Heroin problem needs our support including injecting rooms

Problem needs our support

I write to congratulate Premier Daniel Andrews, his cabinet, Fiona Patten from the Reason Party, and the Greens for their support for the introduction of a safe injecting-room trial in Richmond. Premier Andrews, whilst initially not supporting a trial, has shown true leadership, compassion and empathy by being prepared to change his view, and I offer further congratulations to him for appointing former premier Jeff Kennett as chair to oversee this vital trial. Sadly, there are some who do not understand the tragedy of addiction, which is a major health issue not just in Melbourne but also in regional Victoria and, yes, is on our own doorstep in Ballarat. People addicted to drugs need our support. This action by the Andrews State Government will go a long way to saving lives. The scourge of illegal drugs has reached epidemic proportions in Australia, particularly with "ice", producing untold misery for many addicts and their families. Consequently, the government will introduce tougher penalities for drug traffickers. We all know that drug use doesn't discriminate in our communities. Illicit drug-taking has permeated all Ievels of society from the well-heeled families to the socially disadvantaged who are homeless on the street. I detest drugs and drug crime and the tragic waste of human life that is the end result of these activities. I have seen beautiful souls destroyed by drugs and the consequent misery that has caused their family and friends. The issue of drugs is complex, but it is a serious problem that must be tackled no matter the cost. We must act now to further create and support initiatives to rid our country of this scourge so as to create a positive, healthy future for our society and provide effective rehabilitation for addicts to re-engage and contribute to community life. Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill

Fear at blindness

Any driver who is physically, mentally and emotionally capable and sufficiently competent at driving skill, who can judge a one metre separation from me while I am cycling on the public road, can see me with sufficient vision skill, motor skills to manoeuvre the vehicle, is compassionate and intelligent enough, to not crash into me and damage their vehicle with my blood and bones. To all these competent drivers, I say thank you. Thank you for your humanity. To those drivers who kill cyclists in Victoria, crash into cyclists in Victoria, do not see cyclists in Victoria, drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and crash into cyclists in Victoria, drive while using a phone in Victoria, drive while distracted by anything, no amount of metre rulings will keep me safe from you in Victoria.

David Chadderton, Wendouree

Grotesque oversight

Senator Canavan, Could you please explain why you feel there is a need to change the constitution so that people with dual citizenship can be elected to federal parliament? I would have thought that such duality would compromise the parliamentarian. I would also suggest that simply checking before nominating would be the logical control measure for the risk of contravening the constitution rather than rewriting the document itself. Your government has already cost this nation over $120 million for a postal survey that was designed to circumvent one of the basic conditions of your employment which is to make decisions. I am also somewhat concerned that you would propose a referendum consequent to your own carelessness while you exhibit complete lack of care for Aborigines when you, and your party, refuse to consider a referendum to include them. This makes no sense to me as the government asked them to come up with a way forward and then ignored the result. Still, given that 'clean coal' seems to be another aspect of this perverse advocacy, I await any communique that exhibits any logic with breathless anticipation.

Geoff Ellis, Krowera

Without separating infrastructure and with so many blind, negligent  or affected drivers there is much to fear for some cyclists.

Without separating infrastructure and with so many blind, negligent or affected drivers there is much to fear for some cyclists.