Letters to the editor

RIOTS: Smoke seen billowing from Ravenhall Prison following riots at the site. Picture: Pat Scala
RIOTS: Smoke seen billowing from Ravenhall Prison following riots at the site. Picture: Pat Scala

Ravenhall: Funded by Liberal Nationals and Opposed by Labor

After originally opposing Ravenhall and advocating instead for early parole for prisoners, Labor are now taking credit for the opening of Ravenhall.  

Next Daniel Andrews will try to take credit for building the West Gate Bridge and Flinders Street Station.

The Ravenhall Prison was funded and started under the previous Liberal Nationals Government to the opposition of Labor.

Current Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney once voiced her objection to spending money on new prison beds saying: “the failed 'hang 'em high' law and order responses that became the norm under the previous government, which kept spending more money on prisons.”

Beyond the new Ravenhall beds there is little else on the horizon for the adult male corrections system even though crime rates are soaring and a state population is growing by over 100,000 a year. 

During Daniel Andrews’ time in office, more prisons beds have been trashed than funded.

The only major new male prison bed infrastructure delivered in the last three years was procured and funded by the previous Liberal Nationals Government namely the new ‘super max’ high security unit at Barwon Prison, the new Karrenga Prison and the new Ravenhall Prison.

Under Daniel Andrews we’ve seen the worst prison riot in Victoria’s history with a $100 million damage bill. The only funding from Labor has been to fix the mess they created.

We’ve seen the High Court slap down sentencing policy, complete lack of action on bail and sentencing reform and no new adult prison beds on the horizon.

At the next election Victorians will have a clear choice, more of the same soft touch to criminals under Daniel Andrews or a tough on crime approach by Matthew Guy.

Edward O’Donohue, Shadow Minister for Community Safety

PLEBISCITE OUTCOME  

Traditionally-minded people will be pleased if the no-vote wins this marriage plebiscite.

What to do if the result is a yes-vote?

Must they concede their loss while pleading for free speech and religious freedom exemptions?

No, for Christians it’s a case of:

“Religious freedoms are something God has built into us.

“We don’t need the government, thanks.

“With or without their blessing, we’ll keep expressing the gospel as best we can.

“Lock us up, crucify us — physically or mentally – suit yourself.

“Our only worry is to make sure we express ourselves in a loving and charitable manner.”

Arnold Jago, Nichols Point

REAL DANGER LIES IN LOOKING BACKWARD

Contrary to populist propaganda the greatest threat to Australia’s democracy is not Islamic terrorism, Kim Jong-un or our ABC, but the corrosive evil of conservatism. This ideology, derived from a twisted interpretation of Genesis, bestows on powerful, white, nominally, Christian men what they believe is the god-given right to exploit as they wish the resources and people of the earth. 

It drove John Howard to collude with George Bush and Tony Blair in the devastation of Iraq; and why non-white, non-Christian refugees from the carnage continue to treated with such appalling cruelty.

It’s why there’s hysterical squealing too, about marriage equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, political correctness and Australian values from men such as Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton, John Howard, Eric Abetz, Cory Bernadi and George Christensen. These phoney Christians should fear nothing, but in a nation where there’s increasing acceptance of sexual, racial and religious diversity they’re petrified of their looming crash to irrelevancy. 

Lawrie Wilson, Ballarat.