WORLD HAS FORGOTTEN
WHEN war broke out in Europe in 1914, a fledgling Australian nation had a population of less than 5 million.
Of that, an astonishing 416,809 young Australians enlisted for the fight that bogged down in the mud and blood of the battlefields on the other side of the globe.
By war’s end, more than 60,000 Australian soldiers had been killed or died from disease, and 156,000 had been wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. Many survivors would never fully recover, condemned to an existence with shattered bodies and minds. How a tiny country could rise again after such devastating loss almost defies comprehension. The lists of the dead on cenotaphs in tiny communities tell a story of unending grief and in many instances, an abrupt halt to family lines. The impact on families, communities and indeed the local and national economies was enormous.
But the country did survive. Isolated half a world away from Europe, Australia was left to cope and rebuild itself – only to be thrown into worldwide conflict again 21 years later as war marched to our doorstep.
Tomorrow, people in cities, towns and small communities gather at 11am for Remembrance Day ceremonies that have added significance, marking a century since World War I drew to a close.
Many will place great emphasis on how soldiers, governments and nations were able to make peace and rebuild. People will think about how their own families also had to rebuild and adjust, because that war and every conflict Australia has been drawn into has affected all of us in some way. The tragedy, though, is that even as the world marks the centenary and people everywhere pause to acknowledge the sacrifice of the millions who perished in the so-called War to End All Wars and all the wars since, tension and conflict continue.
“Lest we forget ‘’ – a line from the Kipling poem Recessional that is recited at remembrance services – is packed with meaning. The anticipated turnout at ceremonies tomorrow indicates our nation has not forgotten its heroes and the horrors and futility of war. But with the threat of terrorism and with killing continuing in hot spots across Asia and Africa, our nation has to divert billions of dollars into maintaining defence forces and sending troops where needed. Sadly then, it seems that collectively the world has learned little. PEOPLE with no knowledge of the horrors that led to the installation of shark nets in 1962 are sleepwalking the state towards disaster. Their passionate concern for marine life makes them blind to why the nets and drum lines are there – to protect human lives. The risk is a government one day will be convinced to drop the defences.
Older Gold Coasters remember the shocking attacks that led to the beach nets. To really understand the threat, people who see nets and drum lines as evil should research the fatalities from the 1930s to the 1960s, particularly the gruesome deaths of two Kirra lifesavers in 1937. The Government is adamant it won’t dismantle Gold Coast shark defences. We will hold it to that, because there has not been a fatality on our beaches since the nets went in.
YOUR report, “Palmy Yes, Bundall No”, very properly draws attention to the selective and inconsistent approach of the GCCC planning committee to the zoning provisions of the City Plan.
On television, Mayor Tom Tate defended the GCCC planning committee approval of the application for the development at 488-492 The Esplanade, Palm Beach, which fails to conform to almost any provision of the City Plan.
Cr Tate dismissed the feelings of local residents, stating that objecting after the decision was made was like complaining “after the horse had bolted”, although numerous objections have been lodged on the council website, and elsewhere.
Is the Mayor really unaware of these objections to the application, which was approved only at its third submission, following minimal amendment from the second submission – a token reduction from 33 to 32 units?
Can he say why two councillor members of the committee declared they couldn’t vote due to conflicts of interest, but they’d spoken in support of the application?
Can he explain why the approval was granted despite being over the planning limits for medium-density developments, especially regarding set-backs and high-density provisions and the clearly inadequate provision for parking in an area where parking problems are already acute?
One can only ask who profits from the granting of such relaxations from the City Plan, and how
BRUCE MOLLOY, SECRETARY, NORTH PALM BEACH RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
IN reply to Yvette Dempsey (Letters, Nov 9) who says “why, did the PM have a blind spot for children on Nauru, their conditions are so appalling that witnesses have labelled them child abuse.”
I ask, Yvette: “Have you even been to Nauru? Have you seen the camps they live in?” I suspect not, but I have.
I have visited there twice and my son has lived there for eight years.
What is presented here on the left-wing media is nothing like conditions on Nauru. No one is locked in a detention centre, they are free to roam in the community and in fact many live in the community and have even set up businesses there, making the most of the very pleasant island conditions.
Refugee parents have been known to starve their children, even poison them trying to force our Government into bringing them (& their families) to Australia for urgent treatment.
This is despite the fact Australia has more than 60 qualified medical staff on hand to treat them there.
I question their claim to be genuine refugees if (as we have read just this week) that many refused the offer to live in the US.
For my money, living in unbearable, dangerous conditions where they come from, or living on a tropical island, with food, money and