Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you have something to get off your chest? Send your letter to the editor to addynews@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you have something to get off your chest? Send your letter to the editor to addynews@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Honour a local hero

The Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise is urging Greater Bendigo Council to name the region’s newest pool after local Olympic champion Faith Leech.

Council will vote this week on a recommendation to name the facility the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre.

It proposes to name the small learn-to-swim pool within the centre after Faith Leech.

The Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise acknowledges the importance of the area the new pool sits on, and also the entire building area, to the region’s Traditional Owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung.

The KFCE also recognises the great work the Dja Dja Wurrung community is doing in multiple spots along the Bendigo Creek, in recognition of its cultural importance.

Hopefully we can work alongside them if the project extends to the Kangaroo Flat area. With almost 30 per cent of the recent public submission suggesting recognising Faith Leech – by far the greatest amount – we call on councillors to vote against the recommendation.

Faith is a Bendigo legend. She became the youngest swimmer to win an Australian title, at just 13.

She faced illness and overcame it to win bronze and gold at the Melbourne Olympics at 15, breaking a world record.

She is Bendigo’s only gold medallist, was an inspiration to a generation of young people, especially young women, at a time when inspiration was needed.

The opportunity to recognise her in a major way is unlikely to ever come again.

While the KFCE supports council’s push to continue to recognise the region’s traditional Owners, especially through decisions like the naming of Ulumbarra Theatre, it respectfully urges the council to take this one-and-only opportunity to recognise Faith Leech, and name the entire Kangaroo Flat facility after her.

Jack Lyons, Kangaroo Flat Enterprise

Parliamentary solution

This letter will sound naïve, but I would love to see elected Members of Parliament be a bit more accountable to their electorates occasionally, just as I would like to see our elected governing people do a bit more leading and governing instead of politicking. 

Unfortunately, our embedded party system has managed to defeat the original idea centuries ago of constituencies sending off their local representative to represent them at the seat of government.

The system is now party driven. We get MPs voting with their parties and not always for the predominant wishes of the people who sent them there.

Parliament could so simply sort out this marriage equality issue by telling MPs to go back to their constituents and spend six months or less canvassing opinions, getting up in front of rowdy crowds of people, walking the streets, inviting written submissions, visiting schools even – whatever it takes – to ascertain the will of the seat and get back to Parliament for a vote. 

If they get it wrong they will be booted out at the next election. The alternative is to spend $120 million on a meaningless, non-binding postal vote and end up with someone like Mr Turnbull or some right-wing member of the National Party saying  that not enough people bothered to vote to warrant doing anything.

Other countries have managed to come up with parliamentary solutions to this issue quite simply. Why can't we?

John Morton, Bendigo

Global embarrassment

While Australia still dithers and pontificates on same-sex marriage it has now been made legal in many countries,  without much fuss, such as Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Britain.

This is an international embarrassment.

Ian Brenner, Glen Osmond, SA