Letters to the editor – april 5, 2018 – surf coast times

As a project focused on protecting a threatened species of bird that is highly sedentary, we have a good understanding of hoodie population numbers thanks to the census we conduct every two years and information we collect through banding of birds.

Hoodies in the west are a different subspecies to the hoodies in the east (South Australia, Victoria, etc.), and the eastern subspecies is in decline because they predominantly nest on beaches and hence, face a lot of threats especially during the breeding season.

Over 5,500 people recently signed a petition in support of the Bike Park – many of whom live in the Polwarth electorate, including rural areas; 34 pages of heartfelt written comments were submitted.

Surf Coast Shire council is right to consider the issue carefully, considering that level of community support.

The bike park only needs saving because Alcoa and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning propose 13 hectares of new housing on the land where the Bike Park sits, despite the land being outside Anglesea’s town boundary and not zoned for housing and despite DELWP’s own consultation showing that only 2.3 per cent of people support new residential development.

When Mr Riordan claims that “the focus is not on what has traditionally kept our…local communities alive”, he ignores the contribution made by bike park volunteers and the 34 per cent of Anglesea people who regularly engage in volunteer work (the state average is 19 per cent).

He ignores the $15 million-per-year Anglesea camps and outdoors economy that is supported by facilities like the bike park, and he belittles the effort people are putting into conserving Anglesea’s unique character at a pivotal time in the town’s history.

I was disappointed by the contents of a recent article, “Riordan urges shire to move on from bike park”, (Surf Coast Times, March 22), revealing Mr Riordan’s opinion that the Surf Coast Shire is consuming more time and resources on protecting a bike park than on improving local roads.

Clients are offered the opportunity to select items of food from our range of healthy staple foods, which include milk, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned food and other donated items. We rely on the community for support and Torquay Food Aid is well known for the generosity of the local community in providing all the support necessary for helping those among us who may find themselves in need.

Locals are encouraged to place food items in the box at the IGA supermarket or leave them at the Community House, or local Churches. In addition to this many local groups offer regular or annual support in such a marvellous way that food aid is always able to help when needed.

I know this because I’ve represented Australia overseas on 15 occasions at world town crying championships, a millennial celebration, an Anzac Day memorial, and the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I; in Canada, America, England, and Belgium.

Would it be asking too much for the benefit of all that use this beach for walking, running and those who spend time with their pets to have the shire clean this area up every now and then so that all who use this beach are in a safer environment.

I understand that this problem will take the shire away from trying to get another housing development set up in Torquay, but it may help to show all those who you are supposed to represent that you do have some feelings towards all who live in Torquay presently.