Letter to the editor

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 02-Nov-2017

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The 600 are innocent

As an Australian I am sickened and deeply ashamed of the human rights abuses being perpetrated in my name. 

The Manus Island 600 are innocent and have complied with international law in seeking asylum. 

We have illegally detained them in brutal conditions for years for purely political reasons. We already have several avoidable deaths and untold suffering on our collective conscience.

This week we cut off their supply of food, water and medication and abandoned them. 

Terrified of the locals who have already attacked them with knives and machetes and are publicly threatening further violence, they are staying in the compound.

But they no longer have the right to be there either and are expecting the PNG army to hunt them out at any minute.

We are legally and morally responsible for these unlucky men we have traumatised for so long; and this includes the minority who have not already been approved as refugees. 

We need to face this responsibility and bring them to Australia and help them rebuild their lives. They have suffered enough.

Rosemary Glaisher,

Golden Square 

Dangerous legislation

How could any member of Victoria’s Upper House vote for euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide? 

Some, such as James Purcell, seem to think that it doesn’t matter if the occasional vulnerable elderly relative is coerced into seeking euthanasia for fear of being a burden.

And can we trust all doctors to act ethically and refuse to issue a certificate of competency for a patient with dementia, to assist greedy relatives? 

Mr Purcell seems to think so. What strange place does he inhabit?

To stop any corruption or elder abuse, all MLC’s should vote NO to this very flawed bill; this unethical and dangerous legislation.

Helen Leach,

Bendigo 

The problem with cats

Last May, I moved out of home and into a unit with a beautiful garden. It’s been fantastic observing the native birds and lizards who love living here. 

Unfortunately, my garden is also popular with the neighbourhood cats. After filling in holes dug by these unwelcome visitors, and cleaning up their faeces, I began investigating my options to keep my neighbour’s cats off my property, and was not impressed with what was available. 

I can pay to hire a cat cage, which the council will then collect, but as a full-time student, I have little money to spare. 

I have also tried several commercial and home-grown cat repellents, to no avail. I am frustrated by the irresponsibility and lack of respect my neighbours display by allowing their pets to repeatedly foul my property.

The catastrophic impact of cats on our environment is well established, cats will hunt and kill native wildlife, even if they are not hungry.

Because of their destructive nature, I am amazed that there is no law confining cats to their owner’s properties 24/7. 

Sure, there is a cat curfew, but this is hardly enforced, and the fine is substantially less than if a dog has been caught out of its yard. 

Since moving into my house, I have narrowly avoided hitting several of my neighbour’s cats after they ran out in front of my car, cleaned up endless amounts of faeces and filled in countless holes in my garden. 

This is completely unacceptable. 

It should not be my responsibility to clean up after someone else’s pet, and I don’t want the emotional distress that would inevitably follow if I were to accidentally hit one with my car. 

While it may take some time for your cat to become accustomed to being confined, it is an achievable feat. 

You can keep your cat indoors, construct a cat run, or alter your fences to prevent escape so your cat can still have time outside. 

If you don’t have the room or funds for this, cats can also be trained to walk on a leash like dogs, or have supervised outings into their owner’s yards. 

If this is too much for you, then you are clearly not a responsible pet owner, and I would argue that you should not own a cat.

Rachael Goldsmith, 

Eaglehawk 

Council cap query

What can our council do if they can’t manage within the rate cap?

They could follow the lead of another council which has employed a new CEO from the private sector rather than from the established inward-focussed council culture.

Both major political parties in Victoria support rate capping as stated by the Opposition local government spokesperson, that “Premier Daniel Andrews should have capped rates this year [2015-2016] because family budgets depend on it.”

Councils must also remember income is not limited to rates. The rate cap applies to service rates and charges, council also benefits from grants from government and continued development of new rate base.

The council can always fall back to the essential services commission if the rate cap is insufficient for specific needs and the continuation of services to the community.

The Home and Community care program provides assistance for older people, cares and people with disability. 

The funding and management of the service has changed so that the Commonwealth government is responsible for the funding and management of services for people aged 65 and over. 

The Victorian department of health and human services continues to manage and fund services for people under 65 and some services for health and community care clients are being transferred to the management of the national disability insurance scheme. 

The federal and state governments have agreed that services will be managed on this basis until June 2019.

The Municipal Association of Victoria told the committee hearing the submissions on rate capping that some councils were considering moving the provision of home and community care services to private or not-for-profit providers, thereby removing themselves as a provider.

We need our city councillors to be transparent on this issue of rate capping and not hide behind the apron-strings of the CEO. 

Bill Collier

Golden Square 

Mixed messages

In asserting that the decision of the Court of Disputed returns in relation to the eligibility of certain members of Federal Parliament according to section 45 of the Commonwealth Constitution, does not reflect contemporary reality, the Attorney General, Senator Brandis only displays a lack of knowledge.

A few days prior the government had announced that it would not instigate actions to alter the constitution to recognise Indigenous Rights. This followed a lengthy and costly process.

Had the government envisaged the possibility of an adverse finding to the Solicitor General’s case it would have held this announcement over. 

This was despite a statement from the prime minister that he welcomed the opportunity for the High Court to clarify the matter.

The Prime Minister has also had to alter his itinerary illustrates that the government and its supporters expected the court to comply with his direction made in parliament.

Being a republican the best course of action for Malcom Turnbull would have been to suggest a constitutional convention beforehand so as not to appear to challenge the courts wisdom. Two of his members have been found in contempt and were defended by the Solicitor General at the taxpayers’ expense.

Mick Sandiford,

Bendigo

The bottom line

In regards to the article in the Bendigo Weekly, Friday, October 27, about the land shortage in Bendigo and how the council are looking into land in Marong. 

How can Trevor Budge and the rest of the council sleep at night knowing that they are pushing a family off their land that provides food for their table and keeps a roof over their heads? 

They are only thinking of the bottom line and how much money they can make if they sell it to developers, sending money potentially overseas. 

Re-zoning the land under their feet to suit themselves is despicable.

Bendigo council you should be ashamed of yourselves. 

Melinda Stroud,

Bendigo

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