The interesting page of drone photographs of our district from the air. (May 21) was much appreciated.
The Arch of Victory indeed struck a chord with me. It looked great. Having reflected often on the many times our family on returning from interstate, or western Victoria, (even on our regular outings to Lake Burrumbeet,) there would be gasps of pleasure as the sight of the Arch came into view. We would experience emotions of Remembrance of its purpose, with pride in our city and its people. We were 'home sweet home' in every sense.
How did we allow it to happen that no longer on approaching Ballarat from the west, can this aspect of the original vision planned near a century ago, not be seen? We are lucky to get a glimpse as we pass through and into Ballarat.Surely I cannot be alone in this sense of a loss in what was a very grand vision. My thanks to the photographer for such lovely views and prompting me to put pen to paper.
June Johnson Alfredton
The other night I attended the one and only candidate presentation by the AEC (Australian Electoral Commission) in Melbourne. The person running it did quite a good job but there was a rather disturbing theme for the evening that kept coming up. 'We're not able to give legal advice', 'I cannot provide you with legal advice' or 'You need to seek legal advice'.
These comments or variations thereof were made around a dozen times. The problem is that no one there was seeking legal advice. We were there to seek clarification of information and procedural matters. There were a number of questions the AEC people could not answer which is quite reasonable, but to basically tell candidates repeatedly to seek legal advice seems rather bizarre.
The senate voting changes recently introduced have made it very difficult for independents to get elected, and now it seems we have to get lawyers as well. I have to wonder what the role of the AEC is, if not to explain and clarify electoral matters. Somehow I can't imagine an AFL player asking about the rules being told to 'get legal advice' by an umpire or the AFL. Is this the state of democracy in Australia now and a sign of things to come?
Stephen Juhasz, Independent Candidate for the Senate, Geelong.
Much has been written about the recent Council Masterplan for the Civic Hall. I do not believe that the demolition of the Lower Hall is necessary as development can still proceed without demolition. It is a thought bubble that has no credibility to bring it into reality.
At the council meeting of 27th April many questions were asked about the Masterplan and there was very little substance to the replies given. According to the Council's own Heritage Advisor's report of 2014 the building is not past its original use of being an events venue and is not derelict as is commonly described by the Council. The report also goes on to say that no part of the structure should be demolished. This report only surfaced on the same day as the April 27 meeting through freedom of information. It was 12 months since the document was requested. Vital information in order for them to make a decision I would have thought.
On the demolition of the Lower Hall, it may cost more to to do a partial demolition than to demolish the entire building. I am told that costings will be available soon.
To date there has been no engineer's assessment report on the condition of the building. Shouldn't this information be available before the recommendations were voted on?
Judith Buchanan, Sebastopol
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