Better late than never
I write in praise of the successful redevelopment of the West Gippsland Arts Centre. In the short time since its official opening on November 17, I have already attended and enjoyed a wide variety of performances and I look forward to the 2019 program with much anticipation.
Not so praiseworthy, however, was the official opening ceremony which appeared well planned with Rob Robson, arts centre manager acting as MC, the attendance of Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent representing the Federal Government, and various Baw Baw Shire Councillors, headed by our newlyappointed mayor Mikaela Power.
Conspicuously missing from this ceremony was any representation from our State Government, a rather strange absence, I thought, given that the Andrews’ government had contributed $4 million to the redevelopment budget.
But that’s okay because the absence of politicians hardly ever bothers me at all. No, what was bothering me was that during the opening, when the official guests were either lavishing praise on the redevelopment, or basking in its reflected glory (including some councillors who had originally voted against the redevelopment), not a single word of praise or thanks was uttered in recognition of the driving forces behind the project.
Manager Rob Robson and his amazingly-talented and hard-working staff must have felt very small and forgotten indeed. It wasn’t until the performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf on Saturday evening that this disappointing oversight was corrected – and it looked very much like a last-minute rush job. Mayor Power, to her great credit, accepted the “hospital pass” (my interpretation) and fronted the audience.
With a few carefully-chosen and softly-spoken words, she gave credit where credit was due, and her gentle hand gesture had the audience immediately on their feet to give Rob Robson and his team a lengthy and thoroughly deserved standing ovation. Better late than never, I suppose. Aldo Bagnara, Warragul
I’d like to acknowledge the many volunteers who braved all weathers to hand out how to vote information at the pre polling centre in Warragul and also on election day.
Their dedication and commitment to the values of the parties they represent deserves recognition. Long live democracy.
Leone Gunther, Jindivick thick to understand what they are doing. At last I gained the safety of being inside the polling centre where I was duly noted on the roll and had a very clear explanation by very patient people about how the ballot papers needed to be filled in.
Then I went to the cardboard booth and filled in the Legislative Assembly paper and then unfurled the Legislative Council paper. I made sure that I filled in at least five spaces below the line on that one rather than a single number above the line simple because I didn’t want my vote artificially manipulated by parties and preference whisperers.
After completing the whole voting process, I made my way back to the car, the people in the gauntlet far less interested in me now after I voted. In fact, one, a candidate no less, said to me, “That wasn’t hard was it? I bet you didn’t even read what was written on the paper.”
I merely smiled and thought to myself how much he misunderstands the vast majority of people who take voting seriously. I didn’t tell him how high he scored on my ballot, it is a secret ballot after all; but let’s just say, in a golfing tournament, he wouldn’t have made the cut. Greg Tuck, Warragul