At the council meeting 27th April, Item 12.1 Civic Hall Precinct Master Plan was passed. This is to demolish the lower hall and to join the library to the main hall. This was passed without council's own Heritage Report being made available to the councillors. This report was obtained by me after a 12 month application to the Commissioner of Freedom of Information deciding that it was a public document.
The first time councillors were aware of this was at the 27th April meeting. It was not even discussed at the meeting. The report states, "To demolish the Civic Hall does not satisfy conservation best practice as detailed by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments & Sites) or the policies and guidelines of the Victorian Heritage Council, Heritage Victoria or the Commonwealth, State and Local Legislation, policies & guidelines. Consequently, to demolish the Civic Hall is Objected".
The General Manager, City Strategy stated, "...If Item 12.1 was passed it would trigger a new report as the contents of the existing report are not relative". Why do a report and completely ignore it. This is just a way to drag out solving the Civic Hall issue. Hopefully, a new council in October will have the determination to finally act to resolve this issue. The Heritage Advisors Report is available by email from me on email@example.com.
Gary Fitzgerald, candidate for the 2016 Ballarat City Council election
I worked for CFA for 11 years as a BASO. I may know a lot of you as in that time, l worked in Incident Control Centres on the North East Fires, Century Track Fires, Black Saturday Fires, and a few others. I have seen first-hand, time and time again, what magnificent work volunteer firefighters do, and the commitment you have to training and skill development is exceptional.
You know that your wildfire firefighting (i.e. bushfire) skills are superior to most career firefighters, and that is simply because most volunteers are in the bush and career firefighters are in the highly populated areas.
Regardless of politics, we, the people of Victoria cannot afford to have any volunteer firefighters go missing next summer.
I listen to the rain falling and l am happy for the farmers, then l think of the forests and of next summer's fuel growing all around Melbourne and Geelong, along the coast, where l live through the Wombat Ranges and Lerderderg State Park, and visions come back to me of Black Saturday and its loss of life.
I implore you to disregard the politicians doing all they can to turn your mind away from your task, or get you to be angry against CFA or the UFU or whoever else.
Please stay focused and stick with CFA, and protect the people of Victoria as you always have in the past, and continue to do so for the future. I have concentrated on summer fire here because that's what concerns me the most, but there are also the car accidents, chemical spills etc.; l could go on and on.
Chris Kearney, Bacchus Marsh
Final repercussions of the saga of CFA, Victorian Government, unions and Fair Work Commission. Despite the legal ultimate results, three important afflictions remain with us;
1. Danger to the future of all volunteer organisations, e.g. Red Cross, Salvation Army and all local communities etc.
2. Self-destruction of trade unions, enjoyed and necessary by so many workers in Australia.
3. To keep Australia on economic level in this world, it is necessary for the average citizen to offer more than one expects to receive.
These three happenings have been overshadowed by several fairly idiotic and undemocratic resolutions of the Fair Work Commission, supported by one-eyed unions and gutless politicians.
Tom Ford, Miners Rest Fire Brigade
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