LETTERS TO THE ED­I­TOR

Benalla Ensign - - News -

Is­sue not dy­ing

Me­dia re­ports are sug­gest­ing vot­ers in the seats of Ovens Val­ley, Euroa and Eil­don, held re­spec­tively by Tim McCurdy, Stephanie Ryan and Cindy McLeish, back Daniel An­drews’ eu­thana­sia bill.

This is based on a poll con­ducted by An­drew Den­ton’s Go Gen­tle Aus­tralia group.

A bit like ask­ing Drac­ula to sur­vey the district on the need for more blood banks.

Sim­i­lar pub­lic sup­port was sug­gested for Lord Fal­coner’s As­sisted Dy­ing bill in the United King­dom in 2015 but it dropped dra­mat­i­cally to just 43 per cent when ar­gu­ments against were heard.

The bill was de­feated 330 to 118. Pub­lic at­ti­tudes change dra­mat­i­cally once some of the key prac­ti­cal im­pli­ca­tions of as­sisted sui­cide are con­sid­ered.

Mel­bourne’s Al­fred Hospi­tal spe­cial­ist physi­cian, Dr Karen Hitch­cock is scathing of Den­ton’s boast of hav­ing ‘‘re­searched the is­sue for eight months’’, when the country is ‘‘full of peo­ple who have spent decades se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing the com­plex is­sues around eu­thana­sia ... I have cared for hun­dreds of dy­ing pa­tients and no one has ever died scream­ing or beg­ging me to kill them ... I have been crit­i­cised for us­ing the word ‘kill’, but if the real act is so of­fen­sive we should stop ad­vo­cat­ing that doc­tors do it. When the ge­nie is out of the bot­tle, will MPs McCurdy, Ryan and McLeish be there to re­place it? That’s the prob­lem. For us any­how. — Denise M. Cameron

Pres­i­dent Pro Life Vic­to­ria

Grow­ing the state

Only a govern­ment with lit­tle in­ter­est in country com­mu­ni­ties would de­scribe mas­sive pop­u­la­tion growth in Mel­bourne as a win for re­gional Vic­to­ria.

Most of our state’s new res­i­dents move to Mel­bourne each year, but the An­drews La­bor Govern­ment ap­pears to think this is part of a trend of ‘‘strong growth in Vic­to­ria’s re­gional cen­tres’’.

Data from the Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics (ABS) shows in just 12 months Greater Mel­bourne grew by more than 126 000 peo­ple while re­gional Vic­to­ria grew by just 20 106.

The ABS data also found 29 of our state’s 32 slow­est grow­ing LGAs are in re­gional Vic­to­ria, grow­ing by less than one per cent in the 12 months to June 30, 2016.

This isn’t good enough and the Lib­eral Na­tion­als un­der­stand it’s time to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.

With the Lib­eral Na­tion­als’ Pop­u­la­tion Pol­icy Task­force, I have been speak­ing to country com­mu­ni­ties about their ideas to grow the whole state, not just Mel­bourne.

To make sure all parts of govern­ment work to­gether to­wards the same goal of grow­ing all of Vic­to­ria, in Govern­ment we would have a Min­is­ter for De­cen­tral­i­sa­tion.

The An­drews La­bor Govern­ment has ig­nored the needs of country com­mu­ni­ties for too long, re­mem­ber this is the Govern­ment that wasted more than $1.3 bil­lion not build­ing a road in Mel­bourne.

The Premier for Mel­bourne has no plan to man­age Vic­to­ria’s pop­u­la­tion growth. Only the Lib­eral Na­tion­als are work­ing on a plan for the fu­ture whole state. — Danny O’Brien chair, Vic­to­rian Pop­u­la­tion Pol­icy Task­force and Mem­ber for Gipp­s­land South of the

Right to farm, right

Most farm­ers un­der­stand that the right to farm in­her­ently also means the right to farm in a way that doesn’t overly im­pact their neigh­bours, the com­mu­nity, nor the en­vi­ron­ment.

Right to farm doesn’t mean the con­tam­i­nated run-off from one farm can be al­lowed to pol­lute the pad­docks, dams and wa­ter­ways of another.

It doesn’t mean the dust from one is so on-go­ing as to make a neigh­bour’s rain­wa­ter un­drink­able.

That the con­stant odour from ac­cu­mu­lated dung can be so strong that wash­ing can’t be dried out­side and bar­be­cues are out of the ques­tion.

That pest an­i­mals are al­lowed to pro­lif­er­ate to de­stroy crops, or­chards and na­tive trees.

That prop­erty val­ues go down.

The vast ma­jor­ity of farm­ers un­der­stands this and op­er­ate within self­im­posed bounds be­cause they want to be good neigh­bours, they want to contribute to their com­mu­ni­ties and they want to sus­tain the en­vi­ron­ment in which they live.

But some don’t give a hoot ex­cept in pur­suit of the dol­lar.

As with the case of lim­it­ing hoon driv­ers’ im­pacts on other driv­ers and the com­mu­nity, reg­u­la­tions are re­quired to pro­tect all those us­ing their right to farm, right, against those who dis­re­gard their obli­ga­tions.

