More questions than answers emerge after reading articles in Bendigo Advertiser of 22nd and 24th January 2019 regarding the axing of RSPCA animal shelter services. Council’s decision smacks of stupidity and arrogance and a lack of understanding for current staff and volunteers. The countless hours volunteers give to maintain a magnificent caring service for the many cats and dogs it has cared for and re-homed over many years should not be underestimated.
I have donated bedding and food and saw first hand the way the centre was run. I doubt council will be able to replicate this service and certainly not for less than the RSPCA has been doing. I am also concerned that according to the articles, council expect significant set-up costs for compliance, accommodation and staff recruitment. I also ask who owns the current facilities as it is my understanding they are not owned by council. I take it that council will have to pay rent and provide veterinary services for the care of and de-sexing of dogs and cats.
I assume council would have engaged a feasibility study and business case before making the decision to axe the existing services. If not, they should have and it would not be difficult to inform ratepayers of the projected saving's or cost blowouts that ratepayers may expect to incur. Over to you council. I expect you will release documentation supporting the decision to dump the RSPCA and please do not quote "commercial in-confidence", it is ratepayers' money you are spending.
The City of Greater Bendigo council’s January TV advertising blitz flaunted its successes to residents. A thick fog may have prevented council’s cameras from recording failures like the Marong Business Park and other poor outcomes, because they were not shown in the ads. Council has every right to blow its trumpet on positives, but it must also publicly address its errors in these kinds of media plunges.
Read more: Are council ads worth ratepayers money?
The January advertising blitz could be perceived as council attempting to influence residents’ responses and skew the result of the February Local Government Victoria council satisfaction survey in council’s favour. The survey asks residents to rank their level of satisfaction, or otherwise, with council’s performance in a number of service areas. Resident surveys of this nature are independent, and council should respect that fact by being impartial, fair, and keeping its distance. Even a perceived council bias would be a disgrace. I hope council’s advertising timing was just coincidental.
Labor’s ability to manage the Australian economy is now in serious doubt since announcing their intention to retain imputation credit refunds. If you have an annual income of less than $19,000 or you are retired, you will lose the refund of this tax. Tax you should not have to pay.
At the same time high income people will still receive a tax credit for it. Labor’s failure to comprehend such simple finances makes you wonder what else they don’t understand about running the economy? The legendary Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor, however Bill Shorten apparently thinks it would be better the other way around!
Letters must carry the name, full address and telephone number of the author. The writer’s name and suburb/town will be published. We reserve the right to edit letters. Letters which are deemed inappropriate will not be published.Send letters to Bendigo Advertiser, PO Box 61, Bendigo 3552 or at bendigoadvertiser.com.au
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