Triumph over adversity
I wish to pass on my appreciation and gratitude to the staff and volunteers at the Bendigo Tramways, which has just won the Victorian Tourism Awards for cultural tourism.
To be judged the best in your field in Victoria is an outstanding achievement in itself, but this represents something even more significant for those who keep our tramways running and in such good condition.
It has been a challenging year or two for the tramways, and for Bendigo Heritage Attractions which operates the tramways and the Central Deborah Gold Mine.
The organisation has gone through a period of top-to-bottom reform and restructure to build a more sustainable operation. This process is on-going.
Not only has it been enthusiastically embraced by the men and women of the tramways, but in many cases has been driven by them.
It has never been easy, and at times it has been very demanding for everyone.
But it has been important and not a journey they have taken on their own. They have been strongly backed by the City of Greater Bendigo, for two reasons.
First, many of the assets managed by Bendigo Heritage and operated by the Bendigo Tramways are actually owned by the City of Greater Bendigo. Secondly, the city shares our view that the tramways is one of the most enduring symbols of our city, a major point of difference which helps make Bendigo unique in Australia.
This award is an indication that the efforts to continue to protect and enhance our historic tramways are effective and recognised.
While this success story has many fathers, I wish in particular to acknowledge the work of the Bendigo Tramways manager, Luke Jenkins, a young Bendigo man whose commitment to, and passion for, the trams is shared by the rest of his team.
Wayne Gregson, Bendigo Heritage Attractions chairman
Labor deserves the credit
I refer to the letter by Robert Smallpage (“Liberals deserve the credit”, Bendigo Advertiser, November 24).
I am proud our new hospital is ahead of schedule, so much work has been done! Mr Smallpage will recall the 2006 election when all of this started.
In that election, together with with then Labor MP for Bendigo West Bob Cameron, we promised new junior secondary schools would be built in Bendigo.
And flagging our next major building works to follow, we promised master planning for a new Bendigo hospital. We wanted to secure, though the planning, a new world-class hospital for Bendigo and our region.
Mr Smallpage will recall that the Liberals refused to support these promises, as they wanted spending in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Even when we announced funding for a new Bendigo hospital in May 2010, the Liberal-National party still refused to support Bendigo having a new hospital.
Local Lib-Nat MP Damian Drum declared that he "didn't have his hand up" for any new hospital.
Of course, in time and as there had already been a budget allocation, the Liberals finally buckled at the knees and belatedly said Bendigo should have a new hospital.
I thank Mr Smallpage for his support of Labor's initiative to drive this project. Bendigonians want a new world-class hospital, and it's soon going to be a reality.
Jacinta Allan, Member for Bendigo East
Tweetering on the edge
At the end of a performance of the Broadway hit, Hamilton, one actor made a very civil speech to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence who was in the audience.
Donald Trump said Pence had been harassed and called for an apology.
It shows Trump not only has thin hair. He also has very thin skin.
Let us hope he stops sending tweets when he is president.