Time to remove citizenship hurdles for refugees
Are you like me? I’ve heard so many stories about impressive refugees of many ages who, despite the trauma of getting to Australia, are significantly contributing to their new country as medical, health, aged care professionals, business men and women, skilled tradespersons, journalists, musicians, engineers – the list goes on.
And the amazing stories of secondary and tertiary students who achieve high level academic results and hold leadership positions in their schools and universities are spell binding.
How remarkable it is that so many of these people are not permitted to be permanent citizens. You wonder why so many are denied visas which would give them and their families security for their futures.
While Australia is crying out about the need for more workers, there are still many refugees living here who do not have work rights or the right to study.
Don’t ignore the fact that many Australian citizens recognise the massive contribution of refugees and offer direct help and support in many ways.
The election of a new federal government indicates that there is much unmet support for changes to our inhumane and inefficient refugee and immigration policies.
There are many hurdles left by the previous government to overcome. We are still waiting for better outcomes for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers.
I urge the new MP for Flinders, Zoe McKenzie, to seriously consider supporting sensible policy changes to ensure this country can benefit from the diverse qualified, skilled and talented people who have fled war and violence and sought safety and future security here.
Ann Renkin, Shoreham
What is going on in Nepean Ward? First, people voted Zoe McKenzie as Finders MP in the Federal election, while ignoring or didn’t care that locals were running in the federal election. Now, [Labor’s] Chris Brayne, who for the last four years has done more for Nepean Ward than any other politician has in more than 20 years, people gave [Liberal] Sam Groth a win [in last month’s state election].
They voted Sam Groth because of his “celebrity” status rather than voting for Chris Brayne who improved the bus service, upgraded the schools and was easy to approach.
What a joke Nepean Ward has become. Voted an outsider to represent us in federal parliament and a “celebrity” tennis player who, like every other Liberal, promises to do something about the Rosebud Hospital every time there is a state and federal election coming up.
I do hope Sam Groth won’t scrap the new bus timetables and go back to the bad old days or do what the Liberal Party always had done, and that is nothing.
Kerrie McCoy, Dromana
While switching channels I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, our illustrious federal MP for Flinders asking a question on the Parliament Question Time Comedy Hour.
Taking a worn out Liberal slug against increasing low paid workers’ wages, [Zoe McKenzie] suggested the government was making a “bad situation worse” by raising wages of the lowest paid workers.
My response was terrific and have hardly stopped laughing,
She failed to mention rising profits of corporations, outrageous increases of salaries and bonuses of corporate mafia executives, price gouging by utilities and banks, and Australia’s energy crisis which is widening the gulf between rich and poor households as costs accelerate much faster for low and middle incomes.
She must have missed this: Nine in 10 Australians (87 per cent) agree with the statement “it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that real wages grow to keep up with the cost of living” (irrespective of voting intention).
Wonder who she is representing, certainly not the everyday Mornington Peninsula person where one in four households and one in seven children live below the poverty line, not 65 per cent who make less than $85,000 (average annual salary) or the 30 per cent who make below minimum wage ($812 a week), not the people being forced to buy expired food or the one in four Australians skipping meals.
Maybe representing Portsea, where people have the second highest salaries in Melbourne, behind Toorak?
Incomprehensibly, many of these 65 per cent and 30 per cent voted for her against their own best interests. Go figure.
Trickle up economics: Increase wages of the lowest paid and they will spend every cent stimulating the economy and jobs growth
Trickle down economics: big bucks to highest paid laundered into offshore accounts to avoid taxes.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
Centre sends SOS
We are a small group of volunteers at the Victorian Maritime Center in Crib Point. Although our submarine was taken from us due to a lack of interest from all levels of government, individual politicians and some local people, we are still open and need to survive to show our rich maritime history and tell the stories (“Sub’s final journey” The News 19/9/22).
We need any and all support, so visit our center and see our displays featuring Royal Australian Navy, merchant navy, Wrans, hospital ships and WWI nurses. We also have static and audio visual displays and artifacts.
We desperately need volunteers. Please come and visit 10am – 1pm Saturday and Sunday and have a look at what we volunteers do.
