Thanks Stevie #1
My thanks to Steve Clayton for years of service to the LGTBI in positions that are isolated from other causes, and representing a community difficult to find satisfaction with. Yet how lucky is she, to work with the most fun people on Earth?
-” Fletcher

Thanks Steveie #2
I’m sure I’ll be one of many who would want to publicly say thanks to Stevie Clayton for her years of wonderful and successful service to ACON and our community. I had the pleasure of working with Stevie in my capacities as Chair of the National Council on HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases and as NSW Privacy and Anti-Discrimination Commissioner over a period of about ten years.
Throughout that time we had our disagreements and occasional confrontations, but more often than not we found ourselves on the same team working to improve the health, lives, rights and freedoms of not just members of our community, but Australians generally. Stevie was not only a tireless and effective advocate, but also a clear-thinking and pragmatic campaigner. She had a clear sense of the goals and an equally clear sense of the possible and the ways to achieve positive outcomes. She sets a high standard for anyone to follow.
However far more than just being an advocate, Stevie has always been personally a great friend -“ never one to allow occasional policy differences to interfere in the more important things in life -“ being a great human being and working for causes which benefit masses of people, most of whom neither know nor fully appreciate that dedication.
Thanks Stevie for a job well done and every success in all your future endeavours : and don’t believe the myths about what you can and can’t do at 50 !
-”­­ Chris

UNEQUAL EQUALITY
Last week the SSO donated the entire front page to two men, James Hunter and Mark Hewitt who have lived as a couple for 32 years and their story about the loss to state benefit now that Centrelink recognise gay relationships.
We’re told that these guys wanted to do the right thing and declare their relationship but it’s suggested they wouldn’t have done so had they known their benefit payments would be affected. They selfishly criticise the Lobby for supporting equality for our relationships as they now realise that they stand to lose $420 a fortnight in benefits.
In the article they appear to suggest they would be justified in not declaring their relationship to obtain benefits they are not entitled to.
Why do some people believe they have a divine right to live off the state? It sort of reminds me of England in the mid 1970s before Margaret Thatcher’s economic, tax and social security reforms were introduced, reducing the size of government and saving the country from bankruptcy and changing it’s nanny state mentality.
It seems to me these two men want equality under law, but only when it suits them financially. They want their relationships recognised in terms of superannuation laws, child adoption, inheritance rules and health care regulations, but not recognised when it comes to tax laws, state benefits, pensions and housing benefits. No, no, no and no. If we want equality and our relationships recognised, as I do, we must take the rough with the smooth.
Mr Hunter works part time earning a salary of $34,000 a year which he finds difficult to live on. Perhaps he would be better served if he took a full-time job rather than spend his spare time organising demonstrations and sit-ins at ministerial offices.
-” Paul

POLLYS THANKS
I would like to make people aware that at it’s 45th birthday dance and show at the Roundhouse on July 4, The Pollys Club made it’s annual donations to community organisations. They donated $10,000 to the Western Suburbs Haven and $5000 to the HIV/Aids Ward at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. In anyone’s language these are big donations, however it has not been reported by our press. Congratulations Pollys and keep up the great work for our Community.
-” Tony Prentice, a proud Pollys patron

STOP BITCHING
As a NMG volunteer with Fair Day for several years, I am always disappointed to hear community outrage at the decisions made by a handful of hard working volunteers.
It is oh so easy to complain about NMG decisions and events, but where are these people on the committees and groups that put in many hours to plan and execute these events, with very little gratitude, apart from the warm feelings gained by giving to our community.
Feedback on NMG events is good, but make it constructive. Give your time and energy to help make the events that most of us like, better for all.
Stop slagging David Imrie for his contributions, which were from the heart and not for the many bitchy reasons recently suggested by the ill-informed.
Let’s thank David for his volunteer contributions and desire to make our community events better. Stop complaining about everything – come and help. We can’t please all, but believe it not, we do try.
-” Dave