The Vic­to­rian Govern­ment’s pro­posed land use plan­ning re­forms for sus­tain­able an­i­mal in­dus­tries un­der­mine rather than sup­port a sus­tain­able cat­tle in­dus­try by open­ing the doors for quick-buck, in­con­sid­er­ate, hoon be­hav­iour trash­ing the land and the clean green rep­u­ta­tion main­tained by those who ex­er­cise their right to farm, right. All farm­ers should read the pro­posed reg­u­la­tions and ask if an un­lim­ited num­ber of cat­tle be­ing hand fed in a small pad­dock within 100 m of their house is some­thing they want to ex­pe­ri­ence.

— John Walsh, Yarck

Another blun­der?

It ap­pears to me Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil’s ar­ti­cle ‘Ex­plain­ing Han­gar Leases’ ( Be­nalla En­sign October 11) fur­ther high­lights the prob­lems in­her­ent in the sys­tem while BRCC at­tempts to jus­tify yet another blun­der.

If the air­port leases have not been re­viewed since 2005, whose fault is that?

BRCC re­ceived $1.2 mil­lion of State/Fed­eral fund­ing for the air­port yet I feel that, just like the rub­bish tip and ad­ven­ture play­ground, this project has been com­pletely mis­man­aged by coun­cil.

BRCC’s ar­ti­cle went off on a tan­gent, seem­ingly de­ter­mined to at­tack the Be­nalla Glid­ing Club.

If coun­cil was try­ing to ex­plain its view of the leas­ing saga why men­tion the un­re­lated trailer park­ing area, club­house or mow­ing con­tract?

Was this an at­tempt to sway pub­lic opin­ion against a not-for-profit, tourist at­trac­tion?

I’m amazed coun­cil has al­lowed the shire to de­te­ri­o­rate to the point it is de- mand­ing sport­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions help bail it out of debt. — Jonathan McAliece Be­nalla Glid­ing Club of Vic­to­ria

B&DJFL up­date

Fol­low­ing a num­ber of me­dia re­ports re­gard­ing the cur­rent sta­tus of the Be­nalla and District Ju­nior Foot­ball League (B&DJFL) in re­cent weeks, it is im­por­tant to pro­vide an up­date to keep the com­mu­nity in­formed.

The AFL North East Bor­der 2016-2018 Re­gional Re­view was com­mis­sioned to es­tab­lish rec­om­men­da­tions re­gard­ing the fu­ture struc­ture for foot­ball com­pe­ti­tions, man­age­ment and gov­er­nance within the re­gion.

Last month, the fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tions rel­e­vant to the Wan­garatta District Ju­nior Foot­ball League were pre­sented and adopted by the AFL NEB Com­mis­sion.

Rec­om­men­da­tion num­ber 3 re­lates specif­i­cally to the fu­ture of the B&DJFL and states:

For 2018 and beyond, the Be­nalla DJFL fully in­te­grate into the Wan­garatta DJFL with com­pul­sory un­der-12, un­der-14 and un­der-16 teams un­der a single af­fil­i­ated model.

The re­view rec­om­men­da­tion ef­fec­tively ends our long as­so­ci­a­tion with the for­mer VCFL, and now AFL Vic­to­ria, as an af­fil­i­ated league.

It will also mean, from next sea­son, that our cur­rent un­der-12 Devel­op­ment Com­pe­ti­tion will cease and teams will be re­quired to com­pete in the Wan­garatta District Ju­nior Foot­ball League.

The B&DJFL un­der­stands and ap­pre­ci­ates that some peo­ple within the com­mu­nity are con­cerned change.

Un­der its rules, AFL Re­gional Com­mis­sions can un­der­take re­views and im­ple­ment rec­om­men­da­tions as they see fit.

A re­quest by the B&DJFL to seek an ex­ten­sion to sub­mit a notice of ap­peal against the rec­om­men­da­tion to AFL Vic­to­ria’s ap­peals tri­bunal was re­jected last week.

The league has now ef­fec­tively ex­hausted all its op­tions un­der the AFL’s rules.

A work­ing group has been es­tab­lished to im­ple­ment the tran­si­tion of the un­der-12 com­pe­ti­tion to Wan­garatta and agree on the struc­ture of the new or­gan­i­sa­tion which will man­age the Be­nalla Aus­kick Cen­tre and the un­der-12, un­der-14 and un­der-16 teams in the Wan­garatta League. More in­for­ma­tion will be pro­vided as this work pro­gresses.

There is a lot to con­sider and we are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that we make the best of the de­ci­sion which has been made by the AFL.

Wewill also en­deav­our to en­sure that the AFL de­liv­ers on its com­mit­ment to max­imise par­tic­i­pa­tion out­comes for the Be­nalla and District com­mu­nity.

We will con­tinue to of­fer boys and girls aged from five to 16 of all abil­i­ties, the op­por­tu­nity to have fun and learn the game of Aus­tralian Rules Foot­ball.

On Novem­ber 14 the B&DJFL will con­duct its an­nual general meet­ing. If you would like to en­sure the fu­ture of ju­nior foot­ball in Be­nalla, nom­i­nate for the com­mit­tee and get in­volved. — Be­nalla and District Ju­nior Foot­ball League

Com­mit­tee about this

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