Letters to the Editor

Too simple a solution in the war on graffiti

Art or anarchy: For some it is public expression; for others it is simple vandalism, but the kids who paint the streets are a problem that won't go away.

Art or anarchy: For some it is public expression; for others it is simple vandalism, but the kids who paint the streets are a problem that won't go away.

The Courier article (18 April) about the graffiti 'blight' in Ballarat and its annual cost to the ratepayers of some $300,000 makes me wonder if anyone in Council has come out to graffiti-free Buninyong lately. A couple of years ago this village too was being vandalised by mindless graffiti.

Then, in 2015, with the help of Council and funding from the Department of Justice, the local Community Association (BDCA) put together a project to tackle this problem. A specially-designed graffiti removal trailer-unit was designed, built and equipped at a cost of less than $30,000. The BDCA obtained the cooperation of the members of the local Men's Shed who formed a 'flying squad' which removes any graffiti within hours of its being reported. Lately they've had little to do. Now there are Men's Sheds in several other areas of Ballarat.

It's highly likely that, if asked, they would undertake a similar role to their counterparts in Buninyong. So if Council was to find $120,000 to equip say four of these, even the slowest in grade 6 arithmetic could work out the savings, not just in one year but across several years. The Buninyong graffiti removal unit might have cost Council a hundred or so dollars in chemicals over the years, but that's all. This suggestion has been made previously to Council and to local politicians with no response. While it won't eradicate all of Ballarat's graffiti, I'll bet that it would make a huge difference to the 'home' areas of local Men's Sheds.

Barry Fitzgerald, Buninyong

It doesn’t take much

When walking, and you see the ubiquitous plastic bag, stop and pick it up. You may be saving a bird's life, or you may be saving this, our earth. And by the way, store them all in a calico bag and drop them off at the recycle bin at a prominent Ballarat supermarket.

Ron Maynard, Redan

Simple pothole solution

​I read recently in the U.K. media that a group of concerned and public-spirited English residents have come up with the idea of alerting road users to the existence of long-standing potholes in suburban streets by filling the potholes with earth and planting flowers in them. This has the public safety benefit of avoiding damage and potential injury to road users (especially cyclists) and the additional benefit of relieving Councils from the need to provide "quick-fix" temporary repairs which degrade rapidly and cause the original pothole to recur, thus freeing up budgets for more timely, coordinated and permanent road maintenance management. I commend this to your readers as a way in which the ratepayers and road users of Ballarat might make a helpful contribution to community safety and wellbeing, and assist the BCC in its excellent work of keeping our streets functional.

Martin Buekers, Black Hill

Calling killing what it is

Two Sundays ago, two Egyptian churches were bombed, killing over 40 Christians. Day in, day out, an average of over 250 Christians, worldwide, are killed by terrorists. In February 2016, the European Parliament recognised such killings as "genocide". In June 2016, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria recognised such killings as "genocide". In March 2017, the United States House of Representatives voted 383-0 to recognise such killings as "genocide". The Australian government? So far, no such recognition and no comment.

Last week, Australia's Michael Sukkar MP said, "there needs to be a political awakening and movement for people who want to practise their faith in peace". He called on Parliament to recognise these atrocities against Christians as genocide. If they don't, it will be inexcusable.

Arnold Jago, Nichols Point