I BELIEVE we have lost the music altogether in all forms of education, right from long-day care centres and preschools up to our universities. It is nowhere to be found. Lost, forgotten, apparently left in a violin case somewhere.
Except that the ABC TV’s documentary series Don’t Stop the Music has shone an inspirational light on what could be for all kids. If only the powers that be would look, listen and act! Richard Letts makes some really good points about the lack of music training in our universities (‘How schools stop the music for our kids’, Newcastle Herald, 23/11). I think the failing is not of the teachers’ making, but rests squarely with their training institutions and many, many years of music training neglect.
The wonderful, late Richard Gill, conductor and passionate advocate for music programs, lamented this fact for years. The benefits of a rich and varied music curriculum have been well researched but are yet to have their voice sing out.
LAST week, the NSW government announced that it had finally initiated the legal process to return Mambo Wetlands to public hands (‘Moves to forcibly buy back Mambo wetland’, Herald, 26/11).
The local Liberal candidate said ‘the Berejiklian government has identified an avenue in which to legally acquire the ... site.’ Seemingly the government has stumbled across this solution after ignoring the Mambo-Wanda Wetlands Conservation Group and myself for years.
I am glad they have finally taken our advice and initiated compulsory acquisition proceedings. However, the people of Port Stephens should never have been put in this position. The land should never have been sold. If the government had listened to the community and my representations, this ‘mistake’ would never have happened.
If the government had listened to us afterwards, the land would be back in public hands by now. At every stage, the government has ignored the community and regretted it afterwards. I would like to think lessons have been learned, but I’m not yet convinced.
Whilst I am pleased to finally see progress, I will not start celebrating or stop fighting until this precious parcel of land is restored to public hands.
FAR be it for me to offer our competent government advice, but in this instance I think it is necessary.
Regarding deaths from terror incidents, after the inquiries have finished it has mostly been found that it was a failure in one or more of the systems we already had in place that have let us down, moreso it is the same failures with most of the domestic violence and sexual attacks. Now here is my suggestion; instead of thinking up more new laws and legislation, why not try and get the systems we already have working the best they can, it surely is worth a try as many lives could have been saved.
AS an ALP member of some 50 years standing, I congratulate Daniel Andrews and his government on their resounding re-election, however, at the same time, send a note of caution.
There is an old adage in politics, governments are only as good as their opposition, and with such a commanding majority the Labor Parliamentary Party runs the risk of hubris. The Australian political landscape is littered with governments who have failed this test, and it will require all of Daniel Andrews’ undoubted leadership skills to keep this in check.
Otherwise, it will be him facing the wrath of the electorate next time around.
RECENTLY I listened to a brave sexual abuse victim of a Marist brother report on radio that following the Prime Minister’s apology, no action appears to be happening with a hoped-for apology from the Pope or compensation for the alleged 60,000 victims. Many will not live long enough to benefit if this does take place.
The gentleman expressed his gratitude to Julia Gillard (and the Labor government) that victims of sexual abuse regard as their advocate, and he said they would like to see a statue of Julia in Canberra. Is it not time that all the Catholic members of parliament in all our governments pursue these questions raised?
The Anglican church is already selling churches and has said “sorry”. For over 1000 years money and property have been poured into the coffers of the Catholic church in Rome for the benefit of their followers. I believe those not of the faith should not have to participate in recompense to their victims. Do some Catholic MPs put their allegiance to their religion first before the wishes of the citizens they are supposed to represent? Henry VIII was the last person to take on the power of Rome. Is there such a person to do the same in this modern age?
IN reply to Colin Atkins, (Letters, 24/11) who is proud of not having any convict origins, I would remind him that people in the first years of transportation to Australia were guilty of minor crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread or poaching a rabbit or a salmon from wealthy estates.
Theft was the only way to sustain life for impoverished families. After a ticket of leave many of these so-called convicts chose to stay in Australia, working industriously to give the basic grounding for which is now called the lucky country.
Incidentally, all the real baddies were kept at home in mother England. Thank goodness.
I HAVE always said that if food waste is left in the open, problems will arise with flies, cockroaches, rats and mice. Sure enough, several months down the track and we are finding the increase in all of the above since the introduction of food waste collection, and I fear that as the summer gets going this is going to be a major problem and health risk. I am all in favour of recycling, but it seems those planners who introduced this system gave little or no thought regarding the obvious problems that are now appearing. The bins supplied are inadequate and the pick-up will definitely need to be at least biweekly if we don’t want to see a major breakout of fly-borne diseases during the summer months. Now is the time to fix this, not when the problems occur and our hospitals are in crisis.
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