Letters to the Editor December 2018

RACV | Posted on 31 December 2018

Find out what readers are talking about in the December 2018 edition of RoyalAuto. 

Beetroot car

Purple reign

I am about to replace my 14-year-old car and have always wanted a purple car. Do you know if any manufacturer is proposing to bring one out before I give up hope? I am now 72 so can’t wait forever.

Jill Delahoy, Wheelers Hill

Don’t hide, go seek

We love to travel through this beautiful country in our vintage caravan, and it’s great to see so many people on the road caravanning and camping. But we also observe people in their ‘home away from homes’ setting up in a caravan park – not to be seen again. Inside watching TV by the air conditioner one would assume, cooking a meal. 

Here’s a thought: Don’t bring enough food in your fridge and freezer for weeks to come and then only shop in the larger towns with known supermarkets. Support the small towns. Seek out their caravan parks. Have a meal at the local pub and meet the locals. Have coffee and something nice locally. 

Shop in the small towns too. The range may not be as large and things will be a little more expensive, but they’re not ripping you off – think of the cost of delivery and often the cost of running a generator for the refrigeration.  

On our journeys we have discovered the best pizza ever and beautifully presented Devonshire tea with real tea in a teapot and china cups and saucers. So don’t sit in your caravan in a caravan park. Get out and really see it all.

Gillian Horvath, Clifton Springs 

Better buses

I drive buses for Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, which is now operating Victoria’s first hybrid route service bus trial using hybrid Volvo B5RLE buses. 

Along with local town services around Moe, Morwell and Traralgon we also do long-distance runs between the three towns. The town services at least will see a huge reduction in emissions and fuel consumption.

I am so proud of the company I drive for, for being so forward thinking.

Steve Weir, Mirboo North

Line of honour

Thank you for a very interesting article on avenues of honour (RA November). 

It should be noted that avenues were not just to acknowledge or commemorate a local WWI volunteer but were in fact created also as a recruiting tool. As most avenues were commenced during the war, it was a way of encouraging those who hadn’t enlisted to join up – volunteer and you too can have a tree planted in your honour. 

This was similar to honour boards started during the war – ‘enlist and have your name added’ – which is why some of the older ones are not in alphabetical order. These then went on to inspire the post-war avenues and honour boards that focused on just the commemoration aspect.

Anthony McAleer, Mount Evelyn

Still a weed

Re your article ‘Cactus Comeback’ (RA November), environmental and economic destruction by cacti are not bygone problems. Both Victoria and South Australia are currently fighting infestations of Opuntioid cacti. Our Landcare group has been struggling to control Opuntia robusta in central Victoria for the past 13 years with extreme difficulty. 

This cactus is choking our farms and parks because someone in the past thought it was a convenient and resilient plant for their garden. Now we have a disaster to deal with. No cacti are native to Australia.

Lee Mead, President, Tarrangower Cactus Control Group, Maldon

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some cacti are declared species in Victoria and are banned from sale and distribution. Find out more at weeds.ala.org.au/WoNS/opuntioidcacti. If you think you have bought or seen a state-prohibited weed, contact the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources on 136 186.

Fuel the pain 

So fuel prices fluctuate due to competition in discounting. Really? 

Round my way all petrol retailers put their prices up and down in unison, except for one that is always higher than anyone else. If there was genuine competitive discounting surely prices would vary noticeably on an individual station basis.

Anthony Whitmarsh, Viewbank 

Not so friendly

When booking accommodation we have noticed that increasingly there is an inclusion of ‘wheelchair friendly’ in the description of properties, including hotels and apartments. Usually this means a lift and wide doorways.

Unfortunately, the reality is that unless the accommodation includes a shower chair and portable hoist, holidays are too hard. Unless people in wheelchairs spend their whole time in their wheelchair, travel can become a logistical and physical nightmare of trying to organise hire equipment or constant lifting by parents and carers. 

To be truly accessible we need rooms with wide stepless showers that accommodate shower chairs and perhaps a customer liaison officer who could facilitate hire equipment on request, in the same way a cot is included in a room where a baby will be staying.

We need a break and change of scenery too.

Elizabeth Vladicic, East Bentleigh

A van fan

Thanks for your story on the early caravans (RA October). Another name that deserves to be labelled ‘iconic’ would have to be ‘Viscount’. These were built in Dandenong on the main highway close to where Tip Top bread was baked (I can still smell the lovely aroma). 

We spent more than two years ‘on the road’ pulling our 1972 Viscount van around the country with our two boys. Wonderful experience. 

Incidentally, our car at the time was an XA Falcon built in the same year, 1972, in Melbourne, another great Aussie product.

We kept the van over 40-odd years as a ‘guest house’ until recently we gave it to our granddaughter to further its career, still on the road.

Noel Bates, Bairnsdale

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