Footpath safety concern
THE doctor told me to walk for the good of my health. Walking north along Scallan Street in Stawell on Friday, March 16 I tripped and fell on the left-hand side of the footpath, where the concrete was raised. Now I have a badly bruised, swollen and sore left hand.
Instead of spending your most recent grant money on Cato Lake, which has changed shape many times over the years, why don't you look at the infrastructure you already have? The ducks are quite happy with their piece of space.
With an aging population isn't it more important to be concerned about their safety?
The NBN and Mr Warren's team have done an excellent job in fixing and creating new footpaths but you can't repair yours.
Some of these have been down for many years and some are cracked and broken - which is a safety hazard.
Walk the streets and find out.
Sandra Marshall, Stawell
Duck hunting worries
A BALLARAT resident has described fearing for his life as duck hunters shot and killed a wallaby 20 metres from his tent on the eve of this year's duck shooting season.
Not only are thousands of water birds shot, severely injured and left to die each duck shooting season; it is also putting other wildlife and human lives at risk. On top of this it is having a detrimental impact on tourism, with residents, interstate and international tourists choosing to stay away.
Tourism contributes more to the economy than agriculture. It employs one in 20 Australians, supports one in eight businesses and, for the third year in a row, has outperformed the national growth rate. Nature-based tourism is growing faster than all other forms of tourism combined. Tens of millions of people already spend billions of dollars to appreciate Australia's native wildlife.
On the Tourism Research Australia website "birding" is cited as one of the fastest growing past times in the world. Typically "birders" are affluent, well-educated tourists who "stay longer and spend more", in places they visit. Our rural cafes, shops, wineries and B Bs to name a few, could significantly benefit from this.
Victoria is lucky to have beautiful lakes and wetlands, many home to unique and endangered species of birds and some considered to be of international significance. However, towns that have wetlands open to duck shooting are struggling in comparison to those that don't. This is because 50 per cent of people avoid regional areas during the duck shooting season (Source: Tourism Research Australia).
Andy Meddick, Member of the Legislative Council for Western Victoria
Growth in construction
VICTORIA'S construction sector continues to lead the nation, with engineering construction growing by 13.4 per cent in the past year - the highest annual growth rate of the mainland states and bucking the national trend.
New Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows engineering construction in Victoria grew by $490 million over the year to December 2018, with the value of work worth $4.2 billion in the December quarter.
This is in stark contrast to the national growth rate, which fell by 6.6 per cent during the year, a fall of $1.5 billion.
Since the Andrews Labor Government was first elected in November 2014, annual engineering construction activity in Victoria has grown by 71 per cent - that's $7.1 billion dollars - the highest growth rate in the nation.
The Labor Government will continue to invest in the infrastructure projects that Victorians voted for and need, with infrastructure investment to average $10.6 billion a year over the forward estimates.
That's more than double the ten-year average before the Labor Government was first elected.
Tim Pallas, Victorian Treasurer