Letters to the Editor: August 4 2023

Fixed Wireless slammed

I WANT to know why, after infrastructure upgrades in recent months, on July 31, 2023, our performance visibly improved with the upload speeds in the range of 10-12 as opposed to the regular 4-5.5 previously, and then why on August 1, two days later, the upload speeds just as dramatically and instantly went back to less than 4.5, even worse than before.

This experience proves to me that the infrastructure has the capacity to provide better performance, but obviously is being purposely throttled, and leads to the conclusion that congestion is not the problem, but the use of an inadequate architecture where wired or cabled infrastructure such as Fibre to the Node (FTTN) should be being installed, instead of continually upgrading fixed wireless and throttling it to cope with the demand it should never have been used to service. If it wasn’t for the cost, I’d be on Starlink tomorrow, and as it is, I am not getting value for money with the only other affordable option.

I have had a battle over many years getting acceptable contact on speed issues from NBN Co as they are only contactable via my ISP, and Telstra support is next to useless for anything these days. And while the fixed wireless at Briagolong is useable in general, it is far short of useable for business or in comparison to speeds on wired or cable connections available for instance in Sale or even Stratford where FTTN is available, as should be the case in Briagolong.

There is a huge difference between performance when there is an upload speed of 3-4 as opposed to 10-12, so while it doesn’t sound much, it has a significant impact on performance and functionality yet there is no interest in improving upload speed, all anyone talks about is download speed which is not the point or the issue I am dealing with.

More speed as the current NBN Co advertisements say, I’d like to see that!

Ken Wakefield



More than a game

THE Commonwealth Games were always more than a sporting event. The Games were going to deliver thousands of social and affordable housing properties, especially in regional areas where the shortage of housing is dire. Accessible upgrades for regional sporting facilities and transport infrastructure, and inclusive traineeship programs on Games projects, were also planned.

Securing the housing and social benefits of the Games despite their cancellation is a big win for Victoria.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has rightly identified housing as our state’s “biggest challenge” and has pledged $1 billion for at least 1300 additional new housing units.

More social and affordable housing for Victoria is unequivocally good news.

VCOSS looks forward to working with the state government over the coming months to help shape the next stage of this rollout to the benefit of all Victorians.

Emma King

Victorian Council of Social Service Chief Executive


Our roads are crumbling

REGIONAL drivers are forced to drive on crumbling roads, but life only gets harder under Labor as motor costs continue to rise and road maintenance continues to be neglected.

Labor’s incompetence has left Victorians broke, continuing to punish families with another rise in motor costs.

Families continue to be slugged, with the cost of car registration and licence fees rising for another year. Regional Victorians will now have to find almost $850 in the household budget to register the family car.

Victorian road users are paying more for less, with the Andrews Labor government slashing their road maintenance funding by 45 per cent since 2020.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) will be raided by Labor, again, which puts vital road safety initiatives and accident responses at risk to balance the government’s budget.

With car fees increasing despite our roads deteriorating, the cost of living only gets tougher for hardworking Victorians.

Labor is unwilling to fix our roads but continues to hammer Victorian road users with price increases.

Bad roads are dangerous roads, which sadly the Andrews Labor government refuses to address, with more than 150 tragic deaths in 2023 – 30 per cent more than this time last year.

These are not just statistics, they are somebody’s mother, father or sibling. While a family member is missing from the dinner table, Labor continues to neglect our roads.

Managing director of road surfacing company VSA Roads, Justin Bartlett, said they have witnessed a massive deterioration of Victorian roads since 2022.

“Our rural main road and highway network has quickly become one that resembles a patchwork quilt with short-term quick fixes becoming the norm … the decision to cut off all funding defies any logic,” he said.

While Labor refuses to properly maintain our roads, Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan are happy to send Victorian road users higher bills to use dodgy roads riddled with potholes.

Peter Walsh

Leader of The Nationals


Species transition and self-regulation

RECENTLY, I became involved in a debate with my stoic, very learned sister, regarding species self-regulation.

She is a retired secondary school teacher and cattle farmer with 50 years experience in cattle breeding. She agrees totally that dingoes are much maligned and has always disagreed with the unwavering attitude of many misinformed sheep and cattle farmers; i.e. that dingoes are best dead. This outrageous attitude continues to plague us, as a nation of contradictions.

Ponder this … it’s common knowledge that that same attitude controlled the extinction of the thylacine, yet in these supposed times of enlightenment, our government also permits dingoes to be shot on sight, trapped or poisoned and then absurdly pays a bounty, for destruction of which is supposedly a protected species! Go figure.

Anyway, we concluded our debate by raising another question … “if all of the strategies proposed by The Australian Dingo Foundation were implemented, is it possible dingo populations would self-regulate to the point where their numbers will become so large they could become unacceptably intrusive?”

Our conclusion was, probably not, but primarily due to habitat loss.

Which also, however, raises another question … isn’t it preferrable to take meaningful actions likely to lower the impact upon all of our Indigenous marsupials, birds and reptiles during a managed transition to dingo self-regulation, rather than see all of those species, including our dingo, continue to move from ‘threatened’ to ‘extinct’?

Trevor Tucker



Sale’s good Samaritans

I WISH to express my appreciation to the wonderful Sale people I came into contact with on Tuesday, July 16, when I collapsed in the Star Hotel at about noon.

From the young girl, Emily who assisted in calling for an ambulance and stayed with me, the lady who took my pulse , the two ambulance officers (Claire and Tash, I think), who responded quickly and in such a caring manner, and the staff in the Sale Hospital who were so supportive during the seven hours I spent there. I could not have been in better hands.

Sale is so fortunate in having such a well-equipped and staffed hospital.

My thanks to the nurses and Doctor Ryan, cardiologist Alison, and all the others who kept checking on me and continuously monitoring and testing my condition, which improved enough for me to return to Drouin that night.

I am so grateful to you all.

Stan Rodwell