Letters to the Editor 20/09/23

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Dear editor, 

We are a retired couple and have a unit at Coolum Beach which we rent out when we and our family are not using it. The rates for the unit have gone up $1000 per year. We have been told that this is to discourage short-term rentals and to provide more long-term accommodation for homeless people. 

If this occurs, do the businesses in Coolum realise what a detrimental effect this will have on their businesses? We used to go to our unit around five to six times a year, and because this was like a holiday, we would go out two to three times per stay for meals. We would also buy presents for our grandchildren each time.  

With the change in rates, we will visit once per year for six to seven weeks to reduce the costs (a little). Because it will not feel like a holiday, we will not go out for meals and the grandchildren will only get one present.  

This will result in less money being spent in the region. 

I have discussed this with others in the same position and they have indicated that they will be doing the same. 

It is the short-term holiday renters who go out for meals and spend the excess money not permanent renters. 

This greedy grab by the Council must be reversed for the good of many. 

John Green, 

Coolum Beach.  



Dear editor,  

The Salvation Army is one of the biggest providers of social services in Australia. We are a pragmatic movement, not really into empty gestures or performative virtue signaling. I don’t think in our 140-year history in Australia that we have ever been called “elites”.   

But we do support the Voice?  

We support the Voice, simply, because we believe it WILL make a difference.   

For 140 years, the Salvos have rolled up their sleeves and helped where we can. We started small by assisting discharged prisoners at the prison gates in Melbourne and now we provide over 2,000 services across every state and territory in Australia. We support people experiencing homelessness, family and domestic violence, financial hardship, unemployment, substance use disorders, social isolation and loneliness, and help them recover from natural disasters. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are over-represented in almost every service we deliver – and that’s why we support a Voice.   

There is no escaping the fact that what we are doing right now, as a nation, is not working.    

The Salvos will always do what we can on the ground, but the issues we see are deeper; they are structural and systemic. We believe the only way to practically address the hardship experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is to change how the government makes and carries out policy. We believe the best way to do that is to actually listen to the people affected – to give them a voice.   

Not everyone agrees with us on this and that’s okay. We just ask that people respectfully consider, before they decide on October 14: “Will the Voice make a difference for people who really need help?” 

We think the answer is a resounding yes.   

Captain Stuart Glover, 

The Salvation Army Australia. 



Dear editor, 

A big shout out to the brave and principled activists, door-knocking for the Yes response to the referendum!  

That’s the problem with politics – there’s always the chance one party will use an ostensibly neutral issue and turn it into a point-scoring exercise, often masqueraded as some sort of “virtue”. This nonsense about division is a very ugly mistruth indeed. A Voice to the Parliament will not hurt you or make demands on you, it is for Indigenous Aussies. Well now we have entered the phase of this referendum where those who long for Australia’s nascent cultural identity to mature and flourish, we’ll be wringing our hands in worry and holding our tongue in hope. Affirmative action is a great thing. It allows for the devastating horrors of some of the past to be reconciled in a more enlightened future. YES.  

Dylan White,  

Coolum Beach.   



Dear editor, 

Firstly, I would thank Peter Bayliss, John Bennion from Peregian Springs, and for E Rowe of Marcoola for their contributions in the September 6 edition advising the undecided on the reality of what the voice is really about. As advised by Mr Thomaas Mayo from the Referendum working group for the Yes vote – “There is nothing we can do that is more powerful than building a first nation voice, a black institution, a black political force to be reckoned with!” What of the other 97% of Australians, do they not count?  

Why do we have to face a two-nation country with separate flags when we should all just be Australians – one country and one flag – not a state divided. 

While the PM tries to play on heartstrings but refuses to advise what it really means. Just look at western Australia and the attempt to destroy farmlands that supply crops that put food on your table and earn export dollars.  

Why does the PM and his ministerial staff refuse to say what the $32 billion dollars already spent for indigenous matters was spent on? 

Is the Voice really about more funds to be paid as retribution and compensation for the supposed pain and heartache from past events for which the current 97% are not responsible? Why not recompense the families and loved ones lost in the Vietnam War, those forced by the government to do so through conscription? 

My understanding is that we already have some nine indigenous representatives in the parliament, how many more are needed to have a voice more than the elderly (16%), or our Chinese population or Irish population.  

Why do we have to pay every time there is a welcome to our country at a public event and in the schools. It’s our country too. Let’s all just be Australian and not a divided nation predicated on a want by some 3% to claim a monetary recompense and an ability to control our Parliament. Simple, vote NO. 

Brian Irving,  

Peregian Springs.  



Dear editor, 

Is it true that Australians are seen as a friendly, democratic, tolerant, egalitarian, Christian peoples with a strong sense of a ‘fair go’ for all people? The results of the ‘Voice’ referendum will reveal who we truly are. 

Margaret Wilkie, 

Peregian Beach. 



Dear editor, 

I have been a Noosa resident for 21 years, before that for 30-plus years, I lived, worked and walked, beside Australia’s First People in remote communities. 

