Big Concerns—in Australia

9 07 2012

We have a great country here in Australia.  However we also have some big concerns. Here are just a few:

  • Mining. Community Life in Country Australia needs genuine support from Federal and State Government Regulation. One prime reason is that Mining Companies—in the race to get rich—are abusive of the people in small towns and rural areas, Aboriginal communities in distant regions, farmers, their roads and town infra-structure, community life and resources. It is not for nothing that biblical wisdom calls upon people to suppress greed, and curb foolish desires.
  • Ferral Animals in Outback and regional Australia. Camels, Pigs, Goats, Zebras, Foxes, Cats, Dogs, Cane Toads, and more are not being targeted and kept in check to a sufficient degree. This is decimating many parts of the landscape. We need to invest public money to control these creatures.  Political parties like the Greens are silent about this stuff, (while they almost dismantle an Indonesian Beef industry). We need more political will and wisdom to effect action, and encourage shooters to take this in hand, for the benefit of all Australians.
  • Marriage is Foundational to Community and to Life. It is mere popularism to jettison centuries of wisdom, by changing the marriage act to include homosexual relationships. There is enough confusion about life as it is, without this change being foisted upon everyone to satisfy the desires a so few!
  • Foreign Investment in Farming Land. We urgently need to severely restrict land ownership to Australian people—if we want a secure future for our food production, and wellbeing of our nation, overall. Government lack strength of will to address this. It is urgent. Learn from New Zealand. Learn from China. Learn Quickly please.
  • The River Murray. As a South Australian it is easy to see how the power of the Eastern States and their desire for more and more water, is to the detriment of efficient farmers at the bottom end of the River. The situation is being addressed, and I hope it succeeds. It just makes sense to have a healthy river all the way to the sea.
  • Prime Agricultural Land in Tasmania. The Forestry Industry in Tasmania has abused local communities, and abused good farming land. The buying up of the best land for the planting of small timber to be used for wood-chipping is wrong, and harmful to local communities and their life-blood. Again big and powerful seems to triumph over local, people-matters. Ask farmers around Deloraine. Forestry has surrounded small farms, buying out other landholders, giving the farmer unwanted shade and wallabies, stealing underground water supplies, stopping rivers and ruining community life. Sheer money madness. Meanwhile some faceless investor in Sydney with too much money profits from growing trees, and gets tax-breaks at the expense of Tasmanian community.
  • Suburban Housing Plans. In such a vast nation, it is unfortunate to see the lack of planning for space for people to enjoy. In Adelaide large house blocks where children can play and people can retain their sanity, are just being carved up to cram in more houses. This is folly. When there is a chance to retain land for parks and gardens, the government is just carving up the land for real estate. Sheer madness. Human beings need space.
  • Fishing. The recent decisions to grab so much of the ocean for national parks, and the ongoing restrictions on fishing by recreational people is madness. Meanwhile large Pirate trawlers are not being checked or stopped in far off areas of our Oceans. This is the clearly the wrong approach. But green consciences seem easily salved by poor solutions.
  • Coles and Woolworths Supermarkets are a greedy Duopoly. It is a great shame that this has been allowed to develop. These large companies ruin primary industries with their capacity to dominate prices, and exert their powerful will at the expense of local growers. People such as the dairy industry, the beef and wine, and fruit and vegetable industries matter. We are allowing them to be treated with contempt and disdain, by this dominating retail outlet. It is wrong. PRoduct labelling is deceptive and there seems to be a lack of bite in the ACCC. Home brands dominate. Sadly, people just ignore the plain wisdom of Dick Smith. Wake up.
  • Insurance Fear. We need to address the amount that small people, and local community can be sued. Much of our fun activity is curbed by insurance fears. This needs to be addressed at a legal level, so that community can regain their freedom to hold events.  How often do we hear that something has been changed for fear of insurance claims. Take a large slippery-dip for example, or a circular whizzie wheel in a children’s park, even climbing on an old train!  Recover freedom!
