Last week, a reader noted that seven stories would not be visible over the tree line at the proposed Sekisui building site. He has been misled. Not only will those seven stories be visible, but they will also tower over the beach and effectively light up the precious turtle nesting area, as the Marcoola high-rises did. They will block the view of Mt. Coolum from the beach. The trees would have to be triple their height to ‘hide’ a seven-story building.
Sekisui could have had a hotel and residential development at least five years ago had they agreed to build within the town plan – think of all those jobs we have been waiting for. A development within our town plan is welcome; providing jobs and a future that we envision for our community.
As to lining the pockets of solicitors, many of the professionals working for our local community groups would much rather be doing something else. They are not helping us in order to ‘line their pockets’. They are helping us because they share our values.
HELP ONE ANOTHER
Life is not about Individual responsibility. We are all collectively responsible for each other.
Society is in intellectual decline! But to reverse it you don’t have to be “smart” or “educated” or “affluent”, it’s just a matter of acknowledging what’s right before your eyes. We are on earth to help each other! Don’t be poisoned by the black heart of Me, Mine, I. Nothing in society can be done without the cooperation of others. Not competition you see, the opposite. The vast emptiness of economics will stretch your soul to a thinness whereby it cannot be seen. Science gives us knowledge. The conscious (an instrument of universal science) dictates how to use such knowing. Poverty, homelessness, environmental degradation – these are outcomes of unconscionable use of non-knowledge!
NO TO VOICE
Our respected Dr Christine Murphy opined her reasons for voting ‘yes’ to the Voice referendum, aiming to tug on citizens’ heartstrings, noting she could no longer accept the social advantage chasm evident between the indigenous population and greater Australia, particularly in health outcomes.
Despite knowing for the longest time that indigenous Australians fare worse in health outcomes overall, all the past and present financial and social programs that have been formulated have not only been ineffective, but they falsely aim to address the overt symptoms rather than the less-politically favourable causes of the social divide.
From personal experience working in many indigenous towns in this vast country, there are clear common lifestyle factors that lead to community disharmony and negative outcomes but have been left to fester on account of being unpopular topics to shine a light on. These elephants in the room will not disappear with indigenous representation in parliament. ‘The Voice’ will improve the plight of a select few indigenous Australians who least need such help, in particular those who are elected to be these parliamentary representatives, yet as with many other well-intentioned programs, will predictably fail to actually improve the lives of those indigenous Australians leading to the ongoing negative outcomes that have become intergenerational.
What the country (and indigenous Australia) really needs is real leadership to improve ALL of Australia. What we currently have is people in leadership positions, but no leader with the gumption to make the policy changes necessary to engender meaningful and tangible long-term gains for all Australians. It is not going to happen with a ‘Voice’ in parliament; we all lose if we misdirect our efforts towards deceptive political distractions and turn a blind eye to the obvious causes of social ill among our indigenous Australians, which are within the purview of well-funded social programs currently in action as we speak.
Scientific Australia invented electronic pacemakers, penicillin, spray-on skin, flight recorders, cochlear implants, motor mowers, wine casks, etc. but some Australians won’t recognise climate scientists’ reports? Fair Dinkum!
BRING YOUR SHOPPING BAGS
Major supermarkets have now stopped providing free plastic bags, as well as the alternate 80% recyclable 15c plastic shopping bags for shoppers, but the replacement of 20c paper shopping bags have not been popular or successful. Landfill will be chocking with the millions of so-called recyclable 15c plastic bag alternatives for years.
Shoppers need to take responsibility for their own bags and containers when shopping as in past eras. Supermarkets which have enabled shoppers by providing bags, have now reverted to the paper versions, unsuitable for heavy loads or frozen items. The provision of bags for lazy consumers has taught shoppers nothing about conservation and the impact on the environment. The cost of bags is factored into pricing.
Taking personal responsibility for shopping bags when coming to the stores, used to be a given in the past. Providing bags for those who absent-mindedly come shopping unprepared, puts the onus on supermarkets, teaching shoppers nothing about personal responsibility. Where do they think they are going? When we attend sports or special events, we go prepared with banners, sporting equipment and uniforms. If not, we miss out.
There seems to be a malaise in our current culture of avoiding responsibility and passing the buck. Like the scouts’ motto: “Be prepared”. It’s the thoughtful and environmentally conscious way to live.
YES, TO VOICE
The Voice! Yes… No….don’t know really. I take my right to vote on this issue quite seriously but was confounded by the arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’. Not being either a Labor or Liberal voter I was taken aback by the vitriol and hate on both sides leaving some of us feeling that we had descended into an American style political fight (heaven help us!).
