LETTER: Republic, date change are not just symbolic
CONCURRENT with the recent Australia Day recognition, there has been a discussion in the NewsMail pages and the Australian community on two of our significant cultural symbols: the creation of an Australian republic and changing the date of Australia Day.
Opponents to these two debates appear to rely on two arguments: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it” and there are more important priorities that have a practical effect on the lives of Australians.
Of course, these deny the significance of how our cultural symbols affect the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us, which ultimately affects most aspects of our life by dictating our decision-making on matters of importance.
I am very proud that the Queensland Teachers' Union is a socially progressive union that has a long-standing policy supporting the creation of an Australian republic with an Australian citizen as our head of state.
More recently the QTU has supported a change of date for Australia Day so that it serves as a more inclusive day for celebration by all Australians.
Strong political and community leaders and strong unions do not only reflect community views; they also lead and influence the community in change. Many current well-accepted reforms were once minority, even radical positions, that required leadership and campaigning to achieve.
Australians would do well to take the best learnt values and lessons from the past, using them to continue to evolve and progress to meet the needs of a contemporary Australia.
Allan Cook, president, Bundaberg North QTU
GIVE US A BREAK
I DON'T know about other readers but how about applying a month hold on all the usual contributors that only seem to keep pushing their poison pens on one side of the divide or other?
Dare to do something different, give the rest of Bundaberg a chance to contribute. Who knows, it could be a start of some positive meaningful comment from real people on issues that might be the start of the rise of Bundaberg.
Give it a go, you might be surprised.
Craig Marriott, Avenell Heights
WHAT DO THEY DO?
SHOULD councillors do the job for love?
Good question, considering that the CEO is employed to run the council.
Councillors used to attend council meetings every month to ensure the CEO was doing what the local people wanted and only got paid if they attended these meetings!
Now we have carte blanche for councillors to do this as a full-time job increasing council expense by at least $1.4 million dollars so they can do what?
I have lived at the same address for seven years and never has one councillor called or knocked on my door to find out what my thoughts were in regards to what council should be doing for the locals!
Don Sinclair, Bundaberg
It was good to see some laughs from Roy Fraser (NM, 26/01).
Let me inform him of a lot of real facts: we motorists pay license fees, rego (including a "traffic improvement fee”), CTP, in my insurance I pay hospital and emergency services levy, just to cite a few.
With the license you must have an understanding of the road rules, with rego we are required to have silly things like mudguards, lights, indicators, safety warning device (horn) etc and they must be roadworthy.
I agree that some (a lot) motorists are breaking the laws (there is more of them and they are more easily noticed) but this does not make push bike riders exempt.
The only place for pushies in on a velodrome or ducking up to the local shops, not on our major roads.
The argument that most cyclists have cars and contribute to roads simply does not wash as every vehicle that uses the roads is classified and needs the correct licence and insurance.
The only "traffic improvement” happening here is the green bike lanes. Whatever happened to user pays?
Unfortunately the people who are paying for all these things are being demonised by the bludgers who won't pay for the rights to use and maintain the roads they want to take over.
It is truly a sad state of affairs when our roads are being overtaken by "lycra loonies”.
Jim Carter, Elliott Heads