Peta Murphy: fondly remembered … as an exceptional role model
I am writing to express our sincere condolences concerning the tragic passing of Dunkley MP Peta Murphy. She was much loved and deeply admired by all the members of The Southern Women’s Action Network (SWAN).
Peta was a woman of great integrity, strong convictions, kindness and compassion. Like so many others who met her, we truly appreciated Peta’s warm and engaging personality, her willingness to listen and delightful sense of humour. Most especially we admired her determination to advocate for justice, particularly in support of those who were marginalised.
Peta’s unfailing determination to achieve the enshrinement of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution will long be remembered.
Earlier this year, Peta honoured us by accepting our invitation to launch our book, When Women Meet, that records the 26 year history of our volunteer led, community organisation. In her address she spoke passionately about the important role that women play in community development and social change.
Not only that. Within a month, Peta took our book to Canberra and spoke in parliament about the powerful and important contribution that women, such as the members of SWAN, make towards building a more just and equitable society.
We could not have imagined a more fitting and moving tribute to recognise the collective social justice efforts made by women in this southern metropolitan region over the past three decades.
Peta Murphy will be fondly remembered by all our members as an exceptional role model, not only for those who knew her, but for future generations of women who seek empowerment, truth and justice. Like her own role model, Louisa Dunkley, she will continue to stand tall in this country’s historical record.
Diane McDonald, facilitator Southern Women’s Action Network
Lack of support
I notice there was no balance in response of the half page article on federal cuts to programs affecting the peninsula (‘Blatant disregard’ for peninsula, The News 28/11/23). Zoe McKenzie wrote “These cuts demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of local community needs and a disgusting disrespect for the peninsula”, which is hypocrisy in the extreme, coming from our Flinders federal representative who, since taking office, has voted against: Capping gas prices; encouraging Australian based industry; federal action on public housing; increasing transparency of big business by making information public; letting all MPs or senators speak in parliament (procedural); net zero emissions by 2035; net zero emissions by 2050; the Paris climate agreement; and legislation to make wage theft a criminal offence, all of which are of benefit to people in the Flinders electorate.
If Zoe McKenzie, who holds this seat with a margin of only 5.6 per cent, down from 6.7 per cent, thinks it’s OK to go along 100 per cent with the federal Opposition no-hopers at the cost of programs of benefit to us, is not a disgusting disrespect for the peninsula and a complete lack of understanding of local community needs, I can promise she will be reminded at the next federal election.
Danny McCaffrey, Mornington
I just found out that some of our Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors, plus environment, social issue, religious groups and some schools signed a Rainbow Pledge in 2020, which has been created by LGBTQ+ activists, the Pride lobby and pushed by the Greens with the threat of shaming and naming those who don’t sign (Flag needs answers, Letters 5/12/23).
Now every decision goes through that lens, which includes flying the rainbow flag on council buildings, participating in pride events, setting up an LGBTQ+ advisory committee, developing and implementing an LGBTQ+ action plan and achieving Rainbow Tick accreditation for its services.
Sixty-six of Victoria’s 79 councils now fly the flags. Port Phillip council voted down the proposal for “Rainbow tick accreditation” which costs businesses up to $200,000 each. Our rates money?
This is all instigated by our friendly global unelected leaders at the World Economic Forum, UN, WHO and their puppet masters. This is global and people need to wake up asap.
When I write to councillors about this issue, the response is always the same – we are being “inclusive”. In Black’s Law Dictionary, in legal terms, that actually means “to the exclusion of all others”. Take that in and have a serious think of who council works for, our community or lobby groups?
Judy O’Donnell, Mount Martha
I, and many others have written to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council CEO, the mayor and councillors asking when the Pride flag will be taken down. My question was not answered but I received the standard reply: “Council does not intend to provide you with further correspondence about this matter”.
This is contrary to the councillor code of conduct where it stipulates their commitment to engagement and transparency.
I was also told to refer my question to the Ombudsman, who I believe has more important issues than sorting out than council misbehaviour.
