Letters of the week September 1, 2023

Holidaying in Perth

Dear Echo News,

Thank you for the wonderful tribute to my brother Norman. I would like to add my little contribution to his tribute.

Three years ago, I visited my brother who took me for a wonderful holiday starting in your beautiful city, then it was a few train rides to Rockingham, lovely Mandurah, Joondalup, and Fremantle to name just a few.

The big surprise was a week’s holiday in The Abbey Beach Hotel in Busselton with daily coach trips to interesting places – there arejust too many to mention!

Finally, we made it to the Kalamunda Radio Station, a favourite with Norman, and I helped pick some music and songs for his show, while he picked a ‘theme’ to complement.

I am so proud of Norman and all he has achieved in his lifetime.

I have happy memories to cherish – thank you Norman.

Your loving sister,

NE Williams (nee Campbell)



Raucous AUKUS

Dear Echo News,

I’m writing because I’m deeply concerned about the fact that there has not been adequate public scrutiny of the long term AUKUS defence agreement.

I am concerned that there are no publicly available impact studies showing how AUKUS will affect the social and economic conditions of all Australians, now and into an unknown future.

There are no risk assessments about the serious threat to those port communities in the event of a reactor accident especially here in WA and Cockburn Sound and there are no plans to guarantee safe transport and disposal of nuclear waste.

There are also no risk assessments about the impact of AUKUS on Australia’s sovereignty and independence, nor the impact of AUKUS on the level of security threats Australia may face.

Professionals with relevant experience and expertise have not been asked to provide the Australian government with essential detail for managing such a large-scale military venture.

Given the significance and implications of a defence arrangement of this nature, I believe the Australian government should ensure that a thorough analysis of all aspects of the AUKUS agreement takes place. This would be in the interests of the wellbeing and security of all Australians.

Such an independent inquiry would require a team of economic, medical, technical and international relations professionals and community representatives who have the credentials to fully examine just how Australia will meet its duty of care to its own citizens and its duty of care to working for peace in our region.

Fifty out of the 400 Labor branches called for an independent inquiry into AUKUS, I now hope that our federal member Tania Lawrence will also support an inquiry too.

C Hughes



Ticks and crosses

Dear Echo News,

I am appalled at the AEC for being so blatantly undemocratic by using its powers to favour the ‘yes’ vote.

The AEC is supposed to be neutral, and should be producing voting papers that give all people a chance to give the vote they wish, and know that it will be recorded and counted as they intended it to be.

To use some past mistake to claim it is ok to make a current mistake is nothing short of stupidity and those responsible should be sacked.

In a democratic society, to say that a ‘tick’ is ‘yes’ and an ‘x’ is ‘nothing’ is unbelievable!

I understand the voting form has been designed with only one box on it and we are supposed to write yes or no.  In our society that means that all ticks, crosses, or any other form of mark, automatically makes the form invalid.

Neither a tick nor a cross can be accepted as yes or no.

We are all used to ticking or crossing in one of two boxes that say yes and no.  Consequently, in the case of only one box, the only valid form should be those that have ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ written in as required.

The simple answer is for the ballot form to have two boxes – one for yes and one for no – then there can be no misunderstanding by any culture. And a tick or cross in either box is explicit in meaning.

For everyone’s sake, Prime Minister, put your foot down and direct the AEC to act in a democratic way in which it is supposed to act.  You were elected to be there for all Australians, not just those that support your beliefs.

S Oliver


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