Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 7, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 24 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017
Heartfelt thanks to those good Sa-
maritans who assisted my wife Diana
when she had a ‘moment’ on the pedes-
trian crossing in Murray Street, Wont-
haggi last Tuesday.
She is now ok, and one of you left
your chocolate Big M which is now in
the fridge at the Wonthaggi Newsagency.
John Fleming, Wonthaggi.
needs a solution
The article ‘Need for Feed’, Sentinel-
Times, January 31, highlights the sad
situation in the dairy industry.
I can remember a family of five living
reasonably well on a 60 acre farm in the
early 1950s, then in the mid-1960s the
cost-price squeeze began to bight!
Appeals to governments fell on deaf
ears and a couple of farmers’ marches
in Melbourne were no more successful
in getting any relief from the effects of
continuing financial inflation.
The message from governments was
“get big or get out”. Well, the farmers
have done that and the problem has got
worse rather than better.
Many businesses would be in the
same situation with higher costs put-
ting pressure on their bottom line.
Is it beyond the wit of our MPs and
economists to find a just solution to
this tragic problem?
D.J. Auchterlonie, Trafalgar.
Here’s to the
On behalf the passengers who travel
on our local South Coast and V/Line
buses, we would like to say a big thank
you for the caring and well-mannered
way the bus drivers 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.
Rita Frederiks and others.
on Ruby Strait
Last year I had received a number of
complaints about the road works on
the Ruby Straight section of the South
Gippsland Highway between Leongatha
I took this up with the Minister for
Roads because the work was clearly in-
ferior, bumpy and uneven.
I was pleased that the Minister and
VicRoads responded that further work
was needed and would be undertaken
It’s easy to criticise agencies when
they get it wrong, but having now trav-
elled the finished Ruby Strait over the
past few weeks, the road has been fixed.
Credit to VicRoads and contractor,
Fulton Hogan, for what is now (belat-
edly) a good job.
There is much more work to do and
I will continue to lobby the Melbourne
Labor Government to improve our lo-
Danny O’Brien, Member for
The Warley Hospital at Cowes finally
closed in 2008 and perhaps one reason
it failed to attract government funding
was the cost to bring it up to date tech-
nically was just too high.
Last week, the president of the Phil-
lip Island Medical and Health Action
Group, Mr Peter Paul, wrote, “It was for
the want of $2.5 million that the War-
ley Bush Nursing Hospital was forced
I understand it was at that time re-
garded as a private hospital and per-
haps other factors were then in play
that saw its closure.
Since then many people have worked
and planned assiduously to see this de-
cision reversed, but so far to no avail.
The PIMHAG has done a marvellous
job researching Phillip Island’s needs
and comparing our situation with other
parts of the state.
The planned Health Hub will be a
great improvement for local care but at
times it will fail our fluctuating needs
during peak holiday times but as Mr
Paul wrote, it still will not include day
and night, seven day a week emergency
Recently Wonthaggi’s ER facilities
were enlarged and the island received
a brand new ambulance station but it
is not conceivable to expect a 10 minute
service every time we call 000.
But there have been frightening de-
lays and perhaps some below par
medical outcomes, while on the other
side there have been many happy and
There will never be enough emer-
gency services for any community, even
if the fire station is well equipped, the
SES highly trained and the police sta-
Witness how all of Melbourne’s huge
hospitals and the fleet of on-duty ambu-
lances were stretched last Friday after
that unforeseen Bourke Street incident.
Perhaps our community should now
be directing our energies towards get-
ting Wonthaggi Hospital upgraded to
the sub-regional status.
We are connected by roads that have
at times failed but Wonthaggi will al-
ways be able to offer better care and
treatment than we could ever expect on
Derek Scales, Ventnor.
Don’t mess with
In the last two years the South
Gippsland Shire Council brought in
a plan to take over and manage the
Yanakie and Long Jetty caravan parks.
The plan forced many holders of an-
nual licences to take their vans away.
The plan had serious consequences.
Perhaps the council wanted to make
more sites available for casual campers
The plan did not make financial
sense. It was unfair. It did not work.
The caravan owners paid their annu-
al fees through high and low seasons.
They gave the parks a secure and stable
income. The sites were maintained and
improved at no cost to the shire.
Did the plan for Yanakie and Long
Jetty bring higher occupancy rates? No!
Any loss of income to the shire will be
borne by the ratepayers.
