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Letters to the editor

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August 04, 2017

On behalf of the Australian Light Horse Memorial Park committee, I would like to thank everyone who helped to plant the 600 trees, shrubs and grasses in the Waler Paddock at Light Horse Park on Saturday.

The planting was part of National Tree Day, with similar activities held around the nation during the weekend.

The event was attended by about 60 willing workers who made the big job easy.

Over the past few years the park committee has been concentrating on the development of numerous sites that tell the story of the parks’ military history and its relationship with the town of Seymour.

The event on Saturday was equally important because it begins the development of the dam and surrounds to encourage birds and animals to the site.

It is also to provide an environment where further recreation is possible.

Saturday was such a beautiful day for the planting and it was particularly pleasing to see so many families and young people there to help.

We hope that they will continue to visit the park and watch their efforts grow.

Thanks again.

— Greg Smith,

ALHMP committee chair

Time to check in

There is not a week that goes by without a young teenager going missing in the suburbs or in the country, and the parents are pleading for help.

There are various reasons why they leave home, and naturally we fear the worst happening.

The other factor is police become involved and resources are stretched to the limit with attending crime and other incidents, then suddenly the teenagers appear.

If only those who choose to leave home would contact their family and let them know they are safe, it would save time and police resources and the stress of the parents.

It seems communication has gone out the window and the ramifications include the public being involved in searching.

— Graham Palmer,

Seymour

Inconvenient decision

I refer to PTV’s decision for coaches not to stop in High St, Nagambie, but at Nagambie Railway Station only.

For many years, V/Line coaches have picked up passengers on the corner of Marie and High Sts, Nagambie at 9.43am and 11.30am, taking them to Seymour to catch the trains to Melbourne.

They have also stopped on the Shepparton run in the afternoon on the other side of High St, about 4.30pm near the lake to allow passengers to get off there.

This has been a good service for pensioners, those who do not drive, and students, and has made the service easily accessible for people to use.

Now we have been notified that as of August 23, the coaches will only have one stop — at the Nagambie Railway Station.

This seems odd because there are no trains arriving then from either Shepparton or Melbourne.

I have written to Strathbogie Shire Council who said it was a V/Line decision, that it was not part of their new design for angle parking in their High St redevelopment scheme.

So I have now written to PTV (Public Transport Victoria) and the PTV ombudsman and V/Line offices in Melbourne about my concerns.

This is crazy seeing the bus has to drive down to turn into High St (100m from original stops) anyway to go in either direction — Shepparton or Melbourne — after leaving the station.

So, why stop there and inconvenience passengers by making them walk 1km to the station or back from it to High St, and in my case, another 1km to home?

Can you imagine me taking a suitcase along that distance, which I often have done, if coming back from or going to Broadmeadows to catch the airport Smart Bus connection.

I also take the bus to Seymour to catch the Melbourne train for medical appointments. It is easier to go from Southern Cross station to East Richmond station to go to Epworth hospital, or North Melbourne station to go to the Royal Women’s Hospital or Peter McCallum Hospital by an urban coach than trying to park in those hospital areas.

I know of other pensioners who walk 2km to the High St stops now, and who will find it very hard to walk the extra 1km to the station to get the bus, and back again after being dropped off there.

They also travel to Melbourne or Shepparton for medical reasons.

Nagambie has an ageing population, and not all can drive or be taken to the station.

I believe this decision to only stop at the station was called for by the PTV then V/Line sanctioned it.

I don’t think the people making this decision consulted with the people who use the service.

I would like this situation researched further and for people to have a say about this necessary public transport service to Nagambie and outlying district folk.

If anyone needs to write or call V/Line about this, they can contact me for the details.

If we do nothing, it will just happen and so many will be disadvantaged.

I feel that they will no longer use the service if they have to go to the station, which has no proper shelter, only two shells which house four people, and is open to all kinds of weather.

This decision may suit the service provider, but it will not provide the care and support for our community of Nagambie and district which should be paramount.

— Diane Grant,

Nagambie

Community’s life blood

Water is the life blood of communities across Northern Victoria.

It fuels agriculture, recreation and tourism, and has a multitude of other functions from which our communities and environment derive important benefits.

The Nationals recognise the importance of healthy waterways in Northern Victoria, which is why recently we moved to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Management, Use and Governance of Environmental Water.

This is a chance for water users, concerned community members and stakeholder groups to give their views and tell their stories about blackwater events and about the use of environmental water in our region.

The inquiry will help future policy makers identify any actions that can be taken to manage blackwater events and to make optimum use of environmental water for the health of our waterways.

Written submissions are now being accepted. These can be emailed to [email protected]

Terms of Reference, other contact options and general information about the inquiry is available at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/enrrdc or by contacting my Echuca electorate office on 54822039.

I strongly urge all interested parties to take up this opportunity before submissions close on August 25.

— Peter Walsh,

Shadow Minister for Water

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