Affordable power supply is critical
The onset of bitterly cold conditions across the region in the past week has provided us with a stark reminder of how important it is for people to be able to afford to stay warm.
Debates about the cost of electricity, gas and power in general occur ad nauseam.
But it is when the cold starts to really bite that you get an understanding of why this is important.
Anyone unfortunate to have broken a gas or electric heater or who has run out of wood in a house with inefficient
insulation during the past week would have gained an understanding of what it means.
In some circumstances it can be just as hard for some, regardless of how many layers they apply, to keep warm inside a cold house as it is outside in the elements.
Being constantly cold can be as threatening as it is uncomfortable.
In the elderly in particular, the inability to afford household heating can affect everything from general health to independence.
This means the cost of energy to the household, be it to cope with life hot or cold conditions, can be more than a simple budgeting issue for the average consumer. It’s imperative that our leaders remember this when contemplating decisions surrounding essential services.
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One of the most disappointing,
if not damning, statistics coming out of the Federal Election earlier this month is how many people voted ‘informally’.
Informal votes, whether by choice or caused by voters making mistakes on their ballot papers, don’t count in a final result.
We’re not sure how Wimmera-mallee people determined to have a say with their vote would feel knowing the equivalent of a small regional city voted informally in their electorate.
But that’s what happened in the division of Mallee.
The votes of more than 10,000 people, in a voting population of about 100,000, did not count. In Wannon, it was about 4000. We again remind voters, regardless of how disenfranchised they might feel about their political position or circumstance, that they eliminate any philosophical right and physical chance of having any legitimate say of governance if they place a ‘donkey’ vote during elections.
History shows, in all its bloody detail, that people have sacrificed lives to either win a vote or be able to vote at all in democratic societies.