24 Nov 2008, Comments (10)

I write letters: Tim Holding replies

Author: Helen

Dear Ms Balcony

Timber harvesting in Brown Mountain

Timber harvesting. Do you like the cuteness of it?

The specific responsibility for the matter raised in your correspondence rests with the Minister for Environment & Climate Change, Mr Gavin Jennings MLC.

Yes, but your name does appear right next to his on this page of the inappropriately named Department of Sustainability and Environment site. I just thought as minister for water, it might be good to jog your memory about how the Victorian government is logging its own water catchment areas and how with the environment things do tend to have an impact on other things.

Accordingly, I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to Minister Jennings’ office for consideration.

Don’t worry about it, I’ve already sent him one. If you could just remind him that “Minister for Environment and Climate change” doesn’t mean actually fostering climate change, that’d be ace.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Thank you for taking the time for your flak catchers to handball it to Gavin Jennings’ flak catchers. We await his reply with keen anticipation.

Comments (10)

  • shula says:

    Yes. I’m just dying to see who they handball it to.

  • Helen says:

    The circular filing cabinet, I believe.

  • kate says:

    The father of a friend of mine (he’s a public servant) wrote a letter to a minister once, the minister of his own department.

    He took great pleasure in answering himself some days later.

  • Helen says:

    I hope he gave himself a right bollocking for wasting ministerial staff time!

  • Caroline says:

    Please simply email him a link to this post.

  • fred says:

    My wife [sorry about the possessive] wrote a letter to a federal minister of the previous mob.
    She duly got a reply, quite lengthy, assuring her that her concerns, although welcomed, were unnecessary cos the matter was well in hand etc etc. Written by somebody, signed by the minister.
    Fair enough, par for the course, standard operating procedure and all that.
    A couple of weeks later we went to our post box [we live in a rural region] and there was a letter for me.
    Same letter as the previous, precisely, but addressed, on the front, and in the text, to me.
    My name is different to that of my wife.
    And there was no mention of me in the letter she sent, no connection at all.
    In fact there are only 2 connections.
    We are married.
    We have the same postal address.
    [Ok there are a few other intimate connections but they are irrelevant to this.]

    So, OK, exercise your intellect and cynicism, and maybe even a little conspiracy paranoia.

    1.Why was I sent this letter?
    2.How did they know who to send it to? I know the procedure, I know how easy it is for government flunkies to do, so really I’m asking ….why bother?

  • Helen says:

    No need to apologise for “my wife” – I think 99% of us still use my wife, husband, partner, significant other or whatever.

    I can’t see why they sent the letter either, as anyone with a lick o’ sense would take it for the pathetic attempt at pre-emption that I suppose it was.

    (Caroline, I might just do that!)

  • Hendo says:

    As a person who is normally one of those dreaded ‘flak catchers’ / ‘flunkies’ (on leave at the moment), if you are interested I could provide a rebuttal / the logic behind the things you comment on in the letter you received back. Believe it or not, there is actually a reason to the way it all works. Probably you aren’t interested. But this post and the comments kind of irritated me.

  • Helen says:

    Hendo, I’ve already heard all the industry talking points a gazillion times, but you know, knock yourself out if you want to.

    As for being irritated, being a flak catcher means you actually get paid to be irritated by the likes of me, just as I get paid to be irritated by people who don’t listen to a word I say about why their ‘puters aren’t working. I, on the other hand (along with approx 80% of the Victorian population) am being paid nothing for being severely irritated by the destruction of everybody’s heritage and ecosystem for private profit, with my taxes going to bolster them as the cherry on top. But being irritated never killed anyone.

  • Hendo says:

    Mmm… I wanted to acknowledge that I read your response. But I don’t really want to knock myself out if you feel you’ve heard it all before.

    Just wanted to register that this public servant (who likes your blog) doesn’t agree with the destruction of heritage and ecosystem for private profit as well… but I feel it’s a bit misplaced to go on about nonsensical letters from politicians and their departments in relation to it.

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