LETTERS: Not surprised by mess left at Lake Burrumbeet

DISGUSTED: This is just some of the rubbish left along the foreshore of Lake Burrumbeet after the Australia Day long weekend.

DISGUSTED: This is just some of the rubbish left along the foreshore of Lake Burrumbeet after the Australia Day long weekend.

Not surprised by mess left at Lake Burrumbeet

HOW sad and disappointing - but not surprising – was it to read the article in The Courier on February 1 about the mess left behind after Australia Day weekend on the south side of Lake Burrumbeet.

It was great to see all the boats, jet skies etc. out on the water in such a beautiful free spot, but sadly you have no respect for the great outdoors and will spoil it for us campers that enjoy and respect these bush areas made available to us.

Free camping areas do not have to supply anything, they are free, you take it there, you take it home. If bins were supplied by council, everyone would be dumping anything and everything in them.

- Laurel and John Hunter, Sebastopol

Thanks for such a mature approach to a serious issue

I WISH to commend Buninyong MP Geoff Howard for his support for pill testing at music festivals like our local Rainbow Serpent. I hope this is the kind of mature approach to this issue we can expect to see from all parties in the lead-up to the November state election.

The evidence and the experts tell us that pill testing, like safe injecting rooms (which state Labor have already thrown their support behind), is one of the best ways to minimise the harm that can be caused by illicit drugs.

Having attended Rainbow Serpent for the first time this year, I also want to take this opportunity to praise the festival organisers for the thoughtful infrastructure they put in place to keep everyone safe, especially in such hot, blustery conditions.

In the same vein, I want to congratulate the punters, who I thought partied very responsibly; I didn't see one sunburnt neck, let alone a drug-induced psychotic episode or an act of violence.

Everyone was looking after everyone else, sharing their refreshing spray bottles, encouraging each other to slip-slop-slap, and staying hydrated.

Of the 10,000-odd attendees, there were only a handful of arrests made and no reported hospitalisations/fatalities, despite the 40 degree weather.

Let's hope next year it can become the first music festival in Australia to make pill testing available to keep those who choose to take drugs as safe as possible.

- Alice Barnes, Brown Hill

A healthy year for kids.

The start of a new school year is a great time to build healthy habits for your family.Helping our kids to get active is critical for their health and wellbeing - we know that currently two-thirds of kids aren't getting the physical activity they need to be healthy.

As your kids start school for the year, it's a fantastic opportunity to help them get more physical activity into their day by walking, riding or scooting to and from school. We know that Victorian kids love walking to school - during our Walk to School program in 2017, 140,000 kids across the state took part and walked, rode and scooted more than 1.6 million kilometres to and from school.  With the warm weather and energy from their summer holidays, it's a great time to continue walking, riding or scooting to and from school. Even walking part-way can make a real difference, so try parking a few streets away from school and walking the rest if the whole way is too far.

Another way to help boost kids' health is to pack their lunchboxes with fresh, healthy food. New research from the Heart Foundation shows that typical 'go-to' school lunchbox options such as a ham and cheese sandwich can deliver more than half of schoolkids' entire recommended daily salt intake. 

We also know that many kids' snacks contain excessive amounts of sugar, fat and salt so try swapping foods like biscuits, chips and juice boxes for vegetable sticks, nuts, fruit and water. Making little changes can make a big difference to your family's health.

Jerril Rechter, CEO, VicHealth