After the guessing, let’s hear the truth on same-sex marriage

SUPPORTERS of marriage equality across the Central West have been granted at least one of their wishes by Calare MP John Cobb.
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Mr Cobb has made no secret of his support for the traditional definition of marriage and he has long maintained that he gets the sense most of his constituents feel the same way.

That claim certainly contradicts published national polls that show support for same-sex marriage is running at anywhere from 60-70 per cent and local marriage equality advocates have, rightly, wondered whether Mr Cobb’s reading of the issue reflects more on the circles in which he mixes than the wider community view.

Well, now both sides of the argument have the chance to put their opinions directly to their elected representative.

Mr Cobb has this week distributed tohouseholds in his electorate a questionnaire asking residents to “tell me what’s important to you”.

It covers a wide range of economic,environmental and social issues, but it is a reflection of the times in which we live that the question about same-sex marriage is sure to create the most discussion.

And it is to be hoped that Calare voters on both sides of the argument respond in their thousands to give the clearest possible view of just where the electorate stands.

If only those residents who support same-sex marriage take the chance to respond to the questionnaire then it will be easy for Mr Cobb’s office to disregard the results.

Similarly, if marriage equality advocates pass up this chance to have their say on the basis that Mr Cobb’s position is already well-known, then they forfeit the right to complain in future about a lack of consultation.

Whether you agree with his politics or not, it must be said that Mr Cobb has done exactly what every federal politician should do with their printing entitlements – use them to gain feedback from the voters rather than publish a one-sided cheer booklet for the government.

Good on him for doing so. Now it’s up to the people of Calare to do their bit and the results can speak for themselves.

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Collectors’ gathering gets stamp of approvalPhotos

Collectors’ gathering gets stamp of approval | Photos Hilde Duits from Nowra holds up one sample from her 30 years of collecting.
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Sanctuary Point’s Geoff Layton with a sample of the stamps he brought for evaluation.

John Pratt from North Nowra.

North Nowra’s Dick Stephenson, a stamp collector for 70 years, specialises in stamps from France and Germany.

Coin collector Greg Dawes from Bomaderry holds up one of his most colourful coins.

Jacky Nolan and Jason Berg from Nowra with children Clayton Hudson, 16, Tobi Hudson, 12, and Oliver Berg, 6, who seems more interested in collecting dinosaurs.

Andrew Gillam from Parma, president of the Shoalhaven Philatelic Society.

Win Morehouse from Sydney and Peter Bailey from Sussex Inlet.

Edward Blakeney from Sydney with just a sample of his wares.

Doug Wade and Sue Holmes from Sydney with just one sheet from Sue’s grandmother’s collection.

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Passenger on board

Ballan resident Michael Vale, who has commuted to Mildura by public transport regularly for years to visit his father, joined the voices calling for a return of passenger rail services to north-west Victoria’s major centre by urging residents to attend a Public Transport Victoria forum on Monday night.
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A regular public transport user said a passenger rail link to Mildura would be very popular. Picture: Michael DiFabrizio

Mr Vale is no stranger to Victoria’s regional rail network – he uses the Ballarat line to commute from his home 80km north-west of Melbourne to the city for work and back again each day.

When he visits his family, who moved north to Mildura in the 1970s, he catches a train from Melbourne to Swan Hill, and then a bus from there to the top of Langtree Avenue.

Mr Vale said a return of passenger rail services was a must for north-west Victoria but he acknowledged it also required a significant infrastructure spend.

The Ballan resident said people in Sunraysia needed to vote with their feet if they wanted the State Government to take notice and return a rail service, which was axed in 1993.

“My view is, if you want to increase the frequency of services, use the bus,” Mr Vale said.

Services between Swan Hill and Mildura were regularly full, Mr Vale said, with seasonal workers, younger people and retirees all using public transport to commute.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Thursday’s Sunraysia Daily 20/8/2015. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Public told to push rail at forum

MILDURA residents have been urged to keep a return of passenger rail services on the agenda ahead of a public transport planning forum next week.
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Public Transport Victoria will hold a consultation at the Grand Hotel on Monday night as it develops a regional transport development plan, with rail advocates prepared to make their case.

Mildura councillor Ali Cupper said the community needed to take advantage of every opportunity it had to show the State Government how important a return of passenger rail services would be for the region.

“If Mildura isn’t included in that, why are we even part of Victoria? What communities that are really isolated need are stronger, robust public transport options,” she said.

Cr Cupper criticised the council for showing a lack of leadership on the issue and encouraged them to advocate more strongly for a return of the rail service.

“The impression I get from councillors is they want it completely off the agenda,” she said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Thursday’s Sunraysia Daily 20/8/2015. To subscribe to our Digital Edition Click here

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Construction for wellbeing centre to start in a month

An artist’s impression of the $34 – $36 million wellbeing centre to be built by Beyond Today.Development company Beyond Today will start construction of its wellbeing centre in September/October, investing $34 to 36 million into the region.
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Local builder South Coast Constructions will begin the development of the medical centre first, which is planned to be completed and operational in 2016.

Expressions of interest are being taken for the health pods in the Wellbeing Centre.

The development will include the medical centre, health pods for dentistry and podiatry and high and low care nursing for about 100 residents.

Beyond Today director Steve Wright said there was a demand for a health and wellbeing precinct.

“The new Resthaven facility at Port Elliot has been a success and has proven there is demand for facilities which we are proposing,” Mr Wright said.

“It is under supplied.

“The Wellbeing Centre will have all the qualities that consist of our housing development at Hayborough.

“It will be green, energy efficient, have open space and plenty of car parking available.”

The development will be situated on four hectares of land adjacent to the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre (FRAC) where construction started in late July.

The FRAC is located on the corner of Ocean and Waterport roads on four hectares of land, which was gifted to the City of Victor Harbor and Alexandrina councils by the Wright family, who are the directors of Beyond Today.

“The area where the Wellbeing Centre is to be built has always been earmarked for health and education,” Mr Wright said.

“We could build 60 homes on it, but prefer a wellbeing precinct instead.”

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