I fail to understand

In mid-July 2003 I became a member of the planned activity group (run by the Bendigo city council).
This gave me a complete new outlook on life making new friends, going on trips, having lunch out at various places along with concerts and many other great
It was a great activity to look forward to each week, giving many of us a day out and gave relief in many ways to family members and carers.
However, it all came to an end last May (2017) when the National Disability Insurance Scheme came to Bendigo and a small number of members were asked to leave due to the council not being an NDIS provider.
This has been devastating for most of us along with family members, carers and not forgetting other organisations who have been very supportive over many years
Some have found other interests and have moved on, but for others it has left a significant gap in their life not being among friends by having that day taken away from them, that has been included in their weekly routine over so many years.
After so many months I still fail to understand why the council has not taken on the NDIS, especially after the launching of the Disability Inclusion Reference Committee in September 2016, which has done so much for the disabled in enhancing greater access and helping them to achieve their potential.

Lyn Hartland,


Salvos’ New Year message

The Salvation Army has been overwhelmed with the incredible outpouring of support and generosity from the Australian public with our Christmas Appeal raising $15 million to help those in need.
We have been heartened to see our community unite and give hope where it’s needed most.
For many people in Australia and around the world, 2017 was a year that was filled with adversity and challenges.
Sadly, The Salvation Army continues to see an increase in people facing hardship, distress and crisis.
With all of life’s injustices, it can sometimes be hard to hold onto hope.
So as we enter the New Year let us prioritise empathy, respect and compassion for one another, never underestimating the power these qualities can bring to those in need.
Let us renew our commitment to persevere and help those who are suffering, empowering them with love and hope.
And let us not underestimate the influence we all have to make a difference in the lives of others.

Leigh Cleave,
Communications and fundraising director,
Salvation Army


Show stealer

Why is City of Geater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke claiming “hosting Neil Diamond was a significant coup for Bendigo” when in fact Sutton Grange winery is in the Mount Alexander Shire and the appropriate permits needed to be granted from Mount Alexander Shire Council to host this event.
I guess it actually cements Mount Alexander Shire’s position as a destination for the arts, culture and events.
Stop stealing another councils’ glory Margaret.

Shaye Mulhall,
Kangaroo Flat


No surprise

It doesn’t surprise me that the O’Keefe Rail trail extension project (past Heathcote) has jumped the queue to appear on the government investment “wish-list”.
Despite 10 or 30 year plans for infrastructure funding, a rail trail will always trump a local project for local ratepayers.
The poor usage of the trail is also no surprise, but the audacity of council does.
That could also be said of the vote on the Aspire project.
Such contempt for the residents near the cathedral by waiving the parking requirements is shameful.
I hope the objectors take this to VCAT and win.

Helen Leach,


Grandmothers’ protest

Over the past two years, the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children Bendigo has had an information stall and a children’s activity at the Australia Day celebration at Lake Weeroona.
But not this year we no longer feel we can fight for the rights of one group of children, those seeking asylum from trauma and war, while ignoring the historic trauma and current discrimination experienced by another group, indigenous children.
While we absolutely support the concept of a day of celebration of our wonderful country and all her peoples, we do not think it is appropriate celebrate on the anniversary of the British invasion, which, for many people, is a day of mourning rather than one of pride and joy.
We don’t expect our small protest will make a big difference.
We understand and accept that not everyone feels this way and we hope for an eventual resolution which works for all Australians.
We also know and accept that many other proud Australians will have lots of fun and recreation on January 26 while celebrating our lucky country.

Di O’Neil,
GADRC Bendigo