Wimmera Mail-Times Letters to the Editor - October 19, 2016

NEW HOME: The refurbished May and Millar wagon in May Park where it will now reside. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

NEW HOME: The refurbished May and Millar wagon in May Park where it will now reside. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

Back on the wagon

MAY and Millar were known as great pillars, in the town where they loved to live.

Both were wealthy successful men and were always ready to give.

Our lovely park in the centre of town is a favourite for travellers rest.

Local Business

Samuel May donated the land and it was developed as one of the best.

Across the road the foundry churned out plough shares and wagons with flare.

There wasn’t a cocky in all of the Wimmera who didn’t buy implements there.

So good were their products that many endured and the wagon was one of them.

But for years in the weather beside the river the council was ready to condemn.

The call was out to save it and along came a couple of knights. In a shed near the gardens they sweated and toiled in an endeavour to put things right.

Now one of those workers answered to Chas the others handle was Don.

Both tried and true who never shirk work when their skills are called upon.

Though more of a thinker than a big drinker Don was on the wagon a year, taking with him his brushes and paints and all his artistic gear. Sign writing’s his game but he’s never sought fame from what he does with his hands.

A straight shooter, it’s true, and everyone knows exactly where he stands.

His poems it’s said start in his head and are delivered straight from the heart.

But when there is work to do or signs to repaint he is always there from the start.

Like Ned Kellys axe it’s had new handles and heads replaced, but the wagon’s still looking fine.

Old May and Millar would have to look twice and think it’s straight off the line.

So the wagon display with Miller and May will be open for all to see.

What a complement to Horsham, the results of their hard working bee.

For the travellers who pass in their thousands each day and for those who stop off on the way, they will be able to say what a positive town, we’ll have to return some day.

JOHN FRANCIS 

Horsham

High Court move slammed

VICTORIAN farmers condemn the latest turn in the long-running dispute between the Country Fire Authority and United Firefighters Union over volunteer rights, with the union determined to take the spat to the High Court.

The move to challenge the federal government’s amendment to the Fair Work Act on constitutional grounds is disappointing.

We should all be concerned about the safety of people in rural communities because fire season will be here soon and the last thing we need is another distraction.

The authority is always ready to go during fire season and it’s vital that we ensure its operations aren’t affected by the enterprise agreement dispute so that this season is no different from previous years.

The dispute originated when volunteers voiced concerns that an enterprise agreement being negotiated for paid authority members also included clauses limiting the authority of volunteer members.

The federal parliament last week legislated to amend the Fair Work Act to make it illegal for an enterprise agreement to restrict authority volunteers from performing their duties. A High Court challenge rests on the assertion that the federal government does not have the authority to intervene in state issues. The dispute is also being heard in the Supreme Court, which has not returned a verdict, but could send the matter back to the Fair Work Commission to be mediated under the amended act.

The authority is a largely volunteer organisation that serves to protect people living in rural communities, and this dispute is causing division between people who all have the same interests – whether they are volunteers or paid, they want to protect our communities.

DAVID JOCHINKE

 VFF President

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