Border Mail letters: Border Mail readers have their say on the issues of the day

Sold a pup on cameras

Edward Snowden, the American whistle-blower, once said that “arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say”.

With that in mind the ratepayers of Wangaratta should at least be concerned about one of the first decisions of the new council.

CANDID ON CAMERAS: A reader says the installation of CCTV cameras does nothing but move anti-social behaviour to another area.

CANDID ON CAMERAS: A reader says the installation of CCTV cameras does nothing but move anti-social behaviour to another area.

The temptation to accept in blind faith the “free” offer from a local security company to install a closed-circuit TV camera in the CBD must have been too great for the new Wangaratta councillors despite the lack of any strong evidence supporting the use of such CCTV.

In effect, what the council has done is contract out to a third party its own responsibility for the safety and well-being of its ratepayers in the CBD late at night without any regard to establishing the root causes of the problem.

There is an anti-social element in our community that needs to be addressed however council has simply taken the easy and least effective option.

Many others will applaud the council for taking this step in the mistaken belief that CCTV is a strong deterrent when dealing with anti-social behaviour however all this will do is move the behaviour to another location.

Sadly, it never ends with just one camera and it’s never free.

Les Matthews, Wangaratta

It’s everyone’s problem

A young Australian woman wakes up and goes about her day. Her brother, her father and her son love her very much and know that as a woman, she faces challenges they don’t: like feeling unsafe walking home at night, or feeling overlooked at work just because she’s a woman. Or what it’s like to dread going home, thinking ‘how will he hurt me today?’

But it is in their power to acknowledge such a widespread issue, the proof of which is impossible to ignore. Men need to recognise that a young woman is more likely to be sick or killed as a result of intimate partner violence than as a result of smoking, poor diet or illegal drug use.

This appalling fact featured in the new ANROWS burden of disease study. Sadly these figures haven’t changed significantly since VicHealth did its first study on the same subject over 10 years ago.

Today, on White Ribbon Day and the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, it’s important to reflect and acknowledge that violence against women is more likely to occur in contexts of unequal power relationships between men and women.

So it’s particularly worrying that a recent VicHealth survey found around one third of Victorians hold low levels of support for gender equality in relationships.

Violence against women is everyone’s problem. But importantly, everyone can be part of the solution.

Working together, we can do so much more to end violence.

We can take responsibility for making sure every woman feels safe in her own home, workplace, sports field and community. We can stand up to sexist attitudes and call out disrespect for women when we see it.

Every brother, father and son can make a difference to one woman’s day.

Jerril Rechter, VicHealth chief executive officer

A school get together

On Sunday, November 27, the Upper Sandy Creek Primary School community will celebrate 125 years of educating local students. 

We invite all past students, teachers and parents to come and help celebrate this wonderful rural school. 

The school has had a great past and is one of the few remaining small schools in our state. So come along and experience some country hospitably and join in our celebration between 12pm and 3pm.

Glenda Boyer, Upper Sandy Creek Primary School