Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

PRESERVE: Letter-writer Jim Evans, pictured in a re-enactment of the Red Ribbon Rebellion, says the site of the historic event should be heritage listed.
PRESERVE: Letter-writer Jim Evans, pictured in a re-enactment of the Red Ribbon Rebellion, says the site of the historic event should be heritage listed.

Heritage list historic area

I was interested to read the letter from Paul Wells in Thursday's Addy (“Freedoms eroded bit by bit”) in which he said in part “there is no Red Ribbon Rebellion”.

You are quite correct Paul, but there is a Red Ribbon Rebellion re-enactment every year conducted by members of the Bendigo Historical Society, to which everyone is invited to attend.

This year's re-enactment will be held on August 28, in which society members, including many school students, will re-enact a significant event in Bendigo's rich history, based on the opposition to a gold license fee, which was levied on every Bendigonian by an undemocratic government in 1853.

The site of the original meeting in Rosalind Park has a memorial to that event. I think this area should be listed as a heritage area, like the Monster Meeting site in Chewton, which, quite rightly, has just been so listed.

Jim Evans, Bendigo

Voting system skewed

Further to a previous letter writer commenting on the political parties, one other topic is right up there as well.

Is our political system as democratic as we think, when it comes to the eventual political outcomes?

For example, at the 2016 election, the Liberal Nationals in Queensland received 8.7 per cent of the vote, the National Party received 4.6 per cent of the vote for a combined 13.13 per cent and 31 seats, but the Greens, for example, received 10.2 per cent of the vote and won one seat.

Regardless of who it is, how can this be democratic in the true sense of the word?

So before we get too excited about who is going to put Malcolm to the sword, maybe somebody in the Electoral Commission could have a serious look at our political system, and make it more representative of the true value of the individual’s vote.

On this evidence “one person one vote” adds a very different perspective depending where you live.

Is there any chance that this will change? It has Buckley’s hope. Why would you support to change something when it has helped you stay in office for 15 out of the last 21 years?

Ken Price, Eaglehawk

Children dying every day

East Africa is in the middle of a food crisis. More than six million South Sudanese people are suffering severe food shortages. Around 20 million people in Eastern Africa are going hungry right now.

In February, South Sudan was officially declared in famine, which means four out of 10,000 children were dying every day. The  crisis is not over, as other areas in the region slip dangerously closer to famine every day.

Yet a new Plan International Australia report examining attitudes expressed on social media reveals a lot of Australians are cynical of this crisis.

In some ways, it isn’t surprising because it’s difficult to fathom the horror of a famine until you actually see it, but as a major aid agency responding to thousands in need right now – we feel compelled to correct the record.

One of the most common things we hear is that over-population is driving the hunger crisis. We know this simply isn’t true.

Conflict is driving farmers from their land, leaving no one to produce food for the rest of the region. The conflict is so intense, South Sudan now has the fastest growing number of refugees in the world, even more than Syria.

Some people feel that famine is a perpetual reality in Africa – that’s just how it is.  It isn’t. Many African countries are thriving. It’s worth remembering until this year, the entire world was famine-free for six years.

Many feel that donating to agencies responding to the hunger crisis is ineffective because the money doesn’t make it to those who need it most.

Let me assure you that it absolutely does.

Ian Wishart, Plan International Australia CEO