way our politicians of all persuasions, both federal and state as well as our councillors, are constantly making decisions (or lack of logical and reasonable decisions) for the betterment of the constituents they are elected to represent. 

The federal government is making a complete hash of the marriage equality situation where they are prepared to spend mega bucks on posting out a survey saying the people should have a say. 

And then they are going to vote on the issue when they are returned. Why waste all that money that could go into health, childcare and disability services?

Now the latest scandal is the number of politicians with dual citizenship. 

While electricity and gas prices soar and cost of living and childcare costs rise, federal and state politicians and our newly elected councillors have all got one thing in common – they have got or are contemplating large pay rises. 

I just wonder what our predecessors would think today, if they were to come back. They put their lives on the line to give us a safe and prosperous future, to see what our incompetent leaders have done to this once great country.

Ivan Kitt, 


Who do you think they are?

I wish to thank your paper for its fine coverage of the Post Office Gallery exhibition, Taverns to Temperance.

The photo featured in the glass cabinet was of my grandfather William Carter c. 1902, enjoying a tipple from the old teapot out the back of the Foundry Hotel.

The photo is now a life-size one on a wall in the Foundry Hotel which has been renovated.

We are trying to identify the other six men in the photo. My grandfather is third from the left. Anyone who has any knowledge of the other men I would be most grateful to hear from them. I can be contacted at takywm2@adam.com.au

Wendy Takos,

South Australia


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