I listened to Peter Dutton whose advice was, if in doubt, say ‘no’, just in case, being an unknown risk, and that it would do little to help remote communities with just another layer of bureaucracy added. Then, I also considered Albanese, whose passion and commitment cannot be denied. His rebuttal that the Voice will help indigenous who are disadvantage and would ultimately lead to better outcomes for First Nations people, is an aspiration none would deny, surely? I have also heard the differing opinions of Julie Bishop, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson – all people I consider to have great integrity as well as many of my friends and family.
Most Australians living in cities around our coastline rarely see an Indigenous person, much less know one, and from all accounts, it appears that ‘Closing the Gap’ has been an abysmal failure. So, what next? More of the same?
Where is this leading me? Yep, there I was, getting a bit sore sitting on that fence and wondering if perhaps people like myself could just tilt the vote one way…maybe?
If you haven’t already, please watch The 7.30 Report for Tuesday, August 9 on the ABC. Suffice to say, yes, Auntie Bea, I am with you, all the way! Yes, one step forward. Yes, let’s try another way. Yes!
Upon reflection I realised that for 30 years regarding Climate Change and 50 years on the topic of religion I have played the game, kept my opinions to myself to maintain the harmony, and remained silent.
But on this topic of the Voice, I cannot be silenced! For my entire lifetime, I have ‘witnessed’ the mistreatment we have dished out to our First Nations people, without comment. Australia proudly shares the acclaim for worldwide recognition and collection of Aboriginal Art as if it belongs to us and as a nation we love and admire the likes of Yvonne Goolagong and Ash Barty because they are fabulous sportswomen, but they are also humble. Adam Goodes, the AFL star became too uppity, and we can’t abide that sort of behaviour, so we use his heritage to racially attack him and every other indigenous footballer with him, like vultures hovering overhead!
I find it appalling that something that is a matter of humanity, heart and soul has been turned into a political football when the Referendum asks only for a heartfelt response to the generous gift of the Uluru Statement from the Heart of our much-maligned First Nations people who have been nationally and individually abused for generations.
I am ashamed to call myself Australian if I sit in silence when this is the opportunity of my lifetime and it comes with HOPE from the very people we have mistreated, held down, and abused.
As a retired teacher I take some blame for perpetuating the Education Dept’s image of our First Nations peoples as primitive hunters and gatherers. I don’t understand why Australians are concerned for their own loss when we have so much to gain when we walk together, respectfully, and proudly into a better future.
Contrary to popular belief, the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 is not a ‘guideline’ or an ‘aspirational document’. It is made under Section 18 of the Planning Act 2016 and signed into law by the Qld Minister for Planning. It sets the rules for development in the same manner as the road rules are set in a Regulation made under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Section 166).
On the Sunshine Coast a developer, Sekisui House, can apply to build three 25m high buildings, in a Yaroomba residential-zoned area where the rules state a maximum height of buildings of 8.5m (that is, three times the permitted height), and have it approved by Council, and endorsed by the Court.
The Planning Scheme is regarded in law as striking an overall balance to reflect the ‘public interest’ (that is, all sections of the community) with regard to development impacting livelihoods and lifestyles. Yet the developer and Council were able to cherry-pick from obscure (to the layperson) sections of the 1,915-page Planning Scheme to argue ‘other relevant matters’ justified overriding the obvious misfit of the proposal with the most fundamental provisions for the land in question: emerging community zone with an 8.5m height of building overlay.
Despite acknowledging in the judgement that the community view overwhelmingly rejected this interpretation of the public interest, and the Planning Scheme did not expressly accommodate it (and in fact, discouraged such height and density in this local planning area), the Court then used judicial discretion to rule in favour of the developer and Council.
How can the fundamental provisions of the Planning Scheme, considered in law as “the comprehensive expression of what will constitute, in the public interest, the appropriate development of the land”, be overturned, apparently at the whim of a developer? If the Sekisui development is allowed to proceed in its current form, then any homeowner in a low density residential-zoned area with an 8.5m height of building constraint can expect a seven-storey apartment block to be built next door. That’s the precedent this development sets.
FOR THE VOICE
The Uluru Statement from the Heart, a one-page plea to be heard by our First Nations people was drawn up in 2017 after six years of consultations and national constitutional convention involving 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The upcoming referendum is about recognition of our First Nations people by enshrining in our Constitution a Voice to Parliament which cannot be dismantled at the stroke of a pen as has happened to many other bodies as the political class changes.
The Voice is to be an advisory body without a veto, without the power to make laws. Its structure will be decided by our elected Parliamentary representatives.
The no campaigners and opposition are politicising and racialising the referendum by churning out misleading statements and outright lies creating unnecessary confusion and division throughout our country. Their toxicity is striking at the heart of our democracy.
It could have been otherwise, it could have been a unifying coming together, a healing time when we could put the past behind us, and as leading yes campaigner, Thomas Mayo says “Take your fellow Australians by the hand and let us walk together into the sunlight, so future generations may bloom.”