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It is time for the Voice
Megan Davis’ eloquence (″A fishing trip with the PM says so much about why a Voice to parliament is needed″, The Sunday Age, 18/6) carries a clarion call.
First Nations people have spent much of the past six decades speaking to those in politics who were not listening. First Nations’ culture has evolved over millennia, but is little known or understood by others. We now accept, since Mabo, that our First Nations people are the natural custodians of our country. The next step is to grant them the right to have their cultural and other needs heard by our legislators and administrators. Advocacy bodies legislated in past decades have all been legislated away by subsequent governments: First Nations peoples need an avenue to speak without fear that their advocacy body will be abolished if its messages are later seen to be inconvenient to those in power. The wilful deafness of those who do not listen continues the arrogant conceit of the conqueror, but the days of empire are long gone. It is time for us to become a unified nation with a cosmopolitan history and culture extending back, in part, more than 65,000 years. For this, First Nations people must be heard: it is time for the Voice to be enshrined in our Constitution.
Chris Young, Surrey Hills
The sky won’t fall in
At last the true horrors of the Voice can be revealed. Remember the damage the Mabo decision did to Australia and Australians?
Remember how bad things happened as soon as gay marriage was allowed? Remember the disruption to our culture saying sorry caused? Remember how the apology to the Stolen Generations caused so many catastrophes?
Remember how acknowledgment of country gave us a communist dictatorship?
Be warned. The Voice is going to cause exactly the same disasters!
Doug Steley, Heyfield
Empathy and heart
What a heartwarming story was that of Charbel Yamouni (″Charity hub matches people in need″, 18/6). He uses the experience of his rough childhood to help those in need, hence his empathy.
Anne Fitzpatrick, Abbotsford
Let’s do a deal
Perhaps an offer of transactional diplomacy might resolve the embassy standoff: Russia withdraws from Ukrainian territory and they can have their 99-year lease, with a Faraday cage as a fence.
Michele Watson, Clematis
PM, heed your promise
I welcome the news that Germany will invite Australia to join the group of nations with ″ambitious emissions reductions goals″ (″Germany to ask Australia into climate club″, 24/6). That may provide the pressure that the Albanese government needs to cease its capitulation to the gas industry and take serious action on climate change, the ″promise″ of which was a major reason for its electoral success.
Over the years western suburbs residents have bemoaned the neglect shown them by state governments. It is somewhat ironic that we have a state government implementing much needed infrastructure works in that region and residents are now bemoaning the short-term inconvenience caused as a result.
Phil Alexander, Eltham
Correspondents have observed with some censure, the worldwide galvanised attention and action swung into play over “a few billionaires visiting the Titanic (who) go missing” as opposed to the comparatively low-key response to “the horror and desperation of hundreds of refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea last week” (Letters, 24/6).
The cold, heartless reality is that mass asylum-seeker drownings of those seeking to enter European countries via a Mediterranean crossing have become frequent enough to abhorrently be “commonplace”.
The terrifying plight of those onboard the Titan is a rarity.
Of the quantifying and comparing of human terror and suffering, Josef Stalin is alleged to have observed: “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is just a statistic.” Brutal, but often true words regarding attitudes to human death and misery. Thankfully there are those who stand against such a view and hold that “whoever saves one life, saves the world entire”. A single life, or a million, all are precious.
Keep the lines open
Military expert Ross Babbage (″Risk of China war in five years: expert″, 24/6) states that the risk of war with China over Taiwan in the next five years is about 50 per cent. This is just one man’s estimation. There are so many uncertain factors involved, both in China and in the US, that it is impossible to make meaningful predictions in specific time frames.
We are certainly living in bewildering times where truth and intention are fudged in so many areas of social and political life.
Keeping lines of communication open between nations is the most important measure to avoid stumbling into conflict.
Peter Barry, Marysville
It seems incredible that the Greens by not passing a perfectly reasonable bill to improve the housing shortage are willing to force a double dissolution of parliament and make the people of Australia face the chaos and cost of an election.
Paradoxically such an election would also throw into doubt the vote on the Voice, which has their support.
Meg Paul, Camberwell
Fined by degree
Alert for motorists: never reverse into a 45 degree angle car parking space: there’s a VicRoads regulation that says you must not. Thanks to a Bayside Council parking inspector, I was fined $92 for the transgression.
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