Wake up and sup­port farm­ers

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

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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