Time's running out
An egg bounced off the prime minister's head in Albury last week.
It's an apt metaphor for crucial information not getting through a thick skull. Information like the just-released, groundbreaking, global biodiversity report complied by 450 scientists/diplomats.
It warns one million species are being pushed towards extinction.
Australia's iconic koala is predicted to meet the cliff face of annihilation around 2050.
It was pleasing to hear each of the Indi candidates at the recent Wangaratta VFF forum name a threatened/endangered species native to the area.
The Leadbeaters possum, alpine she-oak skink, spotted quoll, orange-bellied parrot, striped legless lizard and regent honeyeater were given mention.
Yet in the same week, Coalition leaders promise to get rid of "green tape".
That's code for the dismantling of checks and balances that could prevent species on the brink from being robbed of their last remaining habitats.
To the undecided voter I offer this exercise in imagination. Imagine all the Australian endangered species are on a convey belt; parrots, fish, mammals, eagles, moths, reptiles, wallabies, corals, beetles, owls etc.
Now, imagine each of the candidates standing in your electorate are standing near by. Some are trying to stop it so the creatures can safely alight, others turn their backs to the conveyor belt.
Lastly, a powerful few are making it go faster by planning new coal mines, logging in native forests, depriving our rivers of essential water.
Which candidate deserves your vote?
Cassandra Pollock, Wangaratta
Major parties fall short
The leader debates are over and the bookmakers have installed Labor as a firm favorite to form the next government.
In Indi, the candidate forums are also over and these were combined with lashings of pork barreling from the Liberals that we have all read about.
A regular claim from Liberal candidate Steve Martin at the forums was his ability to have a seat at the table and influence the decisions of the next Coalition government.
However, he never made it clear how he would influence a Shorten Labor government and all the pork barreling bribes to the Indi electorate would be as worthless.
Proper process is regularly ignored when major spending decisions are made by the Coalition government - think $80 million fantasy water buyback and the $444 million Great Barrier Reef grant.
The incredible attention given to Indi in this campaign can only be put down to having Helen Haines as fantastic independent community candidate.
Only Helen Haines will be able to effectively work with whoever wins government.
Genuine and effectively representation of the community has it's origin with providing appropriate recognition to the original owners of the land.
At no point did Steve Martin provide this recognition in the recent candidate forums and at Mansfield, his reinterpretation of the Uluru statement was as offensive as our previous Liberal representative's denial of the stolen generation and boycott in Parliament of the apology.
Indi has moved on to be a far more thoughtful, brave and inclusive community since being a captive of the far right of the Liberal Party.
Tony Lane, Wangandary
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