Have your say... Letters to the editor

Dear LG Focus.
The potential ramifications of the $7 co-payment for Indigenous Australians, pensioners and low-income people have been widely canvassed but their dire implications for men’s health have largely been ignored.

We all know how hard it is get men to the doctor’s, even when they’re obviously sick.

The proposed Medicare $7 co-payment puts another barrier in their way, especially when it comes to having a general check-up, something men are often reluctant to do.

Some men, it seems, would rather die than go to the doctor’s and have their blood pressure, cholesterol, heart, weight and overall health checked out so yet another reason for men not to go for a check-up is of great concern.
I suffer from Type 2 diabetes, which I put down to lack of exercise and a poor diet some decades ago.

I was very physically active when I was younger, in fact for ten years back in New Zealand I rowed competitively.

Then I slowed down and did not take enough care of myself.

My diet wasn’t anything to write home about either.

Now I’m on a mission to persuade men to look after their health. It’s why I put my hand up for the Community Wellbeing Councillor Portfolio role at Wyndham City.

It’s also why I’m keen to persuade a lot more men to sign up to Sons of the West, the Western Bulldogs initiative supporting men living and working in Melbourne’s West to lead healthier lives.

Inspired by the example of Liverpool Football Club’s successful men’s health program, Western Bulldogs provided grants to five local government areas across the western region, including Wyndham City, for Sons of the West. The aim of this year’s trial phase has been to involve approximately 2,000 men in a 12-week program run in each of the five local government areas.

Between 20–40 men in Wyndham have been turning up to the weekly sessions and taking part in exercises classes, edible gardening workshops, and healthy eating information sessions.

I’m hoping that a lot more Wyndham men will become involved as the program rolls out. Around 70 percent of men my age, 71, are overweight.

Men’s health in Wyndham is below the state average.

We’re less likely to be exercising sufficiently or eating enough fruit and veggies, an awful irony given that Wyndham’s market gardens produce ten percent of Victoria’s vegetable output.

Collectively we should all be opposing the $7 co-payment, no matter how we vote.

It’s bad news for men’s health across the board.
Councillor Bob Fairclough, Wyndham City Mayor


Dear LG Focus
A great August issue for those of us active on refugee and asylum seeker issues, well done!

You may like to encourage local government participation in this international initiative; see the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge.

Kind Regards Con Pagonis

Editors note: Since our last edition, Adelaide City Council has become the 100th Refugee Welcome Zone in Australia.