  • Youth And Children: Our young people need more areas to play. This is linked to the insurance and space issues. People in the cities need a small fortune for their young people to lear to ride a motorcycle and have fun in spaces.
  • Overseas Aid: The Budget decision to forestall the contribution of Government to Overseas Aid, in the face of global economic concerns was an example of sheer ALP selfishness and ALP self-interest. It is an example of not keeping our Word—another from the ALP. It is an example of not genuinely feeling that we are part of a global life, where we need to care for others less fortunate. Bad leadership, very bad.
  • Drugs, Crime, Bikie Gangs: Our society is being badly affected by home invasions, suburban killings, drive-by murders, gang warfare, addiction to drugs, an illegal and destructive methamphetamine industry, prostitution, pornography, robbery,intimidation, threats to murder and criminal activity. Police need better powers within the legal system to attack this horrendously growing and alarming trend. It is linked to International Crime, and is not an easy issue to solve. Penalties must be far tougher, and the ability to get a conviction made simpler. Do it!
  • Abortion: The attitude of our Australian society towards the abortion of babies is horrifying. We have succumbed to a deceptive view of when life begins, and have failed to speak of the rights of a child in the womb, to be cared for, and have a right to begin life in this world. Careful thinking even from a non-faith perspective will soon show that this is a person in their early stages, within the Womb. We must listen and give voice to the stories of those who have seen the horror, seen the baby-child move away from the knife, as they were slaughtered, without a voice, without a right to love.
  • Pay Rises for Politicians: It is shameful that our politicians can all conspire and agree to greedy $40,000 to $100,000 per year type pay-rises (not base pay… pay rises of this magnitude) in 2012, while pensioners and self-funded retirees who have contributed greatly to building the nation, are left to turn off heaters in winter, to survive economically. Poor form, real poor.
  • Payment for Elite Sport: The Payments given to AFL footballers is out of control. $500,000 to $800,000 a year for catching and kicking a piece of leather. It is madness. And it is sending the wrong message to youth, to small communities, and ordinary people concerning the place of sport in our lives. It affects young people their willingness to enjoy sport, to volunteer, and serve generously. The elite players get big heads. Ugly pride is rewarded! They are not worth it. Why should local people who like sport be paying through sponsorships for this?
  • Sharia Law: the creeping concessions being made to the demands of Islam will deeply affect our future. One only needs to look at England, France or the Netherlands to see the unhelpful changes to community life which this had afforded. Rights for women—married and for young girls and their future freedoms, approach to married life, restriction to dress-codes, butchering of meat, refusal to integrate, formation of ghettos, community anger, separation from others. The policy of closing a swimming pool for males in country Victoria, is a classic example, as is the banning of ham-sandwiches at local council luncheon.  We need courage and a clear and broad, well thought-out understanding of the true nature of freedom and the need for regulation within society, to enhance freedom.
  • Government speechmaking:  Any society which puts ‘the economy’ ahead of ‘community life’ is heading for trouble. Our speech-writers need to change their rhetoric to put people and their communities first. Only then, will we be in a genuine position to be a rich blessing to others—including other nations, refugees, and the world generally.
My views are held by many others, I know. My personal thinking is deeply affected by the need to care for people first, families, youth, the elderly, communities; and also for the environment with which we have been entrusted to enjoy, and to receive its benefits gladly. I am glad and sure, that to follow Jesus in the power of his Spirit is the way for people, communities and families to be a blessing to the creation, into which we have been placed. Renewal and reform of faith, and action is alway possible. Lets do some!

