Be more encouraging
THE recent Victorian study showing that young people who were cautioned by police re-offended at half the rate of charged people, as reported in The Courier on Tuesday, September 26, highlights the importance of addressing youth crime prevention through encouragement rather than punishment.
We can't prevent youth offending by policing alone. We have to also address the root causes of crime.
I congratulate the Andrews Labor Government for announcing funding in July for The Youth Crime Prevention Project (YCPP) and selecting Ballarat for a pilot program to address repeat youth offending. Getting young people involved in their community, making them feel supported and helping them find education or employment is an important part of tackling youth crime.
Crime Statistics Agency numbers released in July showed there were far less new young offenders in the city than in previous years. Up to 99 children aged 10 to 17 were charged with an offence for the first time in 2016.
Back in 2012 there were nearly double this amount of new teenage offenders, when 183 youths were charged for the first time. Projects like the Youth Crime Prevention Project will help get kids back on track.
Michaela Settle, Ballarat
Was parking considered?
I WONDER if the government proposal to "improve" the Ballarat Railway Station precinct has taken into account the economic potential loss which will follow the restricting of parking facilities which, in turn, will discourage additional new commuters from using the rail service?
How many additional users have become regular commuters over the last 10 years? And will this growth continue? What will this do for Ballarat's if the growth tapers off? Certainly nothing unless the parking supply at the station is increased, not reduced.
The call for a 59-minute service to Melbourne is the station to station time, not home to Melbourne time. If future commuters have to park long distances away from the station, a 59-minute train trip could become a 70 to 80 minute trip in reality.
Convenient as buses are, the total home to Melbourne time will blow out even further by using buses from home to the Ballarat station instead of driving and then parking at the station. Ballarat needs a speedy train service, and part of this service is the provision of adequate car parking for the future.
Neil Sinclair, Lake Wendouree
Yarowee suffering under development
For over 15 years I have enjoyed walking,riding and picnicing along the Yarrowee river on the way to the Gong reservoir.
I have felt so lucky to be in the bush and only 5minutes from the town centre.
Last week I rode the usual path and was most concerned to find the hillside along the edge of the river had been cleared and with all the rain the top soil flowing like a torrent straight into the river.
I couldn't believe there was no filter system to prevent water from rushing into the river.
On the same side an area has been cleared of trees for a road for access to the development.
The development is so close to the river and is having a direct effect on the natural state of the river and surrounding bushland.
I am interested to know the restrictions and laws on new housing developments and extremely concerned on the effect this development is having on the lovely green wedge of natural bushland.
Ballarat is growing rapidly and I would like to think there were restrictions in place to protect the natural environment on which these housing developments are being created.
This area along the Yarrowee is much loved and a very precious place in Ballarat .
I can see the effects already on this beautiful area and it is essential we protect it, before it disappears completely.
Carolyn Widdison, Golden Point