Grateful for compassion
Ararat Islamic Welfare Association would like to say thank you to the local Ararat community who visited us on our open day on March 17 - especially from local churches, Catholic and Uniting, while we are grieving the horrific loss of 50 lives in New Zealand.
The community has bought flowers, paid their respects and has touched us with their compassion and generosity.
The local Ararat Muslim community is moved by the picture someone adhered on our centre outside wall with flowers on the ground. AIWA cannot explain the solidarity shown by our local community to the marginal Muslim community in the town.
AIWA is celebrating Multicultural Day this Saturday. Although RSVP booking has closed we will accept 10 more people to come and join us for a free dinner at 6pm with us; please call Osman Kokcu on 0418 376 475 for a reservation. First come, first serve basis. For any further enquiries please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Manzoor A Mian, secretary, Ararat Islamic Welfare Association
Highway protest support
Community lawyers stand alongside those taking a stand at Djab wurrung camp, a sacred Aboriginal site, which is set to be destroyed to make way for the new freeway.
Hundreds of frontline activists have been threatened with arrest after protesting on the site for days.
The site contains trees that are of enormous cultural value to Djab wurrung people and have been in cultural use for up to 800 years. Traditional Owners have initiated an appeal process for the Heritage Protection Order application, and they have pointed out the irony of the extensive police presence on the site taking place at the same moment the Andrews government are working to reach a Treaty with Victoria's Traditional Owners.
Belinda Lo, chief executive operator, Federation of Community Legal Centres
Trial should continue
The emerging kangaroo pet food industry has the potential to create good, secure jobs for country Victorians and give a healthy boost to our town's local economies.
After a few short years the program has proved its worth.
It's successfully made use of a resource that would otherwise be left in the paddock feeding wild dogs and foxes, and helped make our roads safer by working to control exploding kangaroo numbers.
But the program faces uncertainty year after year because the Andrews Government won't give its support.
Last year, Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio waited until the eleventh hour to give the trial a 12 month extension, only to then refuse to approve control permits for the next six months.
There's just days left until the trial's extension ends on March 31. This year, it must be made permanent and expanded across all of regional Victoria. Our farmers, professional shooters and processors need certainty so regional communities can enjoy the benefits of the ongoing jobs and investment this new industry will support.
Peter Walsh, leader, The Nationals
Eliminating black spots
The Andrews government will partner with the federal government to build dozens of new mobile towers across regional Victoria - eliminating black spots, boosting coverage and improving safety.
The $5.8 million investment will massively expand 4G coverage in regional Victoria.
The 30 new towers will be co-funded by the Victorian and federal governments in partnership with Telstra and Optus, through round four of the Mobile Black Spot Program. The location of the towers is the result of extensive consultation with Victoria's nine Regional Partnerships, local government, Emergency Management Victoria, Telstra and Optus. Public safety, value for money and economic development opportunities were all key considerations during the consultation, ensuring the new towers will go to regional communities most in need of better mobile connection.
The Labor Government had committed $55 million to 194 new regional mobile towers, which will connect 20,000 premises to coverage for the first time. More than 130 of these towers are complete and the latest announcement means the Victorian government is now funding 224 towers across the state. We are also boosting connectivity across the regions through free public Wi-Fi in Bendigo and Ballarat, and mobile towers and repeaters to improve coverage for commuters on regional rail.
Martin Pakula, Jobs, Innovation and Trade Minister