On the Voice, the question is simple
A simple question
David Crowe’s analysis of the Voice debate is spot on (24/1), Clearly, ″Yes″ supporters think the referendum is going to be a pushover. I would remind them how in 1999, John Howard split the pro-republic vote by embellishing a simple Yes/No question with specific details ″replacing the Queen and the governor-general with a president elected by a two-thirds majority of parliament″. The referendum failed because many voters who supported a republic were sceptical of how it would be formed.They voted ″No″.
Today some Indigenous people and others say there must be a treaty before the Voice, and of course the opposition is demanding details again.
We know what the Voice is meant to do. It is to allow a united Aboriginal voice to advise parliament on issues which are relevant to the Indigenous community. Parliament is not obliged to take that advice and the Voice will have no veto powers. So the question simply is ″Yes or No″.
Damien Ryan, Berwick
Time for republic
Most fair-minded Australians, along with most of the world, are appalled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, yet somehow are happy to accept similar invasions by the British crown on many sovereign nations in the past. The British were one of several nations that had colonial aspirations and a disregard for others’ sovereignty. We can’t change the past but we can stop the forelock tugging and dispense with our connections to the British crown. The death of Queen Elizabeth and the coronation of King Charles should put an end to this anachronistic institution. Let the British rejoice in their monarchy and let us celebrate becoming the independent republic of Australia.
Greg Thomas, Annandale, NSW
Your correspondent (Letters, 28/1) suggests Australia Day could be renamed Endeavour Day after James Cook’s ship. Arthur Phillip’s reaction would be predictable: Are you Sirius?
Geoff Allen, Mt Eliza
Respect and healing
By changing the date of Australia Day there is a danger we will forget what First Nations peoples suffered upon the arrival of Europeans. It was predominantly disease that caused a catastrophic decline in the population and this should be acknowledged with sadness and regret. Let’s celebrate being Australian on another day, but keep January 26 as Aboriginal Remembrance Day, a day of respect and healing.
Susan Glover, South Melbourne
Parnell Palme McGuinness’s article (The Sunday Age, 22/1) has at its centre the notion that Jacinda Ardern’s ″kindness″ is careless of real-world outcomes, and warns our prime minister to beware. Unfair comparisons are made, long bows are drawn and the not-so-subtle message for Anthony Albanese is not to bother with the Housing Australia Future Fund (won’t work) and give up on the Voice (too many rights for First Nations people). Kindness was needed in the article, unless, of course, mean-spiritedness was its point.
Jane Robins, Moonee Ponds
Not a happy Vegemite
Vegemite is celebrating its 100th birthday (″At 100 years of age, Vegemite gives to us the missing pizza happiness″, The Sunday Age, 22/1). How sickening.
I have suffered a lifetime of protest over Vegemite, surrounded by my wife and two children (now mature adults) who love this awful stuff.
I note in the article that Khanh Nguyen, a Vietnamese migrant, is pictured enjoying one of these Vegemite dishes, but l vividly recall the expressions of general displeasure on the faces of international students, when exposed to the taste of a Vegemite sandwich (a cultural experience) when l worked for Monash College many years ago.
Meat in the sandwich
Many families sadly can’t afford the money to make kids’ school lunches (″Top marks for the lunchbox revolution″, 28/1). Many other families can’t afford the time and hence outsource the task. A $3.74 honey sandwich anyone? Something is seriously wrong with the allocation of resources in our community.
Fiona White, Alfredton
Good work, Canberra
It is pleasing to follow the firm and effective action being taken by the federal government for the wellbeing of NDIS participants (″Two firms banned for NDIS fraud″, The Sunday Age, 22/1).
It gives a degree of hope that similar strong, determined, effective and competent federal government action could be taken to monitor and reform the aged care system, giving highest priority to the wellbeing of all Australians who live long enough to need it.
Ruth Farr, Blackburn South
BYO bottles for Open
Australian Open organisers would do well to move with the times and encourage ticket holders to bring their own water bottles and keep cups. With more than 700,000 attendees in the last week they could have prevented at least a million plastic bottles and the same number of coffee cups from going to landfill.
Leonie Scott, Port Melbourne
Not his keeper
Novak Djokovic is here to play tennis. While his father’s actions were ill-considered and inflammatory, he is not his father’s keeper.
Claire Merry, Wantirna
Repatriated capital? What a quaint name for the new Victorian government tax being levied via water suppliers (28/1).
Reg Murray, Glen Iris
On the sails of the Sydney Opera House, it should have read Reflect, Respect, Connect and then Celebrate .
Glenise Michaelson, Montmorency
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