Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

Focus on the issues affecting residents

I'm pleased that council has taken a neutral position on the 'same-sex marriage" issue; neither voicing an opinion for or against, that's how it should be.

It's fine for Cr Alden to make any comments she likes as an individual, and I respect her right to do so, however those statements should be reported as being made by an individual not as  someone representing the views of the people of Bendigo. 

As members of a city council, councillors should concentrate their energy on the issues they were elected to be responsible for, by all the people of Bendigo. Unless of course they stated before they were elected that they would be addressing issues of a national importance outside of their jurisdiction, or the mandate they were given by ratepayers. 

They should concentrate on issues they were elected to deal with and have direct control over, matters such as footpaths damaged and made unsafe for residents by building contractors, overhanging trees that impede residents choosing to walk around Bendigo and of course the issue of the re-supply of bags for the green compost bins which was a great initiative. 

Unfortunately to date this initiative has failed, because despite a press release some months ago of more bags being delivered to residents this has not eventuated. We were assured during two visits in four weeks to council offices the problem was being address, sadly this is not the case. 

 Sorry councillors but these are just examples of some of the issues you were elected to deal with, we already pay more than enough for others elected to deal with issues of a national or state importance, and as individuals you have the right to join them. Until you make that choice I suggest that you all stick to your job description.  

David Arscott, Kangaroo Flat

Retain foundations

In 1947 Winston Churchill said (quoting an unknown predecessor): “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Someone else has said: “For every complex problem there is a simple solution, and it is nearly always wrong!” 

Both statements are relevant to the debate about same-sex marriage. We need to be well informed with reliable information from well-documented sources, rather than from the results of random surveys and vested interests. In the past, the gay community has been poorly treated by some, but now, causes are being promoted that could well harm the very fabric of society in the future. 

In 2008, 85 laws were amended by the federal parliament, removing legal discrimination against gay men, lesbians and same-sex couples.

As far as benefits are concerned, legally there is no difference between same-sex couples, other de facto couples or married couples in such things as taxation, superannuation, Medicare, DVA spouse pension, next of kin, etc.

One of the main purposes of marriage, by the joining of a man and a woman, is the opportunity to produce children. It is a well-known and scientifically established fact, through decades of research, that a child does best, on average, when raised by married biological parents. Hence the need to encourage, strengthen and support this. 

As we prepare to vote on the question of same-sex marriage and its effects on our society, it is important that we act compassionately and respectfully and in a well-informed way, whilst retaining solid foundations.

Barry Rainsford, Epsom

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