The need for better traffic flows through the heart of the city
I am writing to express my disgust with Ballarat City Council and VicRoads in regard to the future plans for Mair and Sturt Streets. Sturt Street is one of the great boulevards in Australia. It easily moves large volumes of traffic whilst showcasing the beautiful architecture, sculpture and pagodas/bandstands in the median strip. Why the push to make Mair Street the new main street? It is already known as 'nightmare' street for good reason. It is slow, narrow and already choked with traffic during busy periods. Are there vested commercial interests at stake? The Ballarat City Council and VicRoads would be better employed to re-open the ghastly Bridge Mall to traffic again, and make the entrance to Ballarat flow through, instead of the ugly dog leg arrangement it is at present. It doesn't matter how much money the Bridge Mall receives, it is a desolate, windswept tunnel full of empty shops, with a lonely, desperate atmosphere. Start representing Ballarat residents, business owners and ratepayers (your employers) and respect and celebrate the wonderful history and beauty of Ballarat.
Amanda Gordon, Scarsdale
$70million Federal payout the start of moral justice
How pleasing to learn that our government has to pay compensation to detainees on Manus Island. It justifies all the letters I have written to this newspaper. Of course, I understand it is taxpayers' money, but so are the millions of dollars we have paid to incarcerate them for so long. Why not let these men settle in Australia and spend their compensation here to help our economy? They deserve loving acceptance for all the wrongs inflicted upon them.
When will our government realise that seeking asylum is not illegal, and punishing a group of innocent people to deter others from attempting to, is a violation of human rights? We have learnt recently that paying compensation to child abuse victims in the past has not been the end of the story.
The perpetrators are now having to answer for their actions. So too, should all of our prime ministers and immigration ministers, going back to the Howard era, be investigated for crimes against humanity, according to a group of international lawyers. (Ref: The Courier. 15/11/16, p.5, "Bid to put PMs in dock over asylum seeker detention", Heath Astor, Political Correspondent)
Finally, I would like to praise all the doctors and other carers who have been heroes, and who have stood up to give evidence in defiance of the risk of imprisonment during this shameful era of our history.
Diane Collacott, Ballarat
The only good wild dog is a dead one
The Andrews Labor government's lack of interest in the wild dog control program looks to have extended to the resoundingly successful fox bounty. Foxes and wild dogs are a massive blight on Victoria's landscape, wreaking havoc on livestock and our native fauna alike, yet Labor is turning a blind eye and failing to listen.
The Premier (for Melbourne) just doesn't get it: the only good fox is a dead fox, and the only thing better is a dead wild dog. Labor left landholders in limbo for two years after axing the Wild Dog Bounty and sacking the Wild Dog Advisory Committee.
While Minister Pulford has given in to pressure from farmers and finally replaced the committee, it's disappointing that there are less landholder representatives, there are no women, and one of the members has previously criticised wild dog control measures and reportedly described farmers as "extremists".
Peter Walsh, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Member for Murray Plains