Naracoorte Herald letters to the editor – August 31

Same sex marriage

Re: the same sex marriage debate.

Let me start my letter by stating clearly and unequivocally that this is probably the greatest deception pushed by the politically correct, the LGBTI community and our politicians that I can remember.

Most caring and decent Australians know important it is for us to have someone to love and therefore if two people of the same sex love one another we would wish them a happy and a long life together.

They have the chance to choose a wonderful new word to commemorate this new and recognised union and they should do just that.

They cannot use our traditional word ‘marriage’ which for hundreds of years has signified the joining together of a man and woman; I might add the government in parliament has recognised as correct.

Which brings me next to the question of Christianity, which at this moment in time, is the under the greatest threat.

Where are all our Christian leaders? As far as I am concerned they are noticeable in their essence. 

They should all be speaking out loudly against changing something that they have held sacrosanct for hundreds of years protecting what is the ‘traditional family.’

Have we become so dumbed down that we are afraid to speak up and to speak up respectfully?

Why do I and many others think the debate is deceptive? Because it is definitely not about “marriage equality”, the question to be debated is whether same sex couples can use our term “marriage” for their union.

Sadly the repercussions, if same sex couples can use the word marriage, are enormous and will only be felt should they win this debate.

The Anglican Archbishop of Perth last week called on all his parishioners to vote ‘no’ and I appeal to all our religious leaders to do the same. Just because their countries have passed this law, does not mean we have to stand tall Australian and vote no.

All people over the age of 65 should value the traditional marriage and hopefully all of us are able to accept change, as long as one does not trample the other.

I also call on the LGBTI community to stand tall and choose another name for this new union. You profess loud and strongly that you are different, why is it then that you wish to use the traditional term of marriage?

Thus far, the only angry and bitter words have come from Bill Shorten and Penny Wong who accused heterosexuals of bringing “filth into the debate”.

Under new laws both could be charged with inciting violence.

Everyone should settle down and come to an agreeable and respectful solution. There is no doubt this is serious on both sides, however in the realm of things, we have far more pressing issues that should be addressed.

Once again I ask all Australians not to let the LGBTI community use the word marriage for their union and therefore I ask you to vote No.

K L MOYLE, Naracoorte. ​

Not so good news

It was rather disturbing to hear on the media/news a few days ago that the only fuel station in Coonalpyn had to close down because of financial hardship, because of lack of lease renewal or just being squeezed out of business, I don’t know.

To hear this I thought was both disgusting and an absolute disgrace, both to the community and the emergency services and the traveling public.

Because of this, everybody will have no fuel, the travelling public won’t get a quick take away and so they won’t stop. 

The idea of painting the silos was great, attracting many tourists who stopped to have a look, commented, spent some money in town on food (maybe) and this is what the town wanted.

Now I feel the town is (example only) like a dog with it’s tail between its legs.

Now, everybody has to make about a 60km round trip round trip to get fuel and I understand the emergency services point of view, because of the current situation and if they were in transit to get fuel, an emergency came to be, namely a vehicle accident, lives could be at risk.

I read with great interest in the article in the local paper on page four about the ‘potential flooding’.

The local council are doing a great job at trying to prevent flooding in the town but there was one area that was not mentioned, the creek.

With all the reeds and other debris in the creek, this will slow the water flow down, the debris etc will bank up and of course the creek will flood. 

If you see a problem as I have always have done, you try and fix it. In my opinion, there is only one solution, get rid of some of the weeds (not all), get rid of any thing that is obstructive and the creek will flow properly thus alleviating the possible cause of flooding.

If some of these environmentalist minded people or the ‘greenies’ or the Native Vegitation Act is not in favour of trying to solve the problem such as a clean fast flowing creek, well, I am at a loss as what to think.

I find it very hard to believe that a large complex such as the one being built on the corner of Smith St and Moy Hall Rd should be allowed to be built in that there will be another fuel outlet, another car wash, a take away place plus what ever else will be there.

Already in Naracoorte we have one 24-hour service station plus four other places for fuel can be got, two car washes of which one can be used for trucks and semis and I thought I thought plenty of take away places for food.

How many more commodities do we want? Once this business gets up and running, I am quite convinced that a lot of other small businesses in Naracoorte will be effected just like those in Coonalpyn.

Sadly today a lot of these big companies think about money and greed and in due course could force the smaller business out. There are too many empty shops in town now.

If this company is overseas orientated, I don’t know and don’t care but I for one won’t be supporting them and I hope a lot of other people think the same. 

LJ BROWN, Naracoorte.

Removal of trees

I have lived in Naracoorte since 1980 and have observed the removal of many large trees and gardens from the streets of the town.

Most of these have not been replaced and those that have seem to be with small trees and small shrubs.

Certainly, the local council is not responsible for all of these since many businesses and organisations have also removed trees and gardens, though the council seems to lead the way in removing any green thing wherever they can.

The result is that I find many parts of our town somewhat sterile, dreary and plain ugly. 

Perhaps the council actually does have a plan to make our streetscapes magnificent and beautiful, but I fear too many people prefer to look at stobie poles, concrete, buildings and pavers. 

That seems to be the trend and so I fear there may not be any large trees left in Naracoorte before too much longer.

STUART MARTYN, Naracoorte.

Naracoorte tree debate

The recent street tree debacle in Naracoorte showed the effort of those wishing to retain the trees were ‘coming from behind’ as far as the debate was concerned. Such a position is always difficult.