From this experience, I believe that the most useful thing we can do to help close the gap is to listen to what Indigenous people have to say. We don’t lose anything by it. Indeed, our whole society can be enriched. 

A wise man once said “those who define the problem control the range of solutions” (Freire). My experience is that, generally speaking Indigenous people in Australia have not had the mechanism or the invitation to describe their own problems. The answers lie with the people who are impacted by the decisions. It is common sense to listen to them. 

Some 20 years ago, a book was written, a collaboration between three Aboriginal and three non-Aboriginal people, to prepare Health Professionals going to work with Aboriginal people. It contains many stories that explain why the Voice is needed and why it will work. For now, I refer you to its very meaningful title “Binan Goonj” which in the Gungguri language of SW Queensland means “I know you hear me but you are not listening”. This was the message these people wanted to send to those who were coming to work with them. It is the same message distilled into the Uluru Statement from the Heart – a plea for a mechanism through which they can be heard so that the gap can be closed, and we can walk together as one healthy nation. 

There have been many structures over the years that could have acted as this listening mechanism (ATSIC, DAA, ADC, NAC etc.) but each has been taken away. This is why the Voice needs to be enshrined within the Constitution, where it cannot be easily repealed. 

The statistics tell us that it is way past time. Let us pull together and Vote YES. 

Sally Johnson AM,  

Sunshine Beach.  



Dear editor, 

Inestimable global oil reserves are predominately in the control of authoritarian nations which continue to manipulate output, to maximise income. “Oil is the currency of power.” While the rhetoric trend is green and nuclear, the reality is far from it still. 

“He who holds the purse holds the power”. Powerful OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia, determine global oil prices, simply to control other economies reliant on their oil. This reverberates in nations greatly reliant on importing oil. Supply feeds right into the bank accounts of these OPEC nations, which have recently determined to tighten the output, simply to exploit the insatiable demand well into 2024. Change is slow. 

This gives non-OPEC states like Russia, an advantage over European and Asian markets still reliant on fossil fuel products, attempting to wean off the insatiable need for imported oil. Russia and Saudi Arabia call the tune as to what we, in Australia, pay at the pump. These nations have a pact to move united in the flow and price control. 

When our own politicians travel on public money, using taxpayers as their personal piggy bank, they lose touch with the fiscal nightmare their constituents suffer. Businesses, individuals and families face historical cost of living expenses. The price of fuel exacerbates the cost of all goods and services, which are taxed to boot. Richard Marles and our P. M. Albanese, have no conscience travelling the world, while Australians can’t afford to travel over Christmas or holidays. Someone else fills their company cars. And they gave themselves a pay rise! One rule for them, no justice for the crowd! 

E. Rowe, 




Dear editor, 

I suspect that the use of Makarrata has not been entirely understood by the broader Australian population. It’s a Yolngu word used for peace-making – the coming together after a struggle, facing the facts of past wrongs and agreeing to live in peace. 

The key to moving forward as a nation is anchored in the Voice’s future and in recognising Australia’s past. It will enable us to begin a real process of healing. The nation has been gifted an opportunity to engage directly with grassroots communities through the Voice and eventually to Agreement Making and the process of exploring and recognising Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander history and truth telling. 

A treaty is not just any agreement.  It’s a solemn and fundamental engagement between two sides across a deep divide. In Australia today treaty processes are already underway in SA, QLD, NT, ACT, and VIC with a commitment in NSW. 

The Uluru Statement from the Heart represents First Nations of Australia extending a hand of friendship to the arrivals of the last 235 years.  

The Voice will mean that the government will have better quality information about First Nations communities, delivered directly by a body of First Nations representatives.  Better laws will mean improved outcomes across all metrics including Health, Housing, Criminal Justice, and Education. 

It is time for us to listen! 

Rochelle Gooch,                                                                                                                                                                                            

Peregian Beach.  



Dear editor,  

The world is watching as we prepare to vote on Constitutional recognition of our First Nations People in the manner that they have graciously asked for through a Voice to Parliament. 

The Voice will simply be an advisory body with no powers or right of veto but enshrined in the Constitution so as not to be disbanded as has happened to other bodies because of a change of government. 

The Voice will be designed, debated and legislated by our elected parliamentary representatives. 

As written elsewhere: ”…The deepest human desire is to be acknowledged and listened to – I hear you. It is not enough just to acknowledge Aboriginal Australians in the Constitution by seeing them. The fullest acknowledgment of humanity is to say, I see you and I hear you…” 

To those who say, “If you don’t know, vote no”, I say find out. Make an informed decision but check the truthfulness of what you read and reject the misinformation and disinformation. 

Let’s hope on Sunday, October 15 we will be able to face the world as a nation that welcomes its diversity and rejects the ignorance of the Vote No slogan. Please Vote Yes and make us all proud. 

Robyn Deane,  

Bli Bli.  


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