Halls Gap fire questions
This is a wake up call - we live in a vulnerable town so do we sit on our hands and wait for a similar event to what has happened in East Gippsland and beyond?
Therefore I raise these questions:
- Does the community need a discussion with all Government Departments that oversee our town so that a plan can be developed to clear vegetation on our road reserves leading into and out of town (within the restricted zones)?.
- Should there be a discussion with DELWP regarding regular controlled burns on our northern and southern ranges?
- Should the NGSC review their by-law that restricts residents from burning fuel from around their households only in the two weeks of October, this [being] a very small window in which to carry out this work?.
- Is it a viable option to start a petition regarding these matters to put to our local Member.
- Do we approach our Councillors and Mayor for support in pushing our case?.
- Would the Ratepayers Association be supportive of these issues? I realise that the Northern Grampians Shire Council has in place a Municipal Emergency Plan (I believe the current Plan is Version 3.2 dated May 2018) in which it states on page 2: "The Northern Grampians Shire Council (NGSC) is committed to working in partnership with the community, responsible authorities and other relevant agencies and organisations to prevent and minimise the occurrence of emergencies and their impacts on the community". So do we need to take any further action to ensure this plan is being adhered to?
I would be interested to hear other peoples' views and thoughts as to how best we protect our town and residents from what could easily occur on our doorstep.
Daryl and Marianne Mitchell, Halls Gap
'Roo hunting: for and against
I have been involved in this pet food trial from day dot. It's been five year's this trial has been going for, and the changes it has been through has been ridiculous, the problem is DEWLP think they know best, yet they haven't got a clue of the damage and destruction a mob of roos can do.
And most people out there think tjat the people who are in this pet food program are just blokes that go out on a Friday night and have a few beers and go and shoot some roos.
Well that's not the case. As a professional shooter, l shoot four nights a week. And believe it or not I would make more money out of it than a person who is in a $100,000 job.
And the do gooders out there think that we are going to shoot the population of kangaroos out. Well! Just to let know, that we are only given 12 per cent of the population. So if DEWLP think that you have 100 kangaroos they will give 12 to shoot. And in that12 I get to shoot, l can only shoot down to 15kg dressed. Because the buyer's won't buy them.
So how the hell are we supposed to reduce the population on that percentage? And as Graham said, WHY is it still ok for a farmer to shoot on a drop permit. It seems to me that perhaps it's not about the well-being of the kangaroos.
Aaron Hemley, Stawell
I wholeheartedly agree with the comments from Andy Meddick. I am sickened by the relentless persecution of wildlife in this state.
I'm very glad that the government has suspended kangaroo culling in these near-apocalyptic conditions.
However, they have approved a full season on native Stubble Quail with a bag of 20 birds per day and are yet to make an announcement regarding the season on native waterbirds.
Australians and people all over the world have donated millions to help our wildlife during this crisis, the least the government could do is stop deliberately raising the death toll.
Alyssa Wormald, Bayswater
I must express my support for the recent suspension of commercial kangaroo harvesting in Victoria.
It is imperative that we review the practice of the commercialisation of wildlife for their flesh and skins in Australia and end the killing of kangaroos for profit.
At a time of unprecedented destruction of our natural environment and with an international focus on how we manage the recovery of our unique biodiversity, we must apply caution and compassion and end this unsustainable and far too often, inhumane practice of killing kangaroos.
It is time to coexist with wildlife, not destroy it for money or kill it as it gets in our way of further profits or developments. We utilise kangaroos to entice international tourists to view them during the day, and shoot to kill at night. Enough is enough, we must do better.
Gregory Keightley, Glenbrook
Tipping point for society changing
It is now said that tipping point has arrived for environment, climate, extinctions, and our need to rectify the grand mismanagement of human affairs. I was asked recently "what can we little people do?"
We can all read our Constitution. When we do, we begin to understand that the idea of pitting 49 per cent of elected Federal and State Members against the other 51 per cent is an archaic control contrivance belonging to a bygone era. Why? "Divided house will not, cannot stand". Australians must be enabled to genuinely help one another and they cannot do that when their elected Members are hamstrung by politically-contrived divisions. When we are strong here, we can assist our neighbours to become similarly strong. To respond to the challenges the future now presents, five Constitutional inclusions need to be considered by all Australians.
Perhaps the most important is to empower Local Governments with politically unfettered money to help them meet local housing and employment-creation needs. Councils are aware of their locale's resources, opportunities and needs. Local leaders only need to be fiscally-empowered to release the amazing aptitude of Australians to commence building an ecologically-sustainable Australia.
We require an Australian Head of State, chosen from (3) a Congress of Governors-general authorized to oversee and ensure all our Governments' decisions are made in the best interests of the Australian people. The Prime Minister has too many Legislative obligations to do a good job on this front.
And the roles of the Australian long-term-serving (15 year appointees) Governors should not be politicized. As wonderful as the monarchy is, they are too far from Australia to realistically be expected to help us in the minutiae of management required of our leaders.
Which leads me to the fourth inclusion: we can assist Great Britain in their Brexit by strengthening our ties with the Commonwealth and all her Member countries by committing to trade, intellectual and resource exchanges that are mutually beneficial. The idea of sister-cities can far more realistically happen when we assign towns of similar size to co-operatively seek ways to help one another prosper. Joining a city like Ararat, with a population of several thousand, to another of more than 2 or 20 million is asking for disproportional and inappropriate engagements.
Finally, five, our Aboriginal people need to have their love of our land and its life represented at all three tiers of Government through Councils of Aboriginal Elders of fluid membership. And like their proposed forest-overseeing role, they need to be paid for this contribution.