Letters to the editor

March 14, 2018

Government needs to take positive action

I CONTINUE to listen to the rhetoric of governments and can’t stay quiet any more. I believe governments are elected to take care of our nation and its people but current governments are not upholding this care.

Our governments are full of self-promoting, self-centred, self-absorbed, faux celebrities who want nothing more than to be seen lending a helping hand when in actuality are working in purely their own best interests.

I find myself appalled at politicians’ behaviour at Question Time and deem it an insult to the people they are elected to represent.

The self-centred talk about things that don’t promote value for the community, focus on who can talk the loudest and show downright rudeness without actually addressing any problems.

I would never let my HSC students watch Question Time as I would never tolerate arrogance and self-absorption demonstrated by our elected members.

We have a government who will not act in the best interests of our people unless they can publicly, again and again, show how caring and generous they are.

It’s not generosity when you get more out of it.

Our government has come to only thinking about the community only when asked to by celebrities and only responding when it appeases their calls.

When the defining factor in finding funds is for Rhianna to tweet about it, we need to reconsider who we have in charge of our policies.

But it isn’t the issue of self-absorption that I am most livid about, the sheer misuse of money by our state and federal governments astounds me.

I can understand the need for new infrastructure but I don’t understand $2.5 billion being spent on tearing down two working stadiums only to build two more. At this cost, how does this help anyone but those in charge of construction?

My organisation, Youth Off The Streets will survive without increased government funding.

Last year we opened two new schools for disadvantaged young people, one on the central coast of NSW and another in South East Sydney.

I pledged an extra $500,000 towards preventing domestic violence in our communities and with the help of Lindsay Fox I decked out a semi-trailer to make youth services more accessible in rural areas.

I will continue to expand in this coming year, just recently we opened our first outreach in Melbourne to combat what the government is calling “gang violence”.

I want our government to take positive action.

Step into the lives of the people I work with, the homeless, the disadvantaged, and the vulnerable, see what their everyday life is. Feel their struggles – as I do – understand the disconnects we have in our communities and try to fix them.

I have worked with politicians for countless years and although there are many politicians that continue to astonish me with their blatant self-investment it is important to note that there are numerous others who do great work in our communities, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hold our politicians accountable for their poor behaviour.

Father Chris Riley

Youth Off The Streets chief executive

Where was the consultation?

THE Victorian Government pushed a labour hire licencing scheme through the lower house without consultation or consideration for its impact on farmers.

They naively hope the scheme will prevent the exploitation of workers, but the Victorian Farmers Federation horticulture group is gravely concerned this scheme will destroy access to labour through complex compliance regulation and still fail to provide the necessary protection to vulnerable workers.

There are already many state and federal laws and regulations that make labour exploitation illegal, the crucial missing element is uniform enforcement.

We need access to a reliable workforce with contract hire managed through a national licencing system with clear audit and enforcement processes, to remove and prosecute rogue operators.

Creating disjointed schemes in different states creates inequalities between growers and the red tape will force legitimate businesses out of the industry. We are asking readers to contact their local upper house representatives to let them know this bill must be defeated.

It will disadvantage local farmers without preventing unethical practices and put the horticulture and meat industries at risk.

VFF horticulture president Emma Germano

A refreshing opinion

JUST wanted to let you know how refreshing it was to read your article recently in the Riverine Herald (Wednesday, March 7).

Being a very proud and passionate Kiwi living the majority of my life in Australia I have got sick to death of media reports forever defending Australian cricketers.

The simple fact is Aus cricketers have been known to sledge and cheat, (underarm, claim dropped catches, home umpires LBW decisions Whitney boxing day 1987) for years now but continually seem to be unable to take it back.

This attitude will never change whilst their coaches and captains continue to deny, deny.

Now to hear their coach come out and back Warner saying we will push the boundaries as long as it’s forming a winning culture is just ludicrous in this day and age.

Brendon McCullum was no saint when he started out but the legacy he has left with the Black Caps makes this proud Kiwi even prouder. The sportsmanship and fun that these guys look to be having is exactly how the game was meant to be played.

I myself played cricket for 20 plus years and certainly enjoyed the odd sledge, never personal, but was always keen for a beer after the game with any opposition player.

Gary Harvey, Echuca

Thanks for your stellar support

I would like to express a sincere thank you to all who got involved in the starweaving program.

In particular I would like to recognise the support of founder Maryann Talia Pau in her fantastic effort of achieving a million stars to end violence which will be displayed in Brisbane during the Commonwealth Games in April.

A special mention to Echuca library for their continued involvement.

They forwarded 30,000 stars to Maryann and continue to display and promote.

So what happens after the games?

Locally I would encourage those who have helped out with starweaving to continue their efforts as there will always be a need for more and more star displays illustrating an anti-violence message.

Our local Echuca-Moama Starweaving Association could do with increasing their membership numbers so we can have more community input (ideas, weaving and sharing concept with family, friends, neighbours etc. over social media).

Cost to join is a huge $1 for adults; 50c for children under 16 and $2 for families.

Contact our treasurer Scott Currie on 0498506764 to arrange payment and completing membership application forms.

Nationally/globally I will be attending the games and hope to get advice from our founder Maryann on what to do next.

Barry McDougal,


Bills introduced to Victorian Parliament

This week, the following Bills were introduced to the Victorian Parliament which may be of interest to Murray Plains residents:

■Engineers Registration Bill 2018

■Guardianship and Administration Bill 2018

■Legal Identity of Defendants (Organisational Child Abuse) Bill 2018

More information on the proposed Bills can be found at

Please contact my office if you need help accessing this information.

Peter Walsh,

Member for Murray Plains

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