Cr David Gill valiantly tried to get the Flinders pier paid parking pilot removed, but seven of the nine [Mornington Peninsula Shire] councillors preferred the “not in my backyard” principle and thought Flinders was an ideal site (“Flinders keeps its spot in paid parking trial” The News 15/8/23).
How the parking fees for 90 spaces is going to make much of a contribution to the $1,000,000 cost to the rate paying residents beats me. And how meaningful will the data be and relevant to the rest of Western Port?
We have asked the shire if sailing visitors who drive through the car park to get to the yacht club will be charged for parking even if they are not? Will people stopping to buy mussels or oysters be charged a parking fee? Will the Sea Shepherd and volunteers who arrive to clean up the beach and under the water and pier be charged during a big planned environmental clean-up in January? How will parking be controlled for the Pier and Pinot event, which is organised by Victorian Tourism and peninsula wineries?
We wait in suspended anticipation for words of wisdom.
Neil Hallam, Flinders
It is disappointing and I believe the five points raised are racist, some more obvious than others, but people are being asked to vote on the Voice on race rather than to change the constitution to recognise the First Peoples of this great land as the original custodians (“Approach with logic” Letters 22/8/23).
The third point, whether intended or not, ignores the injustices our First Nations people are suffering and the first two points, which to myself comes off as irrational, but makes it clear enough that disparity of health and wellbeing of firsts nations people are not of a concern to the author.
If in doubt, asking others to vote on the consideration of race is in fact racist.
I will be voting Yes, and I acknowledge the Boonwurrung/Bunurong people of the Kulin nation as the custodians of the land on which we meet and pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging.
Craig Thomson, Rye
A fairer society
As someone who is not of ATSI (Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander) ancestry, I do not feel that I should be deciding what is right or wrong for ATSI communities. For too long, white Australians have told ATSI people what is “good for them”, without asking what is needed by the community themselves.
Giving an autonomous voice to ATSI people to speak for themselves is the minimum that should be done to acknowledge the past and correct the present.
At present, ATSI people do not have equal opportunities to the average Australian because of generations of imposed hardship and trauma. Giving this representative opportunity will move all Australians towards a more equitable and fair society.
Meg Coster, Tyabb
‘Heart’ one page
It has been claimed that the Uluru Statement from the Heart is 26 pages, and we should be fearful of its contents. It has also been claimed that the Prime minister is lying to us on the Voice and that freedom of information was needed to uncover the “full Uluru Statement”. This is at best mischievous and at worst deliberately deceptive.
The actual statement is one page in length and ends graciously and naturally with “We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” Accompanying the statement in full public view at ulurustatement.org/our-story/ are the extra pages in the form of seven chapters – law, invasion, resistance, mourning, activism, land rights and Makarrata – entitled Our Story.
No freedom of information request is needed. It provides a useful context from a First Peoples perspective.
We’ve been deceived before about a carbon tax and we lost a decade of climate action. Let’s not be deceived again. We’ll break the hearts of many and lose international respect.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn
Hope for understanding
The debate over the Yes or No [referendum] vote has already begun in Australia.
While the country is generally tolerant, specific individuals are making racist remarks that are disturbing.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misunderstanding, but hopefully, common sense will prevail, and the Australian people will understand the implications of their vote.
Anne Kruger, Rye
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