Focus needs to shift to bigticket items
The pettiness Canberra politics often overshadows the inability of those august individuals to do the job they were actually elected for. To govern. Increasingly, as in the US, our politicians govern by polls.
If the polls are bad it can spark anything from a bloody coup and the axing of one leader after another.
If they are good, the leader can get rid of potential threats and also go easy on the power pedal.
But in recent weeks we have seen everything from a pathetic play for headlines by one senator to an even more pathetic play for doing absolutely everything except make a decision.
The farce of the postal plebiscite and, in this case, the Turnbull government’s determination to do everything it can to have someone else make a decision on its behalf is a perfect case in point.
Mirrored recently by Campaspe Shire, with enough challenges on its plate doing the job it has a bevy of elected members to manage, wasting its and its ratepayers’ time with a hollow gesture by voting on same sex marriage.
I am not in the position of being able to fully understand the personal of and public pressures minorities face — I was born a white, heterosexual Anglo-Saxon Protestant at a time in our history when we still had a deeply-entrenched White Australia policy.
It does not bother me to say I went right through my school life — primary and secondary — knowingly knowing one Catholic student, one Jewish, no indigenous, Asians or Africans.
There was a smattering of new Australians, but they were white and mostly spoke English.
I was only vaguely aware one of my friends may not have had parents living together.
As for knowing anyone who might have fitted anywhere on the acronym spectrum — well I thought gay meant having a good time, I was well into my teens before I fully understood not everyone was heterosexual.
That was my lot, and the lot of a lot of us, in the 1950s and 1960s.
Today I know about it all, I know people in every one of those categories, even have some of them in my own family.
Each, in their way, has made my life a lot richer.
But none of them have had to stand before me and declare their religious, political, sexual or personal beliefs to get my attention, ship.
During the years Australian governments have delighted in wasting money.
Such as the time one government staged a referendum to outlaw communism, and got told to drop on its head.
I remember 1967 when 90 per cent of Australians voted to confirm what should have been commonsense — that our indigenous citizens get some semblance of equal rights.
And even with that majority the whole thing has still been made a hash of.
Now the time has come for another decision.
And the people pulling down millions and millions of dollars in pay and perks to do exactly that, make a bloody decision, are once again ducking and weaving.
I will sleep soundly whatever the plebiscite outcome.
What will concern me is the mess you can already see coming whichever way the vote goes.
For one I think I would be a lot happier if we could focus on some big-ticket items, such as backing away from the Trump-led circus that might just drag us into a maelstrom beyond imagination if we are not careful, or he doesn’t shut up. or friend-
This government is committed to supporting current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who may have been physically or sexually abused.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has introduced measures to make it easier for those affected to access compensation and to receive the mental health support they need.
The department has broadened the acceptance of statutory declarations as part of compensation claims, making it possible for such declarations to constitute sufficient evidence to establish that abuse took place.
This change will benefit those who may not have reported abuse at the time it occurred or who have never previously spoken about it.
A dedicated team has also been established to manage all new claims relating to sexual and physical abuse.
Treatment for all mental health conditions is now free for anyone who has served just one day in the full-time ADF.
The Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service also provides specialist free counselling and group programs.
This service is available by phoning 1800 011 046, or via their website: www.vvcs.gov.au
I encourage anyone who may have suffered abuse in the ADF to contact DVA to access the support and benefits the department provides.
Further information can be found on DVA’s website or by phoning 1800 555 254.
— Dan Tehan, Veterans’ Affairs Minister
I read with interest Simon Ruppert’s story on the cancelled motor bike event.
I’m pretty sure someone has been a bit loose with the truth in their dealings with Mr Roche from the Diamond Valley Motorcycle Club.
Mr Roche stated that, ‘‘Adjoining properties were all on board 100 per cent, the property owner checks with neighbours to make sure no neighbouring properties were upset’’.
I can say this for a fact, adjoining properties and residents generally in the area would definitely not be 100 per cent on board.
I was extremely pleased to read further on that Mr Roach has been in contact with the Winton Motor Raceway discussing his club’s event/s possibly being held there in the future. A much better situation for all I’d say. Motorcycle racing at a raceway precinct instead of tearing up the unspoilt countryside, makes total sense to me.
— Rod Sherlock, Chesney Vale.
Bike race okay
I refer to your article for the motorcycle race in the paper on August 23.
I am one of the landholders that this race was going to be held on and have had it there for six years, except last year because of unforeseen circumstances.
I was asked if it was okay to run this through my property this year and I agreed to it as I have found in the past it has not had any adverse detriment to the land or the animals and birds in the area.
I have frequently seen during the past eight years the goannas, kangaroos, possums, robin red breast, blue wrens, ducks, Letters to the Editor are most welcome. Letters should be short and to the point, with a maximum of 250 words. All letters must carry the author’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification purposes. The Ensign reserves the right to edit letters for legal purposes and space restrictions. To send a Letter to the Editor, email email@example.com cockatoos and other wildlife even after having a race, and my property is right next door to the Mount Meg nature conservation reserve.
A check of Chesney hills reveals that it is a little over 5 km from my property.
I can also say I have regenerated the area of my property and have still had the wildlife there no matter what as I ride around my property as well.
As I own my property I have never been informed there is a conservation plan in place and it wasn’t listed when I bought my property as my solicitor checked all this out for me, so there might be at Chesney Vale hills, but not on my property.
Bowcher Rd was also listed in the article as a residents’-only road and a check has told me that it is a municipal road and if the road they refer to is the one off the end of Bowcher Rd then that isn’t their concern as it is a private road for myself and the other owner of the properties it accesses.
So Bowcher Rd is open to the public at any time of the day or night for whoever wants to use it.
It is the responsibility of the council to maintain this road and not the residents of the area, so this factor has nothing to do with having a race on the private properties that they were going to use.
As for using the Winton Raceway, well that’s a motocross track not an enduro track and anyone who knows anything about riding would know that difference.
If these people want to complain about motorcycles then they should trade their cars in and walk because they are not doing the right thing by all this wildlife and things as the cars are wearing roads down and harming things as well. — David Rigbye
Sin is the problem
Re: All this equality business. All I can deduct is that something in the process of evolution went horribly wrong.
Wrong, when different human beings came out with different genetalia.
Strange indeed as it definitely did not make those human beings equal, but different, even in other places as well.
And please Ashleigh stop being so narrow minded to accuse all priests and church elders of being pedophiles. The world is full of porn and pervasions. The real problem is the much-maligned word sin in whatever shape or form.
We are all guilty of it, so in that sense we are equal indeed. — Mrs Diwi Bekins
Mixed responses: Ensign readers have conflicted views about the cancelled bike race that was reported on in last week’s paper.