The mixed bag of 2012

WHAT do we make of 2012 for Ballarat as the year draws to a close?

Tragedy, triumph, disappointments and celebrations, in many ways it’s been a year of significant evolution for Ballarat, yet in other aspects, little has changed.

So, we’re putting out a challenge this week to readers to identify the great achievements, successes and heroes of 2012.

We’ve come up with a few noteworthy contributions.

The tremendous coming together of thousands of local residents for the inaugural Run Ballarat event, which raised tens of thousands of dollars for the children’s ward at Ballarat Health Services.

Who could forget the determined effort of race walker Jarred Tallent in winning silver at the London Olympics?

Unrecognised yet of utmost importance are the efforts of our troops in Afghanistan, led by Ballarat-raised Brigadier Simone Wilkie.

From our youth ambassadors Elliott Bailey and Jemma Mathers to senior of the year Judith Anne Boag. And the volunteers and community group leaders in between doing their bit to keep the city moving.

There’s been the big projects such as the Museum of Democracy at Eureka which will come to life next year and the introduction of Melbourne-style cafe culture at The Lane.

The continued growth in health and education – service industries which set Ballarat apart from our regional cousins remain vital to our way of life.

Lake Wendouree remained full and largely weed free – that’s something we’ve all enjoyed this year.

Today we ask what you believe we have achieved in Ballarat in 2012? Do you darndest – email andrew.eales@thecourier.com.au – and we’ll list a selection in this column next week.

Passing the buck

IT might just be politics but we continually find it difficult to understand why governments are so dismissive of significant issues in our community. This week The Courier reported another instance of a delay created by a lack of a Complex Patient Ambulance Vehicle in Ballarat.

Funding for the specialised ambulance to transport obese patients has been requested yet remains unfulfilled. 

That the state government can blame the former government for inaction, yet in almost the same breath suggest it is now an operational matter for Ambulance Victoria is blame-changing and buck passing at its worst.

Dynasty

FORGET the Peter Slipper scandal or the tug of war over Ballarat’s public holiday, the move of highly-talented netballers Gina, Louise and Stacey McCartin from reigning BFNL premiers Lake Wendouree to North Ballarat City had Ballarat abuzz this week.

The trio will join mum and coach Annie at North, where brother Simon plays football.

Forget the Daylesford-Hepburn footy derby or the next instalment of the Redan-Sunbury rivalry, mark down the first meeting between Lakers and North in the A grade netball next year as one not to miss.

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