Tag Archives: letters

An open letter to my representatives in Australia’s Federal Parliament

Australian Citizenship and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014

It is with great concern that I noticed that the above bill was given its second reading debate only this morning and would seem to be on track for debate in the Senate some time next week when the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee makes its report.

This bill I find very disturbing and particularly of concern for any Australian citizen who was not born here in Australia.

According to the summary, it would appear that anyone who incurs the disfavour of the Minister for Immigration could be bundled out of the country with no judicial review whatsoever. The explanatory memorandum seems to focus on individuals who have more recently arrived in Australia, however, as a citizen of over thirty years who is quite likely to offend the current Minister for a variety of reasons (mostly to do with his behaviour in dodging responsibility for those seeking refuge here), I feel I am justified in feeling concerned whether I could also be turfed out of my home and sent away from my family just because I have offended a person in power.

From what little I have been able to find on the reasons for this proposed legislation, it would appear that previous breeches of the Citizenship Acts have been dealt with under existing legislation, and the Minister probably already holds the power to revoke individual citizenships, all be it with judicial review and oversight – as it should be.

I am requesting that you represent me, as a citizen of this country who could be adversely affected by this legislation, to block or otherwise prevent the passage of this legislation through the Senate and find a way to ensure that judicial oversight is maintained particularly on any legislation or regulation changes that may impact on the desire of people migrating to Australia to become full citizens of this country.

Regards
Your employer and Australian citizen

PS – I haven’t been able to work out what other legislation is referred to in the bill, unless it is the current Migration Act and Regulations. But if it is a question of that legislation being changed to accommodate wording about spouses, surely that could be dealt with through a more general piece of legislation aimed at correcting those definitions in all Australian legislation without encumbering such changes with such meanly focused bill.

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Australia goes to “not-war” … again?

A letter to my Federal parliamentarians:

Dear Sirs,

Apparently while Parliament was not sitting over the weekend, Mr Abbott has declared that we are going to be gun-running for the Kurdish people fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq. He has indicated that we will apparently also be providing troops on the ground who may go into harm’s way should one of the planes being used for this gun-running activity be shot down and the crews need to be rescued.

I would appreciate a discussion in Parliament, and entered into the Parliamentary Record, to explain the reasons for Australia’s support to the Kurdish and other minority people of the region in this new fight, including an explanation of who and why the so called “Islamic State” developed and who originally funded it.
There may be a legitimate reasons why Australia should offer this support to these people – including provision of asylum if necessary. If there is, Australia may well have a role in providing that help, and Australians deserve to have those reasons explained.

But there are too many indicators that this is less about protecting people far away from our country, and more about protecting a Prime Minister and Government that is divisive, vindictive and determined to reduce our country to a mere resource to be gouged by others.

As Australians, I and my family deserve to be fully informed by our representatives as to the reasons why such risks by the Australian Defence Forces are to be taken.

Your employer,
*Not very impressed*

The start of a new Senate term

I received an email from one of my Labor Senators this morning.
As there are now 18 cross benchers, I am tempted to feel a bit sorry for them as I contemplate both the schedule for the Senate to contemplate legislation and the mail-merge abilities of my word-processor *twinkle*
Yes, one can get the spreadsheets of addresses for both Senate and House of Reps from the Australian Parliament, just perfect for use with mail-merge programs.
Now to go write something to encourage those cross bench senators to vote the way I want them to. After all, they are supposed to be representing ME!

Despite all the bluster and claims of Senate obstruction, the Abbott Government has so far only presented a handful of Budget bills to the Senate.

Here’s the rundown on the current situation:
•   Appropriation Bills have passed the Senate.  We will never do what the Coalition did in 1975.
•   Scrapping the Schoolkids Bonus and the Low Income Superannuation Contribution. The Government sought to scrap Labor’s Schoolkids Bonus and Low Income Superannuation Contribution as part of its bill to repeal the Minerals Resources Rent Tax. Labor voted against this bill in the Senate and it was defeated in March.
•   Deficit reduction levy. This increases the top tax rate for people earning more than $180,000 a year. While it represents a broken promise, Labor did not oppose this measure in the Senate because it is targeted at those on very high incomes. The legislation has now passed Parliament.
•   GP and Medicines Taxes. Labor will vote against the new taxes of $7 per GP visit and $5 per chemist prescription when legislation comes into the Parliament.
•   Increasing university fees and student debt. Labor will vote against these measures.
•   Cutting indexation of pensions. We will vote against these cuts when legislation is brought into the Parliament.
•   Increasing petrol taxes. Labor will vote against the Government’s plans to increase fuel excises because of the cost of living impact on low and middle-income earners.

Dear Aunty

In the last few months I have become somewhat disappointed with the broadcasts on all your platforms in the area of political content.
It’s not that you are not providing an overview of the current political scene, it’s that it is so easy to pick holes in what is provided.

Interviewers do not ask the hard or awkward questions. Hosts ‘explain’ what guests mean, twist the meaning and then speak over their guest when the guest tries to correct them.
Broadcasts by one political ‘side’ of politics are often cut short for ‘technical reasons’ or non-news items so that one doesn’t see pronouncements by the ‘wrong side’ of the political spectrum.
Panels are often stacked by partisan participants of a single political persuasion with no apparent awareness that there might be another point of view so that the ‘conversation’ becomes a propaganda exercise and not a discussion.

This is so different to the political coverage of twenty years ago, or even ten years ago. You see, l can remember when you did what you do, only so much better than you are doing them now!

Dearest Aunty ABC, l know that it is difficult to serve such a diverse audience and that this current government is busy bullying you by threatening to withhold funding for one of this country’s cultural treasures. But for heaven’s sake, or at least that of Australians who prefer their viewing unadulterated by other commercial interests, or those who have no other broadcast media available. Could you please find the guts to actually ask the difficult questions and broadcast the full viewpoints that any government may not be happy about?

Remember, dear Aunty, the only reason bullies and dictators get away with their destructive behaviour because it is scary to stand up to them. But if they are not resisted, then all the good things in society will disappear and life will become short, brutal and mean again.
Not only that, but if you submit to the blandishments of an abusive person as you have done in the last ten years or so, you will find yourself in the same place as other victims of abuse, i.e. dead.

I would hate to see that, as I think the ABC is a significant part of what makes us Australians. So please, Aunty, pull on your flame-proof underwear and report the facts so that your audience once again can have an honest, factual and, above all, trustworthy basis on which to base our choices.

With concern and hope,
An ABC audience member