Thanx for the response, however, I stand by what I said...not because I am
being dogmatic, but because I am not as sentimental as some. Without going
into a biography, my father had a far tougher life than 90% of people on
this planet, he came from Europe as a political refugee, with only the shirt
on his back, at the end of WW2. Since then he has established and nurtured a
very successful business, while much larger companies have gone bankrupt in
the same industry. He was uneducated and very restricted in his choices, but
he still had freedom to choose.
I don't want to go into rebutting your points, but you will generally get an
idea of my views on this 'empathy' that the media & government tries to
portray (for their own ends).
I think it was 1997, when there was major flooding in Gippsland and so the
taxpayer forked out compensation for various members of that community.
Firstly, I thought that Gippsland was a flood prone area!!! (Alot of our
wetlands have been lost from there) Secondly, the flooding is exacerbated by
farming, as there are less trees to absorb and transpire the water. Thirdly,
there are people who choose to live there, when they know full well this is
the case. I have no problem with this, but don't whinge with your hand out
when floods occur. Gippsland farmers choose to weigh the possible costs of
flooding against the returns from the land. Is someone going to compensate
me when my house burns down??? No, but if 100 houses burn down, in my area
at the same time, I'll bet there is compensation.
The taxpayer effectively becomes an insurance company.
To put it plainly, as soon as society accepts that the situations are a
result of circumstance, then the murderer will be able to put up the defence
in court that he was born that way...that just don't cut it!!!
What do think of my point about WA farmers clearing land that will turn into
From: andrew stafford <>
Date: Thursday, 25 November 1999 23:44
Subject: Re: birding-aus Re: Land Clearing QLD
>Like David Geering, I intended to let this thread
>slide by (in fact, Nigel and David's notes were the
>first contributions I read on the subject).
>I realise that I am stepping outside the boundaries of
>birds, and those bored with the diversions this
>particular conversation has led us into should hit
>their delete buttons now. But Nigel has already moved
>beyond birds with his latest response to David's
>posting, which was in reply to his earlier statement,
>>"They CHOOSE to farm. When I have children, I will
>> teach them very early on
>> >that other people aren't going to wipe their
>> backside for them."
>Nigel also says he is quite happy to receive
>refutations. So here goes.
>Unless one is born with
>> mental or physical
>> disabilities, we are able to make choices, including
>> our career path.
>> Country people, LIKE MY WIFE, can choose to move to
>> the city, be educated in
>> any number of areas and make big dollars...if they
>> so choose.
>Nigel, alongside "Aussie battler" there is another
>pernicious myth that pervades our society. And that is
>that everyone has free choice (and is equally able) to
>be and do whatever they want. This is closely related
>to another myth, that we are an egalitarian society.
>In fact, mental and physical infirmities aren't the
>only things that hold people back. Add to that: being
>female, black, an immigrant, living in remote
>Don't believe me? I was in north-east Arnhem Land
>earlier this year covering a cultural festival put on
>by the Yothu Yindi Foundation in my capacity as a
>journalist. Part of the festival's purpose was to
>celebrate the coming establishment of a cultural
>studies centre south of Nhulunbuy. The centre aims to
>provide a culturally appropriate secondary education
>for the local Yolgnu children. Secondary education is
>far from readily available to many indigenous
>Australians (along with basic facilities like clean
>running water and sanitation), so the establishment of
>this centre is important. What's more, the Yolgnu
>elders may be more comfortable sending their children
>there than a traditional white school because they
>will also be instructed in their traditional ways.
>Another thing: the NT government recently abolished
>bilingual education programs. This is equivalent to
>cutting out the tongues of people for whom English is
>usually a second (and maybe a seventeenth) language.
>While a few may rise in white society - Noel Pearson
>or Mandawuy and Galarrwuy Yunupingu, for example -
>they have been the lucky ones. And few people, black
>or white, have their intellectual credentials. Here
>lies another point - even education doesn't buy real
>intelligence. But it DOES help level the playing field
>somewhat, IF you have access to it. That's not easy in
>a country as sparsely populated as this one is away
>from the eastern seaboard.
>I've strayed from the point of farming, but my point
>is, of course, that David Geering is right when he
>>Many farmers just don't have the resources that we
>> would like to see put
>> >into conservation on their properties.
>Indeed. Not just financial resources, but cultural and
>sometimes intellectual as well. It's not as simple as
>upping and moving to the city. And, by the way, why
>should they? We should encourage them to stay, and do
>what we can to make it better for them, as well as for
>the environment. Telling them if they don't like it,
>leave is unlikely to help, and it certainly won't
>foster better relations.
>The people who are the greatest
>> battler's, if we are talking in financial terms, are
>> those who created major
>> empires such as Kerry Packer & Rupert Murdoch (not
>> their sons because it was
>> handed to them on a plate); they would have had to
>> 'battle' alot harder than
>> most people to get where they are.
>Nigel, think again! Haven't you heard of Sir Frank
>Packer? (and who was Rupert's daddy?) These guys are
>no more self-made men than their sons. Wealth in
>Australia is significantly patrilineal.
>In David's words:
>It's perfectly fine to state an opinion and be
>> concerned about what is
>> >happening out there. We should be concerned! By
>> all means lobby hard to
>> >stop this habitat clearing, but please make sure of
>> your facts before
>> >spouting off and making personal attacks on a group
>> of whom you have no
>> >understanding. An informed argument will be
>> listened to before an emotive
>> >uninformed argument.
>Hear hear. And now, back to the birds.
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