Letters to
the editor

Read the Uluru statement

I accept that there are a range of views within our community regarding the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the debate around constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples (Editorial, “A matter of respect”, July 13-19). What I cannot accept is comments such as those recently attributed to Damian Drum. Last week, Mr Drum was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald as saying, “I’ve never supported a third chamber. I don’t think mainstream Australia supports a third chamber. And the sooner a third chamber is taken off the agenda the quicker we are going to reach true reconciliation.” Mr Drum is doing himself and his constituents a disservice by keeping the erroneous idea of a fabled “third chamber” alive. The Uluru statement has only ever been a proposed voice to parliament, not a voice of parliament. I find it frustrating and rather galling that the member for Nicholls, representing Victoria’s largest Aboriginal population outside Melbourne, would perpetuate such a falsehood. I call on Mr Drum to actually read the statement and engage in good faith with this debate, for the good of Indigenous Australia and the nation as a whole.

– Andrew Bock, Euroa, Vic

Ending domestic violence

For women in situations of domestic violence, whether physical or psychological, it can feel like throwing dice looking for a set of sixes. Jess Hill (“Demote control”, July 20-26) poignantly articulates the quiet fear, and consequent self-loathing, of victims of psychological terrorism in the home. It does take a village to change a perpetrator, but too often the village itself is a blueprint for enablement of powerful men to dominate not only their intimate relationships but also their professional and community roles. “It’s a man’s world” is no tired cliché but a living reality for women in the home, in the workforce, in community organisations. Perpetrators do need to be treated as individuals, but the core of the problem is the insidious deep pit women have to claw their way out of to breathe the fresh air of true equality.

– Pam Connor, Mollymook Beach, NSW

Food for thought

I have never watched MasterChef; however, after reading of the reported, and presumably admitted, behaviour of this “media cook”, I wonder how much credibility George Calombaris really has when it comes to passing judgement on others (Editorial, “Serving justice”,
July 20-26). Employing and paying workers carries with it a high degree of responsibility and accountability. Unsavoury ingredients dished up behind a facade of celebrity will leave those dining out on his popularity with not only a bad taste in their mouths but also a longer-term intolerance to everything on George’s moral menu.

– Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

Devil in the detail

There’s pathos in Bob Brown’s plea for “informed public debate” on the environmental impact of the huge wind farm planned for Tasmania’s Robbins Island (“Too much hot air in wind debate”, July 20-26). He is dealing with a federal government already renowned for its Trumpian approach to environmental matters, and a state government that has preserved the mentality that offered outsized bounties for thylacines fraudulently framed for the depredations of feral European dogs. More recently, Tasmanian politicians have been flouting the pleas of zoologists by selling captive-bred Tasmanian devils to foreign zoos while releasing any unsold offspring to certain death from facial tumour disease in the Tasmanian bush. As ever, any commercial interest enjoys absolute priority over anything with a greenish tinge.

– John Hayward, Weegena, Tas

Time to take a stand

Thanks to Chris Wallace (“Morrison’s Trump stake”, July 20-26) for a timely warning about ScoMo taking Australia to a “terrible Trumpesque place”. He’s not the first Australian prime minister to have his head turned to mush by the flattery of a United States president. Wining and dining and talking up the alliance has got us into wars before – Hawke and Howard both surrendered Australian sovereignty by following the US into its wars in the Gulf. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the birth of the moratorium movement – we need to be reminded about the tragedy of the American war in Vietnam, too, into which Australia was easily seduced. It was sickening to see ScoMo kitted up in military gear on board a US warship lauding the Talisman Sabre war rehearsals. We need to prepare ourselves for another request to back the US in yet another ill-advised war, this time against Iran. I hope sensible people all round the country will rail against that happening. Having no natural enemies, Australia should be cultivating positive relationships within our region, increasing our foreign aid and diplomatic efforts, and considering defence that really means defence, rather than joining in others’ offensive behaviours, all topics that will be canvassed at the fifth national conference of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network in Darwin, August 2-4. Most of all, we should be challenging the notion of the alliance with the US – which is in their interest, not ours – by booting US marines from Darwin, and by getting rid of US military bases from our country.

– Jo Vallentine, Maylands, WA

Moving words

Oh, the magnificent Maxine Beneba Clarke, our next poet laureate? Her words from the heart to your soul (“The rate”, July 20-26). I love you, Maxine Beneba Clarke, with tears in my eyes for your beautiful words.

– Patricia Bellamy, Bangholme, Vic

Snark-infested waters

One consistent pleasure to the start of a weekend is to open The Saturday Paper to Gadfly and his witty snark. “Captain Bob Maxwell, the famed Atlantic freestyle swimmer” is just one example of Richard Ackland’s talent for skewering his egregious targets. Snorting my morning cappuccino through my nose is but a minor downside.

– Paul Falconer, Thirroul, NSW

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on July 27, 2019.

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