Bendigo Advertiser Letters: BFNL ban, plastic bags, Thai rescue, Carter win,

Brady Childs makes high contact with Lee Coghlan. Picture: NONI HYETT
Brady Childs makes high contact with Lee Coghlan. Picture: NONI HYETT

Is a three-match ban enough? 

The Bendigo Advertiser’s photographer captured it brilliantly at the QEO on Saturday afternoon, June 30. An image of a solidly clenched fist, forearm sinews bulging with effort.

The graphic colour picture has been featured in the Addy’s on-line version. It features the millisecond between when the fist collides violently with the side of the head of a Sandhurst footballer with the ball in his hands. The aggressor, a South Bendigo footballer, the captain-coach of the team no-less, was suspended for three matches for the incident, which left the unfortunate Sandhurst player, Lee Coghlan, with a perforated eardrum and severe concussion. He suffered headaches for two days after the match. His injury required him to be stretched off. The timing of his return to the playing field is still uncertain.

When reading the comments of the suspended South Bendigo captain-coach, Brady Childs, one could be forgiven for thinking that he was the innocent party. It was a clumsy attempt to tackle, he said.


He had the greatest respect for Lee … not someone he would intentionally strike, he said. Why the club may even consider lodging an appeal, said the aggrieved aggressor! The lack of remorse is startling, as it was immediately following the incident when he was yellow carded off the ground, smugly offering a wide grin to the opposition supporters who made their collective disgust at the incident known to him. Accepting responsibility, or not, as the case may be,  for one’s actions speaks volumes of an individual.

This incident is disturbing because of the potential for severe injury. The millisecond involved in this incident can be the difference between an act of thuggery, as indeed this was, and a criminal act with longer term ramifications. We have become so aware of one punch killers most often in social alcohol fuelled situations. Boxer Danny Green even launched a publicity campaign which targets one-punch cowards.

There have been many well publicised instances of aggression on a football field. We have all read of them. I won’t recount any here. They are upsetting. And they will be well known to the offender in this case. And this is why it is so puzzling, that the actions of this senior playing coach who well knows the potential for what can go wrong, but still appears to have learnt little from the tragic lessons of yesteryear.  

He has a role as the senior club mentor surely, to pass on past lessons of misplaced aggression. It is incumbent on him to set a good example when on field. Protecting the head area of players simply has to be given the highest priority. What must parents of potential young footballers considering playing at this club think?

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I have watched the BFNL video of the Sandhurst v South Bendigo match. Even before the incident that ended up in the tribunal occurred,  the commentators on the TV video can be heard remarking how aggressive Brady Childs was on that day. This was after several behind the play incidents where he had been beaten to the ball.

And what of the BFNL tribunal involved in passing its sentence of a relatively mediocre three matches for this aggressive and harmful incident? The same tribunal has levied penalties of two-three matches with incidents that have not involved injury anywhere near as serious as last Saturday’s match at the QEO. For instance, earlier this year there was a two match penalty given to one player for wrestling with another with no punches thrown and no injury incurred!

This week the tribunal had before it good pictorial and video evidence available. It had clear and apparently irrefutable evidence from field umpires who were close to the incident.  Close enough to hear “a horrible noise” to the head of Coghlan, according to one umpire about 30-35 metres away with an uninterrupted view. This umpire gave his opinion, and I believe that all who saw it would agree, that there was no attempt to tackle.  And the tribunal also had available medical evidence from a player who was stretched off the field.

A three match suspension is a paltry message to send to players and supporters of the BFNL. At what point and under what circumstances does the tribunal consider a clenched fist to the head with considerable force to a player playing the ball and who suffers not inconsiderable injury, is worth more than a penalty of three matches?

Kevin Hogarth, Shepparton

$1 for bags or $3.50 for crate delivery online. It’s a rip off

Because I don’t own a car and cannot afford a taxi fare I have to order my grocery shopping online.

I order my groceries through Woolworths. 

I am outraged that since Woolworths has done away with plastic bags I now have to pay $1 for the “reuseable” bags with my order.

The other option is paying $3.50 for the deliveryman to place the groceries on my bench (from a crate without a bag).  

That’s too expensive. 

Whichever option I choose I am being ripped off. Companies such as Woolworths and Coles don’t care about the environment.

They just want to rip off the consumer and make a profit. Charging for bags is another way to do it. 

I am all for saving the environment and believe we should do everything in our power to do so but ripping me off isn’t going to save it.   

Thank you Woolies and Coles for finding another way to rip off customers. 

Your grocery prices are already too high and unfair and now you are charging unfair amounts for the way groceries are delivered.

Angela Morrissey, Eaglehawk

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Penalty no deterrent

Not only is the death sentence ludicrously ineffective as a deterrent, but it appears to foster violence on a scale that is elsewhere only ever seen in times of war.

Since 1976, 1477 people have been executed in the US, yet between 2005 and 2015, guns caused the deaths of a staggering 301,797 people (while terrorist attacks killed just 94 people in the same period).  

At the same time, since 1973, 162 people in 26 US states have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death and then been exonerated. 

Instead of getting tougher on crime, logic demands that we get smarter in the way that we rehabilitate offenders while reducing the triggers that lead to offending, rather than fall into the chaos that is the United States justice system.

Pat Hockey, Castlemaine

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Benders it is

Bendigo has been known as “Benders” for as long as I’ve been getting about (at least 50 years). It is more likely to be heard from country folk in the surrounding districts than locals.

John Cahill, Emu Creek

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Land use win

Congratulations to the Carter family of Marong well done to you in your win against “City Hall”. One would think you must be emotionally drained and financially disadvantaged after such a long battle.

Heather Newton, Kangaroo Flat

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Nauru kids need rescue

The world rejoiced this week as the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach were released.

This extraordinary rescue showed how the best international cooperation driven by humanitarian motives can achieve an outcome celebrated by all as these young men return to their families and a normal life with a positive future.

Closer to home, more than 100 young children languish in indefinite detention on Nauru. These children should be playing, learning and growing into happy, productive adults. Instead they have no future and no hope.

When will the Australian government free these children and their families so they can begin to lead normal lives, either in Australia or another country, such as new Zealand?

Pat Horan, Sebastian

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Speed trap

According to the law, as I understand it, a roundabout is to be approached at a speed that is consummate with the surrounding condition, ie exercise caution.

Why is it that nearly all vehicles approaching a roundabout tend to speed up, and treat the roundabout as part of a car rally?

I can't count the number of times that I have had to slow down even further to avoid a collision with a car hurtling through the roundabout

Sherold Kelleher, Bendigo

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Pension thanks

Today I read your online article concerning the problems people have getting resolution to aged pension applications. I have been in the same frustrating position for months, yesterday I received approval.

For others living in the Bendigo area I would like to say there is help available. I contacted our Federal MP Lisa Chesters and with the intervention of her staff had the matter resolved within days. 

I would suggest that others follow the same course of action.

Tony McDonald, Castlemaine

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