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

Bad move: Closing the Wodonga visitor information centre is a bad move for the city, a reader says.
Bad move: Closing the Wodonga visitor information centre is a bad move for the city, a reader says.

Closure a bad move

After reading the council’s report on the closure of the Visitor Information Centre (VIC), I am left unimpressed and feel the ratepayers’ association desire to lobby for a new centre at the old police station site is a good one.

It’s a shame that some of the railway station was not put aside for use as a information centre, as good as the new cafe is. A centralised location such as the old police station site would stand the test of time and the cost would be a small percentage of Wodonga’s income. In fact it should be considered an investment.

The council report on the closure lists 14 other “partners/councils” but does not even look at their location or how they are travelling. Regardless, the report implies the centres are “old hat” and that phone apps and other digital means are ways of the future (for Wodonga only, apparently).

Also, the report simply lists a risk of closure as a “loss of visible VIC profile in city.”

Loss of profile means a lot more than this. It means: loss of use to use the VIC logo pointing visitors to an information centre, including Vic Roads signage; loss of access to VIC brand and network marketing; removal of free listings in publications, state wide guides, touring maps etc; loss of training opportunities for staff; and, inability to benchmark data. Given these losses Wodonga tourism could be left out on limb.

I believe the survey of data projecting future use of Wodonga’s VIC may have missed its target audience. Owners of caravans cannot find a park, let alone the information centre itself so I wonder how many caravan users (probably key user of the information centres) were consulted. It appears the survey was undertaken from motel data, some VIC information and at events.

Finally, the report appears to expect retail outlets (with digital information stations in their shops) to replace VICs to “promote the city” while running a business. This seems a bit unrealistic. In the interim it would be great if Wodonga erected signs clearly indicating how to get to the current Visitor Information Centre along with signs indicating where caravan parking exists.

Greg Oates, Huon Creek

Time to go, Bill

In follow up reading of the Hansard where Bill Tilley compared integrated CFA stations and alleged divisions between volunteer firefighters and pros to Animal Farm as mentioned in The Border Mail (June 9), it seems to me that Bill Tilley has lost the ability for critical analysis and is merely a zombie toeing the party line.

Typical of politicians these days. Firstly, there was no mention of apartheid or Nazism in his Hansard like The Border Mail implied.

Secondly, Mr Tilley did talk off point with regards to Animal Farm and the Bill (Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017) of which he was debating. With that said, if Mr Tilley were to critically analyse the history of the Russian revolution and Bolshevik coup of 1917, both of which occurred in February and October of that year, and of which Animal Farm is based upon, he’d realise that the people rebelled in February 1917 due to shortages of basic goods and the increasing inequality – two of the biggest reasons, in my opinion, which allowed the communists’ message to gain traction.

What I’ve also noticed over the time I’ve been reading his Hansard records is that he seems to be developing a concerning attitude of dismissing and putting down the member for Macedon during debates, that is calling her an idiot and to clear her ears out.

Given how long Bill Tilley has been the member for Benambra and that basic issues like V/Line continue to fester, like the shortages of basic goods in Russia in 1917, I’d say maybe its time for Bill to retire from politics and let others have a go. Perhaps even a change of party representation for the seat of Benambra wouldn’t go amiss.

Geoffrey Butt, Wodonga