Scott Morrison plans to spend almost $50 million on a Captain Cook commemoration, including a "re-enactment" circumnavigation of Australia, later corrected, after it was pointed out to him that it was Matthew Flinders, not Cook.
But we cannot expect our PM, just like Tony Abbott, to be "the suppository of all wisdom" and we can forgive these little lapses because he is a dinkum Aussie who likes to wear baseball caps, eat meat pies and fish and chips and drink beer by the beach. What could be fairer than that.
And his Coalition partners have their own version of history with Senator Bridget McKenzie, supporting keeping January 26 as Australia Day because it was that day in 1788 that Captain Cook first set foot on land at Sydney Cove, not knowing apparently that Cook had been killed in Hawaii nine years before, in 1779.
And of course those pesky Indigenous people complaining about Australia Day are being influenced by lefty academics and commos who know nothing about our glorious and peaceful colonisation of "terra nullius". They just don't know how well off they, ungrateful wretches.
Somebody by the name of Henry Parkes pointed out, in 1888 at the Centenary, that celebrating taking the land from the Aboriginal people, on that date would not be well accepted by them. But what would he know.
Barry Stevens, Tura Beach
My Health Record opt out
The last possible day to opt-out of the My Health Record system is Thursday this week (31/1). After that, you will get a record whether you want one or not.
If you have a My Health Record, the information in it will be available to any government agency that wants it, for any reason at all. That includes the ATO, Centrelink and law enforcement. The legislation also makes clear that your medical information can be provided to commercial third parties.
You have almost no ability to control who sees what. You cannot control what is recorded. With minor exceptions you cannot change or remove what has been recorded, even if it was uploaded without your consent.
Once you have a My Health Record, you cannot delete it, only "cancel" it. A cancelled record remains available to the government. The government says it will delete your record on request, but the sad fact is that they will probably not be able to.
This is not a party-political matter. Both sides of politics seem perfectly happy to put your sensitive medical information on the internet. The security is a nonsense; with hundreds of thousands of people authorised to look at it, anyone who wants it will be able to get it.
Get out while you still can. If you discover (as thousands have) that a My Health Record has already been created for you without your knowledge or consent, cancel it. If you have children, opt them out too.
Karl Auer, Lochiel
Tough love request
“Ice – turning family pain into power”, is a volunteer support group on the Far South Coast for families feeling the ripple effects of ice use.
We have been given an amazing opportunity to host the Tough Love seminars by Peter Lyndon Jones from Shalom House in WA. We now hope those who follow us will help us bring Peter to the Eurobodalla in early April.
The ice epidemic is not slowing down and we are seeing families falling apart, substance users losing everything. If we had known the tough love strategies we would have saved our own families a heartbreaking journey through hell.
Please donate what you can at uk.gofundme.com/tough-love-seminar-peter-lyndonjames; we never have asked for financial assistance for what we do, but the hours we put in weekly prove the need for education and awareness is growing.
Together we are stronger.