Combatting stock thefts
STOCK theft is getting worse not better under Daniel Andrews.
Opportunistic crooks have made a big business out of ripping off our hard-working farmers and their families, with many farmers calling for more to be done to protect their livestock and assets.
Victorian Crime Statistics Agency data shows offences were up 40 per cent in 2017, but Labor’s cuts to police mean there’s only ever a handful of arrests made.
The Liberal Nationals have listened to our farmers and will work with Victoria Police to establish a new, dedicated Livestock and Rural Crime Squad if we’re elected in November.
The additional 20 new specialist positions, based throughout Regional Victoria, will work with the force’s 48 Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs) to make sure our farmers’ livelihoods are protected.
Only a Liberal Nationals Government will send a strong message to potential criminals that if they are thinking about farm and livestock theft you will get caught and you will get punished.
Victoria’s agricultural industry can’t afford another four more years of Daniel Andrews’ and Labor’s lack of action on farm and livestock theft.
Peter Walsh, leader, The Nationals
Recognition of service
VIETNAM Veterans’ Day honours the service and sacrifice of those who served in Australia’s longest conflict of the 20th century.
For Australia, the Vietnam War began in 1962 when 30 members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) arrived in South Vietnam to provide military training to local units.
Over the next 10 years, Australian forces would fight in fierce battles with the enemy.
The most notable of these were the Battle of Long Tan in 1966, the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral in 1967 and the Battle of Binh Ba in 1969.
While Australia’s participation in the war was formally declared over in January 1973, elements of the RAAF remained until 1975 assisting with evacuation operations.
By the end of the war some 60,000 personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) had served.
Tragically, 521 Australians died, and some 3000 were wounded. We remember them on August 18.
Many of those who returned from the war did so with physical and emotional scars, which remained long after the war and the effects of which often extended to their loved ones.
It was our Vietnam veterans who recognised the need for additional support, establishing a dedicated counselling service that provides specialised mental health and support services to all veterans and their families.
This was known as the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service, but today known as the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.
As a nation we owe you our thanks for this vital service that continues to support veterans and their families, and which will be an enduring legacy of our Vietnam veterans. Thank you for your service.
Lest we forget.
Darren Chester, Veterans’ Affairs Minister
Support for winter appeal
I WOULD like to thank the Victorian community for their generous contributions to The Smith Family’s Winter Appeal.
We are very pleased to have raised more than $4.5 million nationally to help thousands of disadvantaged children across Australia with vital support for their education.
For the one in seven young Australians living below the poverty line, keeping up at school can be extremely challenging. Family struggles at home can have a flow-on effect to a child’s learning.
In our daily work, we hear heartbreaking stories of children missing school because they’re embarrassed about not being able to read or pretending to lose their homework because they hadn’t understood what was happening in class.
The donations we’ve received will help us reach almost 11,000 children in need through The Smith Family’s out-of-school learning programs – such as student2student, which helps younger children improve their reading skills by pairing them with older ‘reading buddies’, as well as our after-school Learning Clubs and the iTrack online mentoring program.
We are seeing great outcomes for the young people participating in our programs.
For example, in 2017, 96 per cent of primary school students improved their reading ability through the student2student program, while 86 per cent of students agreed that going to a Learning Club helped them do better in class.
Another 85 per cent of high school students said their iTrack mentor helped them feel more confident about their future job, career or study options.
All of these key programs rely not only on generous donations from the public but also volunteering support from the communities in which we operate. To everyone who has given their valuable time and dollars to support our work, we extend a huge thank you.
It is heartwarming to see people responding with great care to this large-scale issue of poverty in Australia, which is affecting so many of our young people. With this support, we can help more children in need break the cycle of disadvantage and create better futures for themselves.
Anyone wishing to find out more about The Smith Family and our work can phone 1800 024 069 or visit thesmithfamily.com.au
Anton Leschen, general manager Victoria, The Smith Family