We trust the council will learn from
experience and not follow a similar
plan in relation to Waratah Bay Cara-
Judy Davine, Waratah Bay CP;
Florence Creighton, Waratah Bay CP;
Jane and Doug Cole, Waratah Bay
CP; Lyn Yeomans, Waratah Bay CP;
Sue and Ken Shergold, 5 Murralinga
Place, Mt Eliza, Waratah Bay CP.
Serious crime, but
penalties a joke
Referring to your article on page 4
of last week’s paper; how are we sup-
posed to take domestic violence seri-
ously when a magistrate decides that
abuse of a child requires only a $1000
That does nothing to bring conse-
quence to this abusive behaviour and
most times children that are subject to
abuse grow up to abuse their parents
and siblings as this is the behaviour
they witness as OK.
To get serious about making these
abusers accountable fines need to be
removed, and the abuser held in a de-
tention centre and never released un-
less he has learnt that violence is no
way of communicating and to be wor-
thy of being in society they need to re-
learn to be human which is the reason
why human beings have been blessed
with an intelligence to know better.
It is a joke to think that a $1000 fine
is going to make the perpetrator take a
serious look at his behaviour.
As a society we seem to be playing
around the issue and every day we hear
about the justice system failing law
abiding citizens because they do not do
their job effectively.
Build more centres to house these
abusers and those on parole, never to
be released unless they can show that
they are worthy of being a decent mem-
ber of society.
How many children have to die? How
many people have to be victims of vio-
lence and how many innocent people
have to lose their lives?
I hope magistrates, parole officers
and the justice system feel a bit of re-
sponsibility to those people who suffer
loss and abuse that no amount of sym-
pathy, tributes or words can mend.
Obviously none of those useless com-
mercials on television that we have to
put up with in our lounge rooms make
any difference. Put the money towards
some serious strategies - empowering
victims and making abusers and those
on parole seriously accountable.
Dilene Hinton, Inverloch.
What’s the game with our PM, pitch-
ing hyper-super-ultra-critical-coal pow-
er as “clean coal”?
Isn’t this double speak term about
mythical, expensive CCS (Carbon Cap-
ture and Storage)?
Is he doing a Goebbels “if you’re go-
ing to tell lies then, to see what you can
really get away with, it’s best to tell big
ones, to provoke big reaction?”
Could he be trying to saddle us all
with even more debt, before retiring
to his previous career as big earner in
Isn’t science in our world amazing,
considering, less than one lifetime ago,
any kind of human venture into space
was unthinkable, compared with rou-
tine now of four missions per year to
the International Space Station? Con-
tinuing accomplishments in science are
One big one is the only thing tracking
same rising trend as global warming is
rising greenhouse gases from human
Most world leaders, like our PM,
say they don’t dispute science of global
warming and insist they’re taking ap-
But, according to Prof James Han-
sen, a most respected climate sci-
entist, not mincing words any more
“they’re lying through their teeth”.
Our emissions continue to increase
to 2020 and beyond. Science beats
shonky emissions accounting by Can-
Does the PM understand his hype?
“Sub-critical fossil fuel plants achieve
36–40 per cent efficiency. Super criti-
cal (since 1950s) efficiencies are low to
mid-40 per cent, new “ultra-critical”,
reach about 48 per cent efficiency”.
Does it make any sense, such huge
investment, needing 40 odd years for
commercial return (or compensation
by government for premature shut-
down), all to improve efficiency by as
little as 10 per cent?
The sooner the world can kick the
coal habit, the longer we might be able
to run gas, before it also gets turned off,
by world enforcement for zero carbon.
Even the PM can’t question this sci-
ence. He needs a plan for all coal
Hazelwood and others are technology
era of FJ Holden, delivered at end of 20
year production by manufacturer, still
getting biggest market share because
Lack of maintenance is one false
economy, huge offshore profits from
low royalties another and no ac-
counting for carbon emission the
Why does such a wealthy person
as PM want to so proudly say “we’re
cheap”? Can future generations afford
this kind of cheap anymore? Mean-
while he finds unlimited money for
arms race, to defend/offend in worsen-
ing climate wars.
The 2degC warming limit is well and
truly busted, as heat accumulates in the
blanket of emissions already up there
and still there for a few centuries.
So much flora and fauna, even hu-
manity itself, is in serious danger of
extinction, partially, even total. How can
we let the PM get away with wanting to
burn ever more coal?
Bernie McComb, Cowes.
