Mildura Weekly : Friday January 24 2014 Vol 8 No 12
www.milduraweekly.com.au 10 Mildura Weekly – 24/01/14 The soapbox Tell us what’s on your mind 1010 Mildura Weekly – 24/01/14 Mildura Weekly – 24/01/14 Mildura Weekly The editor’s pick of comments made on the Mildura Weekly’s Facebook page this week... How will you be celebrating Australia Day this Sunday? Rick Tomlinson: Camping down the river, with flags flying and good friends for company. Tamarra Westbury: We’re having a ‘bogan- themed’ barbecue with some good friends, should be a good night and what’s more Australian than a snag in bread?! Klaeton Smith: Going to a concert at Elder Park in Adelaide to see Timomatic and Sarah De Bono! Facebook feedback The bold and the brave Sir, I am a Mallee resident, and thought I would pass on some observations for your readers. The recent bush fires in the Bronzewing flora and fauna reserve saw the Mallee at its best and worst in a short period. The worst was four days of over- 45 degree temperatures, with stifling hot dry northerly winds gusting to 40 kph. Dry lightning strikes started fires that spread through the tinder-dry undergrowth, quickly consuming large areas of bushland, jumping fire-breaks and highways on its way to destroying over 60,000 hectares of Mallee scrub, threatening local farm- land and then townships. The local CFA brigades were quick to respond, with all available units within a 100km radius in atten- dance. Several private vehicles with fire-fighting capabilities joined the fight, as well as tractors ploughing fire-breaks. The men and women who manned the fire trucks and put their lives at risk ranged from experienced farmers to new residents experienc- ing their first fire. It was fantastic to see how quickly the truck crews bonded as a team within the bigger team. They were supported by leaders who handle the high pressure situa- tion with aplomb. The communica- tions between the trucks had to be heard to be believed, with instruc- tions given with military precision by the same blokes who you would struggle to get two words out of at the local pub. Some of the fire-fighters had minimum sleep the previous night, but were not prepared to take a break until the danger had passed. None of the people involved hesitated in leav- ing the safety and air-conditioned comfort of their home to face the daunting task at hand - protecting the community. They were ably supported by lo- cal people who provided a constant supply of food and cold drinks. It was an incredible effort by ev- eryone involved, as this was no small fire, and had the potential to cause loss of life and property. The Mallee community stood tall, and everyone involved, includ- ing all the firefighters, emergency ser- vices, police, DSE and support crews should be very proud of their efforts. Signed; a grateful Mallee boy (Name and address supplied). Coward punch debate Sir, Violence caused by Patrons on illicit drugs. During my time as a crowd con- troller starting in early 1999, I experi- ence the transition from alcohol/dope and ecstasy being the main problem in night clubs to the increase in meth- amphetamines (speed) and the asso- ciated dangers of dealing with people on it. When speed became a consis- tent problem as well as the carrying of knives, I deliberately let my licences lapse so I would never be tempted to do this kind of work again. It simply was not worth the risk for a few extra dollars. If you have ever had to deal with someone on illicit drugs they cannot be reasoned with and it takes five men to take them down. I will contend that there is one simple solution to cut back the num- ber of people under the influence of drugs, being those who either charge up before getting to venues or take something whilst inside the venue. Every patron who wishes to en- ter a premises after 9pm must take the swab police use to detect drugs in drivers. Any positive result means imme- diate refusal of entry. If done without the licence/ID check and all other checks police do on a random driver check, this can be streamlined into a speedy process that will have a lim- ited impact on time taken to enter the venue (but still checking ID’s for over 18). The long term impact I foresee is that eventually people will be sick of consistently being refused entry, drop- ping the usage of illicit drugs in ven- ues and dealers will have a very lim- ited customer base inside the clubs. If hoteliers are thinking about getting up in arms over having to pay someone else to be on the door in addition to current staff, I will make this point, someone on drugs usually only buys a bottle of water. People on ‘eckies’ were easy to spot because they would have lollipops to prevent teeth grinding and just drank water, if anything, and danced flat out all night. They are a wasted quota inside the venue that is not purchasing alco- hol at the expense of a drink buying patron. To those that are now asking what is stopping people taking drugs once inside? Well I say how many people stay in the one venue all night? If a patron has taken an illicit substance and they then try to go to the next place and get refused, then they can’t go back to where they were because they will then have to take the swab again. If you have ever been refused en- try because you have the wrong shoes on or forgotten your ID and your mates go in without you, it’s a lonely night out on the footpath so you just go home. This policy in place with monu- mental fines for venues caught not complying, long term, will make a massive impact on the use of illicit drugs in our night spots. I welcome all debate and input to this idea. Mark Cory Former Federal Candidate for Mallee. Palmer United Party. Cross border anomalies Sir, An open letter to our local politi- cians. Dear Peter Crisp, Andrew Broad; John Williams and Sussan Ley, It stinks along many parts of the Murray River around Mildura from carp left on the bank be- cause, by law, carp cannot be re- turned to the water after being caught. Instead they become piled up at most popular fishing spots. And they stink! I would expect this problem is along most parts of the Murray Darling System; not just around Mildura. Why? Why can’t carp be killed and returned to the river for oth- er creatures to feed on. Surely it would not be too hard for those catching carp to cut/chop them into several pieces and return them to the river. And then there would not be the big stink along our waterways, lakes and dams. That’s right! It’s too bloody hard because of stupid and dumb “cross border” issues! Andrew and Sussan will say it’s a state is- sue; and Peter will say it’s a NSW issue but John is going to say the carp on the Victorian bank is a Victorian issue and Peter will say it’s a NSW law that the fish are on the bank and then Peter and John will say the Federal government now have control of the Mur- ray Darling system water so they should fix the problem so it’s back to Andrew and Sussan so around it goes again. Please fix it. It’s such a little issue. It’s not like all the big dol- lar things that seem to drag on for years; surely it can be fixed. Just pretend; just pretend it’s an- other way to take dollars from the public and I bet it gets fixed real quick! And while you are at, fix the stupid cross border fishing li- cence dramas. Maybe Andrew and Sussan can bring in one Australian fishing li- cence. Yeah; everyday Jack! While photographing the river late in the evening I stood on rot- ting carp without knowing it un- til I got back into the car and the stench followed me all the way home. What would the tourists think about the smell? Or those in houseboats who tie up near a pile of smelly rotten stinking carp. You all have the power to fix it. 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Friday January 17 2014 Vol 8 No11
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