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Letters to the editor

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December 06, 2017

Men need to reconsider their actions

LADS, we need to talk.

Driving along, you see a girl walking down the street, so you honk your horn, whistle or call out to show your appreciation, right?

Wrong. Most women don’t like this at all. It’s not “a compliment”.

Our recent young people and walking study found this type of behaviour makes young women aged 15-20 feel vulnerable and unsafe while walking.

The study of more than 1000 young people commissioned by Victoria Walks and Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and funded by VicHealth found 40 per cent of our young people do not feel safe walking in their community.

Only 15 per cent of young women feel safe walking after dark. A top concern was being approached by strangers.

Walking is very important to young people’s health. Our study showed they walk to get to places and to relax. With the costs of the growing obesity epidemic we need to encourage physical activity.

Females particularly like walking. Victoria Walks is calling on local and state governments to invest in making our streets safer and easier for young people to walk so they can develop healthy habits as they transition to adulthood.

But we need males to reconsider their actions.

Young women, many as young as 15, told us they are regularly harassed while walking.

We don’t tolerate this sort of behaviour in schools and workplaces.

Men who think it is ok to objectify women in public places should take a good hard look at themselves, grow up and stop it.

Dr Ben Rossiter

Executive Officer, Victoria Walks

Legislate protective tariffs on the importation of canned peaches

THIS is a debate challenge to the NSW electorate of Murray and the Federal electorates of Farrer, Murray (Victoria) and New England.

I have a plan which has been years in the making. An opportunity arrived when I was able to ask you and your economic expert Matthew Canavan to comment on this and other statements made by a professor who said that Australia has no future in fruit growing.

I have a copy of the letter I sent to Matthew on July 9, 2013.

In phone calls, Matthew said he would report but then he said that he was too busy. I finally gave up – until now.

Two seasons ago there was a crisis in stone fruits and about half of the growers had to bulldoze their trees, went broke and left the industry. Joe Hockey (not you as Minister for Agriculture) insisted that it was up to Coca Cola to invest and save what remained of the industry. Where were you, Barnaby Joyce?

Meanwhile the Coalition has legislated free trade agreements where the small print advises that if multinationals cannot get profits that they can expect worldwide, then they can sue the Australian Government.

Recently Coca Cola experienced a drop in profit. What are the implications for Cobram, the stone fruits industry and the Australian Government?

I believe that Australian agriculture is at a dangerous low.

Damian Drum, I saw a report saying: ‘Shepparton Council is planning a new airport for the Chinese to fly peaches and milk to China, while SPC is struggling to survive because China is sending canned peaches to Australia’

I applaud moves to increase agricultural exports but our agriculture sector is in such danger that I challenge you, Barnaby Joyce, Sussan Ley and others to legislate protective tariffs on the importation of canned peaches.

I also wish to debate that the importation of cancerous orange concentrate should be banned.

For anyone who chooses to claim that peaches out should ensure that there are peaches in, then bring on the debate.

Brian Mills

Griffith, NSW

Thanks for your support

ON BEHALF of the Tough Love committee we would like to extend our appreciation to those who supported us whether it was financial, volunteering or just came along to support us on the day. A special mention must go to the Riverine Herald for their coverage through the media in spreading the Tough Love message.

Thank you to everyone.

Ted Hamilton

Working towards improve outcomes for refugees

THE suspension of the sitting of the House of Representatives has resulted in the postponement of a visit to Canberra by a delegation from the Northern Victoria Refugee Support Network (NVRSN).

The NVRSN was established early in 2017 to co-ordinate the growing number of groups in northern Victoria who are concerned about policy decisions affecting refugees and people seeking asylum.

As such, NVRSN seeks to work collaboratively with participating groups to address the current situation and to improve outcomes for refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.

The six representatives were to meet with a series of MPs and Senators to encourage a fresh look at policy and practices relating to refugees and people seeking asylum.

The delegation was asking for improved processing of asylum seekers, a review of resettlement procedures and practice and the development and strengthening of links with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees).

Given the immediate and urgent situation for people on Manus Island a letter has been sent to all the Parliamentarians who were to be involved asking them to work to resolve this situation as soon as possible.

Strategies that could be considered include, but are not limited to, resettling people in New Zealand, supporting UNHCR to provide a crisis response and/or appointing an independent mediator to broker a solution.

The proposed visit was the culmination of six months of planning and preparation so the cancellation was a disappointment to all involved.

We believe that can make a useful contribution to the resolution of this major issue for Australians, particular at this time when the situation on Manus Island is critical.

The NVRSN plans to organise another delegation to Canberra during the first sitting in February next year.

Freida Andrews

Convenor

Northern Victoria Refugee Support Network

CFA volunteers deserve to feel safe

SUMMER is starting and with that comes peak fire season. This summer is set to be hotter than average and some parts of Victoria have already faced fires.

The bill to break up the CFA sits stalled in the parliament with the government continuing to fuel much uncertainty for the CFA and its 60,000 volunteers who protect regional communities ahead of the fire season.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that the fire services issue be resolved in a timely manner, but what we have seen from the Andrews Labor Government is a failure to resolve it.

The Premier declared months ago that he had fixed the issue, but after endless debate and discussion, this issue has not been resolved and is worse than ever.

After a rushed select committee on the issue, the government now refuses to bring the legislation to the Parliament, as it has been sitting on the notice paper for months and is not looking like being debated in Parliament anytime soon.

The government knows that this legislation treats volunteers unfairly and they are continuing to wage war on volunteers and treat them with disdain.

Our CFA volunteers are often the last line of defence when those fires come bearing down on our communities, our families and our homes.

The brave CFA volunteers who protect our lives and homes deserve our respect and our communities deserve to feel safe during fire season.

Luke O’Sullivan

The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria

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