Letter to the editor

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 27-Sep-2017

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A diverse Bendigo

A local government council with diversity and inclusion as a professed core value should be on the front foot in support of marriage equality.

The appalling failure of successive federal governments over the past decade to legislate marriage equality and, thereby, genuine respect for same-sex attracted people is an abject abrogation of parliamentary responsibility.

Issues of social justice are the business of local councillors, and I would love to see my representatives on council step up, with the actions to matching their words, to ensure that diversity and inclusion are not hollow slogans. 

It would be a great disappointment to see the new council fall at the very first hurdle in driving change towards a genuinely equitably diverse Bendigo.

 Michelle Goldsmith,

Eaglehawk

Wake up call

Our world is  in turmoil, yet here in Australia, same sex marriage is getting the big headlines.

Same sex marriage is indeed a paradox and an aberration of the natural order of things.

The big casualty in this issue has been “common sense”.

There are far more important things to be attended to in this nation than politicians and their ilk pandering to the whims of minority groups.

Wake up Australia, for goodness sake. Wake up Australia, for Australia’s sake.

BMF Dillon,

Bendigo

 

Hard to swallow

I find the council CEO’S comments of being hamstrung and arguing that the state government’s rate cap undermines the council’s independence a little hard to
swallow.

As a creature of the state government it has always accepted the cost and responsibility shifting as a way to build an empire and not advocating for the ordinary ratepayers and citizens who have to abide by their decisions.

Ordinary citizens and especially those on pensions are restricted by the CPI and have to live within their means.

Are we to return to those days of councillors claiming the need for five to six percent rate rises to be able to exist as a city? – tighten your belts council. 

Where are all the rates going from all the new development going on?

It’s all very well to want the best of sporting or other facilities while ignoring the needs of ordinary ratepayers, requiring better roads and footpaths. 

Rate capping was put there to stop excessive spending by councils. To protect those householders who are battling mortgage stress, low interest rates, low wages, high energy costs.

Our nation is losing the innovation race – no wonder, when council can’t even use innovation to achieve rate capping for the benefit of ratepayers. 

Bill Collier,

Golden Square

Support valued

I would like to thank the
businesses and organisations of Bendigo who have had the courage and fortitude to come forward during this hurtful “debate” on marriage equality and show their support for the Bendigo LGBTQI community. 

Seeing YES posters in various shop-front windows are a highlight during days becoming increasingly bleak as anti-equality campaigners indulge their vitriolic hate against my community. 

It is a small thing but it means a great deal. 

Be assured, we will support those who support us.

Jason Jochinke,

North Bendigo

Simple vote for equality

Today I received my papers for the Australian Marriage Law Survey. Also in my letter box was a flyer from the Coalition for Marriage. 

I felt totally confronted by their assumption that if I voted YES I would be supporting radical (written to imply disastrous) consequences. 

This is a simple vote for equality. I’m a rational person supporting and not afraid to say YES.

Di O’Neil,

Bendigo

Poles remain bare

I have been watching the spread of rainbow flags across various Victorian councils with interest, and dare I say it hope. 

Similarly, I have watched the flagpoles above the Bendigo town hall remain bare of any indication that our council supports that section of our community struggling to withstand an onslaught of self-righteous, sanctimonious judgment from another, safer, more protected section. 

One which would do well to consider that their choices during this abysmal display of government incompetence will be not be remembered fondly as being on the right side of history. 

Maggie McKenzie,

Kennington 

Certificate consequences

If and when the government of the day legislates and legitimises so-called same-sex marriage will Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten please enlighten us as to what will be allowed to be recorded on the birth certificate of a child adopted by a homosexual couple? 

Will it be two fathers, two mothers, or one father and a mother? 

With the constant push to emphasise sexual equality with no differentiation between the sexes can we expect provision also to be made on the birth certificate for the child to be described as neuter or no gender?

Surely Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten, advising us to vote YES during the plebiscite, have an opinion on this very important matter with its possible unintended consequences. 

Dick Ashby,

Numurkah

Regarding country roads

Roads are the lifeblood of country communities – that’s why we’re investing more than ever before to make our country roads safer and stronger.

Since coming to office, the state government has doubled spending on road maintenance. 

Over the next 12 months VicRoads will be doing more pavement work than it has done in decades, part of the government’s $530 million investment to improve regional roads.

In this financial year alone, VicRoads will fix more than 1400 kilometres of roads across the state.

And we’re not just filling pot holes; we’re rebuilding entire sections of some of our most critical links.

We’re investing $58m in resurfacing, asphalting, sealing and shoulder repair at more than 100 locations.

We’re also building the infrastructure that we know saves lives on rural roads.

We’re rolling out more than 1700 kilometres of wire rope barriers, upgrading road shoulders and widening centre lines on the states most dangerous country roads. 

The fact is that the VicRoads maintenance budget was $157m in the last year of the previous Liberal/National government.

This year we have allocated $343.2m to maintenance.

Only Labor is investing the money needed to keep people safe on our roads.

By dumping the East West Link in the city, we’ve been able to redirect $690m in funding to regional roads upgrades.

But we will not stop investing in our critical roads infrastructure.

The VicRoads’ senior leadership team has spent the last few weeks touring country Victoria, talking to locals about how they can better plan, build, manage and maintain the 19,000km of country arterial roads.

VicRoads have acknowledged that they can do more to explain how the roads are built, what might cause them to fail, and what it takes to repair them and support a better future. 

This work won’t happen overnight, and there is always more that we can do – but we’re backing country Victoria – investing in the roads we need to unlock jobs and investment and protect families.

Victorians deserve roads they can rely on, and this investment will make sure the roads are safer and more reliable than ever before.

Luke Donnellan,

Minister for Roads and Road Safety

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