I write in response to the News article ‘‘Bypass need noted’’ (Friday, May 12) featuring the Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester and Damian Drum.
Most people in Shepparton would be unaware that Damian Drum has actually represented Shepparton in Victorian Parliament for the past 10 years.
Yet the Victorian Parliament’s Hansard reveals that during those 10 years Mr Drum has never once mentioned the bypass or alternative route.
It is a pity Mr Drum has not been advocating for these important projects during his time as one of our state members, as the state needs to prioritise these projects before they can attract federal funding.
It may be that Mr Drum is aware of a upcoming federal announcement. The recent state budget included an undisclosed amount for upgrades to the Shepparton alternative route.
And the federal budget contains about $1.6billion in unannounced projects that will be announced during the election campaign.
As Transport Minister, Mr Chester would be aware if this included money for Shepparton.
Mr Chester’s involvement raises questions about whether Mr Drum’s newfound interest is genuine, or is this a National Party plot to claim Mr Drum has championed the project and then take credit for funding that was actually achieved through Sharman Stone’s hard work?
Marty Richardson, Shepparton
The public is being misinformed, by minor groups, about legal firearm ownership.
Shooting, hunting and collecting are legal pastimes of law-abiding citizens.
To obtain any or all licences, owners will have gone through the theory and practical training and police checks.
All their firearms must be registered, for which they pay significant amounts of money, for the privilege of ownership.
They must also have the appropriate security to house their firearms on their property.
This interest and sport is the source of our shooting Olympians, who compete in many disciplines.
Legal owners have also created a multimillion dollar industry in food, retail and tourism. In addition, an entire police department is devoted to legal ownership regulation.
Then there is the gunman (gunperson). This person does not respect the law, is not licensed and does not pay for the privilege of ownership.
They will often kill or maim anyone who stands in their way.
This is mostly done with unregistered guns, from an active black market.
Such persons are criminals and should be treated as such, with far greater penalties than currently exist, enforced by the courts.
We law-abiding citizens should not, must not, be lumped in with illegal misuse of firearms as, we are not involved with these crimes.
Please separate the legal, from the illegal and understand the difference.
Stewart McClelland, Ballarat Arms and Militaria Collectors Society president