Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 24, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 16 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2017
At a meeting last week in Cowes,
called by councillors to ‘Help to shape
Bass Coast’, 4 major topics were put
on big A1 sized paper, so people could
write many ideas in Texta. Obviously
perhaps the most popular item was
First a personal aspect about sudden
change in fortune, health wise. As it
gets more difficult to deny you’re getting
elderly, you tend to see warnings and
even look for them.
There are many warnings, in all
kinds of media, to “look out, especially
for toddlers and elderly, in heat wave
conditions” only ever adding “stay hy-
drated”, whatever that means. Then
you find that heat waves kill three times
more people than bush fires. So why
don’t we get “Code Red Alert” warnings
for heat wave days?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
On 20 January 2017, tragedy struck
in the heart of Melbourne. We mourn
those who were killed by this evil crimi-
nal act and we offer our deepest condo-
lences to their loved ones.
We grieve with them and we stand
with the victims. This crime has dev-
astated families and directly affected
many hundreds of people.
It has touched us all and we will carry
it for years to come.
A memorial in the middle of our city
has been established as a place for peo-
ple to come together and honour those
who lost their lives. Floral tributes and
letters can be left at the memorial on
the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke
Streets, in front of the GPO.
For those who wish to make a finan-
cial contribution for the families of the
victims, the Victorian Government has
established the Bourke Street Fund.
Donations can be made by calling 1800
226 226 or via the website: www.vic.
The Victorian Government is making
an initial donation of $100,000 to the
Bourke Street Fund. A vigil is also being
planned for the evening of Monday 23
January, 2017 to be held at Federation
Daniel Andrews, Premier.
RIP car ferry
At last night’s meeting, called by
councillors ‘Help to Shape Bass Coast’,
four major topics were listed on big
A1 sized paper, so people could write
many ideas in Texta.
There were quite a few mentions
again of the car ferry, even with a di-
vided highway for fast enough access to
such a dead end.
Investigating last time, even small-
er 16-car ferry was $55M, with land
works, here and Stony Point at $10M
Keeping it simple, disregarding op-
erating cost, for just a simple annual
return on capital of 10%, the car ferry
would need revenue of $21,000 per
day. At say 10 return trips per day,
1600 cars per day, means $130 each
car, each way.
So likely fare is towards $260. Whole
day volume is equivalent to one hour of
one lane of road traffic. Other ferries
are mostly to islands so no competition
(viable at 50 cars or more but much
bigger up front cost gamble).
But you can drive between Cowes and
Stony Point in less than 90 mins.
Whole car ferry idea has never been
viable, only ever surviving on life sup-
port. Please, time to pull the plug, once
and for all. RIP car ferry.
We’re only limited by our imagina-
tion, plenty more worthy ideas for Bet-
ter Shape to Bass Coast.
Is our whole community completely
oblivious of climate change?
So many ideas were about provid-
ing for more cars, more roads, faster,
more parking, especially in the middle
of Cowes. National transport sector is
now as big as electricity generation for
emissions, the cause of climate change.
It’s not that we need to stop adding
to it, we desperately need to get to zero
emissions, very quickly and then find
zero emission technology to suck CO2
back out of atmosphere.
The longer we delay, the more it will
cost, not only money, you need to ex-
pect, suddenly, the last day you can buy
petrol, followed by food shortages.
Our leaders and mainstream media
pretend that everything will be Ok as
long as we have economic growth. Pre-
tending before, during and after GFC
has plenty consequences yet to deliv-
er. But consequences of leaders lying
about climate change are too deadly to
contemplate. Please let them know this.
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
Each year on Australia Day, Austra-
lians come together to celebrate living
and being part of this nation, a multi-
cultural nation, a nation expanding and
thriving on accepting people of all differ-
ent races, cultures and backgrounds.
However, this year I am asking you to
look at multiculturalism from a differ-
While multiculturalism describes the
values and beliefs we hold close, this
term can be divisive in nature. Multi-
culturalism recognises the differences
in background, skin colour and lifestyle
and asks us to accept them.
Instead of multiculturalism, a term
which focuses on the differences of our
country and our people, I implore you
to focus more on a common humanity.
We all have this, yet no one celebrates
what we have in common, we instead
focus on our differences.
The key to acceptance and harmony
is both; finding similarities and accept-
Neither are more important, and hav-
ing one without the other creates an
imbalance which grows into disconnec-
tion with community, feelings of being
unwelcome and isolation.
Our country is diverse, and we should
celebrate that. But we should celebrate
not just the diversity of our friends,
family and neighbours; we should cel-
ebrate our common humanity.
I have worked with young people
my entire life and have seen a variety
of kids from all different cultures and
backgrounds grow and develop into
kind, generous and thoughtful people.
