Within the last month I was involved in a nasty car accident. I sustained lacerations, deep bruising, swelling, sore patches all over and a fractured sternum.
The Police, Ambulance, Firies and SES members were fantastic as were the doctors and nurses in trauma 1 and Ward 5B. And all the other departments that were involved at the hospital. The whole time I was conscious and in a hell of a lot of pain, I saw and heard everything going on around me.
But two things disgusted me. A tradie in his white ute had his phone/camera up just above the door videoing the whole thing as he drove past. The second one, a guy, who was not from the other car, came within 5 metres of me and my car taking photos of me, still trapped in the car while the ambo's were working on me. I felt quite violated as they were cutting my clothes away.
Where were my rights to my privacy? Who gave these people the right to take photo's of an injured person still trapped in their car? Next time you see an accident, just ask yourself how would you or a family member feel having a total stranger take photo's of you/them half naked, still trapped in a car. I bet it would be a different story if the shoe was on the other foot.
Name and address withheld
Why were we asked?
On Friday evening we gathered with our banners to draw attention to the plight of people seeking asylum who have been imprisoned on Manus Island and Nauru for over six years.
We have been doing this every month for almost two years and while many would say it is a pointless activity, it feels like it's better than doing nothing. We always notify the police of our intention and most times they have come by and we have exchanged pleasantries. This past Friday however the polite policewoman asked for our names and addresses. When we asked why she said she had been asked to collect names by her superior officer. She said she didn't know why except that the police are 'collecting data'.
This is quite scary. Daily we are confronted with more stories of how the freedom of the press is increasingly restricted. Media laws are now so relaxed so that access to diversity of opinion becomes more difficult, limited funding for the ABC restricts their ability to provide depth to programming. The rise and rise of our elected leaders giving legitimacy to views that in kinder times were rightly recognised for what they were, ill-informed and designed to bring out the worst in people, inciting hatred and division. This is just what the fascists did.
The real question is who 'gave the order'? The polite policewoman's boss, or the boss of her boss, from how far up did the request come? And how will we ever know?
Helen Musk, Bendigo
I couldn't agree more with Tara Cosoleto in her "Turn to Youth" article in Saturdays Addy. I have always recommended that if the young people want to get their "foot in the door", then volunteer, for whatever you can do. My favorite is "Blaze Aid". I've sent several kids to help "Blaze Aid" , and not only was it a life changing experience for them, not only did they make lots of new friends, not only were they deeply appreciated, but they were offered jobs, straight up, because of what they had shown volunteering. I say go for it kids, and see where that takes you.
Rob Johnson, Huntly
READ MORE: Push for more youth in volunteer roles
Thank you for care
A special thank you to ambos, doctors, nurses and staff at Bendigo Health for care given to me during my recent stay.
Thank you all.
Jean Mulholland, Kangaroo Flat
Rates take big bite
A lady approached me knowing I have an interest in council matters.
She asked me, why do her City of Greater Bendigo council rates keep going up and devouring more of her limited $20,000 gross income? Her rates in 2018 were $1,877 and for 2019 -$2,046. An increase of 9%.
She is paying 10.2% of her meagre income on local council rates. She is not of pensionable age.
Contrast that lady with our Council directors whose annual average salary package is around $235,000, or the CEO package close to $350,000. For illustrative purposes I have guesstimated their personal council rates to be in the vicinity of $3,900, approximately 1.65% of their incomes. No problem paying their rate bill.
Now, if the officers were paying 10.2 % of their income in rates, as the lady does, it would amount to $23,970 and $37,700 respectively. You and I know that's unrealistic. My point is made. It is unrealistic and financially devastating for the lady to hand over 10.2% of her income to council. She too could pay 1.65% of her income, $330.
Senior officers are well-meaning but live in a cocoon. The plight of the poorer citizens who just want good core services is neglected by them with their big spending ideas. Officers and councillors need to cut out unnecessary projects. Whilst I concede not many people would have an income as low as the lady I spoke to, it does highlight how the rate burden falls heaviest on the less well- off. Which councillors speak up for them?
Michael McKenzie, Strathdale
Invest in wetlands tourism
It is a well established fact that duck hunters make up less than 0.4% of the Victorian population. Yet our current State Government seem intent on keeping this 0.4% on side. Meanwhile the majority of us want to see it come to an end - as no one would support or tolerate duck shooting if they saw the gratuitous animal cruelty and environmental vandalism for themselves. The Victorian Government has the opportunity right now to put an end to this horrid pastime for once and for all time.
Instead I fear that the Victorian Labor Government is going to spend my taxes on boosting the Game Management Authority. After the damning Pegasus Report it is impossible to trust the GMA to regulate duck shooting - especially as some of the staff are themselves duck shooters.
I do not want any shooting of our native ducks happening anywhere or any of my tax dollars going towards shooting. Instead of wasting my money on those who enjoy killing small defenceless birds for kicks, it needs to be spent on promoting wetlands tourism, which would have real benefits for everyone right across drought stricken Victoria.