Letter to the Editor

September 14, 2016

Cell needs to be reviewed

Danny Claridge makes a very good point. (Ensign, September 7).

Before we go ahead with the next landfill cell, the council needs to review all aspects of Cell No 1.

As to why it was such a costly disaster should be examined, particularly that the cheapest quote is not always the best.

A fact that cost us dearly in the long run.

We have within our community, a company with the experience and expertise to fulfil all the criteria re the landfill cell, and understand all local conditions.

Don’t discount local knowledge, because it can turn into a huge saving.

Oh, and by the way Danny Claridge would make a great councillor.

Not only has he been an outstanding community leader and volunteer, he has the most important ingredient a councillor can bring to the table, common sense.

— B P (Paddy) O’Brien

LNP have again lost the plot

In the matter of Bill Shorten’s response to the matter of the Chinese funding of Sam Dastyari, the LNP have again lost the plot.

The main concern is that when politicians accept money from the Chinese, they are potentially empowering an authoritarian regime to have undue influence within Australia.

The LNP response that only individuals should be allowed to donate money to political parties is clearly intended to prevent unions from funding the Labor Party.

I would point out that Australian unionism is a legitimate form of industrial democracy and that most unions are internally inherently democratic.

That is something the LNP itself cannot sincerely claim to be.

— Alan Cotterell, Benalla

Council shake-up welcomed

It is refreshing to hear that Benalla Rural City Council may be getting a long overdue shake up.

It has been reckless in its spending for years.

A typical example was the waste of money changing the speed limit signs in Devenish at the whim of one resident.

I was granted an audience with the then Mayor who asked me ‘‘What is your concern?’’

I replied: ‘‘For a start, it is a waste of ratepayers’ money.’’

His response was, ‘‘Oh don’t worry about the money.’’

I knew then that I was wasting my time.

I hope a new council with some fiscal responsibility and accountability is elected to office.

— Mick Millsom, Devenish

Forward-thinking ideas needed

Whilst I am delighted to hear that there may be many candidates at the forthcoming council election I am disappointed to read, in Letters to the Editor in this paper, from two of the aspiring candidates, views, which are negative, misinformed and critical of the current council.

Where are the forward-thinking ideas; the realistic suggestions for change and the preparedness to thoroughly understand the governance that controls all council decisions?

It is to be hoped that candidates don’t enter council fixated on a single issue, but will be able to work co-operatively with their fellow councillors to embrace the many issues facing this council (like all rural councils) in an enlightened, informed and positive way to ensure that Benalla Rural City remains for its residents and becomes for many more a ‘‘destination of choice’’ in which to live.

— Cr Ellen Crocker, Benalla Rural City Council

Runway extension needed

So we blame the weather again, ‘‘the council is blaming the weather...’’

Sound familiar? (refer to landfill debacle).

The World Gliding Championships were awarded to Benalla three years ago.

Has it rained for three years?

The council did a great job in obtaining government grants for the airfield improvements.

However, these grants were allocated some time ago and were on the basis of improving the airfield for these world championships, so why isn’t the work done?

Will the council lose this allocation if the work is not done for the championships?

The runway extension has been determined as needed for the world comp.

Depending on prevailing wind, the north/south strip can be essential but, currently, unusable for launching.

A day was cancelled at the last gliding nationals because of a north wind, and the airstrip not long enough for gridding and launching.

In regards to the issue of vehicles on the airfield to have flashing lights, all council has to do is complete a standard letter to CASA and an exemption will be made automatically.

CASA is aware that these lights can interfere with the radio frequencies and CASA, which is responsible for all Australian air safety, is happy to provide an exemption to yellow flashing lights and request that all vehicles use their hazard lights instead.

What reason does council have for not accepting CASA’s ruling on this issue?

This event attracts teams from across the world, and if the planned improvements are not made, then this event is going to be an embarrassment for Benalla and the gliding club.

— name withheld

Apoplectic anger is dangerous

Re: ‘‘Is this representation?’’ (Ensign, September 7), Tony Schneider fails to mention that if Coalition MPs , including senior ministers, were not jetting off to all points for an early start to the weekend the situation would not have arisen.

Imagine the outraged squeals of ‘‘Labor bias’’ had the motion been carried on Cathy’s vote.

As far as Tony Schneider is concerned Cathy is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

Tony is behaving like a petulant schoolboy.

He was a leading light in a toxic campaign for an unpopular candidate at the last election and appears to be having trouble accepting the result.

Apoplectic anger is dangerous and perhaps he should put his pen away and have a cup of tea, a bex and a good lay down.

— Michael O’Brien Benalla

Volunteers feel insulted

I am writing on behalf of those volunteers, like myself, who feel:

(a) insulted by the government requiring our council, via the North East Council’s Volunteer Induction Program, to be inducted into volunteering when we have been volunteering our time, our skills, our money (yes volunteers do pay out a lot of their own money), for more than 60 years, in some cases.

(b) Many have worked as volunteers, and also at paid work, sometimes due to husbands who did not always pull their weight in providing for their families. Or having lost husbands or partners through war or other circumstances.

(c) The most annoying aspect for me is the cost of insurance for these often-common-sense safety expectations, which in the end will be added to our rates — no doubt.

(d) If we have outlived our usefulness as older people, or indeed know we need to take a rest. then why not pay young people to work in these situations, plus train them in many of the life skills and talents, which are gained from the prolific tasks undertaken by many of the present volunteers of all ages. This will help our economy, as at least, their work can then be included in the GDP of the country — and not unaccountable.

— Alice J. Bell, Benalla

Cathy, your vote is important

I am so very disappointed with our member for Indi Cathy McGowan leaving parliament early before a division was called.

Apparently she was 120km away on the way home and by the time she returned it was too late to cast her important vote.

Cathy you were voted in by the people of Indi to represent them and not leave early in the first week of Parliament.

You are paid just under $200000 a year, plus very generous perks, so surely you could at least stay until the adjournment of Parliament is called.

I do hope you can do your best to make sure that you are in Parliament from now on when it is sitting as your vote is so important for the next three years.

It will really make a difference in getting this wonderful country out of the debt crisis it is in.

It’s so very easy to ‘‘talk the talk’’ Cathy, now let’s see if you can actually ‘‘walk the walk’’.

— Joan Buckingham, Benalla Victoria

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