Time to act
A young man is waiting in line for coffee when he notices a group message on his phone. A friend has sent a private selfie of his girlfriend to a bunch of mates.
Uncomfortable, the young man wonders what to do.
When his coffee arrives, he replies: 'Hey mate she sent that image to YOU not US'.
To his surprise, his mates have his back, agreeing it's not cool.
To some, this scene might seem unrealistic, but the latest National Community Attitudes Survey into Violence Against Women (NCAS) data shows that many young people, including men, are bothered by behaviour like this. However, not enough are taking action - and most underestimate the support they would receive from their mates if they did.
Indeed, results from the NCAS youth report show that in general, young people's attitudes to violence against women and gender equality are improving, but several key problem areas remain.
Many young Australians still don't recognise controlling behaviours in relationships (like tracking their partner via their mobile phone) as a form of domestic violence or abuse.
In the scenario described above, over a quarter of young Australians would blame the victim if her partner shared nude images without her consent.
These findings tell us we need to do more to support young people to build respectful relationships.
We also need to give young men the skills and confidence to speak up if they see sexism and abuse and to stand up to social pressures and stereotypes.
We hope the next NCAS survey will show we've all played our part in promoting respect and equality. Our time starts now.
Lyn Roberts AO, VicHealth Acting CEO
Help for wildlife
Budget day 2019 was a huge day for our precious wildlife in Victoria. Funding allocated by the Andrews Government will ensure delivery of wildlife protection services that the people of Victoria expect when they call for help for an inured or sick animal. $500,000 of funding for Wildlife Victoria will enable critical services for all animals to continue and expand. Kudos to Andy Meddick, Animal Justice Party, for petitioning the government in relation to securing this much needed funding for animal protection, animal rights and alleviation of suffering.
Julie Sloan, Jackass Flat
Research hub needed
In regards to the sky rocking road toll, every fatality and every serious injury on our roads someone's loved one.
It's a matter of urgency that more time and resources are spent on reducing those numbers. That is why the Federal Liberal Government must fund the Rural Road Trauma Research Hub at La Trobe University's Bendigo Campus.
The Rural Road Trauma Research Hub would combine research expertise from across La Trobe's Bendigo campus, including in rural health, psychology, pharmacy, engineering, planning, education and law.
The proposed hub would examine the social and economic impact of serious road injury on regional communities and how this can be reduced. This is an important project and the Liberals should fund it.
Lisa Chesters MP, Federal Member for Bendigo
READ MORE: Motorists on notice as state road toll soars
Bendigo Creek needs work
Council ignores the issue of maintenance of the infrastructure called the Bendigo Creek.
The creek is an essential piece of Bendigo infrastructure, yet our city officers ignore the ongoing destruction of the creek. Especially the section from Wade Street to Booth Street, which is in a horrible and collapsed condition.
After raising the degradation of the creek condition over some ten years, council did reconstruct the section Maple Street to Laurel Street at a cost of $900,000, but ignored the condition of the next section between Laurel and Booth Streets, Golden Square.
In the short term, as the retaining timber structure has deteriorated to a largely ineffective state, the city is monitoring this section more frequently in relation to risk to adjoining land and down -stream impacts.
After ten years of raising this issue, I am disgusted. I received notice from the Executive Director Catchment, Waterways, Cities and Towns that: 'The city of greater Bendigo (CGB) manages the area of Bendigo Creek that you refer to and is responsible for maintenance work in that part of the embankment.'
It would appear then, that council is failing to meet its obligations to restore the creeks structural integrity. Council officer admits the following: "It is recognised that the timber retaining wall on the south side of the creek between Laurel and Booth Streets in particular is now in a state where it no longer acts to retain the material behind it.
The timber has not been removed but has reached a point where much of it has completely rotted away". They are aware of the problem. In my opinion, council shows a lack of commitment and strategy in dealing with the creek infrastructure.
Bill Collier, Golden Square
How long will it be before the task of reining in this massive franking credits issue is addressed. 53 per cent of franking credits were refunded to funds with more than $2.44 billion dollars, and 82 per cent to funds with more than $2.1 billion dollars.
These refunds currently cost $6 billion a year in total, more than the cost of public school funding, and are tipped to rise to $8 billion in a very short time. This money has to come from somewhere, and it is coming from the corporate tax base to government, along with another $180 billion dollars going to be sucked out of the system vie tax cuts.
Only two things can happen, a reduction in spending, and the first targets seem to be health and education, or are we being softened up for an increase in the GST, because whichever way you look at it with a weakening economy, there is no other way out of this mess.
Meanwhile for us bank TD depositors, we have the backside out of our pants, and now they are coming for our belt as well, with two interest rate reductions this year.
Ken Price, Eaglehawk
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