Sunday, October 22, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Editor March 28, 2012

THE NEED FOR A COMMON DEFINITION OF FLOOD

Dear Editor,
The need for a common definition of flood and flood overlays can no longer be delayed as flood affected communities battle with their insurance claims after the recent floods.
Some insurance companies are trying to get away from their liabilities using varying definitions of floods, storm, inundation, flash floods and so on.
As well, many people in Northern Victoria are not able to insure against flood given their location on the floodplain.
Where no insurance is available, there must be other ways to ensure existing infrastructure, homes, and businesses are still protected.
Homeowners living and farming on floodplains and those carrying out their business on floodplains must be able to rebuild, regroup and sustain their assets after such one-in-a-100 year flood events.
The Federal Government must realise the importance and the market failure within the insurance sector. Businesses and homes depend on insurance coverage. A standard definition of flood will bring about a better outcome for all Australians. As well, those insured must have a time limited response to their claims and independent reviews if they dispute the insurers’ decision.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Sharman Stone, 
Federal Member for Murray

STUART RESERVE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

Open letter to the Editor,
Dear Mayor Polan, Cr Ryan, Cr Dobson, Cr Hazelman, Cr Muto, Cr Houlihan and
Cr Crawford.
What else do people in a democratic society have to do to have their elected officials follow through with their decisions?  The local residents and interested people of SR Development followed correct protocol and procedures in having their voices heard and thought this was the case until your recent proposal to have further public consultation on the above matter.
Even the Shepparton News printed extensive articles dated 20th of January praising the effective use of “people power” and “Council consultation works” describing what can be done when people band together in a positive way to achieve an outcome and have their elected representatives take heed.  (Print media would not have gone ahead with this release without Council’s approval).
So why then have you as the Council, done a back flip on its decision re the SR development?  Is it because the “Suits” behind the scenes are actually making the decisions on your behalf whilst you prematurely agreed to a revised plan of Stuart Reserve?
The Council sent an official letter (dated 17 January 2012 Ref C12/00633-64/556/0081) to all people who made submissions re Stuart Reserve, that it will go back to the drawing board to prepare a revised concept plan to be tabled in March.
Please explain the need for the sausage and ice cream afternoon at rate payers’ expense on the 28th of March? How are submissions by children considered valid?
Why didn’t the Council use the four weeks extension given to residents back in November 2011 in which to garner public opinion and submissions re the development?
For you to do this now is a stalling tactic. Why are you not transparent with the true intentions of this upcoming public consultation – it sounds like 1 of 3 possible reasons:
1.    No funds remaining i.e. the money initially allocated for the stage 1 development has now been used elsewhere. Eg. Cr Hazelman’s plan to upgrade the median strip on Melbourne road.
2.    Someone with strong connections to one of you is unhappy with the initial Council decision back in January and is pushing on regardless for the overdevelopment of the Reserve, refusing to use the purpose-built All Abilities Playground (with toilets) next to Aquamoves. This user group/s arrives to SR by bus so why not keep travelling to Tom Collins Drive? Please disclose this conflict of interest!  Previous Council meeting minutes  show that plans have been made to further develop the All Abilities Playground so therefore there is no need to duplicate facilities at Stuart Reserve.
3.    Is this second attempt at “public consultation” actually a disguise for your early election campaigns for October 2012?
As a long standing rate payer of Shepparton I am very frustrated and disappointed at the unnecessary spend of money and your ease in dismissing legitimate public opinion.  A significant number of people (127) have taken the time and resources to officially express their opinions and yet it remains insufficient according to your statisticians.
I look forward to your responses on this matter and shall be in attendance at Stuart Reserve on Wednesday 28th March at 4.30pm to witness the persuasive session.
Yours sincerely,
Anita Young,
Shepparton

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