Cessnock Advertiser Letters to the Editor: October 11, 2017

EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HAVE THEIR SAY

I would like to congratulate the Advertiser for allowing a full page paid advertisement for “vote no” to be printed in the newspaper on September 20.

Too many people, including mainstream media, forget we live in a democracy where both sides are entitled to their views and, as long as it doesn’t promote violence, both sides should be allowed to speak those views.

Nobody complains when all sides of politics have campaign messages printed in newspapers, on flyers and aired on TV, but suddenly if you don’t agree with the yes campaign you don’t have a right to speak?

Some believe it should be yes, some believe it should be no, and there is little doubt each side thinks the other is wrong.

Let’s just all remember Australia is still a democracy and freedom of speech means both sides should have the ability to put their case, and then allow each person to choose the way they want to vote no matter which side that is.

Martin Howells, Cessnock

NO CAMPAIGN’S CLAIMS ‘NARROW-MINDED’

If Heidi McIvor and Cella White in the "Say No Campaign" television ad are to be believed in their stories of concern that their son may be gay if they "role play" a female or they "wear a dress", then their views probably extend to that "if a person is sexually abused by someone of the same gender, that the victim automatically becomes gay".

To me, their argument is at the least narrow minded, if not anything else. Let’s examine some more of the oppositions claims:

"Let’s keep Australia Christian" (an argument used by P. Graham in an advert this paper on September 20). Well, that’s a bit hard when we don't have laws forbidding sexual relations before marriage and adultery.

The Bible clearly states that one shall abstain from sex until married (act 15:20), which again in the case of sexual abuse is another sin in the eyes of God.

The Bible also prescribes that adultery is a sin (Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18), divorce is not acceptable in the eyes of God and that remarrying is also a form of adultery (Mark 10:11-12). As previously stated, the Bible also prescribes that one shall abstain from sex until married.

So it’s obvious as to why the no campaign is flawed, and that is without bringing up that some of those – such as John Howard and Tony Abbott that use the argument it should remain defined as "a man and a woman" – really need to look at legislation they passed, which classified same-sex couples as "couples" for purposes of claiming benefits from Centrelink.

In my opinion, if same-sex couples can't marry the person of their choosing, they should not be classed as a couple when it benefits our government’s budgets.

Jason Baldwin, Abermain

SIMPLE FLOOD ALARMS

The sad flooding deaths at Dungog in 2015 may have been unnecessary if flood alarms had been installed.

In our area flood alarms were recommended as far back as the 1992 Flood Report on Swamp Creek.

Kurri Kurri Landcare have developed flood alarms and installed them on Swamp Creek. They have the advantage of being cheap and effective. They are set at warning height and evacuation height.

Their main use is for night time when the creek flash flooding is not readily evident. We will provide circuitry and purchase lists for any electrician or handyman to assemble. The advantage of early warning alarms is that the siren alerts knowledgeable neighbours. Neighbours who are immediately on hand to assist with furniture saving and car sharing for evacuation.

We have had no vandalism of the alarms and associated signs in over 10 years of operation.

Col Maybury, Kurri Kurri