Letters to the editor: Saturday, September 30


I am very pleased to see Kevin Anderson’s efforts to upgrade Banksia. Over the last eighteen months Mindmatters Tamworth has been playing a community event. Kevin Anderson has been part of it all from the beginning. They listened to each of us, our ideas and thoughts our improvements to mental health in Tamworth.

As a result, Mindmatters Tamworth has been working with Headspace to present a mental health event called “All Minds Matter”. This is a completely free event at Tamworth Town Hall on Thursday, 19th October from 5.30 pm. We hope that our local community will support our event. We have had tremendous support with involvement of more than sixty local businesses and individuals. It is our hope that we can: raise the profile of mental health, educate and empower people with mental illness, and present an event to cater for our whole community.

Look forward to seeing you all on the night!

Helen Mary Jones,

Mindmatters Tamworth Co-ordinator

Rainbow wooden horse

Not long after reading Ian Holford’s incisive letter today about same-sex marriage (NDL, 26 Sept.) I read a longer comment from England, by Gavin Ashenden, a retired chaplain to Queen Elizabeth. 

He began “Australia is going to vote on same sex marriage shortly”. Such is the international interest in our debates. He took us back to ancient Troy and the “wooden horse” trick, and wondered: “Who can be against the lovely idea of ‘marriage equality’ - two such beautiful words? The trouble is, other more dangerous things lurk inside the rainbow wooden horse”.

He asked: “Who is the real parent of a surrogate child procured to embellish a same sex marriage?” He fears the psycho-social consequences of denying a child’s right to know her “biological parents”, so that the same-sex adults can“feel like the family they can never be”.

In England the same-sex activists have enjoyed success in a number of areas. They have forced the resignation of one politician, while another lives “under a hail of rancid abuse and hate speech”.

Businesses are under attack. Freedom of conscience is denied for church schools. Other politicians are insisting that churches “must be made to ‘keep up with modern attitudes’”. Schools are being “failed, for having an ‘inadequate promotion of homosexuality and gender reassignment’”.

“The rainbow wooden horse” does not concern itself with equality and inclusion, even for people working for The National Trust. For 62000 volunteers it is “compulsory to wear the same-sex promotional rainbow badge”. Anybody who declined would be “made invisible until they were willing to give in and show ‘inclusive tolerance’”.

Australia was not mentioned after the first word. But the warning for us all is crystal clear in the rest of the essay. Ashenden concludes: “Check out the small print. Peek inside the rainbow wooden horse”.

Bruce Watson, Kentucky

Same-sex marriage

Should the voting be taking place in it’s present form? The question being asked, “should the law be changed to allow same sex couple to marry?” It is the norm when we have to vote for changes to any rules, acts regulation etc, there are printed changes of the new proposed rules, so that a decision can be made on how to vote.

In the push by Bill Shorten’s party and a few other members of parliament to rush this vote through now and not later, they had not considered this necessary to inform voters. One speaker said “anyone should be allowed to marry anyone they want to”.

This is a KEY issue, will family rights be protected (not if this speaker has his way)? What will the legislation be to protect religious marriage, leaders and freedom of speech? Other countries have had problems because there has been no protection for those who don’t agree to S.S. couples marrying. It is happening here now in the workforce and voting has only began. I have nothing against S.S. couples. They are not different to you and I.

This voting should be stopped now and all votes cancelled. It should go back to parliament with a clearly stated change of the legislation on new voting papers. We can not trust the government to get it right for everyone and anti discrimination laws must be in place to protect those who choose to speak about their beliefs.

R Doyle, Tamworth

Wattle varieties

An article written recently for a local publication recently stated that there were only 50 species of wattle in Australia. There happen to be between 700 and 800 species with new species still being discovered regularly. The writer also states that wattles are short lived, usually lasting no longer than 15 years, but this applies only to wattles planted that are out of their natural environment, such as the species that were mentioned, which, when grown in this area, have no resistance to our borers.

Gardeners wishing to plant wattles can plant some of our beautiful local ones, such as acacia decora  (Graceful Wattle...small), acacia amoena (Boomerang Wattle...medium) or acacia nerifolia, a beautiful elegant tree, to name just a few. Not one of these stunning local wattles will ever suffer from borer attack and will be extremely long lived. Scientific research has shown that wattle blossom is often incorrectly blamed for hayfever which is very often not the case. Wattle blossom is heavy and relies on insects and birds and other animals for cross pollination whereas there are plenty of other species, usually exotic, that rely on the wind for dispersal and it is most likely this that causes most of the problems.

Baids McIntyre, Tamworth


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