Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor


The electorate of Wentworth has the highest concentration of gay voters in Australia. How puzzling then that our local Federal member, Malcolm Turnbull, failed to stand up in Federal Parliament last week and speak in support of the most important piece of anti-discrimination legislation for the past 30 years, the Same-Sex Relationships (General Reform) Bill; the more so, as Malcolm has rightly earned the title Crusader for Gay Rights for his efforts over the past two years to gain entitlements for same-sex couples.

Back in June he made a brief speech supporting superannuation entitlements for same-sex couples and, on the very day of his election as leader of the Opposition, he told Wentworth voters again: Local voters know I am fiercely opposed to discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Alas, his passion soon abated as leader, and by reneging on speaking on behalf of his constituents and giving a lead to the Opposition, he left the way open for some of the rabid, anti-gay element in the Opposition to hold forth in parliament against the bill.

There are now three anti-discrimination bills concerning same-sex couples and their families awaiting reports from a Senate Committee. The Government has indicated that it will make some changes to wording in the bills to calm the worst fears of religious conservatives.

We hope that Malcolm Turnbull will make amends to the voters of Wentworth by using his influence as leader to ensure that conservative Senators do not delay these long-overdue bills any further.

Malcolm may not need the gay vote any longer to hold Wentworth, but if he wants to win government he has to show the Australian people that the Coalition is compassionate and caring.

Passing these bills speedily, and removing anxiety from elderly same-sex couples, such as my partner and me, would be a good start.

-” John, Elizabeth Bay


I must express concern that Malcolm Turnbull (or should we call him Turncoat?) was conveniently absent from the House during the recent vote on the Same-Sex Relationships (General Reform) Bill.

It was politically astute for him to express his support when seeking re-election to Parliament and, now that he is Opposition leader, he has gone noticeably silent.

Just what is his current viewpoint? Why is he not vigorously supporting the current Bills? Why is he silent on the many Liberal-led referrals and protracted Senate reviews? Why is he not making a stand?

Thus far, he has proven himself to be yet another vote-seeking politician instead of a genuine supporter of our cause.

-” Neil, Newtown


On the face it, it would seem Malcolm Turnbull is paying lip service to our community.

In the lead-up to the November 2007 election Turnbull spent thousands wooing his gay and lesbian constituents when it seemed he faced a very real threat from the Labor candidate, thanks in part to a boundary redistribution.

Of course, he romped home and is now, thanks to a little Liberal blood-letting, sitting at the top of the Liberal Party tree.

It seems ironic that when he now has the power to actually make all those promises of equality a reality, he can’t even find the time to turn to the parliamentary chamber to speak.

Come on, Malcolm. Stand up and say to your fellow party members what you were telling us all the way through that very long and drawn-out election campaign.

Tell your conservative party members just how supportive you are of gay and lesbian rights; of our right to be counted as equal in a world that increasingly discriminates against minorities.

It is time to do as you have promised or you can rest assured your voters will remember next time.

-” Jason, Erskineville


It is beside the point what the medically unqualified Malcolm Turnbull says about the dangers of smoking pot.

The point is that it is something that a great many Australians have done, and yet our society continues to make criminals out of our children, out of those unlucky enough to be caught doing what almost all of us have done.

Legalise it, and educate about it at the point of sale. And stop adding a life ruined in jail to the health hazards of this herb.

-” norrie mAy-welby, Redfern


Once again this Sunday from 6am onwards the southern end of Taylor Square has been like a war zone with fights, screaming, breaking glass and general loutish behavior.

At around 9.30am there was a brawl between what appeared to be a group of Islander women, who seemed to be smashing each other with bottles. It was mayhem. There had to be a large police presence as well as three ambulances.

Local residents are fed up with the T2 Hotel. When is this hellhole going to be closed?

We are, as a result, the victims of neglect from council and the state government.

Clover, you have just been re-elected as Lord Mayor, so please do something about T2 and the whole sorry state of Taylor Square.

-” Fred, Surry Hills


As I trekked one Sunday recently through the barren wasteland formerly known as Taylor Square, I noticed that yet another previously successful business, Lure, had bitten the dust.

No surprise really. I was there on a glorious sunny spring Sunday, and the Square was feral. Not in the traditional Flinders/Beresford laneway kind of social feral, but a seedy, dirty, frightening kind of feral.

The animals were roaming wild, primarily coming and going from T2 nightclub, fighting, shouting, abusing local residents -” all clearly with absolutely no respect for the people or the neighbourhood around them.

The mood was broken by the occasional police wagon driving slowly through the Square, but quickly returned to the maddening mayhem that preceded its arrival.

I have no issue with revellers being able to party when and where they like, but please with respect and consideration and not at the expense of the surrounding residential and business community.

Sydney is a world class city and Taylor Square in any other cosmopolitan city would be filled with cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating, where patrons could enjoy a coffee or a meal al fresco and watch the world go by, especially on a glorious sunny spring Sunday.

In the current climate, you would be crazy as a businessman to try to open such a business at this location.

Clover, you have the mandate and the numbers in Town Hall to make change here after years of saddening decline. How many more businesses have to fail before real change occurs?

It will take a lot more than rainbow-coloured banners and an epileptic fountain to fix this problem.

-” Richard, Paddington


We just wanted to say thank you for the Christening a Suburb article in this week’s SSO (937).

We loved the title, and it is a real help in our efforts to get the new name out there.
Thanks so much.

-” Sue Ritchie, convenor, The Three Saints Project (formerly The Unnamed Precinct Project)


I am a 41-year-old born-again Christian since 1986, 22 years straight-acting but openly homosexual man, not gay, but not proud of being homosexual. It is just the way God and my parents made me. Should heterosexual people be proud to be heterosexual? No, it is just the way God and their parents made them. To be homosexual is not someone’s sexual preference, a sexual choice, or a sexual lifestyle. It is God’s given sexuality. People need to understand that. Then they will unconditionally accept us as we are.

-” Christopher, Kirribilli

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One response to “Letters to the editor”

  1. Considering the problems that drugs are causing in our community, I question the appropriateness of the photo on page 10 of your last edition publicizing the new Arq show depicting crystal use.