Border Mail letters: Border Mail readers have their say on the issues of the day

Baseless: Comments made by Benambra MP Bill Tilley about volunteer and career firefighters have been sharply criticised.
Baseless: Comments made by Benambra MP Bill Tilley about volunteer and career firefighters have been sharply criticised.

Attacks on CFA out of line

We, as volunteer and career firefighters from Wodonga and Wangaratta Fire Brigades, are disgusted by Liberal Party MLA Bill Tilley's comments in Parliament last week.

Mr Tilley likened how we operate to the South African apartheid, Russian communists and socialists.

For an elected public figure and CFA member to think it's acceptable to make such a comparison shows just how out of touch he is with CFA Integrated Fire Brigades, not to mention the lack of respect he has for the victims of apartheid.

Mr Tilley has no right to make these baseless allegations, which are deeply insulting to volunteer and career firefighters at Wodonga and Wangaratta.

Both brigades put in 110 per cent everyday to provide emergency response and build community resilience in the North East, and we do it with 110 per cent teamwork and camaraderie.

Mr Tilley needs to swallow his pride and admit that he has made a frightful error in judgement in slandering firefighters in order to score political points.

He should not only retract his comments, but issue a public apology to the hard working firefighters who give everything for their communities.

Wodonga fire brigade members Sam Dennis (Leading Firefighter), Gerard Peters (1st Lieutenant), Rowan Montoneri (2nd Lieutenant) and Wangaratta Fire Brigade members Michael Cornish (Firefighter) and Jason Allisey  (1st Lieutenant)

Values being questioned

The calls for the renaming of The Margaret  Court Arena have been characterised as a storm in a teacup, but the ripples being felt locally and globally raise serious questions about Australian values 

From Margaret Court's hometown in Albury and across the world, a volley of questions raised by people of every profession and faith threaten to knock the prime minister (and the rest of us) from the fence to recognise what is truly at stake calling for decisive action. 

Recent “points on the board” include reports that the former tennis great is now lobbying for her retro version of "A good Christian" rather than the mooted Ed Santow as Australian Human Rights commissioner, summoning her powers of political exhumation to strengthen her case, make the renaming of the arena a necessary statement of contemporary secular humanitarian ideals, owned by the majority of Australians   

Naming the arena honoured the historical career of a local sportsperson.

Renaming it defends the changing inclusive nature of national values from serious attack.

Keeping a crocodile in the bathtub has the potential for future complications.

Similarly, employing social navigation systems not updated since the Middle Ages risks leading Australian society to a series of social wheeie bins.

That is rather than positive life destinations for our future.

Attacks on Australian life are answered not just by detention and border control but by challenging those who use their wilted laurels as a license to return the powering of social policy to spiritual fossil fuels, heedless of harmful emissions . 

This is not "hit and giggle", it is a real threat.

At the height of Margaret Court’s career Australians had the freedom to enjoy cigarettes and the rest of us happily breathed in the smoke, but today the warning is on the packet.

Religious fundamentalism is likewise an international problem.

On the tennis court it is an irritation but in the arena of human rights, education and public policy it compromises individual and corporate well being. 

The freedoms remain. The warning is on the packet and calls for present action.

Archdeacon Peter Macleod-Miller,

St Matthews, Albury