Letters to the Editor

March 08, 2017

Ode to V/Line

Well aren’t we lucky, they at V/Line have allotted us another train,

no extra service; but they tell us its a gain,

because they will have a spare train, in case of failure of our existing three trains.

But we will only have four instead of five carriages on every trip,

but we will be packed in like sardines, so we won’t be able to slip.

V/Line is spending 15 million on paint and cleaning,

so we must realise they are really “well meaning”.

A few years ago it took 2 hrs 20mins to get to Southern Cross Station,

then we got the ‘‘fast train’’, then came the realisation.

We are diverted through Footscray and into town

so now the ‘‘fast train’’ takes 2 hrs 35 mins — don’t frown

V/Line tells us they are improving the service for us.

They’ll spend 15 million and we won’t have to use the bus.

If there are sink holes, faulty signals, staff shortages, animals or other problems on the line,

never fear we will have better carriages in which to spend our time.

— M. Lewis, Benalla

Do we speak up or not?

I’ve seen too much of the crap side of life.

For years fate allocated me all the dirty jobs, that few people would do.

Along the way I lost my finer feelings.

Finer feelings are what people have to justify their reasons for dodging the unpleasant incidents of life and for not getting their hands dirty.

Usually rich people have finer feeling. They can afford to.

The last couple of sentences are stereotyping.

This is the same as saying, that sons of fathers who bash their wife, will think that it is okay and do the same thing, to their wife.

The lesson I took from my father’s actions was, smashing a woman up because you couldn’t accept your failures and needed somebody to blame was pointless and gutless.

It was years before the smell of beer didn’t make me sick in the stomach, much less drink the stuff.

It is interesting that men are being told to stand up and speak out against violence against women.

In a paper the other day, a man did just that.

He ended up with a knife in his stomach.

Commenting on the incident, the advice of the Chief Commissioner of Police was, in these situations don’t interfere, call the police.

Totally ineffective advice, for stopping trauma being inflicted on the woman.

Especially if you take into account police response times.

So do men speak up, or don’t they?

Didn’t do a kid any good speaking up, when his 14-year-old friend was raped.

According to the paper, the girl is so traumatised that she is too scared to go to court.

So the police drop the case.

So the rapist gets away with it.

Is it too difficult to provide an environment where she would feel safe and be able to give evidence?

Great lesson from our legal system to any would-be rapist.

You can get away with rape, if you traumatise your victim badly enough.

An effective way of delivering a lesson to the wider community, rather than confining a lesson about violence against women delivered to a few kids in a classroom.

Human nature works on the principal, of gain and consequences.

The law should make consequences the primary consideration.

– P. Carter, Benalla

Industries lost to us

I am a scientist.

I believe that much of global warming is due to human activity and the reason I believe this has nothing to do with my politics.

However, I strongly dislike the LNP mainly because of their luddite approach to science and technology.

They have effectively shut down both car and defence manufacturing in Australia, putting many onto welfare.

It would be interesting to know which is greater — the (removed) subsidies for those two technology-based industries or the welfare bill and other social costs associated with the displaced workers?

If those two industries were inefficient, it was probably a problem of leadership.

Who are the leaders in Australia, if not the Liberal Party?

I have no love of the Labor Party, however, those two industries were initiated and developed under Labor — they were our technology base that provided the seeds for hardware manufacture in Australia.

It is where most of our engineers and scientists were gainfully employed.

What have we got now ?

— Alan Cotterell, Benalla

TAFE rescue a farce

Victoria’s training system has endured a revolving door of ministers under Daniel Andrews’ chaotic command and the damage bill is adding up.

The sector has shrunk to half the size it was in December 2014, with 45.3 per cent fewer students in training at June 2016, a drop of more than 200000 students.

Labor also expects training organisations to do more with less.

In just 12 months the Andrews Government ripped $165.3 million from training and cut staff numbers by 6.5 per cent in just 12 months — despite committing to no staff redundancies.

Now, Labor has launched a last-ditch attempt to artificially inflate TAFE’s bottom line in time for the Auditor-General’s annual review.

It’s the second year in a row the Andrews Government has handed out cash grants in time for this review and with no expectation students will receive anything in return.

Last year, the Auditor-General found: ‘‘this, combined with ongoing spending cuts made by the TAFEs, has produced a net surplus for 2015, and improved the liquidity ratio’’.

Youth unemployment is as high as 18 per cent in some areas, but Daniel Andrews and Gayle Tierney have no interest in making sure young people can get the skills they need to get a job.

Daniel Andrews claims of a TAFE rescue are an absolute farce and its Victorian students who are paying the price.

— Steph Ryan, Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships, Member for Euroa

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