White Australia policy?

The Australian Citizenship Bill is before the senate. The proposed amendments are unfair and unjust.
A proposal to extend the waiting period for citizenship eligibility from four to eight years is a cruel blow to those asylum seekers and refugees who have been denied welfare payments and the right to work during this time.
The resilience of these potential immigrants is evident in their patient acceptance of years waiting in camps across the world and in their many endeavours to integrate into our communities.
This is yet another opportunity for the propaganda machine to add to our xenophobic “fear of other”.
The proposed changes to the English language requirements are unfair to the most vulnerable who arrive with very little English and no classes provided for them.
Many highly qualified migrants find the standards difficult in the extreme and useless for communicating in the workplace. Is this a revamped White Australia Policy?
Peter Dutton already has a Super Ministry. If passed, the new citizenship law will extend his discretionary powers and will nullify any attempt by the Judiciary to prevent unjust treatment of people seeking citizenship.
What happened to the separation of powers embedded in our constitution to protect all of us?

Kate Olliver,
Spring Gully

 

Council aims to take over

Comments by the CEO of Bendigo city council supporting council’s compulsory acquisition of good farm land at Marong for an industrial park is in my opinion an example of big brother.
The State Independent Panel in 2016 determined there was other suitable land available for industry and found public acquisition unwarranted.
To defeat this a Labor government minister altered zoning of the land to permit comprehensive development, this allowed council to push for the farmland.
No wonder government is on the nose with people when it assists big organisations like council to belt the little people.
After 16 years of continued attacks on the Carter family at Marong, one has to wonder was it because this family stood up to council, that council is at war with this family?
Now gutless Lockwood Ward councillors have cancelled a planned meet and greet with Marong residents.
Ward councillors have made this a personal issue, and are punishing Marong residents to prove they can do it.
Council has revealed that stage one of the project will cost $30 million. How many stages are there and what will it cost the ratepayers are questions which open and transparent governance must provide.
Big business makes forecasts of $250M capital investment in this project by 2020. Why haven’t they planned this park themselves?
Why not use land that is sitting near Eaglehawk that has rail and road connections?
To make it work the state government would replace the old Bendigo-Korong Vale line from Eaglehawk which is not in use due to state government neglect.
By being a bully council it shows its fantasy to be the world’s most liveable community and the biggest regional city in Australia is all pie in the sky?

Bill Collier,
Golden Square

 

Danger at pool crossing

The Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing and Aquatic Centre at Browning Street, Kangaroo Flat is scheduled to be completed late August 2018.
Has council or VicRoads considered pedestrian access from High Street?
There are bus stops on both sides of High Street at the Browning Street corner. A pedestrian crossing is not in place there.
Crossing High Street therefore for pedestrians is dangerous at anytime due to the high volume of traffic there.
An increase in the number of the elderly and children alighting at the above bus stops to attend the Wellbeing and Aquatic Centre will be greatly increased.
Those wishing to cross here will substantially increase the risk of being involved in a serious accident if a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights are not put in place.
Ed Thomas,
Kangaroo Flat

 

Disgraceful

I cannot recall a government of Australia at such a low ebb. Anyone who witnessed Kelly O’Dwyer’s interview with Barrie Cassidy on the weekend would have been shocked, ashamed and disgusted, as she tried to deny that the government had attempted to derail the banking royal commission.
They had to be dragged kicking and screaming, after previous comments she and treasurer Scott Morrison had made, which indicated it was going to be predominantly a lawyers’ talk fest, showing contempt to many of the victims of this scandal.
Seriously, what is happening in our country, when the highest level of government, blatantly, and wilfully portrays defending the indefensible, as a method of defence, when clearly, it is no defence at all?
What does this tell the voters of Australia? It tells them that the government has not the slightest interest in their wellbeing, but only their self interest. But the fragility in their defence, implies nothing but utter contempt to the voters of Australia.
With our Prime Minister acting more like a PR consultant than a leader, no wonder the government is rife with division, as one after another either disagree or offer thinly veiled threats if their advice is not taken.
The banking royal commission has revealed some shocking behaviour, and one suspects there is much more to come.
All indications are pointing to a federal election later this year, and frankly it cannot come quickly enough to rid us of the chaos that is demeaning our country, and with it an opportunity to reset the federal agenda on the people that matter, the voters of Australia, who desperately want a change from the present destruction of another parliamentary term.
These people are paid employees of the Australian tax payer, and they should be afforded the same treatment.
As a country, we can no longer tolerate this behaviour.

Ken Price,
Eaglehawk

 

Whose strident voices?

If Julie Hopper complains about the “alt-right”, or indeed anyone with a centre to right point of view, then one must suppose that she is at the opposite end of the spectrum – the far left.
She is typical of those in that category who use such terms as strident, persistent, reactionary, xenophobic, racist, lacking compassion and other negative terms when speaking of those she disagrees with.
They accuse those on the right of them as being unable to abide difference “because they feel threatened by it” and who dislike “confronting world views differing from their own”.
Doesn’t Julie realise the irony here? She accuses others of exactly her own behaviour.

Helen Leach
Bendigo

 

Asleep at the wheel

Reading reports on council’s budget deliberations, ratepayers could easily come to the conclusion that China’s decision to no longer take certain types of the world’s waste was made on January 1.
This of course is incorrect, China notified the world in July 2017 of their decision giving all countries six months to make alternative arrangements.
If I, a humble citizen could become aware of this decision in October 2017 what were those responsible for waste management in all forms of government doing?
Instead of using that time to evolve strategies to deal with this looming problem they did nothing.
We have the right to ask, is this the perfect example of those responsible, not having their finger on the pulse and letting the issue slip under the radar until it’s too late.
Perhaps they were too busy concentrating on issues that were outside of their job descriptions to worry about the important issues they were responsible for.
For those six months from July 2017 we were bombarded with expensive advertising campaigns encouraging us to be more responsible with our recycling; now we are faced with this council following the example of other municipalities and sending our recycling efforts straight to the tip.
This debacle could have been avoided or at least the impact lessened if those responsible had not been asleep at the wheel.
These people don’t care, because in situations like this it is too easy for them to just the pass the cost of their failure onto us taxpayer-ratepayer, using China as an excuse.

D Arscott,
Kangaroo Flat