Fo­cus needs to shift to bigticket items

Benalla Ensign - - News - By An­drew Mole

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-

Com­pen­sa­tion avail­able

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

Right out­come

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 edi­tor@be­nal­laen­sign.com.au 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.

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