I write mainly in anger and frustration but also completely dumbfounded. On Friday, we saw a good soaking of rain in Ballarat. We saw roughly 35mm fall over Miners Rest area and nobody thought anything of it, other than our gardens are loving it. Friday morning, we as a town, pulled our blinds open, to hear the news our town is flooding yet again; a statement most of us couldn't understand as it hadn't been a lot of rain.
In 2010/2011 we flooded also. People had flood waters through their houses and some had to live in hotels for 5-6 months.Friday saw all those memories come back again. Weeks ago I made a submission that the Burrumbeet creek flood-mapping on the 1 in 100 year event was wrong. The only factual information they had were of the 2011 floods which was a 1 in 60 year event
Very little mitigation work has been done in five years. On Friday when we flooded, the handful of things that had been done all failed. The same houses, yards and streets flooded. I watched the community scratching their heads wondering how. How can we flood after 35mm and see near the same devastation that happened with 100mm? The houses now flooding never flooded 10, 20 or 30 years ago. It is only since new estates, new roads, new infrastructure for Ballarat are put in upstream. The council have no answers.
The reality is, it is not Miners Rest that is the problem, it is what is happening upstream of Miners Rest. What has changed? This is where the council should be looking instead of bandaid ideas for the township of Miners Rest to keep us quiet. It needs to happen now; it should have happened 5 years ago. We can now prove the proposed saleyard site floods and not once in a 100 years.
This town has been through enough with fighting council against saleyards, better flood protection, and even footpaths that have never been put in. It's about time our councillors and council officers do something.
Alicia Bond, Miners Rest
Party politics has reared its ugly head in the lead up to the council election in October. Does Mr Goodfellow's comment, "we're going to have a crack at taking over the town hall this election" mean if the three Greens candidates are elected they vote as a block and not as three individual councillors serving all of Ballarat?
Four years ago, we saw a large number of Liberal party candidates elected and what happened? One resigned in disgrace, one used council to get elected to state parliament and left mid-term leaving the other Liberal councillors wondering what would happen next. Party politics should have little or no place in local council government. So, will the three endorsed Green candidates (or any party-endorsed candidates) vote according to party policy?
Let's take the best that all candidates bring to the council chamber and all work together for the Ballarat party. It's the party we all belong to.
Gary Fitzgerald, candidate, Central Ward, Ballarat Council election
Vegetable gardens on nature strips have the potential to revitalise the urban sprawl in some of our crowded Ballarat suburbs, encourage community relations by fostering goodwill between neighbours, and above all, provide fresh produce for physical health.
So why does Ballarat City Council see it necessary to slap a $150 annual fee on anyone who wishes to have a vegetable planter box on their front lawn?
The role of council is to support residents in endeavours that benefit both body and mind; not put financial roadblocks in their way en route.
Rob Edward Smith, North Ward, Ballarat City Council candidate
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