This week's letters to the editor

Election results

We All Move On.

Esperance ratepayers went to the polls on Saturday and voted for change.

Important issues relating to the rubbish tip site, the tanker jetty and the ongoing accountability problems had come to the surface and locals made it clear what they wanted from the incoming Council. Such was the importance of this election that the number of people voting increased from 30% to 45% since the election two years ago.

Right now there are two issues that require immediate addressing - the proposed landfill site which seems a potential environmental disaster in the offing, and the future of the jetty.

While the incoming Council has seen fit to continue with the present leadership there is a clear indication that Councillors have much work to do in order to restore public confidence in the current development policies of the Shire. The fact that two previous Councillors were not returned this time, suggests that public review of Council’s performance will be ongoing and potentially critical.  In two years when the balance of the Council comes up for possible re-election the community will once again have to assess its performance. This should resonate with all Councillors – old and new.

For the record, the three new town ward councillors gave varying indications of their future intention. Councillors Payne and Piercey spend considerable time talking to the community on what they saw as the important issues (see above), while Councillor McMullan stated he stood for "building a strong bond between community members and the shire", but didn't show his hand on the jetty or the tip site.

Now we settle down to see what will happen next, as the Council resets its progress and the issues that have fomented for some time now get a more detailed treatment and future announcements herald much awaited progress.

I would like to think that we can see positive development. By my reckoning there are potentially five members now on the Council willing and capable of initiating this and I wish them well for the coming term.  Will we see change for the better? I really hope so! If not – there’s always the next election in 2019.

Tony Bright

McHappy Day success

I am writing to thank The Esperance Express and the Esperance community for their support of McHappy Day in 2017 - the largest annual fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

The Esperance community helped us celebrate 26 years of McHappy Day and raise a record breaking $4 million for RMHC. These donations equate to more than 30,000 nights of accommodation at a Ronald McDonald House, ensuring that Aussie families get to stay together while their sick or injured child undergoes treatment.

Throughout the country we saw communities, such as Esperance residents, help to raise vital funds for RMHC. We saw local bucket brigades, Scout groups, emergency services as well as sporting and TV personalities visiting McDonald’s restaurants, to help make a difference. I want to personally say a big thank you to everyone in the Esperance community, who got involved last weekend, making generous donations that helped McHappy Day raise more money than ever before.

Fundraising efforts like this are crucial to helping RMHC continue to expand programs and services to families who need them, as many of the Ronald McDonald Houses across the country have waiting lists, and are unable to accommodate everyone who needs help. With so many Aussie kids requiring treatment, every donation goes a long way to keep families close together in their toughest times. You can continue to support families in need by donating to all year round. Thank you again to The Esperance Express and the local community for all your help on McHappy Day.

Barbara Ryan,

CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia

Choir Extravaganza success

I would like to thank the many people that volunteered their time for the Choir Extravaganza that was held at The Castlemaine Town Hall Thursday 12th October, as part of Mental Health Week. We had ten choirs from across the region participating, and it was an incredible community event, all sharing the joy of singing, and being part of a choir. A number of organisations and individuals made this event possible:

•    A huge thank you to Calum McClure from the Old Castlemaine Gaol, and Greg McGeachin and Greg Ginger from Outlook Communications for their generosity organising the lighting and sound for this event

•    Jackson Fraser, the Stage Manager, who did an amazing job organising the choirs

•    Wendy Taylor who came along to many rehearsals with The Castlemaine Singers, and accompanied them and the en masse song on the night

•    Accompanists for U3A Choir - John Tungyep - and Spring Gully PS  Choir - Bronwen  Nelson

•    Michael Bottomley, conductor extraordinaire for his patience and dedication and conducting the en masse choir

•    The conductors and their respective choirs for an incredible performance with their individual songs, and particularly their persistence in rehearsing the en masse song

•    Cass Ewing from Circleworks for assisting on the door

•    Rotary members for assisting with dismantling the chairs at the end of the night

•    Sarah Day and Marg Barry, from CDCH for their  ongoing support of this event

•    Maine Shoes for taking bookings in advance

It was a wonderful night and a sell-out event, which we hope to repeat next year as part of Mental Health Week.

Sue Proeve, Choir Extravaganza event coordinator