No-one in this council was prepared to explain why this flag is still flying and when it will be taken down. In fact, Cr Susan Bissinger was gagged and forced to be re-educated for her support of ratepayers asking this question.
Imagine my surprise when I read in the council newsletter Peninsula Wide (page 5) that they will continue to fly this Pride flag.
That means while we, the ratepayers, asking this question were being ignored and told to refer to the Ombudsman, the council had already made the decision to continue to fly this Pride flag. That’s not transparency and, in my opinion, is basically dishonest.
Their obvious disrespect and arrogance towards the ratepaying community is out of control.
If this council can be deceptive on such a simple issue, it makes me wonder about its honesty in other areas of ratepayer importance, such as transparency in financial management.
I suggest we replace the Pride flag with the Veterans flag, a neglected group who proudly served this country.
Ellen Bigelow, Blairgowrie
Not so silent
I was amused by a letter from a regular contributor about Mornington Peninsula Shire Council flying the gay pride flag (Flag needs answers, Letters 5/12/23). For someone who claims to be “one of the silent vast majority” he has a lot to say.
Ian Dale, Rosebud
Bragging, but no birds
I received the [Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s] glossy Peninsula Wide in the post this week. Where are the parrots pictured on the front? I live by Memorial Park, Mornington, and the only birds I see are pigeons, mynas, and ravens, which scare every other bird away.
And how our councillors brag about what they’ve achieved. I’d just like to see even footpaths.
As I’m in my 80s, I have to watch every step I take, and to manoeuvre the paths around here you have to be so careful.
Main Street and surrounding streets have uneven footpaths, great yellow “trippables”, and numerous dogs on long leads.
It’s not like Civic Reserve. We have to drive there to walk on smooth pebblecrete paths, kilometres of walks to Craigie Road and beyond, but it’s safe.
Please, can we do something to bring back our parrots and wrens, and please could we have safe walking right here in Mornington?
Wendy Doyle, Mornington
I would like to see The News give coverage of women’s sport on a weekly basis as is done for some local men’s sports.
If there is agreement, I would ask all readers involved in women’s sport to consider offering their assistance.
This initiative may only be possible if clubs provide results and editorial information including highlights and perhaps arrange photos.
David Gill, Red Hill Ward councillor, Mornington Peninsula Shire
I attended what, I guess, was the inaugural meeting of Mornington Peninsula Council Watch. I have to admit that I almost did not go as I have seen these organisations come and go, but with a great deal of skepticism I attended. Have to admit that I left with a guarded sense of optimism.
I invited councillors to attend to listen, and “keep their yaps shut”, to hear what their electors had to say and then “After biting your tongue if you can still speak after the meeting you can stick around and blow some smoke up some individuals”. I was challenged on this last statement and responded that if I said where to blow the smoke my email would have been rejected by the Mornington Peninsula Shire. Just a bit of fun.
Two showed up, the mayor Cr Simon Brooks, and Cr Susan Bissinger. Cr Sarah Race apologised for having family commitments but thanked me for the information. Two councillors, whose names cannot be mentioned, abused me for inviting them and the other six, apparently, couldn’t give a flying flamingo. The deputy mayor did not acknowledge the invite.
The abusers and the flying flamingos could not have made it any clearer about their disdain for electors’ views, which brings us to a systemic issue of just who they represent?
The abusers and flying flamingos just don’t get it: we are in this together and the electors, no matter how outspoken or critical, are not the enemy.
Their absence will be noted at the next council election, just like how they voted on the “open briefings to the public’’ issue (Transparency backed, but ‘secret’ talks stay, The News 28/11/23).
They will be held accountable in the future for their votes and actions by the electorate.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
The new sculpture on Peninsula Link, to me, resembles an engineering drawing of oil-drum brackets for handling heavy drums (Compass points the way, The News, 5/12/23). No matter which way you look at it or from what perspective, it is not art.
Bring back the grumpy stainless steel giant gnome, which at least was interesting and became somewhat famous.
The Chardonnay-sipping society set, devoid of taste or culture and appraising art only by money, will no doubt approve this chunk of metal because of its $300,000 price, and call me a philistine.
Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington
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: email@example.com