Letters to the Editor

January 19, 2017

Charity can drive ends

The President and members of North East Victoria sub branch of the National Servicemen Association of Australia regret their charity aluminium can drive will cease as of Sunday, January 29.

This decision has been forced by health, age and lack of volunteers.

The members take this opportunity to sincerely thank those of the public who greatly supported us over the years we were in operation.

— W J Payne, coordinator for and on behalf of President John Emslie

Let’s do arts and crafts

In Benalla, there is a men’s shed that serves a useful purpose in providing a place where retired men can communicate with each other.

Recently in north east Victoria there have been moves to set up something similar for women.

Personally I don’t wish to be part of any sexist organisation.

Perhaps a better option might be to set up an arts and crafts group to cater for both men and women together?

To my mind, the most interesting show on ABC TV is Antiques Roadshow.

In the UK during the ’30s depression there was an arts and crafts revival, which gave rise to many very beautiful creations.

In a consumption-based economy, wealth is created by adding value to a product or service.

There are two ways of adding value: one is by mass-production and the other is by introducing a strong measure of quality to increase the value of the product.

For Australia, the latter is a better way to go because the higher prices better justify the overheads.

I’d point out that every month in Benalla, we have a Sunday market and earnings from cottage industry are not taxable.

— Alan Cotterell, Benalla

Trust needs to be repaired

The public rightly expects the highest standards of effort, judgement and integrity from its elected representatives.

In October 2016 I supported a Parliamentary motion brought by Independent Member for Denison Andrew Wilkie.

The motion calls for an overhaul of entitlements for Members of Parliament and Senators.

It proposes real-time reporting of entitlement claims, and provisions to refer misuse to the Australian Federal Police under some circumstances.

It is good that the Prime Minister has committed to act. I have written to him urging him to do so as a matter of urgency.

The recommendations of a government inquiry into an Independent Parliamentary Entitlements System were released in February 2016.

The recommendations if implemented would go a long way towards repairing trust in the system. The report can be found at

— Cathy McGowan, Independent Member for Indi

Door looks fine

I would like to respond to the news article in The Ensign on January 11 concerning the Benalla Theatre Company’s ongoing door issue.

In response I would like these people to sit down and take a deep breath and think about the issue.

Firstly the door is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It is in keeping with the building and nothing like a saloon door (the gentlemen needs to see more Westerns).

Secondly have you stopped and thought what would have happened to these old buildings if the theatre company had not stepped in and renovated them?

YES: they would have fallen down and vanished as most of the others in the compound have done, never to be seen again.

Is that what they would have preferred?

Instead of criticising the company they should be thanking them for protecting the buildings and keeping the maintenance up (which is a costly ongoing procedure) so that people visiting the Migrant museum can still view them.

Please let the saga of the door be over — it is done, looks fine, stop whingeing.

— Wendy Hyland, Benalla

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