Mildura Weekly : Friday July 11 Vol 8 No 36
www.milduraweekly.com.au 10 Mildura Weekly – 11/07/14 The soapbox Tell us what’s on your mind 1010 Mildura Weekly – 11/07/14 Mildura Weekly – 11/07/14 Mildura Weekly Great news this week. The North West Victorian Mo- tor Cycle Club’s Hattah Desert Race was a rip- roaring success that is esti- mated to have brought our city a $1million-plus cash bonanza. That’s in the same neighbourhood as the much-lauded Triple J Big Night Out. The people who at- tended, competitors, their crews and spectators spent a lot of money here, a fact acknowledged by our May- or, and motorsports fan, Glenn Milne pointing to food, accommodation and fuel as good examples of their ‘spend.’ That is a boon, in anyone’s book, firstly for businesses provid- ing goods and services in those sectors, and then through a flow-on effect for the whole town. It’s a good news sce- nario not to be sneezed at. So, all good? Not re- ally. The race, which runs at an estimated cost of about $200,000, relies heavily on volunteers, and receives a deplorable amount of sup- port from our State Gov- ernment, our council, and our tourism bureaucracy. At the risk of being accused of ‘Council bash- ing’ we think that the City could have made a better effort to improve Boo- noonar Road as a show of support for the event. The road is the major thoroughfare for the thou- sands of competitors and spectators who made their way out to the race site last weekend. This is the same road that was not ready last year either, although on both occasions some remedial work was hurriedly com- pleted to try and get it up to an acceptable standard for the weekend hammer- ing it was expected to take, and we can be thankful for that. But it is high time this road was fixed once and for all, not just for the Hattah Desert Race’s sake, but probably more impor- tantly for local residents. The ‘fix’ is just taking too long... and thank heav- ens it did not rain on the weekend is all we can say. We agree with Cr Mark Eckel that Council and Mildura Tourism need to get behind ‘tier 1,’ or iconic events, that can grow to attract significant numbers of people to the region. However, Cr Eckel is on the record as saying Hattah is regarded by the City as a ‘tier 2’ event, and is there- fore not eligible for the same amount of support as say the Country Music Festival in Council’s eyes. Time for its promotion Cr Eckel. The event has proven itself, and it is time it got a ‘tier 1’ rating, and the recognition and assis- tance it deserves! It was good to see the Mayor come out mid-week and admit that Council and the State needed to do more to get behind the event. (See Page 5) Well done Mr Mayor! Now, about Boonoon- ar Road... EDITORIAL The editor’s pick of comments made on the Mildura Weekly’s Facebook page this week... Facebook feedback by Andrew Broad MP RECENTLY the Federal Minister for Education, the Hon. Christopher Pyne visited Mildura. The importance of this visit should be played out over the next year as the Coalition develops its higher education reforms. I felt it was essential that the Minister gained a first-hand look at the barriers to higher education across the electorate of Mal- lee. He made it clear that he had two ears and one mouth and was in Mil- dura to listen. Statistically we do have high Year 12 completion rates, but low university completion rates. Discussions with the Minister focused on issues to do with aspiration, affordability and location. The purpose of an invite-only fo- rum was to have less grand standing and more informed dialogue. It was also felt that the electorate of Mallee, being 75,000 square kilometres, would need to be represented in the discus- sion – not just the inland city of Mil- dura. Secondary school principals, all councillors from the nine shires in Mallee, welfare organisations, student union representatives, and higher edu- cation representatives were invited to join the discussion. The cost burden that regional fami- lies face when their child has to move away to access courses was raised, and this is an issue I have spoken directly to the Prime Minister about recently. Addressing this cost pressure by in- creasing regional course choices and additional financial support should be seen as an investment in the future of the regions. Our office has also been looking at how