Letters to the editor

LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to rachel.mcdonald@fairfaxmedia.com.au.
LETTERS: Send letters to the editor to rachel.mcdonald@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Quiet Australians speak

The adage 'there is more than one way to skin a cat' certainly applies when one considers whether to express their opinion.

Having the ability to express an opinion has been an inalienable right in our free and democratic society for centuries.

As individuals, we all hold different beliefs and viewpoints within our society.

A hallmark of this right to free speech has always been not only the privilege to express an opinion, but also the expectation to respect the viewpoint expressed by others, which may be diametrically opposed to the one which we hold.

Opinions are a personal opportunity to put forward individual thoughts.

These opinions belong to the individual who expresses them and should not be interpreted as an opinion of a group or organisation which they belong to, unless clearly stated that it is representative.

At present in our society, due to the actions of those who believe that their opinion is the only preferred option, many are choosing not to provide their actual opinion.

Resorting to bullying, intimidation and personal abuse to silence those who hold a divergent viewpoint is highly offensive and disrespectful and yet it is allowed to continue without challenge.

Mutual respect for others has been replaced by a belief that no-one else has the right to contradict their opinion or convey an alternative viewpoint.

Currently, the conduct of vegans in entering farming properties, stealing livestock and affecting farmers' livelihoods is offensive, disrespectful, and also highly illegal, yet one of the culprits was only fined $2.

Attempts to make "quiet Australians" suppress their real opinion has had no impact on their true inner thoughts.

Opinion polls at the recent federal election, all predicted a victory for the opposition, even exit polls on the day, and yet the actual result was completely different and totally unexpected by the experts.

It seems providing an opinion is now a covert operation if you wish to avoid acrimony and hate.

Silencing individuals does not prevent them from expressing their opinion and does not stop them from exercising their right to make a choice, it just changes the method which they use.

At last the "silent majority" has spoken, without even uttering a word.

IAN MCGOWAN

Ceduna

Rural desecration

South Australia is suffering from decisions made in some sanitised board room in some far-off land where monetary wealth is being vigorously pursued regardless impact on rural South Australia.

Every piece of SA infrastructure declared redundant has a huge impact on the wider community, whether it be the local silo, the rail corridor or some service designed to help the local population and environment.

There was a time when this state was governed in a responsible manner, development in all areas was created by forward thinking statesmen/women, so it is a very sad day when we witness recent governments (of all persuasions) plundering state wealth and infrastructure in an attempt to balance the books (a balancing act that has failed dramatically).

The problems created by the EP rail closure is only the tip of the iceberg!

The result of the combined activities of slapdash government and off-shore ownership is creating a graveyard of the ghosts of hard won progress.

It is to be sure that this graveyard is about to get a whole lot more cluttered and it is rural SA that will be the museum of relics left behind.

To say 'It is time to move on and make the most of what's to come' is a cop-out!

It can't possibly be okay to see rural South Australia being desecrated by overseas consortiums and irresponsible management.

DENNIS PARKER

Yongala