Benalla Ensign

No forward thinking

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The ARTC has no intention of realigning the track through Benalla.

The ARTC has stated there will be no variation in train speeds in any location and that includes Benalla to the Broken River bridge.

Therefore my rough estimate is if the east track is to divert off the Broken River bridge about one-third of the main platform would have to be removed and of course the old A Signal Box would have to go.

We were promised a business case in August for the track realignmen­t. All I have seen is some computer-aided modelling that is an insult.

Even no mention of the high-speed cross overs that would be needed from the west line to the east line to get to the main platform.

With due respect I think it took me about five minutes to realise none of this is practical and no forward thinking for the future.

As for Wodonga the Brumby government removed 11 level crossings when they rerouted the track.

Like I have said before, the ARTC are the new kids on the block. They have not done very well. Two trains on their side. A pathetic service to Melbourne.

And after all these years crossovers are just being installed south of Violet Town and Longwood.

Maybe we should say to the ARTC, you run your trains through Victoria, but V/Line will control them.

— John Dennis, Benalla

Victoria has achieved its vaccinatio­n goals in the face of fierce attacks and underminin­g by media, the Federal Liberal National Party and Victorian Opposition.

We didn’t just beat COVID, we beat everyone determined to see Victoria fail.

We did it with less support and late vaccines. Regardless of my own political affiliatio­ns, I feel we will never understand what it’s like to experience the enormous pressure and attacks on Dan Andrews and his family during this pandemic.

As someone who cares about my loved ones, I can’t thank him enough for never backing down on keeping us safe.

Thank you Dan, CHO, health workers and all Victorians who got us here.

We beat COVID, despite the late vaccines and the hostile media coverage.

Also thanks to the wonderful local clinics who looked after us in Benalla and ensured we had one of the highest, if not the highest vaccinatio­n rate.

I note that a Federal Government official has written to this newspaper with their version of events. I hope I will have equal opportunit­y to provide mine.

I also note that if this Federal Government is voted back in at the next election, age pensions will be put on the cashless welfare card.

Pensions have already been moved to the welfare category to facilitate this change; and Anne Ruston is on video confirming more trials.

Under this government, Medicare has been decimated. Already people are having to forego MRI scans because of the cost to them, and one medication I know of has gone to $80 per script now it is off the list.

It is not my intention to tell anyone how to vote, but I do ask that you look beyond the media hype and consider what voting the current Federal Government back will mean for your future and that of your families, and particular­ly older Australian­s who will bear the brunt of carefully targeted Medicare cuts and the loss of choice by the roll out of the cashless Indue Card.

— Brenda L Brown, Benalla

In The Ensign (October 5) Benalla Mayor Danny Claridge was reported as saying that declaring a climate emergency did not do much, and that he had spoken to mayors of LGAs who had made that declaratio­n who said it had no effect on their approach to addressing climate change.

Some LGAs have gone down the path of declaring a climate emergency about 12 to 18 months ago and nothing has changed.

He went on to say that declaring a climate emergency was the easy way out to make everyone happy.

Well, I find those comments pretty dismissive of the 100 LGAs in Australia, representi­ng more than nine million people, who have declared climate emergencie­s, of whom the vast majority are working dammed hard to reduce their local greenhouse emissions, and in most cases well before the 2050 target that the federal and state government­s might be aiming for.

Talking to a couple of other mayors doesn’t actually constitute proof of your point.

For example, our mayor may not have seen the ABC news item just two days after his comments were reported in The Ensign, in relation to the Noosa (Queensland) Council who declared a climate emergency in 2019, and set a target of net-zero emissions by 2026 — that’s four years earlier than Benalla council was being petitioned to do so.

Since 2019, they have installed over 600kw of solar panels on council owned and operated facilities, improved air-conditioni­ng to be more efficient in all council buildings, and replaced lighting with more efficient LED lamps, just to name a few of the actions, listed on their website.

They have also engaged with the private and business community, enabling them to access free seminars providing advice on upgrading to solar power.

The Noosa council has shown leadership to its community, by its own actions and then encouraged the community to follow suit.

There happen to be many other examples of LGAs who are seriously tackling mitigation of emissions.

Benalla is “hanging its hat” on reviewing its Climate Adaptation policy — it’s just not good enough, as this is reactive policy, rather than proactive.

Council has heard the entreaties of our young people, and the health and environmen­tal problems that are even now being witnessed around the world. These problems will continue to worsen as the Earth warms further.

We do have a climate emergency, and we need our council to recognise this and act urgently in response.

— Peter Holmes, Lima East

Think about family when voting

We do have a climate emergency

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