Action requires apology
I WRITE in reference to the front page story of Friday’s Wimmera Mail-Times (Title: Walker lambasted, March 16, 2018).
I wish to express my disbelief and horror at the obscene letter written to my friend and past work colleague, Bill O’Connor.
Until a few years ago, Bill was a much-valued volunteer in the facility where I am employed. He donated many hours caring for our elderly and younger disabled people.
Our clients loved his sense of humour and empathetic demeanour, with many clients asking for Bill – even on the days that he was not rostered on, such was the positive impression that he had on our attendees.
Bill's knowledge of the local area and past district identities always meant that he engaged in meaningful conversation and reminiscence, which was most beneficial to the elderly clients that thrived on their past memories. He was respectful to everyone he encountered and treated them all with the utmost dignity.
Now that his health is ailing, he is to be commended for doing all he can to try and maintain his mobility and independence. He should not be persecuted and ridiculed.
The letter was derogatory and absolutely appalling.
I suggest that the perpetrator completely rethink his words and actions and apologise to Bill, who is genuinely one of nature’s true gentlemen.
F. Smith, Horsham
Cutting climate emissions
NEWS that Macquarie Group, a big player in financing renewable energy projects in the USA, will invest in the Murra Warra wind farm shows Victorian climate solutions are a good investment.
The Federal Coalition's do-nothing approach to climate change exposes communities to intensifying impacts – from bushfires and heat waves to extreme weather. National emissions are increasing on Malcolm Turnbull's watch and Australia will fail to deliver the cuts it pledged to the Paris Agreement.
It will take more leadership from Victoria to get Australia back on track.
The Wimmera is doing a heavy lift when it comes to cutting emissions with new renewable energy projects coming online. The Murra Warra wind farm will cut 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Will the Victorian government follow the community's lead this year by setting ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030? We must see a greater level of ambition that the Federal Coalition to stave off dangerous climate impacts and drive more investment in solar and wind farms in the region.
Leigh Ewbank, Act on Climate, Friends of the Earth
Snowy decision praised
RURAL Councils Victoria calls on the Victorian government to follow the lead of its NSW counterpart and pass on the proceeds of its sale of the Snowy Hydro directly to rural and regional communities.
The NSW government announced last week that it would put a massive $4.154 billion which it received in transferring its share of Snowy Hydro to the Commonwealth towards assets, infrastructure and investments in rural areas.
That decision deserves praise and is an amazing boost for rural people in that state.
There are many rural communities in Victoria who would benefit greatly from this significant boost of financial support, particularly in a time when local government is being called on to do more and more with its financial resources.
The NSW government has described its decision as an investment bonanza, and we believe that Victoria is crying out for the same treatment from its government to ensure that rural people continue to have a good standard of living and are not forgotten.
By investing in rural areas, we can be assured of jobs growth and the security of our people.
The sale of the Snowy Hydro will increase the Australian Government’s ownership from 13 per cent to 100 per cent by purchasing the 58 per cent owned by NSW and the 29 per cent held by Victoria.
It assumes a total value of $7.8 billion for the asset.
Rob Gersch, chairman, Rural Councils Victoria
Maintaining the rage
IN HIS song, Waiting for the great leap forward, Billy Bragg tells us: “The revolution is just a T-shirt away.”
So I had a T-shirt made with a mugshot of a young American and the word “hero” underneath.
He is a hero because his conscience compelled him to act in complete disregard of self interest.
At his trial, the court bizarrely recognised he was not a spy but a young man of conscience. He was offered leniency if he would just shut up.
He could not. He was appalled at what his government had done to an allied nation.
In November 1975 the lease for Pine Gap was up for renewal.
Edward Gough Whitlam wanted to know what “we” were doing at that “joint intelligence facility”. For the love of irony.
In Australia the Central Intelligence Agency had to be subtle, delicate, sublime. The coup required careful planning and much collaboration. Pine Gap was headquarters.
Christopher Boyce had the unlucky job of decoding messages from Pine Gap and he had the courage to blow his whistle.
His courage should have caused a tsunami in Australia – but not a splash.
Australian democracy died in November 1975. Washington still had its control over those in power. Is anyone else revolted?
I’m maintaining the rage in a T-shirt.
Graeme Singh, Noradjuha