Letters 8.4.23


AUSTRALIANS have a deep respect for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. 

Australians, however, have a greater disrespect for bureaucracy! 

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was at its core a call to be acknowledged and respected and for First Nations people to come together to get into the driver seat of their own lives. 

Australia is a diverse country and already has a myriad of special interest groups and lobbyists trying to get their voices heard by the parliament of the day. 

We should put aside the Voice referendum proposal now and instead proceed directly to the referendum questions: 1) “Do you want an Australian to be this country’s Head of State?”; and  2) Do you agree to mandate that such a person only be either an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander?” 

In this seemingly simple way, all Australians can show their profound respect and everlasting acknowledgement of our First Nations peoples.

Henty Farrar
White Gum Valley

All hot air

BUCKET lists, tourism, FIFO, dual citizens, international students; an expanding sports industry with more teams, players, support crews, media and fans criss-crossing the nation and the world; expanding government with more advisory groups, fact-finding junkets, more diplomatic missions, global talkfests, more activists; religious and cultural pilgrimages, observances and holidays; global entertainments and events; higher incomes, more wealth, greater expectations of upward mobility and travel, more billionaires on a new race into space.

All of these activities involve lifting people, and stuff, off the ground.

Defying gravity takes a lot of energy, the kind of energy only available – by current, practical standards – in fossil fuels.

The kind of fuels we are about to phase out.

Until this massive disconnect between science-based realities and wishful expectations is recognised and addressed by governments and, more importantly, individuals; until we return to more localised activities and outlooks, appreciating and conserving the energy resources left to us, all the rhetoric about battling global warming and climate change unfortunately amounts to so much hot air.

Gary D Young

Already here

IS an Indigenous voice in the Constitution required to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage, because finally there will be ‘consultation’?

This is a common argument from advocates, such as the Thinking Allowed commentary from a Fremantle councillor (“A momentous decision,” Herald, March 18, 2023).

But consultation and shared decision-making structures already exist around the country. 

The Minister for Indigenous Australians’ own agency identified 31 “strong partnerships” across the Commonwealth alone. 

There are hundreds of Indigenous owned and controlled bodies such as land councils, health, legal and welfare services, media and education networks – and thousands of Indigenous businesses.

The Thinking Allowed story mentions Closing the Gap several times, arguing that a voice is the solution, but fails to reveal what is actually happening with this key commitment. 

In July 2020 the Coalition of Peaks, an alliance of over 80 Indigenous peak organisations, signed a huge new National Agreement on Closing the Gap with all nine Australian governments (federal, states, territories), committing to sharing decision-making on policies and programs spending billions of dollars aimed at improving life outcomes, with a priority to ensure the full involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The mantra about lack of consultation in decision-making is nonsense. 

Most Australians support constitutional recognition. 

But many don’t want a new, permanent institution in the Constitution where one group of citizens have a special right of representation not available to anyone else. 

Because in our national rule book, everyone should be equal. 

Alan Payne
South Fremantle


INCREASED immigration levels, as promoted by the current Federal government, are reducing our Australian standard of living. 

Currently we suffer from:

• Congestion on our roads and freeways; 

• Hospital ambulance ramping, risking lives; 

• Garden Water restrictions; 

• Insufficient parking bays at rail stations, etc; 

• Housing / building shortage; and, 

• Fishing restrictions (recreational) due to over-exploitation. 

Government lack of planning has caused these issues and surely more people will just multiply these issues. 

Tourists come to Australia because we have the space to live, work and enjoy. 

Many of us migrated because Australia had a better standard of living from where we came, never thinking that we are going to turn it into the place we left. 

PS, I emailed my local MP, Sam Lim, in October 2022 and have yet to receive a reply.

James Nicholson

The Ed says: Over-crowding is a vexed issue, particularly as we watch WA’s planning system struggle with the city’s growth and the days of quiet roads and large, relatively pristine bushland to walk and play in are mostly memories. But when you’re sitting on an unfinished concrete pad because there’s no one to finish your house, or you’re watching a crop wither because there’s no one to pick it, that’s an immediate effect on your standard of living, and good on the Feds for trying to address it. The Chook’s only suggestion is that much of the labour we need isn’t highly skilled, so why not give a few thousand refugee applicants the thrill of their life and say “welcome”.

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