Botched from the out­set

Herald Sun - - YOUR SAY -

I HAVE just re­ceived my Aus­tralian Mar­riage Law Postal Sur­vey, and am shocked to find how slack the se­cu­rity is on this process.

One merely needs to mark the Yes or No box, pop the form in the sup­plied re­ply-paid en­ve­lope, and mail it. There is no way of show­ing (by sig­na­ture etc) that the form has ac­tu­ally been com­pleted by the per­son to whom it is sent.

What is to pre­vent, for ex­am­ple, strong sup­port­ers of ei­ther side raid­ing let­ter­boxes af­ter the postie has been around (very easy with a block of flats), re­mov­ing the let­ters, and send­ing back masses of fal­si­fied re­sponses?

This whole op­er­a­tion has been a botch-up from the start.

Mike Pule­ston, Brunswick

Yes, it may save lives

SO why have I de­cided to vote yes for mar­riage equality? Be­cause I read in the Her­ald Sun that the sui­cide rate in Aus­tralia is three times higher than the road toll.

It’s no se­cret that sui­cide among gay boys and girls is dis­turbingly high, due no doubt to the feel­ing a gay per­son has of be­ing con­stantly os­tracised by so­ci­ety — shut out from a world in which he or she wants to have a lit­tle pride and, above all, ac­cep­tance.

I have two beau­ti­ful young grand­chil­dren and they may end up be­ing in the com­mon es­ti­mate of 10 per cent of peo­ple who are gay.

Should that hap­pen, I would want to wish them ev­ery love and sup­port in the world.

And to ar­gue they shouldn’t choose to be gay is like ar­gu­ing that some­one shouldn’t be left-handed. It just hap­pens.

Maybe my yes vote to­day will bring them a hap­pier in­clu­sive life in the fu­ture. Don’t we want that for all our chil­dren, no matter what?

Chris Ball, Strath­more

Mar­riage still valid

LINDA Coote (YS, Sept 15), I did not marry my hus­band un­der the un­der­stand­ing that mar­riage is be­tween a man and a woman. I mar­ried him be­cause I loved him and wanted to share my life with him.

Al­low­ing same-sex cou­ples to marry in no way, shape or form de­creases or im­pairs the im­por­tance or va­lid­ity of my mar­riage. What it does do is al­low all peo­ple to have the same rights as me.

Re­li­gious groups do not have the “copy­right” on what the def­i­ni­tion of mar­riage is.

Jac­qui Hau, Grovedale

Vote for de­spite din

LIKE most of us, I have been deaf­ened by the re­lent­less rhetoric of the yes cam­paign, but be­fore you vote No out of pure an­noy­ance, please con­sider this.

Vot­ing Yes doesn’t mean you sup­port hard­core and self-serv­ing Lefty apol­o­gists — it sim­ply means, like me, you think those gays and les­bians in your work and per­sonal life are OK just the way they are.

It is as sim­ple as that. Alas­tair Mcken­zie, Port Mel­bourne

Set­tlers were stoic

JAN­UARY 26, 1788, was no “in­va­sion day”. On ar­rival that week, Gov­er­nor Phillip or­dered that no native was to be mo­lested. Con­se­quently, the first hang­ing in­volved a con­vict who stole fish­ing tackle from a native.

The first set­tlers were not geno­ci­dal in­vaders. How­ever, had the Vik­ings, Spa­niards or Por­tuguese ar­rived ear­lier, it most likely would have been so.

Rarely is any­thing men­tioned of the con­victs ar­riv­ing here as slaves in chains, be­ing flogged, worked to death, and hung for the most triv­ial of­fences. It was only through their toil, suf­fer­ing, stoic per­sis­tence, and their de­scen­dants, that Aus­tralia has be­come the most live­able coun­try in the world.

If not for the first set­tlers, the likes of Yarra coun­cil would not be basking in de­caf so­cial­ism, gen­er­ous salaries, ad­di­tional perks and pres­tige cy­cling.

