Critical crossroads of growth
I write to endorse your timely editorial of November 4, "The crossroads of growth" and the feature article, "Tackling big city growth problem". Ballarat and its surrounding environs are approaching a crucial period in which local amenity and growth must be carefully weighed. This timely moment must not be underestimated. As you stated in the editorial, "this is a conversation the … public should be having now … [and] appropriate work should be embarked on now to best inform … decisions". Residents of districts south of Ballarat, including Mount Helen and Buninyong are acutely aware of challenges that lie ahead. Current local planning proposals, now standing in the wings, are imminently set to enact them. In the absence of considered planning work, Mount Helen's shape and form is currently pressured by developer proposals and resident push-back. We need conscious policy and planning so Mount Helen's landscape and wildlife character and its value to greater Ballarat can be determined.
The area gives a lot as a substantial employment and educational hub - currently this is compatible with local character. If two thirds of the locality ends up covered in Lucas-style housing (see plans in place) we will lose that character entirely and we'll never get it back. Furthermore, it will cease to be a semi-rural buffer area that fosters Buninyong's township integrity.
Dr. Linda Zibell, President Buninyong & District Community Association
who would be escape whipping?
I doubt if dual citizenship is a new thing. Brian Carroll's book on Australian prime ministers, "From Barton to Fraser" throws up the following facts. John Christian Watson was born at Valparaiso, Chile while his parents were on their way from Britain to New Zealand. He became Australia's first Labor prime minister. George Reid was born in Scotland. Joseph Cook was born in England. William Morris Hughes was born in England and moved to Wales (Welsh parents). Joseph Lyons' mother was born in Ireland. Arthur Fadden was born to Irish parents. John Curtin's parents were Irish. John Gorton's father was English. There must have been some dual citizenship among that lot of prime ministers and other politicians that served with them. It is only now that it has become an issue. Personally, whether a member of parliament has dual citizenship is far less important than if he serves Australia well. I presume I have dual citizenship with England because my father arrived in 1912 as a 12 year old and that was 105 years ago. Dual citizenship would stop about 15% of Australians from standing for parliament. It would appear that Section 44 was ignored by previous governments.
Don Woodward, Brown Hill
Facing up to our past
Australia as a political and social entity is condemned to remain infantile until we have national acceptance of our history. After decades of abuse and neglect, Australia's first peoples must have a say in directing their lives. Rejecting the proposal for an Aboriginal body out of hand, once again shows arrogance, disrespect and lack of understanding. Another lost opportunity. With enlightened governance, these injustices can be redressed. This government stands condemned.
Angela Sureda, Ballarat
preying on the poor
For many months now, the commercial TV channels are running ads for betting agencies. There is rarely a TV break when at least one ad is run. I find this disturbing when gambling is so rife in the community. These bookmakers are taking advantage of the poorer members of society. These people cannot beat the bookies but fail to see that that is the case. The odds are set against them. Cigarette ads were banned; why not betting ads? They do a great deal of damage in the community.
Karl Hawson, Pelican Waters