Letters to the editor - August 11

Help save wildlife

The massacred bodies of 70 Little Penguins on Middle Island was a shocking discovery for our dedicated volunteers.  Foxes in a killing frenzy have set our conservation efforts back and show that we must be vigilant and not become complacent.  This event also highlights what is going on every night across Australia as our native wildlife battles for survival.  For example, since European settlement in the USA, one mammal has become extinct.  In Australia the number is thirty.  Foxes and cats are the cause of all these extinctions and it is conservatively estimated that 30 million native animals are killed every single night.  In some parts of Australia foxes have learnt to climb trees and kill koalas.  Here in Warrnambool they have learnt to swim across to Middle Island.  In our part of Victoria much of our native wildlife has lost its home.  Excessive land clearing has destroyed habitat and left many creatures hanging on for survival.  Only humans can repair the damage we have done and help our unique birds and animals survive.  The Middle Island project demonstrates that we can save our wildlife if we want to, even if the odds are stacked against it.  We can do the same throughout our region, creating native vegetation corridors and protecting our precious coastal reserves.  If you want your grandchildren to experience the richness of Australia's wildlife, now is the time to act.

Bruce Campbell, Chairman, Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network

Marriage debate despair

I would like to register my despair at the changes threatened to marriage as it stands. My arguments are very simple. Biology – obviously the male and female complementary design is magnificent. Dictionary definition – do we need to change this as it states unequivocally that marriage is a union between a male and female? Chidren's welfare – as an educator and parent it is obvious that a child needs that wonderful symbiosis of the strength of a dad and the tenderness of a mum. History – our western society has been built on the nurture system of a male and female. Christianity – As a heavily Catholic and strongly Protestant community it is appropriate that we uphold the source book ...the Bible, which in no way at any point endorses a same sex union.

Jenny Arms, Grasmere

Vote in marriage survey

The deadlock between a Prime Minister who supports marriage equality and his tenuous grip as leader. Australia now faces a $120 million non-binding, non-compulsory, nonsensical survey, all to delay an actual vote in the Parliament which would allow two consenting adults in love to marry each other. If the next few months are anything like the past week, it will be a rough time for LGBTIQ Australians, as well as their friends and families. Already I have seen repeated calls that this would somehow lead to bestiality (it won’t), that it would create the next stolen generation (it doesn’t) – and dear old Tony Abbott (no doubt hoping for a Donald Trump-esque conservative wave to hit Australia) is eyeing the Prime Ministership while attacking political correctness (huh?) and denying his own sister the right to marry her partner. LGBTIQ Australians are a resilient bunch, we’ve stared down the bible-thumping-literalists and the slippery-slope-surrealists before – and we will do it for as long as we have to, until the day comes that we are treated equally before the law. One day there will be marriage equality in Australia. My hope, when that day comes, is that we’ll be able to embrace the good old Aussie tradition of people minding their own business and letting others get on with their lives. Even to those who would oppose my right to marry the person I love, I hope that is not too much to ask. Regardless, whether you intend to vote yes, no or even to boycott, take two minutes out of your day, jump onto the AEC website or head to their office at 100 Kepler Street and make sure you’re enrolled.  

Thomas Campbell, Warrnambool

Consultation needed

 I write to add my voice to those who are unhappy with Warrnambool City Council’s decision to firstly involve themselves with the same-sex marriage issue and to vote in favour of it, without any consultation with the residents of Warrnambool, even though there are clearly opposing views on the subject. I attended the council meeting on Monday last, when a question was asked as to why the above decision was made. I had expected that the mover of the motion or one of those who supported him to give reasons for the decision. But CEO Bruce Anson (who did not have a vote) answered. I found this unsatisfactory but this is what the rules of procedure say. Bruce attempted to justify their decision on the grounds of protecting the health and well-being of the LGBT community. I find this ironic when encouragement of same-sex marriage could be seen as an endorsement of an undeniably high-risk life-style. Furthermore, regarding the lack of consultation, Bruce claimed that a decision needed to be made to give moral support to the LGBT community. This issue has been in the public eye for over 12 months, so why did a decision have to be made by the council immediately? It didn’t. I suspect that some preferred that the public did not have prior knowledge of the motion to prevent lobbying of councillors by those against it. If this motion is not reversed, I trust that when elections come around, citizens will not forget this episode.

   Jim Hanrahan, Warrnambool