@Evelyne Roullet. You raise some good points in your reasons …

Comment on Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality by John Bell.

@Evelyne Roullet. You raise some good points in your reasons for ‘No’ voters not coming out of the woodwork in Alice. You make an excellent observation that outside those of religious faiths, marriage has been devalued and has lost much of its meaning in the hetero secular community in favour of de facto family situations. Centrelink and other agencies provide similar benefits, while gay couples with kids get similar financial entitlements. There can be no doubt that there are still, however, large silent numbers of agnostic or atheistic non-religious secular Alicians who hold marriage in the same light as their religious fellow citizens. In a small town like Alice they keep their views to themselves and the survey envelope for fear of backlash in their social and business lives in the current environment. It would be good if some of these Alicians would be game enough to articulate their ‘No’ arguments.
I would like to see the debate go beyond the highly charged emotive to the clearheaded discussion on the intention of the Constitution and peoples’ voice questions of referendum v postal survey, the jurisdictional separation of powers in any change to the Marriage Act, the parliament’s so-called ‘conscience vote’ and the ramifications of legal case precedent such as the decision in Hyde v Hyde etc. This would make any subsequent change or staus quo of the Marriage Act a much more credible exercise of due diligence that would stand the credibilty test of scrutiny by future generations. Are there any Alicians out there who are prepared to stand up to public scrutiny I wonder? I hope there are.

John Bell Also Commented

Alice’s upbeat YES campaign for marriage equality
Ms Finnane has done one side of the journalistic due diligence exercise seeking out and interviewing Yes lobbyists in depth.
Will Ms Finnane be completing the full circle of the due diligence exercise by seeking out and interviewing No supporters? (ahem) Yes? No? (So to speak). I look forward to it with interest.


Recent Comments by John Bell

Do what I do: a lesson for the government, police
@ Dave: You make a very good point. The initial cover-up by WHO and China and then the constantly changing incoming information on the Wuhan Virus has caught everyone on the hop and is still creating controversy around the world.
This uncertainty has had a major impact on correct protocol, country to to country.
Who can really say, even now, what is the right protocol for any individual country? Take Taiwan, for example.
With a population very close to ours, they have minimal cases of illness – fewer than 300 currently. Their protocols allow their people to go about their normal business in shopping malls markets etc. with marvellous results.
Then there is Italy. A disaster zone. No doubt a victim of geography and EU open border policy.
Then there is Central Australia. In remote communities such as Atitjere. Among the world’s oldest community with all of our cultural health issues.
The right “protocol” is still very much a lottery stab by well intentioned authorities.


COVID-19 infected is Harts Range police officer
Having read all the reports on this in the Alice Springs News and observing from down here in Melbourne, I am bemused by the criticism of this NT police officer and wife.
Down here every day I go for a walk and I see groups of cyclists on long training rides.
They meet at designated places and invariably end their ride at a takeaway coffee place, often in suburbs of inner Melbourne.
I also see groups of people every day on shopping trips to Northland shopping centre.
To criticise this police officer and his wife in these circumstances seems almost hypocritical to me.
All around the country, there are large confusing gaps with what communities are being told.
This police officer and his wife are copping unfair flak.
Especially when total lockdown has not been declared and community movement has no reliable monitoring.


COVID-19 news: Quarantine requirement ignored
@ Pseudo Guru. Hillsong and Scientology people are in the same virus boat as everyone else, regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or religion.
It is not constructive or helpful to take potshots at these people in a a global crisis like this.
Could even be construed as unnecessarily narky.


COVID-19 news: Quarantine requirement ignored
Just been talking on the phone to Aboriginal friends in Alice about the spread of the virus.
They say (1) while there are fewer people in town, there is no real indication of a coordinated effort to transport people back to their communities.
(2) Central Lands Council and Centrecorp are showing no leadership, while Tangentyere is trying, offering a bus service with petrol vouchers to help people to get from camps like the one out at the Yuendumu turn-off.
(3) Tribal people have no idea about washing hands and their movements cannot be monitored, making “self-isolation” a farce. They fear that unless there are immediate public signs of a coordinated town approach that everyone understands, there is a crisis waiting to happen.


COVID-19 news: Quarantine requirement ignored
@ Pseudo Guru. Pseudo: I suggest that you have a tunnel vision view mate.
Christian churches in Australia have a long history of providing essential aid to the desperate and the needy, from earliest colonial days, long before state governments came to the party.
Church institutions and congregations have been putting their hands in their pockets to provide orgs such as the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Anglicare etc.
It is a quid pro quo situation where the states get a huge quid from these volunteer orgs who, if they vacated the welfare sector, would dump an impossible burden on state and fed governments.
The state and fed governments get the best deal, and they know it.


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