Letters to the editor

Jobs leaking away

I refer to article "Data Jobs Go", Courier Thurs 13 April, where it was revealed that the jobs of fourteen Ballarat pathology staff will be going offshore because of an opportunity to centralise "had been identified". It appears that data entry for outpatient work previously handled by these staff will now be done in Malaysia instead.

Malaysian people are obviously entitled to seek employment, but we in Australia need to be greatly concerned that outsourcing of local jobs overseas is happening on an increasingly large scale, at the expense of the Australian workforce and economy. We are being reminded by the media daily of the increasing number of Australians who can't get jobs. Yet Australian companies still think it's OK to outsource their work overseas, in order to save a few dollars.

The Medical Scientists Association is rightly worried about patient safety issues as a result of this overseas outsourcing, as we all should. It makes sense that language and cultural differences will create huge potential for ambiguity and confusion. This local situation is not isolated either.

So not only are our Governments allowing our real estate and other important assets to be sold to overseas countries, we giving them our jobs as well to the detriment of our local job-seekers.

NEEDED: While the grant to restore the dilapidated Reid's Guest House is much needed there are other parts of the precinct crying out for heritage care.

NEEDED: While the grant to restore the dilapidated Reid's Guest House is much needed there are other parts of the precinct crying out for heritage care.

It really is time for the State and Federal Governments to step up and act.

Eileen McGhee, Miners Rest

More heritage focus needed

Last week's announcement of a $700,000 grant to Uniting Care for the restoration of Reid's Guest House was very welcome. The Minister for Local Government, Richard Wynne announced the grant from the State Government's 'Living Heritage' program to restore 'iconic at-risk heritage places in the state of Victoria'. The Minister proudly proclaimed that 'heritage is at the front of where this Government's endeavours are'.

I would like to remind the Minister that Reid's Coffee Palace was built in 1886-8 to provide accommodation to travellers pouring out of the adjacent Ballarat Railway Station. It's stylish façade with ornate verandah, and wonderful interior staircase and mural, were built in the boom era to match the magnificent railway station and its associated bluestone structures like the carriage shed and goods shed.

If Reid's Guest House is an iconic heritage place 'at risk', then so too is our nationally significant railway precinct. Many of us have been crying out for years for money to restore the important signal boxes. Yet the Government has been peculiarly negligent in maintaining these heritage assets.The current proposal to turn the goods shed into a convention centre and shops will divide into plaster-boarded rooms the great interior vista of huge roof trusses and bluestone walls would be totally lost. The Save our Station Ballarat's proposal is to turn the Goods Shed into a bus station would retain the wonderful interior of the building. The Minister needs to put the State Government's promised $25 million into restoring the Goods Shed and turning it into 'living heritage' for our future transport needs.

Anne Beggs-Sunter, Clarendon

Blatant disregard for safety

I agree with Cameron Cowan regarding the use of mobile phones especially for doing "selfies" as a possible reason behind many accidents especially when it is a straight road with no hazards. I have noticed some of the locations where there have been accidents and it crossed my mind that there must have been a distraction of some sort. It is like an addiction for some people and they are putting their own lives at risk and every other person on the road. After seeing a female driver on the freeway with her ipad on the steering wheel typing as she drove, I thought that some people have a blatant disregard for other drivers on the road.

Jennifer Hynes, Ballarat