Mildura Weekly : February 21 2014 Vol 8 No 16
www.milduraweekly.com.au 10 Mildura Weekly – 21/02/14 Over the Moon...almost...at epic bicycle adventures • From Page 9 Back home, Paula says the rail trail bike rides are par- ticularly interesting. They’ve done a few with their friends ... Bright to Wangaratta, War- burton to Lilydale, South Gippsland and in the High Country. Several members of the group have also completed the Tour Down Under, the Great Victorian Bike Ride, Round the Bay (Melbourne) in a Day and the local Tour de Murray...this is apart from regular training rides around Sunraysia - every Sunday - for the past 17 years, with additional training rides in the lead-up to a big event. The Rotary regulars in- clude Michael and Paula, Neil Hammerton, Russell Wit- combe, Bill Sutherland and Garry Cooper, accompanied at times by fellow Rotarians and friends including Wayne Hodges, Craig Beruldson, Da- vid McMillan Gail Loveridge, ‘Bomber’ Tonzing and his late wife Ruth. Dozens of non- Rotarians have joined in the epics from time to time. Paula has been keeping a diary of places, events and dis- tances covered, and decided during the week to add up everything to see what they had achieved. It’s a staggering statistic. A conservative total of dis- tance covered by all these rid- ers over 17 years at their local training sessions came in at approximately 198,000 kilo- metres, and when added all the other rides, a whopping total of 294,589 kilometres. That’s 7.3 times around the Earth. And to put that in even more perspective...with Earth being approximately 384,403 kilometres from the Moon, it means the riders are just 90,000 kilometres short! Once they finish the ride to Warrnambool for the Ro- tary conference, the group will join fellow Rotarians in pre- paring for the 2014 Murray to Moyne in early April. From the 17 Murray to Moynes, The Rotary Revolu- tion Team has already donat- ed more than $50,000 to local service clubs and health proj- ects, including Palliative Care, Sunraysia Community Health Services, Mallee Accommo- dation Support Program and Sunnasist, with more to be raised in 2014. Information on the rides can be obtained from Michael on 0400 549 988, or email firstname.lastname@example.org . The soapbox Tell us what’s on your mind 1010 Mildura Weekly – 21/02/14 Mildura Weekly – 21/02/14 Mildura Weekly The time has come, as the Walrus said, to speak of many things, and not least among them is Wentworth Shire Council’s move to open its Buronga Landfill site to commercial, industrial, and household waste from three States. This community fought hard to keep what became known as the Nowingi Toxic Waste Dump out of our area, only to see what could be seen as an alarmingly similar facility set up across the river. Whether or not there is a similarity is an argument for another day. What we want to address is Wentworth Shire’s contention that the deal to take the waste for $1million a year will help keep it financially viable. It has been suggested at very high levels that Wentworth Shire, and its cheek-by-jowl local government neighbour – the Balranald Shire – should be considered as potential candidates for amalgamation. Mayor, Cr Don McKinnon, has vowed that will never happen on his watch. And let’s face it, amalgamating two cash-strapped municipalities, with few avenues between them to increase income, would solve nothing. So, Wentworth Shire, under Mayor McKinnon’s leadership has opted for another way to supplement the Shire’s limited income. That is understandable, even laudable, but the way the Shire has gone about it is sure to cause controversy. Dumping waste that isn’t ours around here remains a touchy subject, and to not tell people it is happening until a truck rollover forces you to is not clever PR. But, is there another solution? We think there is, and the good news is that precedents have already been set. We refer, off course, to the cross-State border success stories that are Albury-Wodonga and Echuca-Moama. Maybe it’s time to consider Mildura-Wentworth in the same light. Mildura’s contributions to such a partnership are more obvious. Foremost in many people’s minds will be attractions like its retail opportunities, its medical services, a wide range of entertainment venues, and of course employment. What the Wentworth Shire could bring to the table, first and foremost, is land with development potential, particularly for residential growth in areas like Buronga and Gol Gol. Both in relatively close proximity to Mildura central. After all, it can be quicker for a person living in Gol Gol to get to the Mildura Post Office in 8th Street than someone living on 15th or 16th Street. The Shire also has several undeveloped tourism drawcards including the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens at Buronga, Wentworth’s historic port and riverboat history, its abundant natural environment, and popular recreational clubs. Better marketed, all could be used to draw people to Sunraysia. There are bound to be hurdles to this plan, some of them major like the Western Lands Lease issues in New South Wales, but maybe its time to start the discussion with an open mind. EDITORIAL The editor’s pick of comments made on the Mildura Weekly’s Facebook page this week... In light of the Old Mildura Base Hospital being sold this week, what would you like to see done to the site? Brian Erskine: Be great for paintball! Jack Maher Dodds: I would like to see it used as apartments, refugee