Wake up and support farmers
While the Federal government gives away billions in aid to others in countries beyond our borders, we are all aware that our Australian primary producers in rural areas are suffering unbelievable hardship through the drought that has crippled communities in NSW and QLD.
Charity is a good thing, but not at the expense of our own families and communities here in Australia.
Last week I was told of a Victorian woman who is travelling to NSW with hay and aid for a friend who wants to walk away from her property.
This woman has been brought to tears and broken, but not by the drought. It is the heartless, senseless bureaucracy of our government.
She has been working off farm to get money to keep her family and the property afloat. She was denied drought relief because she was “working and earning outside the family farm”.
The pitiful amount that this government is prepared to give farmers and graziers to help them weather this horrific drought is being denied to the very people who need it most. The people who have been the backbone of Australia and who deserve it most are being denied basic aid to continue to sustain their farms in times of crisis.
At the risk of insulting the urban population of Australia who often have no idea of the cost to farmers, graziers and producers of the produce that they send to city markets to feed the urban dwellers, I am saying to this government, wake up to the Australian community and their needs. Wake up to the broader needs of the Australian communities instead of running overseas with open chequebooks.
We import cheap fruit and vegetables from Asia and subsidised fruits from the USA, then we stand back and tut tut when farmers are forced to plough whole orchards of good quality Australian trees into the ground because they cannot sell their produce and cannot sustain their farms.
We allow droughts and floods to take its toll on Australian cattle and sheep producers who have to destroy thousands of cattle because the cost of trucking them to the abattoirs is more than the farmer will be paid for their skinny carcasses because of droughts.
We must look to the Australian population and care for it and lessen our overseas charity commitments. Our young people deserve a future and they will only get that with more government attention and funding spent on their education, employment upskilling to increase job opportunities for their future.
We must find ways to care for our growing aged population and indeed to enable them to make useful contributions to the wider communities.
Just because someone is 60 or even 70 plus, it doesn’t mean their only future is an aged home. Many older people have skills and knowledge well worth sharing with the younger individuals in a community.
After all the burst egos in parliament have settled down, I for one, hope our parliamentarians just now, get on with the job of governing and supporting Australian interests and Australians whether they are indigenous, immigrants past and recent, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Atheist. We need to be a nation that is both inclusive and supportive of all Australians whether in rural or urban communities. Ilana Leeds, Drouin East challenges of re-establishing herself professionally in Australia, where she and her family have made their new home.
“I know what it is to start from zero”, says Dr Zahra Haroun. “It’s really hard and you need a lot of support.” Zero for her was no English, unrecognised medical qualifications, and loss of possessions and extended family left in Sudan. Not only has she remade her medical career, but she’s mothered three Australian-born boys since arriving here. Her courage and determination are so admirable.
Another such story was told by Dr Issam Muteir, an Iraqi refugee, when his memoir, Rebel Doctor: From Baghdad to the Australian Bush, was launched at the Warragul Library on August 22
Dr Muteir spoke movingly of his experiences in the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, and of then, as a recently qualified doctor, having the responsibility of running a 400-bed hospital thrust upon him after the US-led invasion in 2003 ended the regime.
The hospital was beset by senior staff desertions, lack of medical supplies, endemic corruption and threats of looting, while coping with mass emergencies resulting from warfare and civil strife. Dr Muteir himself was also at risk, then and later, as a Shi’a from southern Iraq in Sunni-dominated Baghdad.
He came to Australia on a six-month medical research scholarship in 2007, intending to return to Iraq and obtain specialist qualifications, but deferred to his mother’s plea not to. He had an uphill struggle to qualify here, but attained his Fellowship in 2017 and now practises as a consultant physician at the West Gippsland Hospital.
I very warmly recommend Dr Muteir’s book, which is a truly inspiring story of heroism, faith and humanity. It’s also memorable as an insider’s account of grass-roots life in a country tortured by internal and external oppression, and riven by religious, cultural and ethnic divisions, yet in which the people remain people just like us.
How fortunate we are that refugees such as Drs Haroun and Muteir choose to come to Australia.