Judging from that experience, I wish to be on the ‘front foot’ and warn Council against ever considering a change to Australia Day being celebrated on January 26.

It is like our birthday which is celebrated on the correct date. And who would we be fooling if we shifted it?

The very disturbing desire to remove statues or change dates etc is a plan to ignore history. We do so at our peril.

We should be prepared to learn from history and repeat only the better aspects.

We remember Victory in Europe; Victory in the Pacific and ANZAC Day, all of which delivered defeat for the aggressors and peace for the defenders. Celebrating those important days does not suggest there were no bad aspects.

Similarly, the arrival of the British to settle Australia was not perfect for everyone. However, most of us appreciate what that settlement has delivered for us today and for those who are unable to recognise those advantages - I say, take another look, mate!

KEN GRUNDY, Naracorte.

Ode of Remembrance

I write in reply to Rodger Henschke's letter dated August 24. I am deeply angered and saddened by the wording at the end of the signature petition for the two plane trees that were removed last weekend - "Lest We Forget".

As most Australians would likely know, these words are highly revered and form part of the response and unofficial ending to the Ode to our fallen soldiers, which is most commonly read out at dawn services around the country, among other military events throughout the year.

As a former soldier myself, I have a respect that cannot be captured by words for the men and women that have served in our Defence Forces.

To use one of the most important lines from one of the most important Ode's in our military history and relate them to two trees is ignorant, misguided and offensive.

You can not liken the cutting down of two trees to a soul who has fought bravely for their country.

JEFF UNGER, Naracoorte.

Thank you

Congratulations and a big thank you are due to Anne Daw, Debbie Nulty, and others in the collegiate group who spent an exhausting week in Canberra recently at their own expense, for the purposes of protecting Australian communities and their families from the toxic fallout of hastily approved and ill considered industries involving toxic chemicals.

Every day we read about impacts from gasfields, leaching mines, fire retardant chemicals, dioxin via government spraying programmes, agricultural chemicals that have been banned in other western countries, and even some household items come to mind.

The group have been researching and collaborating both here in Australia, as well as with overseas experts in these matters and have uncovered alarming facts which rural Australian communities on the end of the communication channels would never have been able to find out timewise or financially.

These remarkable women have put in hundreds of hours of their time and significant amounts of their own money, simply because they love Australian life in every sense of the word.

Having not had to think about these things for centuries, people are not very aware of their rights in relation to “the commons” which are those things which cannot (or should not in the case of aquifers), be owned by an individual, i.e. the atmosphere, the oceans, aquifers, rivers, etc.

Companies have no right to pollute the commons which are necessary for life on earth.

I believe many American states are now adding their concerns to those of New York and condemning for example, Exxon Mobile who have known since the 80s that fossil fuels are affecting climate.

Doctors for the Environment are gathering emerging evidence of the detrimental effects of gasfields in particular.

Interestingly food security is not even in the top 10 priorities of the Australian government at a time when agricultural land and irrigation water is becoming very very expensive.

HEATHER HEGGIE, Naracoorte.

AMA position on Marriage

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has issued a “position statement” claiming:

Firstly, that high suicide-rates in “LGTBIQ” individuals are a result of “discrimination and stigmatisation…rather than a symptom of the orientation itself.”

Secondly, that health and psychosocial outcomes for children raised in same-sex-parented families are “on a par with, and in some aspects comparatively better than, children raised in heterosexual-parented families.”

Ex-AMA head, Prof Kerryn Phelps, comments: “I don't think the religious, cultural right-wing conservatives now have anywhere to hide.”

Rather than wanting to hide, “conservatives” might settle for some media space to explain how:

Firstly, the “suicidality” claim relies on one-only piece of 14-year-old statistically-unsound research - while ignoring more recent research suggesting the opposite.

The “outcomes” claim relies on wrong sampling methods – with other peer-reviewed studies concluding that “the longer social scientists study the question the more evidence of harm is found.”

ARNOLD JAGO, Nichols Point Victoria. 

National Child Protection Week

National Child Protection Week runs from September 3-9.  In this week we take the time to reflect on child protection issues and promote the wellbeing of our young people. 

I am asking for a world without child abuse, and we can only achieve that though creating safe environments for our kids.

Reports of child abuse are overwhelming and give witness to the lack of accountability for adults who abuse young people.

Sadly, some communities are looking the other way, ignoring the abuse of children because this is the easiest option.

People don’t want to get involved in notifying assaults on our young people because of the fear of the consequences from the perpetrators.

Nothing is more important than protecting our vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. Child abuse goes beyond the tears and pain experienced in childhood.

Victims endure a lifetime of psychological and emotional distress, they often become drug users to kill the pain of abuse, attempt suicide, self-mutilate and have major trust issues.

We, as a society, must ensure that we provide our children with a safe and supportive environment, so that they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

My organisation, Youth Off The Streets is dedicated to helping victims of child abuse through extensive programs as well as our trained youth workers, case workers and psychologists.

We strive to offer a full curriculum of care that is provided on a case by case basis, ensuring our young people get the care they so desperately need.

We as a community need to listen to what is happening to our young people, speak up and get help when our children are in trouble.

Together we can protect some of Australia’s most vulnerable young people from experiencing this trauma. 

FR CHRIS RILEY, CEO and founder at Youth of the Streets.