Shining a light
Throughout March, communities
around the world are dedicated to rais-
ing awareness of epilepsy, culminating
in Purple Day on March 26 (Interna-
tional Epilepsy Awareness Day).
During this time, people wear purple
and hold events to raise funds and
awareness of the condition that will af-
fect more than 800,000 Australians in
their lifetime, and 50 million people
Sadly, due to social stigma and mis-
conceptions, many people with epilepsy
do not disclose their condition and live
in fear of being ‘found out’.
This Purple Day, Epilepsy Action
Australia would like to encourage com-
munities to shine a light on epilepsy by
lighting up purple a local landmark and
raising funds for community education
services to better the lives of those af-
Interventions by Epilepsy Action Aus-
tralia can help increase understanding
in our communities, such as epilepsy
awareness sessions, seizure first-aid
training, and the Online Academy,
which offers several courses about epi-
lepsy for parents, carers, schools and
I would encourage your community
to support Purple Day during March
by simply making a donation or get-
ting involved (www.epilepsy.org.au).
Please help shine a light on epilepsy
this Purple Day and put your region on
On behalf of all Australians living
with epilepsy, thank you in advance to
your readers for supporting Epilepsy
Your support helps to reduce isola-
tion and ensure people living with the
condition are able to live the best life
Carol Ireland, CEO, Epilepsy Ac-
a better shire
There was an excellent turnout at the
old Post Office in Wonthaggi last Mon-
day for a ‘Help Shape a Better Bass
Coast’ forum. It was well organised by
the shire staff and they made everyone
I was impressed by Mayor Rothfield,
Cr Julian Brown and past councillor
The community members present
were outstanding with the breadth and
depth of the issues, suggestions and
ideas for our shire for the future.
People were committed to the task of
the night; covered multitudinous sheets
of paper with incredible thought pro-
voking jottings, mingled freely discuss-
ing the issues, added more ideas to
topics all in an atmosphere of friendly
All present on the night are eagerly
awaiting the draft document due short-
ly, bringing together the thoughts from
all the forums.
Hopefully residents and ratepayers
will get behind the Council as some of
the suggested developments are imple-
Yvonne J. McRae, Wonthaggi.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
South Gippsland Sentinel-Times
8 Radovick Street
PHONE: (03) 5655 1422
(03) 5672 1888
(03) 5655 2658
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We’re right to ask the question
THIS is not an ambo bashing
Unlike nuclear energy or in-
creasing the GST which we’re not
allowed to even talk about...
We should be able to have an
intelligent conversation about
the state of health and ambu-
lance services in the local area
without being accused of attack-
ing the paramedics themselves.
Because the truth of it is they
do an amazing job.
We’ve been to enough highway
collisions and other emergency
response events to know how
calmly, professionally and skil-
fully they take control of a poten-
tially chaotic situation to bring
order, pain relief and ultimately
hope, where that’s possible.
Their range of skills, expanded
in recent years to include heart
attack, stroke and asthma treat-
ment, to name a few, and their
clinical approach to triaging pa-
tients for the best outcomes is
nothing short of superhuman.
And our paramedics need to
know they hold a special place
in the heart of the community for
what they do.
But as one of our Facebook
posters said this week:
“Doesn’t matter how much
funding is thrown at the ambu-
lance service, you still can’t pull
an ambulance, fully equipped out
of thin air, if all ambulances are
busy. And what about the other
patients that were being seen to,
don’t they deserve to have the re-
sponse times they need?”
So even if we are being properly
funded for ambulance services in
this area, and the rostering and
coverage arrangements that are
in place are appropriate, there
may be times when patients are
What we need to be able to do,
and Ambulance Victoria needs to
understand this, is ask the ques-
tion, just as Mark Holmes has
done this week, about what hap-
pened when an ambulance is late,
or there’s some other problem.
If there isn’t a problem, then
If the problem is instead a lack
of health funding for a higher
level of services at our hospitals,
that the government is letting us
down here, then the community
is entitled to ask the questions
and hear the facts.
Because we know from expe-
rience that South Gippsland
and Bass Coast has often been
ignored for even basic require-
ments, and the state of the Wont-
haggi Secondary College, the lack
of services at the Wonthaggi hos-
pital, mental health services and
visitor infrastructure on Phillip
Island are case in point.
Can we be happy with ambu-
lance services in this area? Gen-
erally yes (see Ambulance Vic-
toria response this week) but to
paraphrase Thomas Jefferson,
the price of good government ser-
vices is eternal vigilance.
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