Keep Ballarat Dignified
I recently viewed the plans for the proposed Government offices on the site of the Civic Hall. It is to be named 'GovHub'.
I believe Ballarat deserves something more dignified than that. It is going to be built on a significant piece of land that has had years of controversy over its fate.
Ballarat covets its heritage and this seems to be a flippant attempt at being cool and trendy.
I also believe the structures surrounding both the Civic Hall and the railway station should be architecturally sympathetic to our history.
Jennifer McDougall, Lake Wendouree
Why couldn't we look at Indigenous Governors
Our Australian State and federal constitutions already have a mechanism for sharing power with our indigenous people.
All that is necessary is for Liberal and Labor leaders to declare a joint policy of appointing only indigenous people to the positions of Commonwealth Governor General and State Governors
Pastor Doug Nichols was an indigenous leader and appointed Governor of South Australia in 1976.
He made a valuable contribution to public office, in addition to the traditional role.
The Attorney General could chair a permanent committee handling indigenous issues which would include all indigenous State Governors and report directly to our Queen, the United Nations and all Australians.
No costly referendums or delays just a bit of leadership from our politicians.
The billions of dollars spent on fighting a referendum could be better spent on implementing some of the recommendations of the Indigenous Governors Committee.
Personally I think appointing Adam Goodes as our first of many Indigenous Governor Generals would be a good start.
Ian Petty, Daylesford
When You Are Out Of Luck With the NBN
As most services go, as long as it's working, it's all gravy, but when it stops, you find yourself waiting for a reply or a fix from the void.
Ballarat has a dispersed mix of ADSL, FTTN, FTTC, FTTP, HFC depending on where you live.
Working from home has its benefits and is viable on most fibre or HFC connections, but when the internet disappears, your livelihood is on the line while you sit and wait.
After 2 months of experiencing days of no internet connection, unusable speeds, multiple NBN technician appointments, multiple calls to our Internet Service Provider, I made the expensive decision to pack up and move to a location with FTTP for a stable connection and be able to start working again.
Looking deeper into this issue, I found we were the lucky ones.
There are so many stories of people fighting for months to get a stable internet connection.
We were at the end of a rental lease and were able to move with our savings.
What if we were homeowners, or couldn't break a lease or afford a move?
We would have been stuck for months still negotiating with our service provider and NBN on the degraded state of a copper line.
Kate Stollery, Sebastopol
Jobs, Jobs and More Unemployment
Universities are to be judged on jobs graduates find.
It's not up to them to find jobs.
It's up to the government to have in place meaningful long term job creation policies.
The Prime Minister claims this is what he is all about.
As an example, the French government owns about 50% of its car industry, giving it stability and strength.
Here we have let it drift away like so many other things.
Colin Holmes, Ballarat
Bring on a national independent watchdog
A report in The Age on Friday 1 August headlined "Senior Labor figures including Anthony Albanese argued against anti-corruption watchdog" leaves me gobsmacked.
As the report states, three of Labor's most senior figures, including Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, have argued against establishing a new federal anti-corruption watchdog because some feared it would "make it very hard to govern".
They also suggest that a new body would discourage "frank and fearless advice" from senior public servants. What a load of hogwash!
Even former Labor leader Bill Shorten tried to get support from his own party for a powerful Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Victoria's Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) has proved itself a toothless tiger and has achieved little "in keeping the bastards honest".
A national ICAC based on the NSW version would protect the public interest, prevent breaches of public trust and guide the conduct of public officials.
A federal ICAC would deal with corrupt conduct involving or affecting the public sector, federal government agencies, federal members of parliament and the judiciary.
ICAC would have the power and ability to investigate the highest offices of government publicly, importantly exposing networks of influence, and to ensure, as the public requires, that every person who serves on their behalf is held to account for their actions.
What is wrong with this? What are our politicians scared of? We deserve an effective watchdog.
A Callous Act
I read with interest the shirtless man on the run from the police was wanted for the theft of a vehicle which was later found burnt out.
This vehicle was much needed by a family to take a sick boy for treatment on a regular basis.
When police catch up with this accused man he should be locked away for a long stint for the callous act which left a family without a vehicle.
Geoff Rundell, Ballarat