GONE: The Wickcliffe community is saddened by the closure of its Uniting Church recently, with the last service there on October 9.
GONE: The Wickcliffe community is saddened by the closure of its Uniting Church recently, with the last service there on October 9.

Roads minister should have been at assembly

THE Roads and Road Safety Minister was too ashamed to show his face last week when nine Labor Government ministers visited Horsham for the state’s first Regional Partnership Assembly.

There is no doubt our crumbling roads are the biggest issue in Western Victoria, so why wasn't the roads minister present at the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Assembly?

We had nine ministers in town, our roads are falling apart, yet even give the dangerous condition of our local roads not one dollar of roads funding was announced.

Many sections of the Western, Wimmera and Glenelg highways are simply crumbling to rubble, putting local lives at risk and causing considerable damage to vehicles.

Some ministers braved our dangerous roads to travel to Horsham, but not surprisingly most took the safe option of flying. 

Labor's recurrent funding cuts to roads have reduced road resurfacing and rehabilitation works in our local area, causing the current and dangerous state of our roads.

Thanks to The Nationals, the premier has almost $1 billion to spend in regional Victoria on the back of the Port of Melbourne sale. 

There is now no reason why Daniel Andrews can’t immediately fix our county roads and save country lives. 

I urge local people to keep reporting all road hazards to VicRoads via my website www.emmakealy.com or by phoning 13 11 70. 

This will help give VicRoads the data they need to demonstrate that more funding is needed to respond to road hazard reports.

It appears that last week’s Regional Partnership Assembly was just another Labor Government talkfest, just like Rudd's infamous Ideas Summit.

Labor must understand that we're sick of their talk and action is needed now to build a better and safer region for our communities to thrive.

- Lowan MP, Emma Kealy

Saddened by closure of Wickliffe church

ON Sunday, October 9, the final closing service was held at the Wickliffe Uniting Church.

The Wickliffe community was greatly saddened by this, especially with the knowledge that the church is to be sold and lost to the community forever.

Over the past two years the Wickliffe community, as small as it is, has come together and worked tirelessly to lobby both local parish and the Uniting Church bureaucracy.

The Wickliffe community proposed that the church remain open and continue to play a significant role in the community, albeit it in an altered format, to embrace and connect our very small community.

Over this time, events run by the Wickliffe community at the church have demonstrated the importance of the church to the greater community.

Unfortunately, all this work by the community has been ignored.

It seems the greater financial need of the parish have outweighed the needs of Wickliffe and the historical significance of this beautiful building.

Like many small towns, Wickliffe has lost its meeting points, now with the sale of the church, Wickliffe has lost forever a place that for 153 years has been a place of connection and sanctuary.

Sunday, October 9 was a very sad day for Wickliffe, up until this day the Wickliffe community continued to work together united to fight for the church to remain their meeting place.

However the final service conducted by presbytery saw no involvement or contribution from any Wickliffe community members, it confirmed to those present how little the community meant to the the Uniting Church.

- Kerri Nicholson, Wickliffe