John Hart, Warragul those who live in Melbourne, but the communities in Narracan are supposed to make do with second rate facilities. The doctors and nurses are of high calibre and yet their working conditions are sub-standard.
For administrators of the hospital to even countenance the idea of a small amount of money to continually refurbish the current site over a number of years, does a disservice to those who have fought hard to make our needs heard and felt.
Any refurbishment will not be sufficient and will interrupt the workings of an overcrowded hospital, causing more stress and strain on patients and staff and for what good?
Bouquets to West Gippsland Hospital emergency department staff working early hours of Thursday, August 16. The cardiac team at Monash where I was transferred, commented to me that you had treated me perfectly for their further work to proceed. I am grateful and pleased to be writing this for you and because of you. Thanks to all on that night.
Bricks to everyone who leave their empty shopping trolleys in the car parks at the supermarket, especially at Coles.
Bricks to the students in the Honda with red P plates. Please stop throwing your rubbish in Archibald Crescent. You are a disgrace to the school you attend and the uniform you wear.
Bouquets to the Committee of Warragul and District Netball for the time and effort in organising the 50the anniversary dinner for netball in Warragul 1968 -2018. A wonderful and memorable night - very much appreciated. Well done to all
A thousand bouquets and more to Drouin Dragon Soccer Club, the reserve coach Dave Palmer and the players of both teams Drouin and Prom Coast who gave a young man who has Down Syndrome - Cain Ludecke the opportunity to take to the pitch and play in the last home and away game. Highlight of the game was scoring a goal.
Bouquet to Pursuit Advisers who have generously offered a hand to Women in Gippsland with getting some systems in place.
Bricks to drivers carrying children in cars who insist on overtaking from left lanes causing other traffic to take evasive action to prevent accidents. Thank goodness for dash cams.
Bouquets to Woolworths Drouin management for making significant effort to remove car park rubbish and tidy up.
Bricks to The Warragul Cemetery Trust for desecrating graves by removing loved ones longstanding memorial items causing immense grief to those involved... citing it as an occupation health and safety issue.
Accepting a paltry amount will just kick the can down the road a little. Our politicians have no real idea how much the new hospital is needed. Perhaps if they had to work under the conditions that staff do at WGH or were patients there, they might start to realise what an essential part of a growing community the hospital is and the desperate need for a newer, larger and more modern one.
We need to elect local members who are far sighted and not blind to the needs of their own electorate. Greg Tuck, Warragul
Bouquets to access to Bruce Clough service station at Nar Nar Goon. A B-Double load of bricks for the length of time it has taken for permission.
Bricks to Baw Baw shire for the confusing 2018/2019 recycling and waste guide. In the A-Z section, the colour coded legend, doesn't match the physical bin lid colours. Our wheelie bins are red for rubbish, yellow for recycling and green for organics. No varying shades of green.
A great big bouquet to Kim and Ken, the thoughtful strangers who drove me home from the op shop loaded up with heavy bags of plants.
One brick each for the two VicRoads roadcrew people who decided to setup a traffic light along Brandy Creek Road early last Wednesday morning during the peak school bus run (along with many other vehicles driving to work just after 8am) and then proceed to fill out paperwork in their truck, while traffic was made to wait around five minutes at a time to pass your vehicle (with no actual roadworks taking place).
Yes, we understand that (a) you're allowed to interrupt the flow of traffic for no longer than eight minutes at a time, (b) you can commence roadworks at 7am on weekdays and (c) you don't have to give local traffic a heads-up by setting up a mobile billboard beforehand in order to notify people of the date/s when roadworks will commence. But would it really impact you so much to at least do something in order to minimise impact to local traffic along this road, which is now busier than a one armed bricklayer.
Bouquet to former West Gippsland Hospital deputy manager Joe Ridley for his article in last week’s Gazette.
It has always seemed logical to redevelop the hospital on its present site and keeping it in Warragul rather than moving it to Drouin East - thereby adding to the recent trend to disintegrate this township.
Many bricks to the thoughtless people who dumped lounge furniture in Stuhrs Rd, Darnum. It is unbelievable that you would do such a thing but even more unbelievable that you left a mauve lounge suite on the road You were even too lazy to put it on the embankment.
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