Letters to the editor | May 17, 2017

Oncology services vital

ONCOLOGY services in Horsham and surrounding areas have, for many years, meant travelling long distances for patients to receive treatment. 

With the proposed new oncology building in Horsham, I see it as so important for the treatment of present and future patients. 

But it must be built with the best possible facilities available.

With rumours of cutbacks owing to finance shortfalls, I urge people to dig deep and donate to this very worthy cause. 

One anonymous donor made a very generous donation recently.

Others may also consider doing so – to build not just for the present, but into the future for our children and many others. 

Daryl Meadows, Horsham

Recycling program success

PLANET Ark has a message we’d love you to pass on to your audience – thank you.

In the past 12 months, Australians made history by returning more than 3.5 million cartridges through the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program.

That means Australians were turning in 13,500 cartridges every working day, or 386 bathtubs full of cartridges.

Victorian residents and businesses alone returned more than 977,000 printer cartridges to participating stores and councils – and of those, the good people of Horsham Rural City contributed 3566, Southern Grampians Shire 2944 and Glenelg Shire 2553.

Telstra and Crown were among the top 10 corporate collectors and Harvey Norman, JB Hi-fi and the Good Guys all had Victorian stores in the top retailer category.

Across Australia, 900 kilometres of road have been paved with road sealant and surfacing products made from recycled printer cartridges – that’s equivalent to travelling from Melbourne to Sydney.

Consumers and workplaces can access a free network of 4000 Cartridges 4 Planet Ark public recycling collection boxes around the country. Workplaces may also be eligible for a free collection box; go to www.cartridges.planetark.org  or call 1300 763 768.

Ryan Collins, recycling programs manager, Planet Ark 

Boost regional tourism

RESIDENTS of country Victoria are calling on the Andrews Government to “get on with the job’ of investing in regional areas to create jobs and attract visitors by promoting Victoria’s unique wetland habitats for nature tourism – before it’s too late.

On the back of the recently announced budget and more bad news of rural manufacturing and agriculture businesses leaving rural areas, I believe country Victorians are not being given the facts about the state of their rural towns' economic health. 

While major regional hubs may be doing okay, smaller rural towns are dying.

Yet at the same time we have these amazing unique assets we are literally blasting away in shooting our native waterbirds.

The Auditor General’s report into regional economies, followed by SGS Economics and Planning’s research 2016, shows rural Victorian towns slipped backwards for the fourth consecutive year.

At the same time, world wetlands and the unique flora and fauna they house, are disappearing faster than any other ecosystem.

Victoria is lucky enough to still have our stunning wetlands, many home to unique and endangered species, some Internationally recognised as environmentally significant under the RAMSAR treaty.

The obvious solution for rural Victoria’s economic predicament is to leverage our unique assets – our wetlands – and to capitalise on the growing trend of nature tourism, which is already worth $40 billion per year elsewhere across Australia.

If a rural community achieved similar success to Philip Island’s Nature Parks, that’s 655 Million in revenue and 6400 jobs.

Kerrie Allen, Ballarat

The story Letters to the editor | May 17, 2017 first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.

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