I was disappointed with Michelle Goldsmith’s letter “True Patriots”, Bendigo Weekly, February 2.
She attempted to impress with a third grade history lesson and then launched into “looking forward to the day” when we become patriots rather than remain “mindless nationalists.”
Australian states sent patriots to the Boer War. They returned proud nationalists.
At the time of European settlement aboriginal populations enjoyed an ideal lifestyle far removed from the miserable thousands living in the slums of London, Paris, Lisbon and Moscow.
With European exploration lifestyle changed dramatically for Aboriginals congregated around settlements and stations dependent now, not on hunter-gathering but on sustenance available for petty chores and from regular handouts.
The practice prevails today with some $33.4 billion being spent on indigenous people during 2015-16.
Welfare has become an industry – bolstered by the opinions of Ms Goldsmith and her ilk. There is little incentive to improve dependant lifestyles. Improvement stems the flow of welfare.
French explorer La Perouse encountered the First Fleet two days after the fleet’s arrival at Botany Bay.
We are entitled to wonder what might have been had Perouse and his ships arrived home to France.
French settlement was a possibility, with the nation divided by language. Would the people Ms Goldsmith mourns be better off?
The working minds and actions behind indigenous agitation are isolating the very people able to lift them from their cycle of depression.
Michelle Goldsmith may support the Australia Day Rally led by Ms Onus-Williams. Her conscience might rest easier if she took into account the opinions of Jacinta Price, Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson.

John F Smith,
Maiden Gully


No excuse

Firstly, Mr Kitt, there is absolutely no excuse for the illegal dumping of rubbish, as your letter (Bendigo Weekly, January 25) suggests.
We live in a “user pay” world now, so unfortunately if one needs to visit our local landfill, expect to pay.
Furthermore, perhaps next time separate the green waste from hard rubbish and you will be entitled to know the breakdown of costs associated with that, as these are charged at different rates, when taken separately.
May I also suggest educating yourself with the charges our local council have to pay, like fees charged by the Environmental Protection Authority and you’ll have a better understanding of why we are charged “exorbitant” fees at the landfill. It is much more complex than the average person realises, including myself.
Apparently, it is always easier to blame organisations for people’s wrongdoings, when I would recommend taking responsibility for how we go about our daily business and change how we do it, instead.

Frances Argus,
California Gully


Aquatic blunder

The Victorian minister for sport is spending money to upgrade facilities to make sporting venues of international standard.
Obviously nobody has informed him of the monumental blunder at the Kangaroo Flat Aquatic Centre where $30 million has been spent for a facility that cannot host a swimming carnival.

Mick Sandiford,


Incineration the answer?

China’s recent decision to not accept much of Australia’s recycled rubbish for conversion to useful products is alarming.
So it is now essential that the City of Greater Bendigo and other regional towns gain the support of Victorian and Australian governments to undertake a practical and economic study to establish a regional incinerator to deal with our recycled and landfill rubbish.
An important by-product for this project would be the potential for a steam-driven electric generation plant – feeding much needed electric power into Victoria’s grid.
Sure – the emission of extra CO2 and other gases could be seen as a negative, but we must think of the greater public good.
Modern chimney stacks can now be designed to intercept particulate matter, preventing it from entering the atmosphere or causing fires.
My suggestion would be to locate this incinerator just north of the Kamarooka Forest, with access via pipeline to the nearby Waranga-Western Channel for water to steam-power the electric
Municipalities across the riverine plain from Shepparton to Swan Hill and southern towns like Castlemaine and Maryborough could co-operate in the funding and use of this exciting new project – after all rubbish is even now being carted huge distances.
Incineration of municipal and industrial waste is not new. There are many such plants in America and Europe.
Bendigo could lead the way for Australia with this pilot plant.

David H Elvery,
Flora Hill


Parents’ responsibility

I’ve been following the letters relating to the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children (GADRC) for some weeks now and I haven’t seen a mention of the parents of these somewhat unfortunate children.
Do the GADRC suggest that the children should be “freed” without their parents?
Now that would be cruel. Or that the parents and whole families accompany said children?
If adults are to be given permanent status because their children shouldn’t be detained then that would give the green light to more attempts to thwart our immigration rules. Perhaps the parents haven’t been granted asylum for some good reason.
The government is not responsible for the conception of children in detention, nor their arrival in Australia prior to birth. Their parents can claim that responsibility.

Helen Leach,


Caritas in the Mall

“Caritas” is a word which means: Christian love of human kind. It’s also a Catholic developmental aid organisation which operates around the globe as Caritas International.
Every year on the day before Ash Wednesday our local Caritas comes to the Hargreaves Mall with free pancakes, school children (young and old) singing, dancing, celebrating life and togetherness.
This marks the beginning of Lent and Project Compassion. This thinking of others both locally and with a world view is an educative and love-filled thing to do.
And Caritas does not discriminate in who it helps – it might be for Aboriginal health or culture initiatives or anywhere in Asia, the Americas, Africa or the middle-east and with no religious bias.
It’s the second biggest aid agency in the world and its focus is primarily on the poorest of the poor.
In Australia it raised about $13 million last year, and here in the Sandhurst Diocese $535,000 and the Catholic community is about to do it again.
Anyone and everyone is welcome and if you chip in nothing, a little or plenty, no-one will be watching.
It starts at 10.30am on Tuesday, February 13 and is run by volunteers, Caritas uses local agencies to work through in order to keep admin costs to a minimum.

Ray Wilson,
Kangaroo Flat


It’s time

In reply to the Editorial comment, “Wasting Away”, Bendigo Weekly, Friday, February 2.
It is now time to impose an import tax on countries that dump their products here.
China and allied countries are dumping their products on our country and not paying any tax.
There should be a minimum of 10 per cent tax on all imports from these countries.

John Wright,