Embodying the qualities of the Anzac spirit
WHERE can young people find their place in the Anzac tradition?
While it may be harder for young people to relate to the individual experience of the veterans and to know their names and battles they fought, every Australian can embody the qualities of the Anzac spirit.
Courage, loyalty, compassion, mateship, endurance – the Anzac spirit is something that lives on long after the battles are fought.
Whether it is helping communities after a natural disaster, supporting people at risk of homelessness, or providing a hand up to those affected by a family tragedy - every Australian, young or old, can uphold the spirit of the Anzacs.
So let us honour our soldiers in the best way possible by remembering the sacrifices they’ve made and embodying the Anzac spirit in everything that we do.
Let us be a voice for those suffering injustice or hardship.
And let us transform Australia one life at a time, giving hope where it’s needed most.
Lieutenant Colonel Neil Venables, secretary of communications, The Salvation Army
Call for real action on connectivity issues
AFTER five damning NBN reports in 12 months, the federal government has taken the unprecedented action of – wait for it – swiftly ordering another review.
This week, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) revealed consumer complaints about the NBN have gone through the roof.
The TIO revealed a massive 204 per cent increase in NBN complaints and a 30 per cent increase in complaints across Victoria.
Predictably the government, NBN Co and the phone companies are saying the blame lies with someone else.
Doesn’t that sound familiar?
All the reports from the ACCC, ACMA, Parliament’s Joint Select Committee and the TIO point to the same problems.
These include the initial installation goes wrong on too many occasions (one in three according to the ACMA); the old copper network, and much of the HFC network, is not up to scratch – a fact, even NBN Co admits; and customers are bounced between service providers and the NBN with no one taking responsibility.
I’m sorry Mr Turnbull but it’s not another review we need; it’s swift action.
It’s time to ditch the unreliable copper, legislate for strong consumer rights and put a tough cop on the beat to help consumers who are sick of being caught in your game of NBN ping-pong.
Stephen Jones, Shadow Minister for Regional Communications
Duck shooting could impact regional town
TRAGICALLY, Parks Victoria has just sounded the death knell for the struggling township of Boort.
Boort could have been saved by development of a bold tourism industry based on the beauty of its magnificent wetlands and wildlife and its wealth of ancient Dja Dja Wurrung heritage.
But the town is fading into oblivion.
The last bank closed recently, forcing local business owners to drive 50 kilometres to Kerang for banking.
After reports by the Auditor General and SGS Economics and Planning highlighting the overall economic demise of small Victorian towns, the Labor Government has allocated million dollar nature-based tourism grants to promote some regional towns.
It’s obivous that tourism is the way to an economic future, not duck shooting.
Duck shooting and wetlands tourism are incompatible.
Tourists could be drawn to Boort to learn about its long and proud Indigenous heritage and enjoy the diverse ecosystems and serene wetland bird life on this section of the important internationally recognised Kerang RAMSAR wetlands.
Loud gunshots, terrified birds and piles of bloodied guts, heads, wings, legs, feathers and shooters' rubbish is not a tourist drawcard.
Nor is damage by duck shooters to the remaining important Dja Dja Wurrung heritage sites.
Despite recognising the negative impacts of duck shooting on the area and strong opposition to the activity by locals, Parks Victoria has caved to pressure from duck shooters.
Their new Boort Management Plan puts the shooters' demands ahead of a nature-based wetlands tourism industry.
Shooters do not, and will not follow regulations and their destruction of Lake Boort will continue.
Despite very little shooter activity across Victoria this season, over 70 shot birds were recently found illegally left on wetlands.
This was from just a handful of the 20,000 Victorian wetlands where shooting can occur.
Boort desperately needs strong visionaries who can withstand pressure from duck shooters and lead this declining small town, with such obvious nature-based tourism potential, forward into a lucrative future.
Lynn Trakell, Coalition Against Duck Shooting