scholarship funds could be better utilised to assist regional students. The forum with the Minister was valuable, and I am sure that his understanding of the challenges to higher education for Mallee students was enhanced by the straight talking of those who at- tended. • NEXT: Former chairman of the First Mildura Irrigation Trust and long-time campaigner for irrigators’ rights, Jim Belbin, offers his observa- tions on the state of Sunraysia. Opinion Priorities don’t include us! Sir, MLA for Mildura Peter Crisp in his letter to the Sunray- sia Daily dated July 5, 2014, accuses the previous Labor Government of financial incompetence, but fails to acknowledge that his govern- ment inherited a AAA credit rating. He also fails to men- tion that in the past four years under the guidance of the Coalition, Victoria’s net general debt has blown out from less than $10billion to almost $24billion. One only has to look at Pages 2 and 3 of the Herald Sun on Sunday, July 3, to see where this government’s priorities lie. It features a publicly-funded political ad- vertisement occupying the full two pages trumpeting the Coalition Government’s multi-billion dollar road and public transport program, but not a single cent of this money is to be spent north of Bendigo in central and western Victoria, and apart from a few extra bus services in Hamilton, nothing west of Ballarat. This means that as we now have come to ex- pect, large regional towns, such as Mildura, Horsham, Warrnambool, Swan Hill and their surrounds, are to be completely ignored. Just to rub salt into the wound, Mildura and Hor- sham are not even shown on the explanatory index map. Icanonlyseethisasa blatant attempt to shore up votes in the marginal elec- torates by this city-centric Coalition Government at the expense of those seats they regard as safe. I ask once again, when are our Coalition represen- tatives finally going to show enough gumption to step forward out of the shadows and represent their rural/re- gional electorates instead of putting their own per- sonal and party interests first and foremost? Steve Tittensor Mildura Staunch Mildura ‘return the train’ proponent Ian Felton chose to use the words of the immortal Slim Dusty, and a self-portrait, to illustrate his support for the cause... “Looking forward Looking back It’s been a long way Down the track....” Are you confident that your power bills will go down if the Federal Government is successful in abolishing the Carbon Tax? Jeffrey Smith: I’m not confident with the Federal Government full stop. Kerrie Bridge: No, when does anything go down and will it get through? I’m not so sure. Jacob Robert Slimmon: Power suppliers have already said that the price hike had nothing to do with the Carbon Tax. Therefore it will not change if/when the tax is removed. Suzie Que: Nope. Once they put the prices up, they never go down. 204 Deakin Ave, Mildura Phone: 5021 2008 Sunday to Saturday 9am-7:30pm Deakin Lucky Lotto • Frank Rodi • Geoff Adcock • Don Guyomar This Weeks Winners Are: ATTENTION!!! FRUIT GROWERS - FARMERS - 4WD OWNERS... Call Chris Or Damien At Berri Diesel Injection Service Pty Ltd Leaders In DIESEL ENGINE REPAIRS DIESEL FUEL PUMP REPAIRS INJECTOR REPAIRS TURBO KITS TO SUIT 4WDS TURBO CHARGER RE – CONDITIONING Vehicle pick-up and delivery available Overnight Freight from Berri to Mildura, Mildura to Berri with TOLL, GRE & SPRINT Berri Diesel Injection Service P/L | 16 Hughes Street Berri S.A. 5343 Phone 08 8582 1570 | Emergency After Hours 0407 609 228 Fax 08 8582 3330 | Email email@example.com ...is your vehicle not performing to its maximum potential or completely broken down and stuck in the shed because you don’t know where to go F. 5027 6241 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.frankstockmanplumbing.com.au VIC & NSW LIC. NO. 32486 CALL NOW 0419 276 220 FREE QUOTES EXCAVATION HIRE PENSIONER DISCOUNTS DID YOU KNOW Frank Stockman Plumbing provides the following services? Leaking Taps? Blocked Drains? New Hot Water Service? Gas Heater Installation? Septic Tank Installation? Grey Water System Installation? Sewer/Storm Water Problems? New Roof and/or Guttering? Bathroom Renovations? Kitchen Renovations? Building a new home? Rainwater Tank installation? Air-conditioner Service? Excavation Hire? Sky Lights?
Friday July 4 Vol 8 No 35
Friday July 18 Vol 8 No 37