As a relative newcomer to the Bass Coast Shire and Wonthaggi and one who is passionate about local history I very much enjoy the midday whistle being sounded each day.
I therefore read with some disappointment that there are some calls for the volume of the whistle to be muted to avoid frightening tourists not familiar with the sound (‘Thar she blows’, Sentinel-Times, 11/01/16, p3).
The whistle is a poignant reminder of the coal mining heritage that has shaped Wonthaggi and the surrounding areas in decades past.
Furthermore whilst coal and mining in general may not be the flavour of the month or considered not as interesting or vibrant compared to other tourist or historic attractions in Victoria it is still nevertheless a story worth telling and it would be a shame if the whistle was altered to alleviate the sensitive ears of a minority.
The opportunity should be given to actively promote the whistle to enable tourists and others alike to enjoy (and perhaps set their clocks) each day at midday.
Steven Haby, Wonthaggi