Cordial conduct required
I COMMISERATE with the farmer who is experiencing hostility with a small handful of protesters at the Djab Wurrung protesters top camp.
Although thousands of people are united in our understanding that the road needs to be placed in a sensitive way - which means parallel to the existing highway and not cutting deeper into the sacred space - we also believe in cordial conduct.
I have witnessed respected leader and Elder Sandra Onus making many public requests for the protesters to be cautious and courteous in their protest demeanor and approach. However this does, as JessieAnne Gartlan's article suggested, need integrity and self control from all sides to go the most smoothly.
I was at the camp when two men stopped their car and crossed the highway to pee on the Djab Wurrung sign.
I arrived at the camp one day to hear that one of them had been sprayed with roundup by a farmer.
The court has quashed the minister Sussan Ley's ruling and we hope a fresh decision that protects the rarity and sacredness of this area around the Pregnant Princess is preserved and we can all go home relived that the land has been protected.
Gillian Trebilcock, Daylesford
Gold tax frustrates
THE state government's decision to slap a tax on all Victorian gold mines including the Stawell mine without bothering to consider the impacts shows contempt for the Stawell community.
This is a tax of at least $13,000 on every gold mining job in Victoria, year in year out.
For smaller mines with slim margins, the tax rate is 50 per cent. And it hits mines even if they are unprofitable.
The government is wrong when it says small mines are carved out and that only profitable mines pay.
Mining does not oppose a royalty. Workers are only after a fair hearing and modest changes to make sure the tax doesn't hit jobs or send mines bankrupt with only a small change in price or production.
If the government won't listen, it's up to independent members of Parliament to support local mining workers and block this tax in February.
That way the government can fix the tax with a fair process. If the government gets away with foisting a great big new tax on the people of Stawell to pay for their infrastructure cost blow outs, who will be next in regional Victoria?
James Sorahan, executive director, Minerals Council Victoria Division
Theatre show delights
WE CONGRATULATE the Ararat Theatre Company on their recent production of Caravans. The time and effort that had gone into the show was amazing and the brilliant cast and hard-working crew deserve a big "well done".
Having owned caravans for many years, it was very funny and so relatable. One of the many highlights was the number of very clever dance routines which all added to a great, fun night. The meal was lovely, too.
Ted and Judy Wohlers, Ararat