I Am, You Are, We Are Australian – Or At Least We Could Be

Australia — A post in support of a more compassionate refugee policy.

Following the Christchurch terrorist attack, Jacinda Adern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, with much empathy and compassion, said that the attack on the Muslim community in New Zealand, was an attack on all New Zealanders, because “We are one.  They are us.”  Her words resonated with me, but I had no words to express my sorrow at the death and injury inflicted by one of my countrymen (allegedly).  I kept getting stuck on the question – if the murderer is Australian, does that then mean he is us and we are him?  I suppose many Australians would completely reject this notion.  After all, Australia is a multicultural country and for the most part, we live peacefully with one another.  But still, I wanted to know what was in people’s hearts, because how can love and compassion create a more tolerant, inclusive society if, deep down, we are afraid, uninformed, or worse, just plain racist? Read more

The Choice

Australia — Stop Adani.  No coal.

So often novelist, Richard Flanagan, speaks for me on matters close to my heart.  He is spot on when he says the fight to stop the Adani Carmichael mine is not just about Adani.  (Read Richard Flanagan’s speech to the Stop Adani rally by clicking on the above link.)

The Adani mine infrastructure is needed to make other prospective mines in Galilee basin viable.  Political power broker, Clive Palmer, also has mining interests in the Galilee basin.  Mr Palmer’s political party, United Australia Party. has just signed a deal to direct preferences to the Liberal and National parties.  The tag line for the United Australia Party is “Make Australia Great”.  Seriously!  In addition, the family of Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources in the Morrison Government, also has interests in the Australian coal industry.

Several years ago, I attended an event where the Australian Council of Trade Unions had an information and merchandise stand.  They were selling T-Shirts advocating for wind power.  I remarked to the woman on the stand that there was an inconsistency between what she was selling and the views of then leader of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), who was concerned about the how the shift to renewable energy would affect his members.  She said to me that the AWU does not represent the views of her union or the union movement as a whole.  The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (rivals to the AWU), has recently been applying pressure to the Australian Labor Party to support the Carmichael mine.  It should be noted that the PM-in-waiting, Mr Bill Shorten, was once head of the AWU.

Do I need to remind Mr Shorten and his party that the AWU and the CFMEU do not represent the views of the entire Australian labor movement?  Voters, if you come across representatives of the ALP door-knocking, remind them of this and send them a strong message that the Adani coal mine must be stopped and our environmental legislation amended immediately to ensure that the carbon footprint impact of projects is taken into account.  Carbon neutrality must be a minimum for project approval. Read more

Kerr’s Cur

WordPress Daily Prompt  —  Cur

In response to the WordPress Daily Prompt “Cur”, I thought I would share with you a significant moment in Australian political history.  It was the day the official representative of the Queen (of England and also of Australia), the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, fired the duly elected Australian government. Read more