LETTERS: What has happened to the Aussie fair go for all?

SAFE AND SECURE: One Ballarat reader, who recently spent time in Melbourne, has called on Peter Dutton to stop scaremongering about safety issues.
SAFE AND SECURE: One Ballarat reader, who recently spent time in Melbourne, has called on Peter Dutton to stop scaremongering about safety issues.

What has happened to the Aussie fair go for all?

I SPENT last Saturday with my partner and friends in the Melbourne CBD. We saw a show at The Palms, then went for a drink at the top end of Bourke Street and then to Southbank for dinner. We took a tram and walked around the CBD.

Did we feel safe? Yes. Did we see any trouble? No. To the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, let me say Melbourne is as safe a city as anywhere in Australia as well as any city I’ve visited overseas.

As to the scaremongering of Dutton and others, I live in hope that we can find a solution to the violence issues facing us, the youth gangs (and they exist), the intolerance shown by the far right, and to the politicians’ short-term fixes and the police command’s glib “we are locking them up” position. These are all short-sighted views with no long-term solutions.

We are all part of the problem, but we all must find a pathway through outreach to be part of the solution.

Young people (we were all young once), in particular, want to belong – fit in, have something to believe in, have a purpose, contribute, and feel valued, appreciated and respected.  Things won’t change unless we encourage change itself by creating opportunities for youth to engage, which will then give them confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and dignity,

The actions of leaders across the political divide do nothing to support the values that I believe need to be at the forefront – dignity, decency, respect and equality. What has happened to the true Australian values of fairness and a fair go for all?

It is a truism that education is vital for all. Unfortunately, there is lack of empathy, tolerance and understanding of the issues affecting young people. An empowered education curriculum is essential for building an environment that is safer and more inclusive for the whole school community. Our schools must reflect the diversity of their communities and cater to the needs of students and staff, and their families.

Can I also remind us all that Australia is a wonderful and diverse multicultural community that has been enriched by the presence of cultures from many different parts of the world; however, there are a few who don’t value what it means and requires to be Australian. For those who will not obey our laws and respect Australia’s cultural values, there is only one alternative – go somewhere else and allow others to come who will value fairness and a fair go for all.

So I say to everyone let us renew our pledge to be an Australian: “From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey”.

- Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill

Turn off the heat if you want to save the reef

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull is implying that managing the crown of thorns starfish will save the Great Barrier Reef. He has no actual plan to save the reef.

The biggest threat to the reef is the 'warming waters' acknowledged by Malcolm Turnbull, but the only real way to save the feef is to turn off the heat. We have to stop burning fossil fuels. Anything less is a futile gesture.

Another gesture to put 'fans' on the reef to keep it cool leaves me thinking that the lunatics are running the asylum. We can't expect to keep the coal fires burning and cool the reef with a fan.

We are in a climate crisis, and one of the victims is our Great Barrier Reef which is bleached and dying right now. To do anything meaningful to save it, Malcolm Turnbull must withdraw mining licences for all the new mines proposed for the Galilee Basin, particularly the Adani mine. Anything less is a futile gesture, and not worthy of our Prime Minister.

The only plan that will save the Great Barrier Reef is to turn off the heat.

- Christine Carlisle, Mackay