LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE
Last year we saw the voice of the people finally listened to, resulting in marriage equality.
This didn't happen by chance: it took over a decade and millions of ordinary people, community groups, and non-profits campaigning to ensure that LGBTQI couples were granted the legal right to marry.
While the majority of Australians supported this victory, now a powerful minority has put forward a bill to change the laws so it will be harder for charities and non-profit organisations to campaign on issues like this in future.
This bill will make it difficult for non-profits to advocate and campaign with and on behalf of ordinary Australians on issues we support like marriage equality, housing affordability, renewable energy, fair wages, public hospitals, education, and pretty much everything we care about.
What will this bill mean for those in the Illawarra who rely on charities and non-profits to speak on their behalf?
What if Vinnies can no longer speak up about homelessness and poverty, and must get a statutory declaration from anyone who donates more than $250?
What if my daughter's school P&C President can no longer talk about the need for increased school funding without risking 10 years imprisonment?
What if local community groups and organisations can't rally together in support of the free Gong shuttle?
Each and every one of us knows someone who will be hurt by this attack on charities and non-profits. Who is standing up to stop this Bill? Not our elected representatives.
Labor is fence sitting on this issue, just as the majority of politicians waited until the last moment before announcing their stances on marriage equality. So it is up to us ordinary Australians to stand up. To tell our politicians to do their job, and to represent us.
If you care about a charity or non-profit, phone, email, or visit your MP and tell them to block the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017.
Luci Temple, Thirroul
BOW TO NATIONAL
A ‘grateful’ PM should respectfully bow at the altar of The Nationals and then bend down and blithely kiss the Deputy PM’s (DPM) feet.
Had it not been for the Deputy Prime Minister comprehensively winning New England recently - thus restoring a one seat buffer - the PM and his coterie would inevitably been occupying the opposition benches.
Having ‘stroked’ the back of the DPM, during the New England campaign, by informing all and sundry of the DPM’s extraordinary contribution to the theatre of national politics while also proclaiming his grand service to New England, the PM has now decided his DPM is surplus to requirements.
How did it get to this.
DJ Preece, Wollongong
POSITION NOT IRREVERSIBLE
The other day, the island nation of Bermuda became the first country to re-abolish same-sex marriage — one year after having legalised it.
Bermuda’s Governor, John Rankin, has now signed into law a bill reversing a 2017 Supreme Court ruling.
That ruling had been made despite a referendum in which Bermudian voters rejected same-sex marriage.
Bermuda has led the way — re-affirming that natural marriage is a one-man-one-woman union.
Same-sex marriage is neither inevitable nor irreversible. Australia, for example, can reverse its current position any time.
Bermuda, population 60,000 is a cluster of 138 islands — eight of them joined by bridges — in the North Atlantic Ocean 800km east of the United States.
Arnold Jago, Nichols Point