Their backgrounds are irrelative to
their nature, my kids are good people
because that is who they are, and that
is what defines them.
Australia Day is a time to focus on
our common humanity, but like many
of my other messages, we need to con-
tinue to adopt this approach in our
everyday lives. Australia will continue
to develop, our people becoming more
diverse and our cultures intertwining. It
is up to you to develop with it.
Father Chris Riley, CEO and Found-
er at Youth Off The Streets.
Open letter to Gippsland South MP,
I have been a Korumburra resident
for all my life.
It is good to see VicRoads re-sealing
the South Gippsland Highway on the
Melbourne side of Korumburra.
But it is very disappointing when they
re-seal over all soft spots and bumps
without fixing them properly, especially
on the first corner on the east side.
Is this another waste of taxpayer
funds and another Band-Aid fix?
Darren Clark, Korumburra
Get it together for
A recent article in a Mornington
Peninsula newspaper, detailed attacks
on the Andrews State Government by
State and Federal Liberal MPs, Messrs
Burgess and Hunt, over a ‘secret plan’
to ship brown coal from the Latrobe
Valley, for gasification at a proposed
plant at Hastings for onward shipment
The above gentlemen’s concern for
Hastings and its international Ramsar
environment treaty protected sur-
rounds would be commendable, if it
was not a glaring example of the worst
case of hypocrisy in Western Port since
the Henry Bolte ”Western Port will be
the Ruhr of the South” days, back in
Given Mr. Burgess and the Liber-
als continue to advocate for a massive
container port at Hastings, perhaps
they would care to explain how 6000
x 60,000 tonne container ship move-
ments per year, is a better future for
Western Port than the ‘secret coal plant’.
This via a heavily dredged, (24 mil-
lion cubic metres), expanded port limit,
with the resultant devastating impact
on the $2 billion per annum total, ex-
isting economic input to the Western
Port wide economy (Tourism $1 billion,
recreational fishing $600 million, agri-
culture in the Bunyip Food Bowl circa
Furthermore, as I am sure Mr. Bur-
gess is aware, parts of his electorate,
(e.g. Warneet and Cannons Creek), are
already under threat of inundation and
erosion, without the impact of much
faster running tides that would result
via dredging for the container port.
Not that anyone who cares about
Western Port would favour the coal
plant in the first instance, for as sev-
eral State Government landmark en-
vironment reports since early 2015
have stated, Western Port Bay is far too
fragile for any kind of expanded indus-
trial development. And given at least
the Bass Coast area of Western Port is
already the “second most tourism de-
pendent economy in the country”, (as
Liberal MP for Bass Brian Paynter, put
it so eloquently to me in a letter back in
February, 2016, “no government would
jeopardize this important sector of Vic-
toria’s economy”; yes, well, quite so).
Perhaps Messers Burgess and Payn-
ter need to meet at Tooradin for a coffee
to sort out who is right here!
Kevin Chambers, The Gurdies.
Jetty triangle for
people not cars
This is to question the proposal that
the Cowes jetty triangle should feature
underground car parking, beneath a
monstrous suspended concrete slab, a
big hidey hole for all kinds of after dark
State commands that we must plan
When asked, what was the most re-
markable phenomenon in his life time,
Albert Einstein replied: “compound
growth, it defies even the most basic
laws of physics”.
At that time, when Einstein was re-
vealing relativity, city fathers from
around Manhattan, were gathered to
brainstorm 20 year plan, how to keep
up with horse traffic and thousands
of tons of manure. Also, hard-working
horses died in harness, on the streets,
immediately replaced by others to keep
everything moving. Carcasses were left
on the street, allowed to rot, to make
it easier to dismember for eventual dis-
Fly blown diseases were a big prob-
lem. The problem was solved by arrival
of electric delivery trucks and taxis. At
this time, whale oil for lamps had been
displaced by kerosene but refineries
had problem disposing of dangerous
waste product, otherwise known as
The 20 year horse plan disappeared
with paradigm shift, exchanged for 100
years of oil pollution. Solution to our
problem with cars needs ideas, not just
the obvious, as dumb as shifting ma-
If we must find $Millions to accom-
modate growth, how about we consider
what kind of growth?
If it’s mostly for visitors, rather than
permanent population, return on in-
vestment is not so high, so how about
considering how we might reduce in-
Do we need to cater for more people,
or their cars, or both? Obviously it’s a
lot less expensive, more interesting and
you can accommodate more, if it’s just
At the moment, cars, also buses
and trucks take up too much space
which makes the main street less than
friendly. This kind of development has
life expectancy of 30 years or more.
