Bet­ter late than never

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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