As we are not permitted by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to put permanent signs up, you will find us at 220 The Esplanade, Crib Point.
Kaye Matthews, Bittern
Outdoor dining has brought life and vibrancy to so many locations on the Mornington Peninsula (“Outdoor outrage” Letters 6/12/22). Without tourist dollars the peninsula would not be able to afford to maintain the roads, parking and other amenities that we all take for granted.
It is ridiculous to tar all hospitality outlets with the same brush and blame them for “low wages” and “insecure casual jobs”. Have you never been to Europe where outdoor dining is the norm and enjoyed by everybody? The letter smacks of bah humbug.
Rosie Lloyd, Mount Eliza
Of course, people who vote Labor can be seen as being contemptuous of the democratic process (“Opinions differ” Letters 6/12/22). Politics is a two-way street, and it is only members of the Liberal Party, perhaps stemming from a born-to-rule mentality, who have publicly described people who did not vote for them as being “stupid”.
Now, call me naive, but I really don’t think that is a vote winning strategy.
Dr Ross Hudson, Mount Martha
Liberals’ best move
It should be factually acknowledged that the Liberal margin under David Morris fell from 16 per cent in 2010 to 12.6 per cent in 2014 and finally bottoming out at 5 per cent in 2018 when Labor was in ascendancy (“Marginal Mornington” Letters 29/11/22).
Against a massively funded teal campaign from the Climate 200 lobby group in conjunction with Labor and Greens preference deals, the existing Liberal member [David Morris] became ineffective and would have in all probability lost to the teals.
The selection of a new and yet experienced Liberal candidate [Chris Crewther], was the best option of saving this seat for the Liberals.
Ian Morrison, Mount Eliza
Over to Cliff …
The countdown begins and, before you know it, Christmas Day, again. How lucky (most of us) are. Forward your gifts to Pensioner Cliffie@Rye RSL. How good is Australia? Pretty bloody good, unless it’s burning or parched or flooded or you’re in aged care, or relying on NDIS, or if you’re Indigenous, or Julian Assange, or a journalist investigating war crimes, or if you’re casually employed, wanting to buy your first home.
My old suburb Northcote was won by Labor, and Gus’s son in Hastings, against the flow of ignorant Mornington Peninsula residents, special thanks to News Corp and Jeff Kennett.
Federally, we look forward to Scott Morrison not holding the hose in his involvement in the royal commission into Robodebt.
Locally (Nepean Ward, the home of Victoria’s first European settlement), our New Year resolution: no politics with the multitude rusted on voters. Recall Mad Magazine “Wot, me worry?”. Happy Christmas.
Cliff Ellen, Rye
A man was found guilty of animal cruelty in Melbourne Magistrate’s Court for violently kicking a dog during a protest in 2021. He was fined and ordered to pay costs and put on a good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded, which the RSPCA found disappointing.
The magistrate rightly condemned the unprovoked attack, saying “People should not be lashing out at defenceless animals that are causing no threat to them”. The RSPCA prosecutor said that convictions are hard to prove.
While cruelty to dogs and cats are rarely captured, there is plenty of video evidence of massive cruelty in shearing sheds. Hours of eyewitness video footage reveal that workers in the wool industry beat, stamp on, kick, mutilate, and throw sheep around. PETA has released seven exposés of over 40 facilities in Australia’s wool industry. Abuse was documented at every farm and shearing shed visited.
If the man who kicked the dog had done any of the things routinely done to sheep – punching them in the face, jabbing them in the head with sharp metal clippers and sewing up gaping wounds with no pain relief, he would have gone to jail. Yet the response of governments throughout the country has been to ban the filming of video evidence, rather than banning the abuse itself.
Sheep feel terror and agony, the same as any other animal. When the magistrate denounced the man for kicking the dog, saying he should “not be lashing out at defenceless animals”, the same principle must apply. This vile industry needs to be closed down and, if governments are too scared to do it, then it’s up to us to refuse to buy the flesh, skin, or wool that makes corporations rich from horrendous animal suffering.
Desmond Bellamy, special projects coordinator PETA Australia
Letters – 300 words maximum and including full name, address and contact number – can be sent to The News, PO Box 588, Hastings 3915 or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org