The Border Mail letters to the editor

SHOWERED IN GIFTS: The list presents declared by Indi MP Cathy McGowan over the past three months included Christmas pudding, wine and Monopoly.
SHOWERED IN GIFTS: The list presents declared by Indi MP Cathy McGowan over the past three months included Christmas pudding, wine and Monopoly.

YOUNG CRIMINALS FEEL INVULNERABLE 

Victorians from Mildura to Melbourne are feeling the effects of criminals who no longer fear punishment, who see the court as a short-term hindrance rather than an institution of justice. Youth criminals especially have a growing sense of invulnerability that sees rampant crime sprees rage across our state. Home invasions, car jackings, street crime, robberies, muggings – offenders are driven less by wealth and more by criminal notoriety. And if, eventually, they do find themselves in a courtroom, the resultant sentencing does little to alter their perspective.

Society has a growing awareness of the stark bias that is emanating from the judicial system as a whole. A system which is meant to protect the population instead reeks of an agenda focused on minimalising jail numbers and preferencing drug-induced state of mind arguments as a viable defence. This mentality needs to change if we hope to stem the social decline of Victoria.

For those in the country, it is hard to find reliable avenues for voicing concern. But with the help of social media, regional Victorians have found a conduit for change in the form of a new social Facebook movement called Protect Victoria – a homegrown assortment of citizens spanning age, race, religion, political circles, and location. In only 8 weeks Protect Victoria has grown to over 15,600 active members, including thousands of members from country towns.

Protect Victoria's community is aligned behind the message of its founder, Hayden Bradford; a metropolitan father of two who brings a firm message to the Victorian government. They must refocus their efforts on protecting society, or be replaced by those willing to do so.

Like any community group, the real power of Protect Victoria comes from the growth and unification of its members. Country Victorians are a growing number within the group and a sector of the population who provide invaluable support in vocalising the message of change across regional media channels.

The ultimate goal of Protect Victoria is to reduce crime and bring a sense of safety back to the homes of all Victorians. Please join us.

Hayden Bradford, Protect Victoria founder

WELCOME LGBTI SUPPORT

I would like to thank West End Plaza for the equality sign you have in your Albury plaza. This shows great support for our LGBTI community and recognition towards equality.

Toni Johnson, Border LGBTI support group Hume Phoenix

POLITICIAL TRANSPARENCY NEEDED FOR GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING

The light-hearted article (The Border Mail, April 11) highlighted a serious point about the need for transparency by elected representatives.

The generous and varied gifts people feel inspired to give me keep on giving. After they come to my office they are shared with the community.

I will continue to disclose all gifts received in the course of my work for Indi.

Indi MP Cathy McGowan

STUDENTS RELY ON PENALTY RATES

I'm a grandmother and I've watched my kids grow up working weekends while studying during the week.

It's been tough for them, but it will only be tougher for young people trying to study if weekend penalty rates are cut.

We're not a wealthy family and, like many others, every little bit counts. Fortunately, your MP Cathy McGowan has the chance to vote to protect penalty rates.

I would ask your community to contact Cathy and ask her to stand up for students and workers who rely on penalty rates to oay the bills and put food on the table.

Lisa White, Camden