THE open day at the mosque organised by Ballarat InterFaith and Islamic Society was well attended.
The warm welcome, hospitality and the spirit of friendship offered to the visitors was much appreciated. Such events are a positive reflection on the cultural diversity of our city.
- Lakshmi Maksay, Soldiers Hill
I WOULD like to draw the community's attention to a most disturbing and unexpected decision by the DWELP to discharge the committee of the Ballan Mechanics Institute and instead to hand control of the Mechanics Hall to the Ballan Community House.
After the upgrade to the Hall by the Moorabool Shire some 12 years ago, a committee took over and was shortly afterwards discharged.
An advertisement by DSE /DWELP brought a new committee of local residents to take over management. This committee took over a hall in poor shape, not all work was completed by the shire, and the new committee found itself with a number of accounts which could not be paid.
The committee has worked hard over the years to bring the hall up to an acceptable condition as finances improved. The floor was redone, electrical power points put in, new heating/air conditioning, the front rooms were re-stumped, and much more in the way of repairs and maintenance.
The committee has worked hard in its own time with members cleaning up rubbish, mowing and doing minor repairs. All of this without any assistance or help from either the DWELP or the Ballan Community House members who have not been supportive over the years.
The hall committee has brought in new tenants such as the Moorabool Library and runs the Centrelink office, which has been of great assistance to many in the community.
The committee has now applied for grants to improve the car park at the rear of the building.
I would like to hear an explanation of why such a hard working and efficient committee and its staff should be discharged without any good reason.
DWELP refused to allow an advertisement for new committee members, and has certainly not advertised for expressions of interest for the committee.
- Merilyn Meadows, Ballan
I READ with interest Nene King's letter concerning the travel plans of Ballarat Councillors to attend an overseas conference. Nene asks how these conferences will benefit Ballarat and its ratepayers.
I write on a related matter, namely the travel of the federal member for Ballarat. Catherine King's amount of interstate travel is enormous and I wonder how all this travel benefits Ballarat.
She is our local member. She needs to be in Ballarat to be able to fulfil her job.
In 2014, she had 77 flights within Australia. Some of these flights would have been to attend parliamentary sittings in Canberra; however, a large number of the flights are to destinations all over Australia. How does Ballarat benefit from these trips?
It is interesting to contrast Ms King's travel with the travel of Sarah Henderson, Member for Corangamite, whose air travel expenses appear to be related to travel to Canberra and back to attend parliamentary sittings.
In The Courier on August 11, 2015, there was an article briefly mentioning the amount of money taxpayers of Australia had paid for Catherine King's overseas travel - $178,214 in 2014, and $241,014 in 2013. A huge amount of money.
I wonder how these trips benefitted Ballarat? Do the electors of Ballarat ever receive a report indicating the benefits to our community?
The electors of Ballarat have been forgotten for long enough. They need a member of Parliament whose priority is Ballarat.
- Joyce Currie, Wendouree
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