(OK, so the next blog can include some good stories of good things that are happening)

Losing Open Space in Adelaide!

28 11 2009

O what a sad state of affairs it is, when modern leaders fail to recognise the value and importance of Open Space for human beings. It is sooooo…. necessary for our physical and mental health and well being.

This is a semi-political piece, in a way. But it is theological, too. Lord help us!

* A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; (Psalm 24:1)

In South Australia, the ruling (often dominating) Mike Rann Labor Government has been behaving in a reprehensible manner concerning our open space – our public open space.  They are up for selling it off.  They are being most unwise. Why? Real Estate concerns!  Valuable public real estate is being sold off. Why? Why? In a word, money!  In words: Greed. Money. Power. Thoughtlessness.

Lack of consultation with the public, is unacceptable these days. Refusal to hear the public. Refusal to see the state of our society. Refusal to listen – to the Spirit.  People feel their leaders are arrogant and remote. Sad indeed. Sure people need housing, but not jam packed housing areas.

In recent days we have seen this government “trimming back”, imposing upon, and reducing open space. This will not help our society.  I hope we may react sooner, rather than later.

Some, (just a few) of many areas being restricted and ruined, include:

1. St. Claire Recreation Park, at Woodville. (For years a great blessing).

2. Glenside – hospital grounds for mental illness. (Lord knows they need space!)

3. Cheltenham  Race Course, Torrens Road – ideal for water catchment and birds.

4. Port River surrounds, including Pelican Point, ideal for fishing, and recreation.

Add to this, … some people want it to be illegal to jump off the local jetty, and others want it to be illegal to drive onto Sellicks Beach, for recreation. (this is why we are called ‘the nanny State’).

Human beings are made to relate to the creation around them. This is essential to our humanity. Flora and Fauna – lovely friends of humanity. Birds and bees. Places to run and play. Dogs, prams, walkers, runners, bike riders, people talking, praying, thinking, getting some space.  O Australia.

Sadly the back yards of homes are getting smaller. Sadly, parents feel their children are unsafe without supervision. Sadly, we have embraced the TV stations, and internalised our life; fine, fun it may be, it is, it can be, sure.

But we need outside life.  Yea… wealthy people can buy a hobby farm in the hills. Wealthy people can have a block of land for a motorcycle, and a dam, a creek and a horse. But the majority of Adelaide residents need accessible space – here in Adelaide.

No wonder the whole creation groans, as it waits for the liberty to come…

Praying for a profound change of heart and policy at local leadership level, and within our minds and hearts, generally. Lord have mercy!

Rose Coloured Glasses

1 02 2009

Looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses. It’s something we all do. From time to time, each of us view the human scene, the cosmic scene, daily life, as if all things were basically going well.

It has been said, that “an optimist, has a misty optic”.  They are not truly viewing the evil, the harm, the damage, the terror, the horror, the unfairness, the inequality and deprivation, and acts of depravity, being wrought, in our midst, on a daily, yearly basis. 

January 29 2009. “A father allegedly threw his four-year-old daughter off a bridge in front of the girl’s two young brothers and scores of motorists during rush hour in Melbourne today. Witnesses said Arthur Phillip Freeman, 35, suddenly stopped his family car – which also had his two young sons inside – and, with young Darcey Iris in his arms, walked to the side of the West Gate Bridge, just after 9am. He then allegedly dropped his young daughter over the railing and into the water, 190ft (58m) below.” (Times Online). 

The girl died. The Father was arrested. The Premier made a statement. And the community was, and continues to be shocked and horrified. 

We respond by vowing to make the bridge safer. We recognise for a few moments, that we do have a community mental health problem. Perhaps, if we were to be more honest in our assessment, we might together confess, that we really do have a community mental-health epidemic. A nightmare. 

Can we ever compute the effects of the evil, and hatred, and anger in one human heart? What about the anger simmering in one home, one suburb, one city, one nation, one global community? 

Now, it is not good to be a pessimist. It is not good to be bitter, and always critical of life and people. However, let us admit that our society, our nation, our human race (although capable of mighty and noble things) has a problem that needs deep treatment. 

When the Apostle Paul says, ‘For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified’, he is really saying that he views life no longer through ‘coloured glasses’ of any shade, but through the events of the cross of Christ.

Is that our viewing lense?

Is that your viewing lense?  

Yes…. is it my viewing lense?

We all need to face life squarely.

That will mean, being faced by the love of God in Christ Jesus. Christ crucified is God’s judgment and ‘no’ to evil humanity. It is also his redemptive love for the world. Only the Spirit of God can bring this to us, down in our hearts – and in our community life.

This will mean being faced with our own hearts, and our own need of the Saviour. Our world surely needs more than deep repair of the human heart. It needs the cross of Christ Jesus. We need Jesus, to take up our evil into his cross. We need Jesus to know our sins forgiven. We need Jesus to heal our hearts of all this deep damage. We need Jesus, to have one to trust in all of life. We need the mercy, which is given in Jesus. 

Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy!

May our community return to the sanity, of faith in Christ who deals with all evil, and heals al hearts, that come to him in faith. He is Risen. He was crucified for all.

O Lord, we lay down our false, rose–coloured glasses.

The community needs profound repair. Lord have mercy!

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