Can’t rush good timing
No one could accuse Sussan Ley of rushing into a commitment on marriage equality but her most recent statements in support come at a historic moment in the debate (‘Sussan’s support’, The Border Mail, August 3).
As a former health minister her response will be formed not in the party room but in the homes of individuals and families across rural NSW.
Throughout the community conversation leading to Monday’s party room meeting, the federal member for Farrer has maintained the studied impartiality of a school prefect on the issue but across the huge expanse of her electorate she has felt the climate change in attitudes that will probably sweep the plebiscite from the agenda and finally make marriage equality a national and local reality .
The tragic stories of discrimination with negative outcomes for the mental health and wellbeing will vividly inform Sussan Ley’s attitude and enable her to brave the ancient guns traditionally aimed at progress.
The same guns and ammunition were leveled at the abolition of slavery, votes for women and end to discrimination according to race and religion, and over the last year she has had a political hammering which is why her current statements inspire admiration .
The call for equality from rural indigenous groups, paramedics, health professionals, youth and even churches will be ringing in her ears in the party room in the national capital.
The local stories of couples who have died waiting to be equally affirmed by their own community are etched into the conscience of all of us who have been content to sit on the fence while waiting to see what will happen.
The abolition of slavery was defeated in the British parliament 11 times before it passed.
Marriage equality has also been a difficult journey but as politicians put people first they may find that the party follows and eventually even the leaders might catch up.
Archdeacon Peter Macleod-Miller, St Matthews Albury
Chop down the red tape
I have just seen bureaucracy at its best with Albury City Council. I ventured into council recently to request the removal of the paperbark tree from my nature strip as I considered it to be dangerous after a branch fell and hit me on the head whilst mowing council nature strip.
The girl at reception logged it on the computer and said I would hear from them. After a week with no answer I called Albury City and was advised that someone had come and inspected the tree which would be trimmed but not cut down.
A couple of weeks earlier there was four of the same trees cut down in McDonald Road as part of their beautification program and I asked if this one could be the same. The answer was their current budget would not allow this. I asked if I could cut the tree down at my expense and cart it away. Can't do that.
So our wonderful council did come and trim the tree two thirds of the way up which makes it top heavy and means it will blow down in a good wind or storm.
My wife asked the workers if they could cut it down completely and they said they would love to but were not allowed. So we have the workers do a major trim and mulch the cutoff which completely covered the nature strip and away they go.
Low and behold within two weeks of all this the budget must have raised its head which enabled another four to be cut down on the opposite side of McDonald Road, just around the corner from our house.
My question is, why couldn't the dangerous tree outside my house be done at the same time? I believe that now the tree is so top heavy it is just as dangerous if not more than when the branch hit me on the head. Enough said.