Letters to the editor | February 28, 2018

FOCUSED: Sunnyside bowler Rex Bergen prepares to make his move during a game against Nhill at the weekend. Turn to sport for the latest news in bowls.
FOCUSED: Sunnyside bowler Rex Bergen prepares to make his move during a game against Nhill at the weekend. Turn to sport for the latest news in bowls.

Leadership changes

THIS week the National Party voted in a new leader – Michael McCormack. 

Michael is an outstanding force in the National party, a leader, a man from rural beginnings, who holds himself and others to a strong set of values, and a vital part of the National party team. As we welcome Michael to the new role, I also would like to note the great contribution of former leader Barnaby Joyce to the National party.

While we do have a new leader alongside our deputy leader, Bridget McKenzie, regional Australians can rest assured the National Party will remain the same – a driven party who will deliver outcomes regional Australians are asking for.

From mobile blackspot towers, regional highway upgrades and infrastructure projects for small towns to doctors in your local hospitals and jobs for you and your children – we are the Nationals and we are for regional Australia.

Andrew Broad, Member for Mallee

From Barnaby to Broad

OUR politicians do not have the privilege and luxury to separate their private life from their public life, as has been the case with National party leader Barnaby Joyce.

Have sex with their staff is morally wrong.

Would it be OK for a judge to have sex with a prostitute if they both agree to have consensual sex? No. They would be sending the wrong message to the wider community and to our children.

The issue of not having a member of the National party with experience to replace Barnaby Joyce is nonsense. Those with experience are the ones doing all the wrong things because they think they know the system and know how to get around it.

They should have chosen Andrew Broad as the leader of the National party. He can only bring a fresh, honest approach to the job. He is new and he still works for the people. 

Noel Maslamoney, Dadswells Bridge

Highway works on agenda

THE community is invited to attend information sessions to discuss a proposed Western Highway bypass of Beaufort.

People will be able to visit engagevicroads.com.au and view the refined route options, learn more about how they have changed, understand some of the environmental constraints and provide feedback.

Three public information sessions will be at the Goldfields Recreation Reserve in Beaufort – on Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm, on Thursday from 3pm to 7pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

As the principal road link between Melbourne and Adelaide, the Western Highway is one of Victoria’s busiest rural highways with more than 6500 vehicles travelling the road west of Ballarat each day. It is also the key transport corridor through Victoria’s western district, supporting farming, grain production, regional tourism and a range of manufacturing and service activities.

The Australian and Victorian governments have committed more than $50 million to plan for a Beaufort bypass.

In July 2015, the Minister for Planning determined the need for an Environment Effects Statement (EES) as part of the bypass planning process. The EES referral focussed on a defined study area to the north of Beaufort with three draft bypass options presented to the community last year.

It has been necessary to adjust the bypass route options in consideration of technical and environmental constraints that have been identified through ongoing specialist investigations. This has led to one of the options being discounted.

The two remaining bypass options, including one variation of each, will continue to be assessed through the EES process to identify a suitable route for the Beaufort bypass. The refined options aim to further minimise impacts on land severance, residences and environment while balancing other social, environmental, economic and engineering factors.

Mal Kersting, acting regional director, VicRoads 

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