Letters / Is this how we want to live?

IT was good to read in “CityNews” (May 17) that former politician Steve Doszpot’s legacy of good works for the betterment of the community is continuing, only to read in subsequent pages dispiriting articles by Jon Stanhope and Robert Macklin giving instances of how our society has lost its moral compass at both government and the domestic level.

Stanhope writes of the tragic situation on our Guantanamo, Nauru, where even young children are condemned to a life of misery and hopelessness by the callousness of our government. Macklin writes of funeral vultures who prey on the grieving when they are at their most vulnerable.

Is this the type of society we wish to live in? Our politicians showed idealism in the post World War II period with the White Paper on Full Employment (1945) and the ambitious Immigration program that, putting aside the lamentable White Australia aspect of the policy, sought to give every assistance to new settlers through jobs, accommodation and language training.

Michael Moore in his column dares to dream of politicians who provide leadership and have a goal of the betterment of society. He outlines how the Welsh parliament has sought to do.

Could our politicians at least give this approach a try?

Maureen Bell, Aranda

Pay for them yourself

I HAVE read and heard of the plethora of Commonwealth Games athletes and officials who have now become economic illegal entrants to Australia and the bleeding hearts and lawyers singing their praises for allowing them to stay here to the detriment of hundreds of our own country’s genuine homeless.

May I suggest that each and all of their supporters and mouthpieces foster these people themselves, being responsible for their housing, their food and clothing, their welfare and health needs and any ongoing costs that Australian taxpayers would normally shoulder.

I don’t think that is too much to ask, is it?

Michael Attwell, Dunlop

What are we doing to our kids?

IN his column (“When industry trumps the evidence”, CN May 10) Michael Moore states that a levy on sugary drinks “should be a lay down misere”.

I don’t disagree, except that this tax would be too narrow and would not address a much deeper problem.

In my work in early childhood I see inside young children’s lunchboxes and I despair at all the cute colourful little packets of convenience food that purport to be healthy but are anything but.

Most contain large amounts of sugar and artificials, while also being very expensive, having behavioural effects, and creating considerable extra rubbish for landfill – no healthy choices here.

I would like to see our decision makers focus on the whole field of what is being fed to our next generation, not just sugary drinks. In the capital city of the country with the best fresh food in the world, we can do better!

Chris Ellis, via email

Reach out for help

FAR too many people who have a serious mental illness are not getting treatment … and we need to get that to change.

It’s estimated less than 50 per cent of Australians who have a serious mental illness get treatment. Obviously this is alarming.

The Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia urges people who may have mental health issues to reach out and get the help they need. There is significant support out there from GPs, clinical specialists and, most importantly, community mental health services.

We have a free phone number people can call from anywhere in Australia to get guidance. Just call 1800 985944 if you need some advice on where best to go. Readers can also go to MiNetworks.org.au.

Our latest campaign highlights that 230,000 people in Australia are estimated to have schizophrenia. When you include families helping these people, around one million people are impacted.

It is utterly shameful that the average life expectancy of someone with schizophrenia in this country is now just 54 years old. We have to do so much more to support people with schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia can and do recover.

Tony Stevenson, CEO, Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia

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