MOONEE Valley Racing Club has had its annual big-ticket event for the Cox Plate, to which it added a night meeting on the Friday. The club won few friends at the council for adding the sponsor’s name to electronic signs on the median strip opposite Queen’s Park and on road closure signage in Pascoe Vale Road.

It is fortunate to be granted use of prime space on Crown land, but locals weren’t impressed to have the name of a corporate bookmaker up in lights. The bookie’s name was removed once citizens hit the council offices with complaints.

Now the club can focus on its controversial planning application, which has little chance of success. Two council candidates who made their opposition to the Valley’s redevelopment a key plank in their campaign platforms were both successful. This community is vehemently opposed to the redevelopment.

Racing club chairman Bob Scarborough is on record as stating that if the club doesn’t get its way, the MVRC might well close the course down. Now there’s a good idea.

Who needs Moonee Valley when we have Flemington nearby.

Cyclist set to peddle their case

The three new Moonee Valley councillors can expect a visit from the powerful cycling lobby which had remarkable influence on the previous council.

Dedicated bike lanes were added to our streets. In practice, they are simply not being used. Well, most of them anyway.

It’s a rare sight to see a cyclist in the special Buckley Street lane in East Keilor, or in Dean Street, Moonee Ponds. Yet the former council wanted to create a bike lane on busy Mt Alexander Road between Fletcher street and Moonee Ponds junction.

The cycling lobby will no doubt try to get the new councillors on board to push their case. But before decisions are made for any more lanes, the council needs to do better homework to ensure there’s a modicum of support.

Among the cycling community at least, right now there’s very little.

Doctor shortage a bit long in the tooth

No greater incentive to keep fit than knowing how tough it is these days to see a local doctor.

An Essendon practice simply locked the doors last Thursday afternoon due to a GP shortage. Its well-meant apology didn’t make patients left in the lurch, or those needing prescriptions, feel any better. At Avondale Heights, a sick patient was turned away two weeks ago. “We are one doctor short”, the clinic said, “so unless you have been here before, we can’t help you”.

Over the road at Milleara Mall, an upstairs suite is called a medical clinic — but there are no medicos there apparently.

While Canberra squabbles with Victoria over more money for the health system, it’s going to be light years before the doctor shortage is resolved, if ever.

The final word. . .

A smile is a window on your face to show you are at home