Summer pet care

It’s hot and getting hotter. While we struggle to cope, let’s not forget our companion animals.
The past two years have set records as the hottest ever. It’s not even the middle of summer yet, but we are already seeing reports of highways melting and people are being warned that the extreme heat can be a killer.
PETA receives reports every year about animals who suffer horrifying deaths during the summer months.
Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open.
On even a mild 30 degree day, the temperature inside of a car parked in the sun can reach 54 degrees in just minutes.
Dogs need their exercise, but in summer, it’s best to do that early in the morning.
Think about the surfaces they will be treading and try to walk on grass or in the shade. You have shoes; they do not.
Make sure they don’t pick up any dropped food – it spoils fast in hot weather.
Avoid exercising in the heat of the day – some dogs will keep running until they go into heatstroke.
Dogs can also get sunburnt, particularly if they are pale in colour or like to bake their tummies. You can use sunscreen, but not the ones with zinc or salicylates as they can be toxic if licked.
Indoor animals can also overheat if they like to sleep near a window: make sure there is somewhere shady they can move to. And always make sure there is plenty of cool, fresh water for them to drink.

Desmond Bellamy,
PETA Australia


Accountability needed

What an appalling situation for parents and students being sent wrong information of results and reports going to other families. This has resulted in a breach of privacy and confidentiality.
And the off-handed response by the principal when questioned about the situation was “we will deal with it when we return after the holidays”, a disgraceful comment showing no remorse or consideration for the damage that has been done.
This attitude doesn’t display a great promotion of a school to attract new students to try and build the low numbers.
Comments by the Chair of the Australian Privacy Federation David Vaile described the situation a “systemic personal information security failure” that lacked the following of checks and balances along with proper proof reading.
This is another blight on the education department already investigating problems at Bendigo South East School, and now these actions at Weeroona College Bendigo, and the senior education people’s dealings within the education department that has been investigated by Ibac.
How much longer is the department going carry these people on big money and start listening to information being given to them, while other people are made to suffer their poor management and business skills?
The department needs to start showing some honesty and integrity. There has to be some accountability?

Ivan Kitt,
Short memories

My shoulders dropped when I heard that the City of Greater Bendigo is to attempt to recover the costs they incurred over the proposed mosque.
Clearly they have short memories, and have learned nothing from the bungled handling of the application by the previous council.
There are a great many people opposed to the proposed mosque, caused in some instances by the unfortunate events surrounding the application.
The council might do well to remember that being able to do something does not always make it a good idea. This may be a very good example. Poking the sleeping tiger is not without its risks.

Murray McPhie,

Council must give support

Our city councillors have ignored the outcome of their slashing of Home and Community Care Service (HACC) in regard to assisting the aged care and disability people in our community.
The disturbing information that has been revealed on the failure of the Commonwealth‘s much vaunted “Increasing Choice in Home Care Reforms” is a complete failure.
The Senior newspaper for January 2018 reveals in a report by Eileen Wood, that more than 100,000 wait for home care packages.
This is a staggering 14 per cent increase over the previous quarter and reveals a failure of disturbing proportions federal, state and local politicians have failed to address this issue and reveal how distant they are from the real needs of those in need in the community.
Council in its wisdom slashed home and community support some years ago in the hope that the new Commonwealth system would take the load off them. Now citizens are having trouble obtaining services to suit their needs.
It’s in the interest of all sections of our representative government to support more high-level home care packages as too many people are still going into residential care just because they cannot get a high care package.
My wife who suffers from dementia has just received a satisfaction survey from council to ascertain if she is satisfied with the service – limited service it must be pointed out and no one has ever considered a review of whether that service is now sufficient to her needs or mine as her carer in a follow-up.
Councillors have sat back and not attended to the needs of clients or their carers for too long, while one must congratulate the staff who attend the client having to put up with constant changes to the HACC program. They also need support to perform this critical service.
Can our councillors reveal the data on how many people are in need of home care packages?
And, how many have left the HACC service to find they are still waiting for a Commonwealth Home Care Package in Bendigo?

Bill Collier,
Golden Square


Political correctness?

Julie Hooper’s letter, Bendigo Weekly, January 5 gives readers an insight into why the country is in such a mess, with leaders afraid to lead, and like many of the public fearful of speaking their mind, and why Victorian government ministers and police were too afraid to put the words African and gang into one sentence recently.
Speaking the truth based on factual evidence can in no way vilify any individual or community unless they feign offence in order to deflect that truth.
It is this denial of the truth that is causing anger among remote indigenous communities as they try to stem the scourge of violence that is endemic in some areas.
Instead of helping community leaders curtail this violence, with things like a cashless welfare card, some politicians refuse to listen to the cries of the innocent, afraid of being accused of vilifying someone; they prefer to leave women and children to their fate of physical and sexual violence.
Acknowledging this problem those political figures would have to admit, that the paternalistic, utopian, society they claim they can create is just a myth.
While freedom of religion gives no one the right to preach hatred against those of another faith or no faith, likewise changes to any law do not give atheists and agnostics license to pursue and vilify those who hold strong religious beliefs.
Freedom of association does not give members of an association the right to break the law as they see fit, disrupting the lives of innocent people wishing to go about their lawful activities.
No group has the right to violently prevent others from listening to a speaker acting within the law just because they disagree with the speakers views.

C Henry,
Kangaroo Flat


Crash and urn
The English cricket teams’ inept performances in the recent Test series losing 4-0, was highlighted by some unrelenting and brutal pace bowling that left them shell shocked, and their treasured urn going up in smoke, as well as probably a few careers.
In fact their performances were such that they could be described by the following.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if Starc doesn’t get you, Hazelwood, Cummins, or Lyon – must.

Ken Price,