VOTE FOR GREATER ENGAGEMENT
GREATER Bendigo residents have voted for greater consultation and engagement on major decisions by the new city council.
The election results announced last week saw a majority of councilors elected for the first time was a strong sign resident expected better for Bendigo and surrounding communities from their council.
Voters opted to retain some councilors but bring new faces to the council table who have campaigned on a platform of listening to the community.
The new council will face a level of scrutiny not seen for many years from residents angry and disappointed that previous councils have simply bowed to demands from paid staff and the state government.
The new council has been invested with trust from the residents and ratepayers.
That faith will quickly evaporate if Bendigo is dished up the same distasteful and dismissive menu that characterized the majority of previous councilors.
There is an expectation that the new council stands up and puts Bendigo first, that there is greater support for our small businesses which employ thousands of local people but are often overlooked by council when purchasing products and views and concerns they hold dismissed.
The new council should end the charade of councilors giving reports at meetings.
Be like other probing and inquiring councils across Victoria and replace reports with questions of the CEO and directors - return the initiation of new projects and actions back to residents and their elected representatives.
There is no place in the new council for an inferior model of democracy that has only served to shut out questions and concerns of residents.
Good governance, transparency and accountability must be the order of the day.
Max Turner, Bendigo Alliance president, Bendigo
Horse racing is an industry
What a refreshing and timely article by Emily Rice from PETA Australia (Bendigo Advertiser, November 9).
Of course horse racing is a cruel and barbaric industry with all-too frequent deaths around Australian racecourses.
Not just at Flemington and Caulfield, but right around Australia at little country and regional racecourses, as well.
And as Emily pointedly (and in my opinion, correctly) points out horse racing is not a sport. It's an industry.
I covered 17 or 18 Bendigo Cups during my quarter-of-a-century working at the Addy.
I never felt comfortable at any of those meetings, let alone at any of the midweek meetings.
As Emily pointed out how much longer do we have put up with "animals being lashed by grown men, and women, so the rich can get richer?"
Richard Jones, Bendigo
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