LIGHTEN UP
Since when did Matt Vaughan (SSO 978) become any sort of authority on what constitutes racism? His ill informed, attempt at -˜PC’ ravings are not only devoid of any basis in fact, but furthermore display a spectacular lack of the very open & broad-mindedness he espouses to elicit and expect from the wider Australia so far as our GLBT community is concerned.
A joke is a joke – plain and simple, part of the very essence of our wonderful culture in Australia. Provided there is no malice, vitriol or hatred intended – let it go. If we can laugh together, we can live together. We’ve all probably heard jokes about poofs, fags, white ass honkys, Aussies, Skips, New South Welshmen, Victorians, Tasmanians and the like. We can choose to have a sook, a whinge, become offended, act with wild indignation, or we can use our intelligence to treat them in the spirit in which they were intended.
Lighten up, there are more important things worthy of attention; perhaps even some of the truly racist drivel online where there is no humour or jocularity present at all?
Maybe Mr Vaughan should try living in Iran, Japan, or in the south of the US for 12 months and we’ll see if his opinions and armchair indignations change.
I wonder if he has ever repeated or forwarded a joke in his life? If yes, what blatant hypocrisy; if the answer is an honest no, I suggest he save his misguided, incoherent ramblings to the confines of the therapist’s office in future sparing the rest of us that obviously have more important things to worry about.
­-” Stuart

CYCLE #1

I am also a resident of Bourke St who owns both a car and a bicycle. I love cycling and regularly use Bourke St as my main cycle route to the city, its beautiful parks and foreshore areas.
I fully support the Lord Mayor and City of Sydney’s vision for a dedicated cycle lane along Bourke St. We surely need it and this vision needs to be implemented if the City is truly serious about being a world leader and delivering its vision of a green, global and connected city.
I find it surprising and a little pathetic how those who are complaining the loudest about this scheme are property owners who also believe they own the road and have a right to use it as their own dedicated parking spot. How about paying $1300 dollars a year like I do for a car parking spot?
No, I don’t think your tight little purse would stretch so far.
-” Aaron

CYCLE #2
I agree with Kate (SSO 980) that we need to emulate Europe, and make Bourke St safer for cyclists.
We can start by putting some European facts on the table. European cities that tried bi-directional cycleways on urban streets found that they are in fact more dangerous than cycling on the road. Studies in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and the UK found a 3-4 fold increase in intersection accidents on the type of cycleway proposed for Bourke St, and these accidents more than offset any cycleway benefits between intersections.
Much greater risk was found for the cyclist in the unexpected direction, with drivers cyclists and pedestrians unable to adequately scan the conflicting traffic.
The safer solution for Bourke St is to slow the speed limit to 30kph, blend the traffic away from car doors and strongly identify its status as a key cycling route.
The final word might go to Dr Eero Pasanen of the Helsinki City Planning Department In Helsinki, using a road-side cycle path is nearly 2.5 times likely to result in injury than cycling on the carriageway with traffic. At junctions the relative risk rises to more than three times. In those countries and cities which are just beginning to build cycling facilities, two-way cycle paths in particular should be avoided in an urban street network.
-” Ian

CYCLE #3
Kate (SSO 980) may be disappointed to know that not only do I have a bike, I ride it, weather permitting, to and from my office in the CBD via Bourke St and Oxford St. Similarly, my partner rides a bike to and from work in Randwick.
We are not alone, as many cyclists ride Bourke St every day of the week without incident or mishap. Bourke St is not broken and doesn’t need fixing. Council’s proposed bi-directional separated cycleway will be an expensive, unneccesary and contentious white elephant at huge cost to safety and amenity.
Yes Kate, the loss of 64 car parking spaces in Bourke St, which this proposal entails, is a very big concern for residents of our community, but one which Council refuses to acknowledge. It will impact not only on those residents who need to and have a car, but no off-street parking, but also on their visiting friends and relatives, community health providers, social workers, utility representatives, tradespeople, local business people and even Council rangers and officers.
We are fortunate to live in a City of Villages and it is incumbent upon residents of our village and visitors or those passing through, to exercise due care and have respect for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike.
Kate, you and your friends are more than welcome to continue riding your bikes through our neighbourhood on Bourke St, but if you’re so precious and timid that you’re not prepared to share the road with other users and exercise a bit of care for your own safety’s sake, than I’d suggest you had better ride your bike elsewhere and not demand preferential treatment over rate paying residents.
-” Chris

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