Kindness par for course in wake of companion’s loss
In an era when so much emphasis is on bad news it was particularly uplifting to read Phillippa Ransome’s letter (“Community helps” Letters 24/8/22). It prompted me to outline a story of wonderful, unsolicited kindness I have received.
My beautiful Australian shepherd Brocci was my constant companion. He was a special dog, universally loved, particularly by children. I regularly took him into the primary school as a “story dog” where he would sit with children while I read them a story. They could touch and pat him which helped them relax and enjoy the story.
I play golf regularly on The Cups course at The Dunes Golf Club and Brocci was always with me on the course. A wonderful feature of The Dunes is that members can bring their dogs with them when they play on the Cups course.
Brocci was known and loved by everyone there, most particularly the young children of the golf course manager, Simon Muller. They would look out for Brocci so they could play with him and give him treats. Naturally Brocci loved them as much as they loved him.
Sadly, Brocci developed an aggressive cancer, and I made the heartbreaking decision to have him put down.
I let Simon know so he could tell the kids. His immediate reaction was to ask me if it would be comfortable if The Dunes management installed a drinking bowl in Brocci’s memory. I was very touched by this kind gesture and a week later was amazed when I turned up for golf to be greeted by the course maintenance team, who were there to declare Brocci’s drinking bowl at the first tee open.
A simple story perhaps, but one that highlights the essential elements of human kindness and consideration for others. Thank you Simon and all the wonderful team at the Dunes.
Michael Forster, Blairgowrie
All for one
In these difficult, confusing times it would be great to do something really positive. I think we should advocate for a change to our national anthem. I believe we are all tired of being “Girt by sea…”
I worked with refugees and asylum seekers for many years, and they all loved the opening lines of the first song we taught them “We are one, but we are many, and from all the world we come”. Unfortunately, even today we still have heartbreaking examples of racism and discrimination. It’s time for all of us to really shout against racism and discrimination.
Look carefully next time the song comes on the ABC and see how all the singers – old, young, coloured, Indigenous, white, deaf, hearing – are so proud and happy to proclaim, “We are Australian”.
Aline Burgess, Hastings
Care less budget
Has anybody noticed the paltry $4 per $1000 budget allocation for aged and disability services in Mornington Peninsula Shire’s new budget for 2022-23?
It seems the council has very little will to address the home care debacle. And certainly not enough money.
Patricia England, Mornington
In one week, I have found a degradation in the availability of community toilets in my area of Somers and Balnarring.
Firstly, the toilets behind IGA Ritchies in Balnarring, which are always kept clean and well maintained, were shut yesterday when I went to use them at 4.15pm.
Apparently children who frequent the area after leaving school locally or arriving in Balnarring on school buses have graffitied them to the point that the decision is now to close the toilets at 4 pm before the children arrive from school.
This is a sad inditement on our children, their educators, their parents and the legal system. Facilities are closed rather than perpetrators caught.
What are the local schools doing to find out which children are responsible for this damage to public property?
So, I drove to the toilets at the R W Stone Reserve, Somers, where I was taking a walk before returning home.
Here a toilet lid has been taped down for more than two months in one cubicle and some damage has been done to another toilet seat making it uninviting to use.
This leaves only one toilet suitable for use.
Last Sunday more than 150 children and their parents turned up for a football event.
One usable toilet for at least 50 plus women and girls.
Large groups of children are attending fortnightly group games events put on by an independent operator.
Parents pick up their children from school at this reserve, using the area for recreation before going home.
I have no idea what the situation is in the male toilets.
Can we get back to basics and provide toilet facilities that are clean, well-stocked and open?
Michelle Gregory, Somers
Liberals at fault
Many residents have been in contact with me raising concerns as they have not been able to access in-home care services that they previously received from the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, funded by the federal government.
As of 1 July, through the privatisation model pushed by the previous federal government, council handed home care and personal care services for people over the age of 65 years to Bolton Clarke and MECWA.
Unfortunately, in so many cases, our older and most vulnerable residents have been left without services that are needed so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes.
These changes have been flagged for some time – announced around five years ago under the [Malcolm] Turnbull government. The previous federal Liberal government made no effort to ensure this transition was done well for residents on the Mornington Peninsula.
