Letter to the editor

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 24-Nov-2017

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Demise of Liberal coalition

The demise of the current federal government had its genesis in the first Abbott/Hockey horror budget that lacked compassion and was viewed by most as a scorched earth cost cutting exercise.

No coherent fair reform agenda was ever visible. Abbott’s card was marked.

When it dawned on Abbott and co just how unpopular they were paralysis set in.

They then became a do-nothing offend no one government, hoping to muddle through till the next election.

With the writing on the wall Turnbull assumed power with the sensible intention of re positioning the party in the centre and move away from the views exposed by the out of touch hard right.

But the wrecking ball Abbott and his cohort were having none of it and have attempted to sabotage the leadership of their own party ever since.

Unfortunately Turnbull lacks an articulated inclusive vision for this country, and there is no evidence of a clearly inspiring thought-out plan of where we should be heading. 

Where is a list of major infrastructure projects? How do you reposition an economy in transition? How do you fairly spread the tax burden? 

Being upfront and honest with people is a good start, something politicians forget.

Don’t look to Shorten for divine inspiration to remedy our woes. He is likely to fall into government by default but is totally uninspiring and visionless too: a pleasant plodder, with not a whiff of charisma.

Laurie Staley,

Long Gully 

Pointless wall

The mural, depicted on last week’s Weekly front page in View Lane is pointless as nobody has been there since All Saints Sunday School closed.

This prompts the idea that the LGBTQI supporters should constitute themselves as a religion and hold services there.

Mick Sandiford,

Bendigo 

Victims of flood study

The Bendigo Urban Flood Study 2013 is a joint venture between the North Central Catchment Authority and the Bendigo city council.

At a council meeting on Wednesday, November 15, councillors passed a motion to give effect to Planning Amendment C221 which implemented the findings of the study to apply a flood overlay to 5500 properties in the Bendigo area. 

This is a study which should never have been undertaken due to a lack of suitable data. 

Important components of any flood study are rainfall figures and flow gauge information. 

For this study the only rainfall data available for the entire study area, which stretches from Kangaroo Flat to Huntly, was from a rainfall gauge at the Bendigo airport. 

There were only two flow gauges in the Bendigo Creek – one near Lake Weeroona and the other north of Huntly but both were found to be “not functioning properly” and producing inaccurate information – no doubt due to a lack of regular maintenance. 

No wonder the final report for this study is riddled with admissions by the consultants that it is based on poor data and in some cases, no data at all. 

As a result Flood Eye, the flood reporting tool which sources information from the model created by the study, is producing ridiculous reports. 

How could councillors possibly accept the findings of a flood study which wrongly claims (for example) that Rosalind Park, shops in Pall Mall and High Street, a church in McCrae Street and residential properties in Joseph Street and Carpenter Street (Kangaroo Flat) are subject to flooding from Bendigo Creek during such a common event as a one in five year flood? 

There are now thousands of property owners in Bendigo who must feel let down by this decision. 

They are now facing considerable financial loss due to a reduction in the value of their properties, increased insurance premiums, potential buyers being frightened off and financiers being reluctant to accept their properties as security for loans provided for purchasers.

Gavan Conroy,

Strathdale

Welcome information

I thank Bishop Tomlinson for his response (Bendigo Weekly, November 17) to my concerns that the property holding of the estate is disappearing.

The information he provided is welcome in view of the previous practice of the trustees never to release any information.

One part of the information, that the Backhaus will is silent as to whether or not properties should remain part of the trust permanently, does require clarification. 

The relevant section in the will reads as follows, “I devise to my trustees all my real estate... in trust to hold unto them and their successors forever”. The last word would appear to be significant.

It seems likely that controversy about the Backhaus Estate will continue. One way of reducing this would be for the trustees to provide occasional reports to the Catholic population on the general direction that the trust is taking and its overall financial status.

Mal Nolan,

Ironbark

Mine fable

The letter from Trevor Palmer, (Bendigo Weekly, November 17) concerned about the $6 million expansion of the Central Deborah Mine for tourist dollars and that it will not reflect the actual conditions faced by those miners and their families. I agree totally.

It would be very difficult to create the working conditions faced by miners in Bendigo or their families who suffered from the rock-dust disease and accidents they faced. 

Some 800 miners died providing the wealth for this city, some by accident others suffered lung disease for years.

This has never been acknowledged by our city council or those who made fortunes at the workers’ expense. 

No acknowledgement either to the doctor who gave the report to government on the situation and the need to keep the dust down while rock-drilling.

Tourism did not create the wealth of this city, this city has ignored for too long the real history of who created its wealth. 

We can spend $6m on rewriting history and making the tourist feel good while ignoring the true past. Those that should know better don’t care, it appears, their interest is in the mighty dollar only and fables.

Bill Collier,

Golden Square 

A tortuous path

The euphoria of the past few days has settled, and one can look at the process which has caused an historic moment in Australia.

The private members bill to allow same-sex marriage will begin it’s tortuous path through the houses of parliament.

Sixteen million survey forms were sent out, 7.8m people chose to return them marked “yes” – roughly 48 per cent. The other 52 per cent of surveyed voters did not say “yes”. This is where the magic comes in. 79.5 per cent of Australian voters returned forms. 61.9 per cent of those said “yes”. That’s 48.97 per cent of the surveyed group saying “yes”, or, a fail to get a majority.

Now, anyone with any sense at all knew that this proposal was not going to fail. It was going to be “yes”, at any cost. 

“No” was not an acceptable answer. So, it was the work of just one moment to simply remove the non-voters from the equation, and skew the “yes” vote from 48 per cent to 61 per cent.

I do love working with numbers, but they can be so deceiving. You can so easily get the answer you want, by changing the question. That’s part of the magic of numbers.

Murray McPhie,

Epsom

Bad timing

While I was tending a grave at the Eaglehawk Cemetery on Saturday, there was a gathering of people near me, I don’t know if it was a funeral party. 

They had arrived in several cars and about 20 motorbikes. The problem was when they left, all at the same time, all the cars and bikes revved their engines very loudly, I guess showing off to each other, the noise was deafening.

It was so disrespectful, had they forgotten where they were? To top it all off, this happened at precisely 11am on November 11. 

What is the world coming to?

Meryl Hocking,

Golden Square

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