Letters to the Editor

The enduring costs of juvenile crimeMy car was stolen and trashed. Just one of the many car thefts andarsons happening in Ballarat every week. The police know the thieves and arsonists; brazen gang members that roam Ballarat causing senseless loss and destruction in our community. If only I had heeded the warnings of the police and media earlier, but I was of the opinion that it couldn’t happen to me. How wrong. Now my gates are locked, and my doors and windows have locks and bolts that are checked every night. I have added security lights, a camera, panic button and more gates are to be installed. I don’t sleep so well now. The costs incurred by these thefts are borne by the community and must run into millions of dollars.

Often not spoken of is the emotional cost to the victims that can be very debilitating. The effect on victims can be ongoing fear, frustration, anger and general unease.

The theft and destruction of cars, which is depressingly common in Ballarat, has an enduring effect on the well-being of the community.

Alarmingly, these crimes are often committed by young criminals. Disadvantaged is often the description given to them, but I do not see this as an excuse for their offending. My appreciation for our police force has grown immensely, however, there is an air of frustrated resignation that there is no end to this senseless juvenile crime, as many offenders that are caught and go to court, come back to re-offend. It is widely acknowledged globally that jails and detention centres do not work. So why are we building more?

Youth training centres by reports are criminal training grounds, where offenders often develop criminal networks, skills and knowledge. There must be many other options to detention centres explored and established if we are to curb the growing crime rate, particularly juvenile crime.

C. Clark, Ballarat

Needing all the support they can getCongratulations and thank you to Andrew Donne for his letter published in Courier on 20/2/17. Andrew wrote about the struggles families of people with disabilities have endured, and the questions some politicians are asking about the NDIS. It was refreshing to read his explanation. Hopefully the NDIS will continue to receive all the support it needs to assist people with a disability.

Patricia Glenane, Ballarat

Penalty rates hit unequallySo Australia needs simultaneous wages growth for those who don’t work on Sunday and a wages cut for those who do. I suppose it’s only fair that everyone does their bit for economic growth and budget repair.

Brendan Harrison,Bacchus Marsh

The Fair Work Commission would be aware that many businesses such as Bunnings Warehouse have for some time been sold out by the SDA union and already forfeited many of their penalty rates. Those that have retained them have foregone superannuation benefits to compensate for those intended changes and therefore already pay the penalty.

It is incomprehensible for businesses to claim they must close on Sundays unless the “have nots” again take less wages when wages growth is already going full steam astern. If they genuinely have to close Sundays, it is more probable that the public are already telling them the demand is not there. Should business believe they have a claim for reducing workers pay, then try the alternative, add one or two cents to each purchase on the remaining six days, and recover the money when demand dictates. Nobody would miss the difference, they could open Sunday, and capitalism can continue to flourish.

Wally Reynolds, Tasmania

Expenses at a costDo pollies ever consider when they claim some absurd entitlement that this could mean fewer teachers, nurses, services and so on?

Tarn Kruger, Ballarat

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