Re: Love conquers all (Inside Story, Weekly, July 10):

Well done to the Weekly for publishing a well-written and relevant story on the issue of gay marriage. I concur completely with the sentiments that our society must grow up and be fair. Also well done to Uniting Church’s Reverend Samasoni Nafatali for his willingness to express his own views. I totally agree with them: “They have the right to live life to the full.”

Alaine Beek, Werribee

Marriage is inherently a union between a husband and wife. That’s the core of the institution and the natural core for family creation and role models for children. Gay unions are not the same, and thus they should have their own specific domestic unions, but it can’t be ‘marriage’. 

Mary G (via web)

Re: TAFE plan has ‘failed miserably’ (Weekly, July 10):

I want to reply to the untruths being bandied about by Footscray MP Marsha Thomson and place on the record some facts about vocational training in Victoria. 

Last year, the Coalition government provided a record $1.2 billion per year to fund training in Victoria – $400 million more per year than under Labor’s watch. In 2010, there were 28,900 enrolments in government-funded training in the western metro area. Now there are 52,900, an 83 per cent increase.

Ms Thomson should keep in mind that TAFE enrolments in western metro actually grew by 9 per cent in 2012. Her allegation that there are fewer enrolments in courses of greatest public and economic importance is simply incorrect. Victorians are now also getting better value for our record investment. In the first three months of 2013 there were 3500 more enrolments in specialised or in-shortage occupations, up 4 per cent compared to this time last year. This is more training in courses for occupations such as child caring, aged and disabled caring, mothercraft nursing and motor mechanics.

There are more training opportunities available for those who need it most. Vocational training continues to be an important pathway to employment in Victoria, with 1000 extra unemployed students engaged in government subsided training so far in 2013 compared to this time last year. Out-comes like these should be welcomed by people of all political persuasions.

Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter Hall

Re: Lalor ALP clash looms as school head steps up (Weekly, July 10):·

It’s simple. If Joanne Ryan, a school principal and resident of Werribee, is picked by the Labor Party, I will vote for her.  If the party picks someone from the Health Services Union, I will turn my vote elsewhere.

Guest (via web)

Re: New life breathed into Werribee River (Inside Story, Weekly, July 3):

Great article. Keep up the good work.  The river is worth saving and protecting.  It’s a great spot.

Beverly Goldsmith (via web)

Re: Point Cook West land sale a boon and burden (Weekly, July 3):

The state government is sinking in debt trying to keep abreast of infra- structure!  It’s easy to spin words that the government “knew it had to put infrastructure in place to alleviate some of Wyndham’s problems”.  But when? A housing/real-estate-dependant economy means being bogged down by the cost of population growth, estimated at about $200,000 per person. Planning Minister Guy is obsessed with new developments and high-rises but leaves the public to absorb the costs. 

VivKay (via web)