RSPCA concerns

I am writing in response to the article “RSPCA loses contract” and your editorial comment in last week’s edition of the Bendigo Weekly, to express my serious concern as to this situation, and to encourage other community members to show significant support to the RSPCA and its wonderful staff at the Bendigo animal shelter.

I have been a long term supporter of the RSPCA, and have served on the committees of management of two other branches of this wonderful organisation, over the past 18 years.

As a ratepayer of the City of Greater Bendigo I am concerned, about whether their decision to rescind the contract with the RSPCA is going to be a cost effective use of our rates.

I would hope that at the very least they will treat current staff of the shelter with dignity and common sense and re-deploy them rather than undertake a costly and time consuming new recruitment process.

I have had personal experience of the great work which the Bendigo RSPCA shelter does for our region, having adopted a wonderful canine companion last year.

Surely a council taking back on an animal shelter and its special needs, which by its own admission will involve ”significant set up costs in terms of compliance, accommodation and staff recruitment” after a long break since last doing so, is risky and not cost effective?

Mark Gibson JP,


High vis for safety

On my way to Bendigo from Huntly recently I overtook one cyclist and passed two others who were travelling north.

All three were mature-aged men and the thing that stood out was all were wearing brightly coloured clothing. One had even included high vis socks.

These cyclists were in the bike lanes and were very easy to see.

Thank you gentlemen for taking some personal responsibility for your safety.

Unfortunately, from my observations over many years on the road these fellows are very much in the minority.

For whatever reason a lot of cyclists seem to be attracted to dark colours that blend in with the bitumen road.

No car or truck driver or motorcyclist wants to collide with or open their door into a cyclist.

However, it is time the cycling fraternity took a good look at themselves and woke up to the fact that high visibility clothing saves lives and injuries.

If this was not so, then why the requirement on almost all industrial and building sites for it to be worn?

A high vis vest can cost less than $10. I have to question the mental capacity of someone who ventures forth in what amounts to camouflage to “mix it” with cars and trucks when for a few dollars they would be much safer.

Harold Hall,



Expand the program

I read with interest the Minister for Defence Personnel, Darren Chester’s letter published in the Bendigo Weekly, Friday, January 25, detailing our ADF Cadet program, in which the navy, army, and air force, take on young teenagers for semi-military training and education (including military history) .

There are at present 25,000 participants in over 500 locations throughout the Commonwealth of Australia.

Mr Chester highlights military discipline, leadership skills, and other activities supervised by ADF personnel.

What a wonderful and very useful program, but it appears from the letter that only volunteers are accepted for the ADF Cadet progam.

Why not expand it into a wider concept for far more youths to be involved?

Why not all young immigrants to our shores, as well as delinquents from our youth justice system be involved?

Then these types of teenagers would mix together with other young Australians, and thus quickly integrate into our society, in a similar manner to the immigrants who quickly integrated post World War II.

Instill not only military discipline, but train them for future apprenticeships or higher education as well.

And with so many locations across Australia, it would introduce not only new arrivals, but Australian youth as well, to the vast Australian landscape, most of who think and see Australia only from the urban

perspective of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

All these young people are to become our immediate future. Discipline and education for these teenagers will point our whole society in a much better direction.

Doug Harrison,


PM’s political garbage

It seems a bit rich for PM Morrison to come out in The Age, January 29, with a warning that recession is on the way under Labor.

This from a government that has no policies on global warming, unemployment, age care.

The ABC news on this same day reported on the first meeting of the Conversation Economic Survey, a team of 19 academic economists from 12 universities across six states, claiming that the Australian economy will remain healthy enough for this Liberal government to claim it as a strength in the lead-up to the May election.

The survey points to a fairly flat outlook and beyond that, a possible 25 per cent chance of a recession in the next two years.

With no recovery in the share market in 2019, no recovery in wage growth, no further improvement in the unemployment rate, further modest home price falls in Sydney and Melbourne, and a deficit next financial year despite the official line of a surplus and treasurer Josh Frydenburg’s commitment that the government will fight the election continuing to forecast a surplus.

PM Morrison knows full well what is coming and is blaming Labor for the future.

He knows also that his government is not going to survive the next election, giving him ammunition in opposition to attack Labor for his government’s failings.

Bill Collier,

Golden Square


Fact or fiction?

Once again we have the City of Greater Bendigo Council spending ratepayers’ money on ads and desperately trying to convince us all of what a great job they are doing.

The problem is that these are the jobs and services we not only expect but in fact are entitled to and the council itself is obligated to provide.

It is very easy for our council to say they deliver services and maintain assets and so, apart from a pat on the back, what is achieved by this expensive waste of rate payers money?

We have seen a number of other councils promoting their region by looking at both the internal and external benefits they have to offer – a far cry from the self-praise approach we see here.

We have seen this council use ads with an Irish actor to promote the organic waste which is a financial windfall for this council and one that has failed to deliver except for a completely unnecessary cost burden on ratepayers.

With less than 50 per cent of recyclables collected actually being recycled and almost all our garbage being expensively carted away to be dumped into another council’s tip.

The question should be how well are these services being delivered and are the ratepayers really getting value or just spin?

Stuart Symes,


Another unnecessary death

A 33-year-old refugee hanged himself in Villawood Detention Centre on the eve of Australia Day, the day we are supposed to celebrate the land of the “fair go”.

This young man had been detained for three years. He was supposed to be on “suicide watch”.

Does the Australian public know that we have people who have been detained for  more than nine years without charge and without trial?

This brutal regime of indefinite detention without justice, without hope, without humanity, must end.

We need an independent inquiry.

Jan Govett,


In the headlights

It must be about time the local police did a blitz on night time drivers who fail to dip their lights, or failing to have them peroidically checked for alignment  and operation.

I am getting tired of having to put a hand up to shield my eyes from unwanted glare, which is a dangerous practice in itself.

Maybe some accidents are the result of the above.

Peter Tharle,
Jackass Flat