Does anybody really think each of us
will still have our own 2 tonne vehicle
in this time frame? The world already
consumes towards 2 planets worth of
resources. As China and India and de-
veloping countries continue to aspire
to our standard of living, with finite re-
sources expiring, and clear need to stop
burning fossil fuels, isn’t the private car
a species facing obvious, complete ex-
If so, for so little return on invest-
ment, what sense does it make to even
think about wasting so much money for
parking more cars at jetty triangle?
Finally, in the interest of shifting more
people, in Australia, with average of
only 1.1 persons per car you get 1320
passengers per hour on a normal road
lane. With as many as 80 people per
single deck bus, you can get up to 5000
people per hour on bus lane. One full
bus takes nearly 80 cars off the road.
One full regular train can take more
than 600 cars off the road.
So how about parking cars as far
back from the jetty triangle as possible,
except for 5 minute drop zones on Es-
planade? How about reviving plan, be-
fore Jeff Kennet, for a multi-storey car
park, approved on site, now derelict,
opposite Quest on Chapel Street? It’s
always been said that installation of
parking meters, or any other way of
charging for parking is too expensive.
If so, for people incapable of moving
themselves to the beach from transport
hub, how about providing electric ve-
hicles, driven by credit card, even if it’s
only mobility scooters or golf buggies?
Or tram line based on half size replica
of type W tram.
Isn’t this the time and a great oppor-
tunity, to get cars out of central Cowes?
Can’t we make it the kind of place
where people really will be happy to
spend time to enjoy street culture, bus-
kers and other performers, which can
only evolve when our streets are more
friendly for people?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
Big thank you to
On behalf of the passengers who trav-
el on our local, South Coast and Vline
buses, we would like to say a big thank
you for the caring and well-mannered
way they treat us.
Their friendly attitudes make it a
pleasure to climb aboard and travel by
Some of them go out of their way to
be as helpful as they can. Isn’t it nice to
read about the good within our society?
Cheers, Rita Frederiks and others.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
8 Radovick Street
PHONE: (03) 5655 1422
(03) 5672 1888
(03) 5655 2658
to write with issues
of interest or concern
but letters that have a
local reference point
will be given priority. Writers are also urged
to be brief where possible. Letters may be
edited for space and legal reasons, and
must be submitted with the author’s name
and contact details of which only the name
and town location will appear.
Mental health is the elephant in the room
THERE’S no doubt that concern
about law and order is the number
one issue in Victoria today and
news that the State Government is
dramatically increasing the num-
ber of cops on the beat while beef-
ing up bail laws will provide some
In the wake of the senseless in-
cident in Melbourne last week, the
government has announced that
it will establish a Night Court for
magistrates to hear bail requests
over weekends and after hours as
part of a major shake-up of Victo-
ria’s bail system.
Under the changes, the gov-
ernment will ensure magistrates
are available after hours to con-
sider bail applications for people
charged with violent offences
where police oppose bail.
The Government has also asked
for advice on a range of matters,
including the appropriateness of
the current tests when applying for
bail of exceptional circumstances,
show cause and unacceptable risk.
Meanwhile the government has
already doubled the sentences
for people who fail to appear on
bail and there is now a presump-
tion against bail if the accused is
charged with aggravated carjack-
ing, home invasion or aggravated
That’s good, but as we saw in
the Korumburra Court last week,
there’s a deeper issue here, that
will not be solved with mandatory
penalties, harsher bail conditions
and more police on the beat.
There’s a serious, complex and
under-resourced problem with
mental health in the community,
and you can add into that those
addicted to illicit drugs and alco-
There’s precious little support
in the Bass Coast/South Gippsland
area for those suffering with men-
tal health issues, and we’re con-
stantly seeing the impact of that.
At the Korumburra Magistrates’
Court last week, a local resident
up on traffic charges threatened
to kill herself several times if the
magistrate applied the mandatory
penalty of six months loss of li-
The accused person, who lives
in a remote location, said his/her
life would be over anyway if he/she
couldn’t drive the car.
Predictably, the person left the
court in a distraught state after the
magistrate applied the required
six-month penalty when really,
that person appeared to need seri-
ous psychological help.
Finally, on the issue of magis-
trates granting bail, in my experi-
ence, the community can be confi-
dent that the magistrates are doing
the right thing. That’s not to say
there won’t be problems later.
From a risk averse point of view,
police are always going to err on
the side of caution and oppose bail
and it’s up to magistrates to de-
cide, on the balance of evidence,
if bail is warranted. I’d say they are
getting it right.
And if they locked everyone up,
where police opposed bail, there
wouldn’t be enough cells to keep
Links Archive January 17, 2017 Edition January 31, 2017 Edition Navigation Previous Page Next Page