Letter to the editor

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 19-Oct-2017


Ideas of morality

One of the things that has come to light in the current debate over the same-sex marriage issue concerns the absence of a common ethical basis to which we can refer as we engage in the discussion.  

Our Australian society, like most other western societies, was largely founded and developed on Judeo-Christian ethics and principles.  

Even people who may not have regarded themselves as being religious nevertheless accepted the validity of ethical codes like those given in the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.  

However, this foundation of morality began to erode with the growing influence of post-modern thinking in the 1990s.  

The existence of objective truth was denied and in its place, under the banner of tolerance, we were encouraged to develop our own ideas of morality and allow others to do likewise.  

So now here we are, a society drifting on a sea of relativity in a state of absolute moral confusion.  

As we attempt to resolve the question regarding the rightness or wrongness of the controversial issue presented to us in the plebiscite, it may be beneficial to probe a little deeper and re-visit the question of what makes something morally right or wrong in the first place.  

Biblical Christianity maintains that the key to this lies with the character and will of our Creator. 

Garry McCay,

Kangaroo Flat

Another view

How can any Christian be opposed to the concept of Voluntary Assisted Dying? 

We are told in the good book that God so loved the earth that He gave His only begotten son to save it. 

Surely we can see that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a form of assisted dying? 

Bernard Cannon, 

Golden Square

Technology mix

We have a standard NBN service provided by Southern Phone.

Until five months ago we had a standard ADSL service also provided by Southern Phone.

We are just under one kilometre from the local Strathdale exchange.

As for the general complaint often mentioned in the media that we are paying more for the same (slow) particularly upload speeds on NBN, I would add:

Because – and this is the absolutely key point to understand – these slow speed issues are not in the main a consequence of not having all-fibre, or the fact that there’s a mix of technologies (fibre, fibre to the node, to the kerb, HFC cable etc).

They are in the main a consequence of the price the Internet retail service providers are paying to access the network.  

Bluntly, these ISPs are selling high speeds to consumers but not buying enough access to ensure they can deliver those speeds when demand is high at peak periods.

Very simply, it is up to the ACCC to police the ISPs. 

To make it abundantly clear that if they sell a consumer a 25 MBps download speed, they buy enough capacity on the NBN to deliver it, and not just between 2am and 6am.

What will the ACCC do to fix this national problem?  

What will Canberra do to fix this national problem?   

Locally, Southern Phone will not satisfactorily answer the question.

John Tait,


Compassion aired

May I congratulate Natasha Joyce (Bendigo Weekly, Why I Campaign, October 13) for her brave and heartfelt support of the Yes campaign in the marriage equality debate. 

Her letter does what so much of this debate has failed to do – it portrays vividly a compassion that has arisen from lived experience.

The oft-repeated “What about the children?” mantra of the No campaign may also seem at first glance to be based on compassion, but it actually is not. 

It is irrelevant to marriage equality and it arises from an assumption that the parenting practices of same-sex couples are somehow inferior. 

Same-sex parented children have suffered stigma throughout this entire debate because their families have been under constant scrutiny. 

This is assuredly not compassion as Ms Joyce would understand it.

Although Brian Stanmore (Too Early to Call) does not place himself specifically on the side of the No campaign, his letter indicates that in his view some analysis of same-sex parented families is warranted. 

He suggests that a complete, impartial assessment... of the welfare of children acquired by same sex couples... will need to be undertaken. For what purpose? 

Who would perform this assessment, on whose behalf and by what authority? 

Would a similar assessment also be carried out on children “acquired” in other family situations, as a point of comparison?

Mr Stanmore needs to be aware that what constitutes a family depends on the perceptions of the people concerned, not upon the opinions of outsiders. 

Certainly we have Mum, Dad and the offspring, but families come in all shapes and sizes – children living with grandparents or other relatives, or in blended families, or with two fathers or two mothers not necessarily in same-sex relationships – to name but a few. 

Love and stability provided by caring, reliable adults is essential for the welfare of children. 

Who those adults are matters far less than what they do for their kids. 

This is what real compassion is about. 

Could anyone say that these people are not part of a family? Would Mr Stanmore want “complete, impartial assessment” for these families as well, or does he wish to see same-sex parented children singled out?  

ct research has already been done on outcomes for children from same-sex parented


He should seek it out, it makes for very enlightening reading.

Julie Hopper,


Supporting a cause

On October 9 thousands of Australians across the country generously threw their support behind headspace day, kicking off National Mental Health Week.

headspace day is an opportunity to educate young people on the importance of taking care of their mental health issues early, before they become more serious.

Every year, a quarter of all young Australians will experience mental health issues and we want them to know that headspace is here to help. 

Research shows that 75 per cent of mental health issues emerge before the age of 25. 

By getting on top of issues early, the chances of recovery are greatly increased.

On headspace day we asked all Australians to share their personal mental health tips, telling us how they take care of their mental health. 

We gathered thousands of ideas to show young people the many different ways to maintain a healthy headspace.

It has been inspiring to see so many Australians share on #headspaceday.There is still time to support headspace just visit headspaceday.org.au, write your personal mental health tip on a headspace day postcard and share this on your social media with #headspaceday

Thank you to everyone who took part in headspace day.

Jason Trethowan,

CEO at headspace

A sporting win

It’s an exciting time for women’s sport in Victoria.

This year has brought so many incredible wins, including watching the Matildas dominate on the world stage, the first ever AFLW competition kick off and of course the skyrocketing demand for grassroots women’s sport leagues.

VicHealth is proud to build on this momentum with our new Active Women and Girls program announced recently. 

Our largest ever investment in women’s sport will provide $6.7 million in funding to further raise the profile of women’s sport.

I encourage all women and girls who’d like to try out one of our new sports programs to register their interest at www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/activewomen 

We want to see women and girls smashing the stereotypes about what they can and can’t do by getting out there and playing the sports they love.

Jerril Rechter,

CEO, VicHealth 


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