You can support June’s message

I RECENTLY met and walked with a most remarkable woman.
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June Norman and a small band of friends arrived in Wangaratta on foot on their way from Melbourne to Canberra.

June last year walked from Cairns to Canberra to demonstrate her deep concern at the mounting threats to the Barrier Reef.

Its eco-system is under siege from an unprecedented expansion of the coal industry.

What are Victorians contributing to climate change? And what are we doing about it?

The answer to the first question is a lot, the answer to the second question is not much.

Victoria is one of the largest per-capita emitters of greenhouse gases, with 50per cent of Victoria’s emissions coming from the burning of dirty brown coal.

With an election only weeks away, Victorians need to ask themselves a few questions.

Is the Liberal-National Coalition governing Victoria in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry?

Is our federal Liberal government dominated by climate science deniers? Is it fully committed to supporting a meaningful renewable energy target?

Or are our state and federal governments working together to abandon the Renewable Energy Target or water it down?

June is spreading a powerful message that wind and solar power is the future and that coal is yesterday’s technology.

Let’s get on with the job of shutting down those out-dated power plants that are putting the living planet, as we know it, at risk.

For those who would like to walk a small part of the way with June, the itinerary can be found at climatewalk.org.au.

— CASSANDRA POLLOCK,

Wangaratta

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Uniform must have respect

IN my wardrobe at home there is an Australian army uniform sporting two hard-earned stripes on the sleeves. On a shelf are my service medals and three different- coloured lanyards — one from each battalion of the Royal Australia Regiment with which I served.
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This is the same uniform that I wore as part of a guard of honour at the military funerals in Brisbane for three of the 18 young men who lost their lives for this country at the battle of Long Tan.

I wore my uniform at these funerals, not only with a heavy and solemn heart, but also with an immense pride for these young and brave Australians and for all who have served our nation in uniform in the past, as well the present and the future.

It saddens me no end today that our leaders of all services have removed the pride of wearing an Australian uniform by asking those who wear it with the respect and the pride it deserves, to now cower behind it and hide it.

I see nothing here other than a win and a strengthening morale boost for a few terrorists who will now play on this act of cowardice in the face of the enemy as a recruitment advertisement.

Desertion and cowardice in the face of the enemy were once punishable (and I believe still are) by firing squad and hiding the uniform because some might take offence towards it can only be described as cowardice.

Destroy the pride service people have in wearing a uniform and you will destroy their will to serve.

Is this truly what our leaders are after or is it that they simply fail in the field of tactics?

— ANGUS MACKAY,

Nabawa, WA

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Mark finds healing in hitting road

MARK Hore says running has changed his life.
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The Lavington resident, 48, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year after a routine health check.

His prostate was removed, preventing the cancer from spreading.

While he’s now cancer free, Mr Hore admits the weeks and months following the diagnosis were tough.

“A lot of things go through your mind,” he said.

“I just remember going to my mum’s house and breaking down, thinking ‘why me, am I going to die?’.

“I really didn’t know.

“It was something I never expected.”

His father died of a brain tumour at 55, but Mr Hore never expected to be affected by the disease.

“I knew I’d live past 55, but in hindsight I wouldn’t have,” he said.

“I would have made age 50, but I would have been very sick.

“If it gets into your bones or around your body, you’re knackered.”

Mr Hore was surfing the internet while healing from his operation, and stumbled upon an advertisement for an Albury bootcamp which promised to teach people how to run five kilometres in eight weeks.

He took up the challenge and hasn’t looked back. He is preparing to run a half-marathon in Melbourne.

“Running has changed my life, really,” he said.

“It’s great.

“I did go through a stage — I wouldn’t call it depression — but a stage where I was sad, asking ‘why me?’.

“Running just cleared my head, it was really good for me.”

The Albury hospital worker will continue to run for as long as he avoids injury, and has already finished two half-marathons this year.

After he completes the Melbourne run next Sunday, he plans to complete a full marathon.

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Ley latest to can a rail hub at Logic

Sussan Ley says there is no logic to the idea of a rail hub at Barnawartha.
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THE member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, is the latest to oppose the creation of a rail hub at the Logic industrial estate near Barnawartha.

Ms Ley yesterday joined the debate after her state Liberal colleague in Benambra, Bill Tilley, said at the weekend he couldn’t blindly support the hub without seeing a feasibility study into the multimillion-dollar plan, which is seeking financial support from ratepayers and taxpayers.

There is already a rail hub in Ms Ley’s electorate at Ettamogah, operated by Colin Rees.

“I have absolutely no problem with healthy commercial competition,” she said.

But she asked whether a second rail hub in the same region, essentially performing the same functions, was something that should receive substantial taxpayer money.

“My guess is there is greater public demand for improved passenger services in the North East which could take priority right now,” she said.

Wodonga Council has wanted a Barnawartha rail hub since Logic’s creation in the mid 2000s.

The former Victorian Labor government offered $4million for a rail hub with the council providing $6million and the federal government asked for the balance of the project then valued at $21million.

A report on freight in the Hume region, compiled last year for the Hume Regional Development Australia committee, acknowledged hubs already existed outside its boundaries at Toc-umwal, Ettamogah and Deniliquin.

A similar centre at Logic is not specifically mentioned with only “further planning in place” for the hub recognised.

But “key actions” for Regional Development Australia include backing the major intermodal terminals and promoting planning for a network of intermodal terminals in the region.

The Woolworths distribution centre is the largest tenant at Logic.

The 60,000squaremetre warehouse operates 24 hours a day with up to 450 truck movements.

Speculation is building funding will be ann-ounced in the lead-up to the Victorian election for the Logic rail hub.

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Bid for gun shop goes to council

The site of the proposed gun shop in North Albury. ALBURY councillors will decide whether a gun shop can open in a residential area in North Albury.
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Albury Council confirmed yesterday due to “significant public interest” in the development application lodged in late August by Habitat Planning, on behalf of Toys for Big Boys Pty Ltd, it would not be decided by staff under delegated authority.

The operators are proposing to open the shop at the western end of Buckingham Street.

“A report will be presented to next week’s planning and development committee meeting making a recommendation on the proposed change of use for the premises in Buckingham Street,” the council’s planning and environment director Mich- ael Keys said.

“The report will be available from Friday and the committee will consider the report on October 13.”

The report will be presented with a staff recommendation, with the planning committee decision to be voted on by the council on October 27.

Cr Daryl Betteridge retained the planning committee chairman’s position recently.

The council wouldn’t divulge the number of submissions received on the gun shop application.

The proposal lodged with the council revealed the front part of the building would be used for firearm sales and the rear for storage and assembly of firearms from pre-manufactured parts.

All loading and unloading of goods would take place inside the shop and, in most cases, in the storage and assembly area at the back.

Three people would work at the shop, but the hours of operation weren’t definitively outlined in the application.

“The hours of operation will be the same as those for most retailing activities,” the application stated.

“The building will be secured in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Firearms Registry.”

Alterations required include window guards and reinforcement of other potential building entry points.

NSW Police officers have inspected the building and made recommendations.

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