NO VOTE FOR BULLIES To the Editor, Please be very careful how you vote in this Federal Election. I wasn’t bullied as badly as Ms Kitching, but I am a victim of bullying. Because of this bullying I had to step away from part of my family. So please, take a good look at how you treat people. I ask everyone do not vote for the reported bullies (the mean girls) and the cover up by the Federal Labor leader and his deputy. A vote for Federal Labor is a vote for bullies. I ask all people who have been bullied to ask your family and friends to not vote for them. Think carefully. Do you want the reported bullies and the people who covered it up in control of our Australia? How can anyone trust them? I don’t, do you? Valerie Peterson Shepparton INDEPENDENT CAUSING SHOCKWAVES Dear Editor, For years many people in this Northern Victorian region have been advocating the position that our region would be far better off when it comes to all sorts of service and infrastructure delivery if the seat of Murray/Nicholls became a marginal electorate. But unfathomably, the voters of this electorate have always returned a coalition member with a massive majority. Interesting then that after hearing nothing for years about the floods in Numurkah in 2012, suddenly there is money for flood mitigation works in that town. All of a sudden there are multiple visits to this region from Barnaby Joyce splashing money around this area for upgrades to the sports stadium, promising a new clinical health school facility and other rural health announcements. If is this is the sort of attention we get before independent, Rob Priestly faces the voters in Nicholls, imagine what could be achieved if we send Rob to Canberra! Coupled with the recent achievements for our region achieved by our State Independent member, Suzanna Sheed, detailed in the News on Wed 4 May, surely the response to anyone who tells you that independents can’t get anything done will be to “tell ‘em they’re dreamin’”. Cheers, Ern Meharry Shepparton Candidate won’t sell off Australia AUSTRALIA SOLD OUT In 1975, 39 third-world countries couldn’t pay their debts to the United Nation’s World Bank. So, at a meeting in Lima Peru, between March 12 to 26, under U.N.I.D.O. (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation). Out of which came the Lima Declaration and Plan of Action. This meant that the developed countries, like Australia and New Zealand, would wind their industries down, shift them across to the third world, then import the goods and food back that we used to make and produce here in Australia, and the third world would be given a means in which they could come up to the First World’s standard of living and be able to pay their debts. At this time, Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party was in power. The Liberal-National government of Malcom Fraser went ahead and accepted it. On July 20, 1978, the then-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Andrew Peacock gave an address to the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. The following is text from that speech, page 5. “The transfer of technology to developing countries is another basic concern. We are participating actively in the work in the United Nation’s system, aimed at drawing up a code of conduct for the transfer of technology. I am convinced that the developing countries would make rapid strides if the technology appropriate to their needs was made much more freely available to them.” “It is clear that the research and development capacity of developed countries could be readily and relatively cheaply directed to that objective. In the field of Industrialisation, Australia has broadly accepted the Lima Declaration and Plan of Action on Industrial development and cooperation. We will therefore assist in action designed to accelerate industrialisation in developing countries and will be participating fully in the relevant international consultations on that objective.” Since that time in 1975 and on, Australia has lost over 65 percent of its manufacturing base that has either shut down or gone overseas, and 175,000 family farmers have left their farms while we import $8.9B of food into Australia. The Lima Declaration spelt the beginning of the end for farming and manufacturing in Australia and that is why I am standing at this Federal Election. I refuse to vote for political parties who have sold this country out, even though 99.9 percent of the population doesn’t even know. Jeff Davy, Australian Citizens Party candidate for Nicholls Numurkah VOTE FOR EDUCATION When it comes to who will be the next Member for Nicholls, for many voters it will come down to which candidate has displayed the better judgement. Both Rob Priestly and Sam Birrell have displayed appalling judgement by continuously supporting the closure of four secondary schools in Shepparton and Mooroopna. Steve Brooks is the only candidate who has even shown a glimmer of interest in education for our kids. And what poor judgement of both Preistly and Birrell does it show if they thought closing four schools was a good outcome for our town. After getting this issue so wrong, what other future issues will either Mr Priestly or Mr Birrell potentially make poor decisions on as a future representative in Federal Parliament. Mandy Simpson Shepparton SOCIAL POVERTY IN NICHOLLS Who will address the high level of social poverty in Nicholls? In the state of Victoria, our conservative vote since Jeff Kennett’s radical privatisation of the public service has led to costly contractors providing home and community services, outdoor work at the local government level. Childcare and aged services, health welfare and public education, social housing and transport have all been impacted. Suicide is rising in our farmers, youth, and many others without adequate mental health services. Here we are in 2022 with 1.4M Australian children living in poverty and in Nicholls alone, the rate in community is almost 50 percent. The Federal GST (2001) has hurt Victoria and more so rural areas with unfair provision for all essential services. The poor now include our farmers and Food Bowl producers leaving home with little or nothing. Migrants and refugees have expanded those service needs. The goodwill and support provided by the many volunteers and donors is recognised and adds great value to our diverse community. In our 2014 state election, Suzanna Sheed, a family law specialist with knowledge of how the other half lives, pledged her independent role would be to negotiate effectively with whomever formed government to address those dire public problems. This has resulted in almost $1B in infrastructure for essential services. My personal knowledge of Independent Rob Priestly’s work as a committee member for Greater Shepparton , Suzanna Sheed’s member of 2015 appointed community advisory group for GV Hospital redevelopment Stage 1 now completed, and Councillor in recess, gives him the qualifications to make a difference for the diverse community of Nicholls. Pat Moran Shepparton THANKS TO COALITION FOR COTTAGE SUPPORT The Cottage in St Andrews Road, Shepparton celebrates five years since opening its 23 bed facility on June 17, 2022. It has provided safe stable accommodation and access to this communities wonderful Alcohol or Other Drugs (AOD) services to over 400 men and women who otherwise would have languished in prison or despair or both. Many residents have followed the path to recovery and are enjoying all life has to offer like family, home ownership, relationships, work, education and peace. Please check the website for testimony to that at www.thecottage.org.au The Cottage had its impetus in the unmet demand for its alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services and facilitation. 70 percent of residents are bailed to The Cottage whilst 30 percent are from the community. This facility had many detractors in its early days and understandably neighbours were concerned at potential trouble and falling house values adjacent to the facility. Thankfully neither has happened. Not one emergency call out to police and our neighbours house prices have gone up with the trend in the area. This efficient and effective addiction treatment model gained support on two fronts. Firstly, Cheryl Hammer through the Fairley Foundation provided seed funding of $25,000 per year for three years and then recently retired Nationals Federal member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, through Minister Hunt’s office has provided $100,000 per year ongoing. That is the equivalent of $1,000 per resident to subsidise their own contribution to their recovery. They must have “Skin in the game” as Damian put it. I am grateful that Cheryl along with Sam Birrell spearheaded an independent review along with Cottage residents through Think Impact which concluded that empowerment and awareness is the way out of powerlessness of addiction. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the lives turned around whilst at The Cottage. Kind regards, Robert Bryant Secretary, The Cottage Want to have your say? Email your letters to the editor to email@example.com Please keep letters to under 200 words.