A lack of gratitude
I am greatly disturbed by the revelation that refugee rights activists from across the Indi electorate have demanded that independent MP Cathy McGowan support the proposed Medical Evacuation Bill to bring asylum seekers/boat people/economic migrants from offshore detention centres to our country for medical treatment.
The Albury-Wodonga Ethnic Communities Council chairperson, Rupinder Kaur, demands that Ms McGowan "do the right thing, the compassionate thing. This Bill must pass the Lower House in the first sitting." (Border Mail, February 8).
This dictatorial attitude and the organising of a demonstration in Wodonga sounds very much like an attempt at emotional blackmail. It is also at odds with the principles of democracy and the mandate of our government to maintain strong border protection policies and refuse to settle boat people in our country. This policy, instigated under John Howard, stopped the boats.
These people have been refused entry to the US after rigorous security checks and character assessments declared them unfit for settlement there. Australia has the same right to protect its people from possible harm by allowing indiscriminate migration with insufficient security checks.
Such a demonstration by ethnic minorities and their sympathisers seems to me to be the epitome of ingratitude and utterly ironic. Ms McGowan would do well to ignore them.
Presumably, the members of the Ethnic Council are privy to Australian government support and have left their birth countries because of threat to their existence or continued civil unrest, or lack of opportunity to improve their future prospects. Why then, would anyone who has been welcomed to Australia and offered considerable assistance, have the temerity to campaign against said government's refugee policies or try to influence an elected member of our Parliament? Yes, I know you can legally create a protest, but why would you? We have a stable form of government, not endemic to all countries, and I, for one, would like to keep it that way. Five minutes in the best country in this world (yes, I have travelled extensively) and making political demands? In some countries you might not be free to do this. You might not even survive your political demonstration. Be thankful that here you can.
Lorna Read, Lavington
Volunteers carry the load
I volunteer for Wodonga Dog Rescue and I am honestly sick of getting phone calls to come and get stray dogs or cats because the people can’t get anyone to come out.
We had a phone call earlier this week to pick up two dogs because the people who found the two dogs couldn't keep them and no one would collect them. If we didn't take them they had no option other than to let them go and hope they didn't get run over.
On Friday I got a call from a gentleman who had just found five stray kittens in his shed and he could not get anyone to come and get them and so he asked us to help. It is not our responsibility but we do it for the animals’ welfare. Those five kittens if left, and if they survived, would grow up and in another couple of months have litters of their own. There is a huge problem with the amount of cats and I can understand why now, but why is it up to a group of volunteers to do the work of council?