Stadium location concern
WHILE the Horsham Rural City Council is to be commended for plans to improve the sporting facilities for Horsham and district, we believe the proposed location is totally inappropriate.
We have lived in the area for more than 30 years and have seen a significant increase in the volume of traffic both on the highway and in nearby neighbouring streets, including our own. Added to this, the expansion of hospital facilities, especially in Robinson Street, in the next few years will see increased congestion. We would ask if the council has considered the following:
- Adjacent to the proposed location of the Sporting Complex is an area of previously vacant land (opposite St Brigid’s College) where 23 building blocks are being developed. At the very least, this will mean an extra 23 vehicles entering and leaving the area at various times of the day;
- People travelling from the south of Horsham would frequently use McBryde Street, in preference to Hamilton Street, to access St Brigid’s College, Horsham Primary School, the Lutheran school, the hospital and nursing homes, Lutheran rest home and other associated businesses. Forcing this traffic to use Hamilton Street or continue north on the highway would add to congestion;
- With this increased congestion, would yet another roundabout or set of traffic lights be required at Hamilton Street?
- Various events at the showgrounds, for example the annual caravan expo, require a significant number of parking spaces in McBryde Street, as parking is limited within the showgrounds itself;
- With the recent significant upgrade of facilities for greyhound racing, there will be little opportunity for expansion or further development of the sporting facility in years to come;
- In providing car parking for the facility, more than 90 existing trees will need to be removed. A local historian informs us that these trees were planted many years ago because the area is a floodplain;
- When plans were being developed more than 25 years ago to build the proposed aquatic centre in the area currently being discussed, government bodies would not agree to providing funding because of the location which is in such close proximity to a major highway. The same situation may arise, given that the volume of traffic, in particular large trucks, has increased dramatically.
Given that the estimated cost of the new facility of $27 million to us, the ratepayers, we would urge the council to listen to the views expressed by the basketball association and other interest groups, as well as concerned individuals such as ourselves and choose a more appropriate site.
As former Independent Federal MP Tony Windsor urged, do it once and do it right.
Rhonda and Mike Coffey, Horsham
Recycling costs climb
THE impact of China’s ban on the importation of a range of materials is now being felt by the Horsham Rural City Council.
While recycling services will continue, a significant cost increase is being passed on directly to councils.
Until now, our recycling contractor has received a payment for materials to the processor. Visy Recycling has now introduced a gate fee on the processing of recyclable materials. This will result in a processing cost increase of over $100 per tonne.
This is an extreme cost increase and if it continues, will almost double the operating cost of council’s recycling collection service.
At this stage, it’s only a temporary cost increase until the end of February, as the ongoing arrangements for processing of recyclable materials are still under negotiation. Importantly, it still remains cheaper than disposing to landfill, and means that these valuable recycled resources will continue to be used effectively.
The Municipal Association of Victoria is working on behalf of councils in negotiations with recycling processors, collection contractors and the state government to help broker a resolution.
The MAV estimates that if these negotiations are not successful, the potential exists for rate increases across the State on top of the Consumer Price Index of between one and 2.5 per cent.
John Martin, technical services director, Horsham Rural City Council
JOANNE Harrison-Clarke wants “to help build stronger relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities” (Title: Making changes together, Wimmera Mail-Times, February 16).
Progress will be slow while the Indigenous side is so divisive. They have their own flag which flies at the same height as every Australian national flag wherever the two are flown together in Horsham.
She refers to the apology former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, pronounced 10 years ago as though it was a general apology for all supposed injustices dealt out to the 300,000 or so Aborigines that eked out a hunter-gatherer existence prior to 1788. That apology referred to the stolen generation yet no one has proved they were removed because of their Aboriginal ancestry – they were removed in the normal course of events because of parental abuse or neglect.
The divisiveness extends to the basic document of Australia’s existence where a demand is being made to have them recognised in the Constitution. The trend to call January 26 Invasion day will impede progress on her dream. If there was an invasion there must have been a war. If there was a war her side lost due to inferior weaponry – spears and boomerangs against muskets.
Finally, if your interviewee’s black ancestors had the skills that her white ancestors had why didn’t they build big ships and show the Europeans how to do it?
Ron Fischer, Horsham