housing... something that would be of benefit to the community. Let us hope that whatever they do they will keep the facade. Chris Brown: It’s about time... they need to use itasahealthhubora museum for Mildura’s history. Do you agree with the Wentworth Shire Council’s decision to accept commercial and industrial waste from Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in an effort to raise more revenue? Suzie Que: Yes, pity Mildura Council has their heads in the sand, they just put our rates up all the time. Naomi Muggeridge: Why can’t the major cities dispose of their own waste? What type of waste are they sending here? Maybe something toxic they don’t want to dispose of in their own cities? Facebook feedback Waste dump opportunity Sir, Let me say: Good thinking Wentworth Shire Council While some don’t like the idea of the Wentworth Shire Council accepting waste ma- terial from outside the area I would applaud the council for making treasures from other’s thrash. The Wentworth Shire [and Mildura shire] has a lot of rather useless land so why not use some of it to make more dollars than the land will ever make in any other ways. As believe it, only dry ma- terials will be accepted and not wet toxic waste as was planned for the Nowingi toxic waste dump. I would think there is a big difference in between wet toxic and dry or household waste. The material being trans- ported to the dump would not be any worse than many other materials being transported across both local shires and the whole of Australia. And in many ways WE ALL need those materials directly or in- directly we all have to accept some responsibility for waste products. And I’m going to miss this one before someone starts yelling ASBESTOS. What a media beat up!! Yes, asbestos will kill just like crossing the street, or driving a car, or flying, or water ski- ing, or working up a ladder, or working on the roof or going for a jog/riding a horse. All activities will kill occasionally. If asbestos was as bad as the main stream media make it to be there would not be too many people my age (60+) alive as most of us grew up in a cloud of asbestos. Most houses had asbestos in them or were made of asbestos. Most buildings had asbestos in them. The stuff was cut/ sawn/hammered/sanded/car- ried on the shoulder/thrown in the rubbish/off cuts were used in cubby houses/we played with it/we made toys with it and most of us would breathed the dust at some time. But we all aren’t dead! My guess is more have would have died in many oth- er ways. A consulting Doctor who had been practicing for many years said to me he had only seen about seven cases where asbestos was affecting the patience health. (But of course above is very different to those who mined and processes asbes- tos.) I can remember the asbes- tos blanket we had wrapped around the hot tank and we removed that often to fix something. That didn’t kill my grandfather, father or brother and the jackaroo is still alive. And as it can usually takes 20-30 year for asbestos to af- fect us (if it is that is) I think the job of clearing up asbestos would be good employment opportunity for the older blokes without all the protec- tive gear apart from breath- ing masks. By 70/80/90 years of age we are getting close to something killing us as no one is allowed to die of old age these days, or live forever. If bigger cities don’t want to or can’t handle their waste, including asbestos, I certainly have no dramas with it being transport past me. It means more jobs for the bush and more jobs for the battling transport industry. So well done to the Went- worth Shire Council for think- ing outside the square to help balancing the books instead of expecting ratepayers to fork out more dollars. Disclosure: I don’t live in the Wentworth Shire but I would work at the tip, or drive the trucks transporting the waste. IanBrowne Mildura Harsher penalties Sir, The protection of our citizens is something that should tran- scend politics, especially the protection of our children. It is something that should just be done. We should never put a dollar value on our safety. If the punishment given to a sexual offender is far from our expectation, or an unsuit- able candidate is given parole to make a bottom line look better, we as a society need to not only look at our leaders, but we need to look to our- selves, for it was us, the ma- jority that put them there. It is also us, the majority that can remove them. We hear many parties in opposition say ‘we will get tough on crime’, but turn to water soon after coming to of- fice. Is this the result of lobby groups, petitioners or just a sheer lack of political will? I cannot answer that. But given the latest revelation of yet an- other potential sex offender being released into our small community, with the disturb- ing nature of his fantasies, the child pornography on his lap top and that he was armed and intent on raping a victim, it is time those in a position to ensure our safety step up, including magistrates and our State representatives whose job it is to implement laws to keep those kinds of individu- als away from the community. • Continued Page 19 DON’T PUT RECYCLING IN PLASTIC BAGS Did yo u know if yo u put yo ur recycling in plastic bags it will end up in landfill? Put yo ur items in the recycling bin loose, so they can be sorted and recycled. To find out more visit www.getitrightbinnight.vic.gov.au or contact council.
Friday February 14 2014 Vol 8 No 15
February 28 2014 Vol 8 No 17