One would’ve thought that since this area is one of the more senior demographics in the country, and so often votes Liberal that the Liberal Party would’ve gone above and beyond to ensure this transition, if it even needed to happen, was smooth and didn’t put any resident at a disadvantage.
We now have senior residents confused about the likelihood of when their houses will be cleaned, bins taken out, and other tasks many of us would take for granted.
I hope the new federal government and these private providers can now work to immediately remediate this situation and begin to alleviate the anxiety many residents are feeling.
Chris Brayne MP for Nepean
On 22 August I received an email from [Flinders MP] Zoe [McKenzie] on community grants, that states: “will be considered by the Flinders electorate’s consultation committee”. Apparently they will “nominate” those found worthy for funding.
Flinders electorate’s consultation committee does not exist so far that I can find in my exhaustive research and [have received] no response from Zoe on what it is or how it is put together.
I am guessing [it’s] just another Liberal trick to determine who gets the pork. Maybe it should be renamed “Flinders Liberal electorate’s pseudo consultation committee established to make sure the pork gets distributed properly”.
On the other hand, independents have a completely different approach: “A committee of Wentworth volunteers will evaluate all applications as a first step in the process, while the ultimate decision about awarding grants is made by the Department of Social Services.”
I also noted that in another email she invited us to “join my local committees” but leaves out a couple of notable committees: climate change, jobs and skills, and inequity.
Not surprising, as we know that the Liberals have made themselves irrelevant by not participating in climate and jobs/skills discussions/legislation.
If there was a local committee for inequity I believe Zoe McKenzie would lose the support of rich Liberal voters who bask in inequity and are quite happy to pay little or no taxes while people are without homes or food or adequate health care.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
I was astounded reading to read that the MP for Flinders [Zoe McKenzie] had asked people to enter a photo competition for her upcoming Christmas card (“MP seeks new image for Christmas card” The News 23/8/22).
Really, of all the pressing issues presenting in our community, some of which are poverty, homelessness and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in-home care fiasco, which was initiated by the previous LNP federal government. It ‘was very revealing of her priorities.
Come on Ms McKenzie, start telling us your priorities on issues that really matter to the voters of Flinders and their families, action is needed by you.
Denise Hassett, Mount Martha
Ground work needed
With the cricket season fast approaching I am trying to get answers from Mornington Peninsula Shire officers regarding if and when they are going to do some work on the main oval at Hastings. Despite several requests to our shire service centre and emails to shire officers they do not have the common courtesy to reply to our inquires.
Our oval is in such disrepair that it has been closed by the shire. This was caused by the shire permitting the ground to be overused. It was in such poor condition our football players had to train on the small junior oval so our club, which has one net suitable for training, is forced to train indoors at a significant cost.
It is painfully obvious that either the shire does care about sport on the peninsula or that they have never participated in team outdoor sports, which are the heartbeat of local communities.
Ted Gent, president Hastings Cricket Club
End greyhound racing
The appalling conditions and early deaths of greyhounds are a continuing stain on our society. This week, one of the biggest rescue organisations, Amazing Greys in Victoria, announced that they have to close their intake for the year – no more dogs can be housed, rehomed and thereby saved.
Anyone who shares a home with a greyhound (or two) will tell you what beautiful, placid, loving companions they are. But the greyhound racing industry, Australia’s largest puppy farm, breeds far more dogs than they can house, and dogs who don’t win or place in their first six races are sentenced to an early death.
An estimated 18,000 greyhounds are killed every year in Australia simply because they aren’t deemed fast enough to win races. Eight thousand of those are puppies.
It’s time this vile and irresponsible industry was shut down, as is happening in the rest of the world. Adoption programs have tried to cope with the numbers of dogs that the industry wants to jettison, but now with people returning to work or travelling, there is nowhere for the dogs to go.
Greyhounds are gentle, friendly dogs who love nothing better than human company, a kind word and a loving touch. If you are in a position to open your heart and your home to a hound in need, you will be repaid many times over in loyalty and affection.
Desmond Bellamy, special projects coordinator, PETA Australia
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