I will al­ways cel­e­brate Aus­tralia Day on Jan­uary 26. In­dige­nous or not, we are all Aus­tralians with some­thing in com­mon, in that we hold deep cul­tural roots in this coun­try.

There is no other place I could ever call home.

Lou Cop­pola, Hawthorn East

Flies in the face of fair

I HOPE all Aus­tralians were as dis­gusted and an­gry as I was when I read of the Alan Joyce re­mu­ner­a­tion of $25 mil­lion last year.

This fig­ure is to­tally of­fen­sive, and be­yond all sense of re­al­ity in any coun­try in the world.

There are so many rea­sons why such an amount is un­ac­cept­able, es­pe­cially when there are peo­ple dy­ing be­cause they can­not af­ford nec­es­sary health care, and others liv­ing in poverty strug­gling to feed their fam­i­lies.

The di­rec­tors re­spon­si­ble for this ob­scene amount should be held to ac­count, and asked why Qan­tas has be­come a prof­it­mak­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Ask the work­ers who have been sacked, and the cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing less than ac­cept­able ser­vice with all the cut­backs.

I would hope he do­nates a large pro­por­tion of his in­come to wor­thy causes. Phil Truslove, Al­tona

Adios to peace­ful life

A SPAN­ISH con­glom­er­ate, in its race to grab huge prof­its from sub­si­dies of­fered by the Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment, is pre­pared to sac­ri­fice the liveli­hoods of many peo­ple in the small West­ern District town of Hawkes­dale.

It’s plan­ning an in­dus­trial wind farm con­sist­ing of 26 tur­bines, the clos­est be­ing just over 1km from the Hawkes­dale town­ship bound­ary.

These wind tur­bines, with flash­ing red lights, will be 180m tall. The clear­ance be­tween the West Gate Bridge and the Yarra River is 58m.

Peo­ple have good rea­son to be con­cerned about the noise level as they can clearly hear, on a windy day, the Macarthur wind farm, which is about 12km away.

I am in favour of the gov­ern­ment’s re­new­able en­ergy poli­cies but con­sid­er­a­tion needs to be given to siting wind farms away from ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. Hawkes­dale has 432 peo­ple, 165 houses and a prep-year 12 school with 215 stu­dents.

Both our fed­eral and state govern­ments are fo­cused on af­ford­able hous­ing, yet the Vic­to­rian gov­ern­ment is pre­pared to risk sac­ri­fic­ing a ru­ral com­mu­nity that of­fers af­ford­able hous­ing to grant an amend­ment to a plan­ning per­mit to a an over­seas com­pany for tur­bines.

M. McCosh, Hawkes­dale

Hi­jacked by ide­ol­ogy

CON­TRARY to what var­i­ous writ­ers have said, La­bor is the party of higher en­ergy costs, as fully at­tested by the South Aus­tralian and Vic­to­rian govern­ments.

In gov­ern­ment hands, elec­tric­ity is fi­nan­cially bereft.

We once were the lucky state in a lucky coun­try un­til we got hi­jacked by La­bor-as­sisted ide­o­logues.

Mal Alexan­der, Ver­mont

Car­bon cost is com­ing

AS a coun­try res­i­dent, I in­tend to get a gen­er­a­tor to cope with any power black­outs this sum­mer. There must be many peo­ple con­sid­er­ing this.

If we have a black­out and I fire up, I will be cre­at­ing car­bon gases with my petrol or diesel mo­tor. What about the car­bon cost of all these gen­er­a­tors be­ing used? I won­der if it’s worse than run­ning one big one. Pe­ter Barker, Co­huna

A sport­ing chance?

WOMEN’S sport de­serves just as much time on the news as men’s.

Re­port­edly, horse rac­ing re­ceives more air­time than women’s sport in Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion news. Surely women are bet­ter than horses?

Male sport makes up 81 per cent of TV sports news cov­er­age.

There are so many awe­some women ath­letes. The women’s na­tional bas­ket­ball league (WNBL) last sea­son was not even broad­cast.

To all those news chan­nels that don’t care about women’s suc­cess in sport, it just isn’t good enough.

Mack Mitchell, Pat­ter­son Lakes

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