In response

I write in response to Bill Collier’s letter and suggest Bill more carefully read the ombudsman’s report into Wodonga’s waste charges.
The increase in the City of Greater Bendigo’s waste charge does not contribute to covering the cost of any other service.
Waste collection is not a service the City of Greater Bendigo profits from. Council’s waste charges cover the cost of delivering the service and disposing of the waste, either in landfill or through recycling methods.
We all produce waste and need to accept that it costs to dispose of it properly. While I am familiar with the ombudsman’s report, there is no comparison between greater Bendigo and Wodonga.
In regards to recent trips to China and New Zealand, the city has reported back to the community via media releases and there have been briefings to council.
The opportunity to learn about how other cities and countries represent and work with residents is always valuable.
The city also hosts a number of visiting delegations keen to learn how we support our residents and grow our economy.

Cr Margaret O’Rourke,
Mayor, City of Greater Bendigo


Open letter

To Senator Jim Molan,
I feel obliged to express my absolute outrage at your comments on the ABC’s Q&A (May 28, 2018).
“Those children are not detained on that island [Nauru]. Their parents made the decision to go there.”
“Of course they can’t leave the island unless their parents decide to go home.” – Senator Jim Molan.
Are you seriously saying that the parents of the children on Nauru “chose” to travel to Nauru? That they have chosen to be stranded on Nauru?
That’s an absolute distortion of the truth.
Are you saying that people who wish to leave Nauru, who have been assessed to be refugees, can simply chose to return home to the violence, and perhaps death?
You do not administer this policy of off-shore processing in my name.
I refuse to endorse detaining people who have committed no crime but are the victims of discrimination and/or violence.
I am a seriously angry great-grandmother.
I am a seriously angry Australian voter.
I am seriously appalled by this government’s policy.
Senator, I hope if ever you become a refugee you are not treated as you treat these people.

Jan Govett,


Vested interest

So cyclists want more regulation regarding mobiles in cars, a good idea, may save some motorists’ lives too.
But if you really wanted to use some common sense and save a lot more accidents you could simply wear a yellow vest at the cost of about $10 and that would make you visible over all those dark clothes which are virtually invisible on the road and are an accident waiting to happen especially now winter is on us.
I have been a cyclist, motor bike rider and a car driver for many years.

Ken Fay,
Kangaroo Flat


Conformity is coming

The report by Sharon Kemp, “councillors on the line”, Bendigo Weekly, May 25, concerning the new state government law which allows the local government minister to suspend individual councillors for up to a year for not toeing the line is fraught with a number of issues around democracy.
I agree that councils and councillors must act with integrity and show leadership in good governance.
But, this legislation will only strengthen groupthink and conformity.
This is terrible legislation by the state government and can only damage our democracy and the right of individual representatives to speak out for change, and will create group polarisation.
This excessive need for consensus to all debate and thought leads to groupthink decision making.
Group members become no longer rational and open to information which is different, but are directed by a blinkered spirit of rallying around the flag, the leader, or the previously adopted plan, causing a lack of critical debate about issues.
The talk of leadership leads to power structures of the group developing around the role of a leader, who organises and coordinates the group enterprise. Woe to those who reside outside this structure, they can be isolated, ignored and called trouble makers.
We do not need conformity, but individuals elected and working in the best interest of their constituency.
This legislation is driving towards conformity of councillors to carry out the wishes of those in power and not the community which elected them.
As citizens we have seen the damage conformity has done to banks and some business enterprise because directors did not question.

Bill Collier,
Golden Square


A place in history

Great Stupa chairman Ian Green will go down in history as a visionary, and one of Bendigo’s greatest
Thoughtfulness, generous donations and perseverance over many years have been the hallmark of Ian and his family.
The further development of Bendigo’s Great Stupa of Universal Compassion will create a monument for generations to come.
It will continue to put Bendigo on the world map, and attract more visitors to the region as it nears
The inter-faith element when completed will add a further dimension to the complex and is reflective of religious tolerance.
Ian’s decency and modesty accord with his values as a practising Buddhist. I could not think of a person more worthy of an Australian honour.
On behalf of Bendigonians, thank you Ian and Judy Green for playing your roles in spreading the message of peace and compassion, in pursuit of human happiness.

Michael McKenzie,


Land available

How long does it take planning minister Richard Wynne to procrastinate over a very simple decision to overturn the City of Greater Bendigo council’s decision to forcibly acquire the Carter family farmland for the proposed business park.
Who are the so called businesses or names of people pushing for this idea to come forward and declare their interest in this proposal, or will they remain faceless people?
What has happened to the so-called business park supposedly being developed around the Bendigo Airport?
There appears to still be a lot of vacant land still available around that area, where this proposal could be developed.
Also what happened to the land that was purchased for the development of the aluminium smelter that was proposed some years ago in the Marong area?
A spur line was going to be put in from the now non-functional rail line that passes through Marong to service the industry. I have a feeling that land was also purchased or looked at for the development of the stock exchange somewhere in the same area.
I believe there is still a lot of land that could be used without grabbing prime farm land that has provided a living and produced products for the benefit of the community.

Ivan Kitt,


Consideration the key

I was surprised to observe a very large group of cyclists on a Thursday morning travelling north along Reservoir Road, Kennington at about 6.30am while it was still dark.
I would estimate there were 40 riders. While none were individually doing anything wrong this amount of riders two abreast spread out over a long distance poses quite a dazzling obstacle for drivers navigating what is in parts a narrow busy road with no bike lane.
My point is that surely this amount of riders should be considered an event and treated as such with appropriate provisions made.
Lack of consideration when shown for the motorist by very large groups of riders only causes the driver to be less considerate towards the individual rider and as we all know, the rider is at much greater risk than the driver.
As a regular bicycle rider on and off road I have experienced motorists’ road rage a number of times from a small minority of drivers.
Most other drivers give you ample consideration especially when it is given to them.

John Maber,