Costly complaint

Robert Johanson, Chairman of Directors Bendigo and Adelaide Bank might whinge about the cost of the royal commission into banking but his depositors can equally complain about the expense of the television advertising campaign he authorised.
As the ads were essentially preaching to the converted the purpose they served was to create a smoke screen for the manoeuvre of encouraging shareholders to convert deposits into shares.
As the article in the January 16 edition of the Bendigo Weekly pointed out, the increase in profits was paid for by depositors.
So how much greater would the profit had been without television advertising and where will the bank be if depositors simply go to another bank?
Frank Perrow had a very simple strategy in running the Bendigo Building Society – pay one per cent higher on term deposits than the banks.
Fortunately for him Menzies let it be known to the members of the Melbourne Cricket Club that if shares rose above a given level (150 points) there would be a one per cent increase in the RBA interest rates.

Mick Sandiford,


Pool tenacity

It has taken some time for the unanimous decision by the City of Greater Bendigo councillors to give the Golden Square pool a reprieve for a further two years to sink in.
The lead-up to the decision was a testament to the tenacity and fighting spirit of the Golden Square community.
The galvinisation of support that was displayed was heart warming and has renewed my faith in people expressing what truly matters to them.
Freedom of speech and democracy is alive and well in Bendigo and that’s a great thing.
I would like to thank all those who wrote to councillors, politicians and the council and the editors of both our local papers.
There were also phone calls to councillors, texts and a huge social media response where the Golden Square Pool facebook page was running hot.
I thank the myriad of individuals who contacted me personally and other local community groups who offered their support.
For me it has been a very humbling process that such a diversity of people have taken the time and effort to respond to this issue.
I would also like to thank all the media outlets in Bendigo, print, radio and TV, for their interest in and reporting of this campaign that goes to the core of community. I and the pool have been treated in the most respectful and wonderful way.
Although the decision offers a two-year window it continues to leave us having to prove our viability and the future of our pool remains uncertain.
Let’s hope we will not just be ”treading water” and this decision will allow us to address some items on the pools’ wish list such as a new chemical room, family/disability toilet and redesigning the pool edges, all of which will require time and money but we are prepared to do this.
The decision by the council to revisit its 2010 Aquatic Services Strategy, and now the mayor stating the master plan for recreational facilities in Golden Square will also be developed, is welcomed but with a hint of trepidation.
The review of these strategies will absolutely require a transparent and truly community consultative process.
The Golden Square Pool committee of management looks forward to being one of the active participants in this consultation process.
We have had a very strong and positive working relationship with the manager of active and healthy communities and his team and this will continue over the next two years.
I believe that the Golden Square community and the Golden Square Pool committee of management will continue to be strong in its cohesiveness and strategic planning.
A simple but heart felt thank you to you all.

Bernadette Wright, President,
Golden Square Pool Committee of Management


Loaded shotgun

AT the last City of Greater Bendigo Council meeting a unanimous decision by councillors was to keep the pool open, but for only two years, depending on the outcome of a study on the use of the pool and the new indoor pool when it is opened.
Once again a loaded shotgun is being held at the heads of
the committee of management and community with not a definitive answer.
Where did this push come from in the first place to close the pool that the councillors have now voted to keep open, and what other outdoor pools are on the hit list?
And who or where did this two year proviso come?
This reeks of the same scenario in the 1990s by the Kennett government when they privatised public transport in Victoria and the demise of the Bendigo North railway workshops.

Ivan Kitt,


Parents sidelined

Victoria’s Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) program, which has been rolled out all over Victoria, but mainly in rural areas, has also attached itself to Bendigo schools.
Despite the glowing endorsement by the Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, this program is undermining the rights and responsibilities of parents to care for their children’s health.
Some people may think that $43 million expenditure on a service that can easily be accessed outside the school gate is a good thing, but if they were to check out the parent and carer fact sheet put out by the Department of Education and Training they would perhaps be shocked that their 11 or 12-year-old can be considered a mature minor and seek and obtain health care – without their parents’ or guardians’ knowledge.
The doctors in this program are authorised to manage the physical health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health issues of students, again presumably without any parental knowledge or agreement.
Another factor for parents to consider is the school’s involvement in Safe Schools Coalition program.
Both programs are clearly usurping the rights and responsibilities of parents.
Schools should not replace or sideline parents who should be the ones to decide what is in the best interests of their children in regard to health and education.

Helen Leach,


Make a note
For Purple Day 2018, on March 26, Australians with epilepsy are encouraging friends, family members, colleagues and the wider community to become better informed about epilepsy to reduce the fear and misconceptions often associated with the condition.
Around 250,000 Australians are diagnosed with epilepsy, and more than 65 million people worldwide, making it the world’s most common serious brain disorder.
More people have epilepsy than have Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy combined, however epilepsy remains poorly understood – and often feared – by much of the community.
That’s why we’re using the tagline Know epilepsy. No fear this year, to promote the idea that knowledge is power when it comes to understanding and assisting someone with epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action Australia has developed an extensive suite of online resources designed to increase understanding and awareness of epilepsy in the community, including seizure first aid advice, with most material available free of charge on our website
On behalf of all Australians living with epilepsy, thank you in advance to the people in your region for supporting Epilepsy Action Australia. Your support helps to ensure people living with the condition can lead optimal lives.

Carol Ireland, CEO,
Epilepsy Action Australia