Letters to the Editor

A law good in theory but troubled in practice

New passing laws of 40km/h when emergency lights are flashing has caused major consternation amongst drivers.

New passing laws of 40km/h when emergency lights are flashing has caused major consternation amongst drivers.

This new emergency vehicle lights on 40kph rule is good in theory, but not so good in practice. If a heavy vehicle is on a freeway downhill and lights commence unexpectedly close in front and a car brakes suddenly, then it could be shunted into the emergency area. 

Also, in two lanes, if a car is beside a b-double, and cannot see the lights commence, then they may enter the zone above the limit. In a perfect world, prior approach, graduated reduction signs at roadside would reduce the risk, but are not feasible here. With trucks fully loaded and trying to get a run up approach at the bottom of a steep long hill, slowing to 40kph is not helpful.

Maybe have a speed reduction to half that is posted. A 110kph freeway has a wide emergency lane; thus 55kph. Then 100 and 80 become 50 and 40. This gives automatically graduated speeds according to road width and saftyness status. Currently, one size fits all from a bush track to a 110kph freeway. One wonders if the roads minister has ever driven a heavy vehicle. 

Colin Holmes, Ballarat

Commitment made long ago

As a gay person I fully support the council resolution, dated 26 November 2014 on Marriage equality. A bold & supportive move to the LGBTQ community of Ballarat. I do not support last week’ item 9. 3 re Marriage Equality. Why you may ask? It’s already been signed sealed and delivered. And if by some slim change this item is voted down what message does that send to the people of Ballarat? Let’s vote again on the 50 meter pool lets vote again on the sale yards lets vote again on all items from the previous council.  Who picks what items to debate again? I believe that this item was put forward by Councillor Coates for her own political grandstanding. Over an hour of meeting time wasted on an item already passed & supported.

Gary Fitzgerald,  Ballarat East    

Our Council has once again become distracted by an issue which isn’t part of its purview – same-sex marriage.As an openly gay man in a long-term relationship and a long-time advocate for the right of same-sex attracted people to marry, what has my sexuality or same-sex marriage got to do with local government? There are no provisions within the Local Government Act that require councils to address issues that directly affect how gay people conduct their lives. However, it is a different story for state and federal governments.

Simply stated, the role of local government is to set the strategic directions, decide on council policies and resources, and monitor council’s performance in delivering services for its citizens .In saying this, I also find it disgraceful that Australia, as a so-called progressive country (let's all move to Canada), is still treating the issue of same-sex marriage as a political football. 

Let me also state very clearly that I have advocated through The Courier to the Premier, the state parliament, to the Prime Minister and the federal parliament, that for a traditionally conservative city, over 75% of adults in Ballarat support same-sex marriage, and our federal member, Catherine King, is supportive of same-sex marriage and is active in advocating in the federal parliament for a free vote to change the Marriage Act.

Wednesday night's efforts in the Council Chamber were frankly a waste of valuable Council time. Council had already adopted position on same-sex marriage in 2014.  What would be effective would be for those advocating in Ballarat for same-sex marriage to join with others and focus nationally on the issue. I am a financial member of Australian Marriage Equality (AME) organisation. If you truly want to make a difference with regard to same-sex marriage, I suggest all of you become a member of AME and financially support its tireless work.  Council must not continue to let itself be distracted.

Ron Egeberg, Civil Celebrant