Voice opponents argue that If you don’t know, you should vote No. Yet the nation as we now know it was built on the initiative and enterprise of those who ventured courageously into the unknown. Seafarers sailed beyond horizons, discovering what is now Australia. Once our various colonies were established, explorers trekked into the wilderness, prospectors prospected, merchants set up in fledgling towns to sell supplies, and settlers settled. None of them knowing for certain, but nevertheless prepared to venture everything in hope. We owe it to our national history to vote Yes, and show we haven’t lost that risk-taking spirit or the spirit of a fair go for our nation’s wellbeing.
YES POINTS TO CONSIDER
I would like to reply to the points put forth by Mr. Brian Irving in his letter from the 20 September 2023.
Thank you for your lengthy letter. It contains some truth and some of the partial truth and misinformation that is being circulated by the No campaign.
Firstly, all Australians count. 100% of us. This idea is inclusive, not divisive. Its aim is to recognise a Voice from people who were counted as fauna until 1967.
Second, what destroyed Western Australian crops was hail, not indigenous people.
Third, the $32 billion is actually $30 billion and if you look online what it was spent on, it is all there for you to read. Between 5-6% of that amount was spent on specifically indigenous projects with the rest spent on mainstream health and education. It’s all there.
There is, actually, no monetary attachment to the voice. Absolutely none. This is something that is being peddled by the No camp that has no basis in fact.
Lastly, the money spent on welcome to country is spent in parliament. Sky news has reported this so it must be true.
I appreciate that you have the right to read what you want and form your opinions and vote how you feel will create a strong Australia. Personally, I would be proud to live in a country that recognises and respects the wisdom of our original people and has made the decision to listen to them. Just listen. That’s all.
What is the benefit from voting No? Will anything improve? Will we feel a sense of pride? Will the country feel united? Will our First People benefit? Will we have made history and advanced the nation?
What is the benefit from voting Yes? We will embrace 65,000 years of history in caring for our country. Our First People will feel recognised. Our First People will have a Voice in matters concerning them. Programs suggested, owned, and implemented by our First People will be more successful, more effective, and more economical. We overcome fear and prejudice.
We will move forward united as a nation.
Let’s take the hand that’s been offered and write Yes on October 14.
SUPPORT FOR YES
Some letter writers, me included, have used quotes, and often these been taken out of context. With the indulgence of the Editor may I add to the Voice referendum debate with a few more quotes.
From Julie Bishop, former Liberal Deputy Leader and Foreign Minister said, “…”If we can’t find it in our hearts to say Yes to giving constitutional recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, what are we saying about ourselves?”…”
Tony Nutt, former Federal Director of the Liberal Party and Chief of Staff to John Howard said, “…It’s just, it’s practical, and it is constitutionally safe. When you actually strip away the straw men and the scarecrows … you do wonder at some of the arguments and some of the positions put by others.”
Many have changed their minds to rejecting the request from the Uluru Statement from the Heart, such as former PM Malcolm Turnbull, who dismissed it almost as soon as it landed on his desk. He is now advocating for a Yes vote.
As attributed to Albert Einstein “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
After 235 years maybe it is time to recognise our indigenous people in the constitution and listen to them to find better ways to go forward as a nation. Vote Yes.
BUS STOP TO BIG SHOPS?
For those in our society totally dependent upon public transport, taxis, relatives, or friends’ generosity, it can be a challenge to access stores such as Bunnings, Officeworks Spotlight, or even Autobarn – which are further from more conveniently placed shopping centres. For shoppers it is a dream locality where all things pertaining to running business and households are available. They are spoiled for choice.
These larger stores are usually set on bigger blocks, away from public transport routes, where parking is free, without restrictions. Without a car, it is impossible to visit such sites. Case in point, for Sunshine Coast residents, Dalton Drive is now a choice shopping location behind The Homemaker Centre, on Maroochy Boulevard. Only one bus stop is located outside this centre, on both sides, for public transport access. The stops happen to be the one and only for two bus routes: the 602, and 617 – both hourly buses.
To access Dalton Drive, where the larger stores are located, is a bridge too far for those without private transport, but wanting access to Bunnings and Officeworks, Spotlight and new stores to be built opposite. It is at least 1km walking distance away from The Homemaker Centre bus stop; an impossibility, even for the fittest. So, businesses lose their custom and they lose their opportunities to buy what these larger remote stores offer.
Dalton Drive could easily be included in either the 614 bus run, the 617 bus run or the 602 run. Once Council permitted re-development of the old golf course land in the CBD, the hotels sprung up. The 614 bus, which initially ran the full length of Maud Street and Sugar Road, was diverted through the new CBD development to service visitors and hotel staff alike, the outcome of negotiating power between Council and Translink.
This new CBD development is a short walk from the hotels into the main Maroochydore shopping precinct, while access to Bunnings, Officeworks, Autobarn and Spotlight continue to be inaccessible to locals who endure the travesty of public transport shortsightedness. Not inclusion, but discrimination.
Thank you to the people impacted by dementia, community members, councils, businesses, and healthcare professionals who marked Dementia Action Week 2023 from 18-24 September.
Across Australia, individuals and organisations supported our campaign to ‘Act Now for a Dementia-Friendly Future’ encouraging everyone to take simple actions that make our communities more dementia-friendly.
On behalf of the estimated more than 400,000 people living with dementia in Australia and the more than 1.5 million people involved in their care, we thank everyone for their support.
While Dementia Action Week is only one week each year, the conversation and action to eliminate discrimination continues year-round. For information and tips on how you can continue working towards a dementia-friendly future, please visit dementiafriendly.org.au.
Maree McCabe AM,
CEO Dementia Australia.
WHY VOTE YES
The Uluṟu Statement from the Heart, the considered view of Indigenous leaders, was a generous offer to begin the long-overdue process of reconciliation. Now there is a real risk that the first concrete step, the Voice to Parliament, will be halted by a campaign of innuendo, misinformation and barefaced lies. Travelling overseas in recent weeks, I was saddened to see how this campaign was reinforcing a global perception that we are still a small-minded, backward-looking nation, clinging to the myth of terra nullius and the smouldering remnants of the white Australia policy.
The fundamental reason to embed the Voice in the constitution is to prevent politicians from removing it, as John Howard did to ATSIC. A few short months ago, thousands stood in front of Adelaide’s parliament and applauded South Australia legislating a Voice. The curtains have not faded, hens have not stopped laying, the economy has not crashed. I still hope the basic decency of Australians will prevail and the referendum will be successful, but if the negative campaign prevents a constitutional Voice, I hope the Albanese government will have the courage to establish one by legislation. Its successful operation will show how misguided and dishonest the “No” campaign has been.
ASKING FOR A FRIEND
Oh, how we laughed at despotic behaviour in other countries and believed that it wouldn’t happen in good ol’ OZ. Here we are with an ex-PM secretly sworn into five ministries and now for five years of secret messages, a chief public servant of a big and powerful department trying to control who gets the ministry for which he is in charge? Is this a joke? Just asking for friends?