While blue sky thinking and great promises are alluring, councillors and candidates need to keep in mind the scope of what a council has a duty to provide and most importantly, the residents expect of a city council. From the time I did work experience at VicRoads and studied civil engineering at university, I learned a lot about soil mechanics and road construction.
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The occurrence and severity of potholes around Ballarat has increased and I don't believe the city has been sufficient in their response. Potholes need to be remedied as quickly as possible as they grow at an exponential rate, especially in the wetter weather, leading to a higher treatment cost in the long run. Improving this may require reallocation of resources away from other less immediate projects but I feel this is of priority for Ballarat residents and a reasonable expectation. I swear I almost cracked a hubcap the other day at the Mair and Dawson Street roundabout and have noticed similar concerning road quality deterioration elsewhere in my own central ward such as Humffray Street and Scott Parade railway crossing.
The council should work with VicRoads to remedy the roundabout on Creswick Road near the Civic Hall. I can't be the only one thinking it's an accident waiting to happen, with many drivers being confused about how to indicate and change lanes.
It isn't hard to see why there is such public outcry against overseas expeditions which I believe can be justified in some cases or rate increases when every day you're dodging potholes on the roads.
Will Bennett, Ballarat Central Candidate
Why all the fuss about the usage of the Eureka flag? Militant unions, some of whom have criminal ties and links to corruption, have coo-opted it as a symbol years ago. The flag belongs to all Australian’s even those you dislike.
Robert Kelty, Mt Helen
The Guardian 10/08/2016 has published more damning evidence of the maltreatment of women and children on Nauru. It seems that when it comes to detaining children, whether asylum seekers off shore on Nauru or indigenous children in the Northern Territory, the Australian government has an appalling record. A Royal Commission into the abuse in NT is very welcome. The children on Nauru continue to wait for justice. What will it take for us as a community to say "enough is enough"?
Cath McDonald, Buninyong
This ABS census privacy does not worry me. Nor am I concerned my information is everywhere out there; Centrelink, VicRoads, tax office and the bank. l fear none of them. Imagine refusing to give any of them your name when applying for a pension or licence.
To their credit, ultimately, the ABS has now bolted and also carefully locked the stable door to prevent a horse from bolting. Federal legislation on data breach reporting laws have been previously drafted, but are sitting sidelined, not yet passed. This latest fiasco may be a wake up call for Canberra. Instead of being a survey on us, the census has turned into a survey on government efficiency. Denial of service should not be confused with hacking.
Colin Holmes, Ballarat
There is no doubt level crossings are a problem for all of Victoria, but under Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor government, only metropolitan Melbourne is worth fixing. Not one of the fifty level crossings deemed among Victoria's most dangerous and congested by Daniel Andrews' flagship level crossing removal project is located outside greater Melbourne. Labor scrambled to fix this ignorance with the announcement of the Safer Country Crossings Program but, to date, they have dodged questions on what progress, if any, has been made.
Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals
Once again, many parliamentarians are advocating the removal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Senators Leyonhjelm, Roberts, Day among them. If "there's no qualification to free speech", then surely we must remove restrictions on what we classify as (child) pornography, incitement to terrorism, sedition, reputation-damaging, sexist, xenophobic, hate-speech and more. We must celebrate and encourage political cartoons that have otherwise been censored.
I was raised with the unequivocal understanding that with the right to free speech comes a responsibility to use that "right" honourably and respectfully. This idea coincides with the Australian Law Reform Commission's report. [alrc.gov.au].
In my adopted country Australia, we've come to expect "rights" and "entitlements" without any modicum of "responsibility", leading to toxic behaviours, "people do have a right to be bigots." [Senator Brandis, March 2014] Yes, people have a personal right to be whatever they want to be (e.g., pornographers, terrorists, traitors, misogynists, neo-Nazis, etc). However, they do not have any right to damage others while exercising their personal rights [ALRC, Chapter 4].
The ICCPR [Art 19.3], which Australia has enshrined in law, notes two restrictions on free speech: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals. RDA Section 18(C), as written and as properly applied, clearly supports these guiding principles; nothing more. 18(C) must remain as is.
Judy Bamberger, O'Connor
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