Letters to the editor

February 17, 2018

Will you join us?

Every March for 70 years, thousands of volunteers have made a wonderful contribution to our community during Red Cross Calling.

They’ve knocked on their neighbour’s doors, said g’day and their combined efforts have raised millions.

All of that effort has gone a long way, allowing Red Cross to help where we’re needed most; from fires to floods, reducing suffering, while keeping people safe, secure and connected.

So many extraordinary volunteers here in Victoria have also gone the extra mile — not just raising money but also reaching out to their neighbours, asking how they’re going and checking on their wellbeing.

Red Cross Calling is more than a fundraiser — it gives us a reason to connect and volunteer for the sake of our community.

Research shows that volunteering and helping in our neighbourhoods helps us live happier, longer lives.

I’d like to send a massive thanks to all those thousands of schools, businesses, community organisations and individuals who’ve answered the call over the years.

These volunteers make Australia a special place to live.

This year we aim to double the number of volunteers in Victoria.

Will you be one of them?

Join the fun today: or phone 1800REDCROSS.

— Wenda Donaldson, director, Victoria, Australian Red Cross

Devil in the detail

Great news about 400 jobs coming to Benalla, in the form of a factory to supply concrete form for the West Gate Tunnel Project.

The devil though is in the details, which have not yet been provided.

We are being told ‘‘local businesses’’ will operate this new manufacturing facility — so who specifically are these businesses?

A deadly silence has settled on the business world around town, so will it really be locally run?

We can’t even get a reliable rail service to Melbourne, so what makes anyone think they can guarantee rail delivery of the pre-cast panels to Melbourne.

And with this 24 hour project, there will be no time for delays getting raw materials on-site in Melbourne.

Great news about getting the finished products to Melbourne by rail, but how will the raw materials get to Benalla.

The surrounding roads have been neglected for so long now, including the patchwork Midland Hwy, which is not capable of carrying any more B-Double trucks until the barrier works are finished, the road is widened, and speed barriers are put in place where the road width narrows down causing trucks and buses to drive over double lines, or hit the road side gravel.

How long can North East Victoria be ignored?

— Scott, Swanpool

Wonderful residents

to the rescue

While exiting the Coles supermarket, Benalla, my car stopped.

With the kind assistance of a young lady and two male coles employees my car was pushed into the shade of an empty shop.

When contemplating my predicament a retired local gentleman offered his assistance.

Together we checked the local garages for a mechanic, then finally my Goorambat mechanic David Alexander.

Rex accompanied me to the Goorambat mechanic, drove me home to St James, then returned to his home in Benalla.

The next day David Alexander personally returned my car in excellent working order.

Who would live anywhere else but this local, friendly, helpful area?

The help I received on Tuesday, February 5, was amazing.

Hopefully, with the assistance of the Benalla Ensign, I may now thank publicly these wonderful residents of Benalla.

— Mrs Beryl Ilsley, St James

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