Letters to the editor

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Nov-2017

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Estate disappearing

I refer to Mr Mal Nolan’s letter “Backhaus Estate disappearing”, Bendigo Weekly, November 10, concerning the Backhaus Estate. 

Mr Nolan seems to be unaware of many of the relevant facts concerning the estate and the obligations of the three trustees.

Dr Henry Backhaus, a Catholic pioneer priest of the Bendigo Goldfields, made a brief will the day before he died, on September 6, 1882, in which he left much of the property held in his name, as a perpetual trust, the income from which would benefit the Catholic Church through the clergyman of St Kilian’s Parish, Bendigo. 

He named three executors as trustees of the perpetual trust. The will is silent on whether or not these properties should remain part of the trust permanently or whether they could be traded for other assets at the discretion of the trustees.  

The law governing perpetual trusts requires that the administration of such trusts must retain the capital of the trust which precludes money from this corpus being distributed to the beneficiary. 

Only the income derived may be distributed to the beneficiary. The trustees cannot arbitrarily take income to augment capital any more than the beneficiary can demand capital be added to the distribution of income. 

Under the scheme of management for the Backhaus Estate granted by the Supreme Court of Victoria, any sale of property must have the approval of the Supreme Court or the Attorney General of Victoria, depending on the value of the property to be sold.

Mr Nolan can rest assured that the current trustees are most conscientious in meeting their responsibilities to the estate under the law and in accordance with their obligations to the beneficiary.

Approval has been sought and granted for the sale of the properties currently on offer and the proceeds from these sales will be prudently invested, as was the case with the proceeds from earlier sales, resulting in improved performance of the estate.  

Bishop Les Tomlinson,

Chair, Backhaus Estate Trustees 

Reporting Australia

When one local politician is jostled at one protest rally by a few people, and it is reported nationally multiple times across all Australian television channels, surely some mention should be made of the hundreds of protests held each year without
incident.  

Or has reporting become simply about the sensational?

Is there nothing remarkable, nothing worth reporting about the good behaviour of the many thousands of people who walk through our streets every year?

Let me say that I do not think anyone should have jostled Tony Abbott’s sister last week. 

But when the media shows more concern about a torn coat, and someone having difficulty getting into a political party fundraising dinner, than to the human misery we Australians are allowing to happen on Manus and Nauru, then the media is not doing its job. 

A torn coat is something that can be replaced. The deliberate confiscation of more than four years from the lives of 600 innocent people is quite another thing.

Jan Govett,
Strathdale

Room for more

It is endemic of the approach in Bendigo for empire building for mine’s surface works to receive a six million dollar expansion at the Central Deborah while Victoria Hill remains neglected and a potential bush fire hazard.

Victoria Hill could be used as a venue at the Blues Festival as well as showcasing street food vendors.

Its aspect at both sunrise and sunset along with its elevation makes it ideal to begin or finish tours at this location, and view the cuttings.

As usual the public are being called on to pay the bill.

Mick Sandiford,
Bendigo

What will it stand for?

Re: the proposed Rate Payer’s Association having a sub-branch in Bendigo.

This seems a very good idea, but one should find out the articles of association and its rules to ascertain what it will stand for in our
community.

As a past member of the Victorian Ratepayer’s Association I can see real benefits in being an “incorporated body” providing legal protection to its officers and the spokespersons who will represent it.

It certainly will have more clout than certain individuals voicing their objections to council policies and achieving nothing. 

Remember the petitions taken up to save the Kangaroo Flat Community Centre and other petitions which where ignored.

And the continual attack by the Municipal Association of Victoria on rate-capping.

It would also be a strong voice to the government of the day and the local government minister.

The danger of course is to ensure it really represents the ratepayer and does not become a clique or claque just supporting certain areas of the local government and council
proposals.

Will it represent the voice of the poor, suffering ratepayer is the
question?

Bill Collier

Golden Square

Symptom of society

WhilE I sympathise with Ms Goldsmith (Bendigo Weekly, November 3), having experiencing similar problems myself with neighbour’s cats damaging our hard work, I realise it is just a symptom of the society in which we live.

A society where more and more people lack any respect for their neighbours or anyone else, and unfortunately they are being encouraged by people and organisations who tell them that they have a basic right to do their own thing.

 It matters not if doing their own thing impacts adversely on anyone else or the whole community, it is just one part of the falling standards in community etiquette.

This along with soft sentencing gives some people the feeling that they can just do what they like when they like because there are no consequences to suffer. 

Unfortunately until state and local governments enforce their local laws with the same vigour as the High Court enforced eligibility laws for members of parliament we will just have to suffer. 

Not in silence, but whatever indignation we may show and noise we may make those with the ability to change the situation will just turn a deaf ear.

Anne Grant,
Kangaroo Flat

Is the vote legal?

Letter to the Attorney General:

I am very concerned that Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten as leaders of their respective parties will attempt to enact the marriage equality legislation when many of their minister are still compromised by being dual citizenship – ie illegal to cast their vote on any matter before parliament.

I request that no legislation be enacted until all ministers have proven they are indeed fit to stand. 

Otherwise the public will be forced to petition you to reverse the legislation and this could have far reaching consequences on all legislation that has been enacted this parliamentary sitting since the election.

We trust you can put a stop to any marriage equality legislation until after the citizenship matter has been resolved.

Monika Evers,

White Hills 

Mine of authenticity

I would like to comment on the front page article (Bendigo Weekly, November 10) on the proposed $6 million expansion of the Central Deborah mine.

The preservation of the Central Deborah did not start out as a gold panning experience. 

In the early 1970s some forward thinking Bendigonians, including Daryl McClure, Albert Richardson, Jack Cohn and others, formed the Bendigo Trust to preserve the Central Deborah as a complete authentic quartz reef mine. 

The aim was to promote the story of underground reef gold mining in Bendigo. This was the industry that made Bendigo world famous. 

I feel that the proposed expansion will significantly change the authentic atmosphere currently existing at the site and reduce its attraction to tourists seeking an authentic original mine experience.

The injection of a smaller amount of funding, wisely spent on the surface and underground would greatly enhance the experience for visitors.

Trevor Palmer

Eaglehawk

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