Articles in Category: Editorial

Editorial - September #299

"Life in Australia, life as we know it, is under threat"

Editorial - September #299

Dear VJ readers,

Lately a few people have said to me that  ‘politics is boring’ and I hear you but while you proclaim; ‘I don’t do politics’ while drinking organic yak milk tea and  contemplating your bellybutton - real life things are happening.  Life in Australia, life as we know it is under threat. Not by any outside ‘terrorists’ or ‘home grown fundamentalists’, these are just the bogey-man threats that  Abbott and Co want us to focus on while the real threat to our way of life is underway. 

The land of equality and a fair go is drastically being altered and being undermined by Federal Liberal Coalition policies both domestic and foreign. Things are happening that affect this country and all its citizens and that includes you.

Anyone who knows anything about politics knows that this particular Liberal ‘Government’ is not representative of wider Australia at all. The Liberals were swept into power because they weren’t ‘Julia or Kevin’ not because the public had any idea of what they stood for, who they really were or what they would do. What the unsuspectingly general public voted in was  a Government  made up of ‘white bread’,middle aged,  privileged men from private schools with no real idea or clue about anything – just a life in politics or business ‘playing the game’ and all lead by a ventriloquist dummy with religious tendencies. Now that hes become ‘the captain of Team 

Austraya’ it has become apparent that the PM in particular is scripted to within an inch of his life by ‘his people’ – the ones that think and write his speeches for him. Everything that comes out of that man’s mouth is either someone else’s words, utterly ridiculous or a lie. Sometimes, all three. Like when he found Malaysian flight 370 (or not).

When Dame Abbott speaks ‘unscripted’ on complex topics such as civil collapse in Syria. Abbott, he goes and says things like this; 

“It’s not goodies versus baddies, it’s baddies versus baddies”. 

I don’t know about you but that kind of simplistic thinking worries me and even worse I am concerned that under 

Abbott’s ‘leadership’ we are marching past the sign that reads “Point of no return”. If as Australians we sit idly by enjoying all Australia has to offer without being involved in the big decisions, I fear one day we will wake up to an Australia that we don’t know anymore. 

Plus there are so many ways to ‘do politics’, none of which are boring. 

We can’t all be in all places at once and there is so much to be done - so find something you’re passionate about and get in there and make a difference. If you don’t want to or can’t leave the house get on the internet, sign petitions.

We all need to get involved in the politics of ‘life in Australia’.

Below are just three areas that concern me.

1) We are on the verge of war in Iraq .2 lead by a bumbling idiot and a maniacal Minister of Foreign Affairs (Julie 

Bishop) who has just been spoiling for a fight since taking centre stage. 

2) The environment is well and truly under attack, with 

logging and Gas and Coal licenses springing up all over the place – even the Great Barrier Reef.

3) All of Abbott’s policies are designed by privileged men for the benefit of no-one but other privileged men. Cuts to pensions and welfare payments might save a buck here or there but seriously affect those most vulnerable  including the young, the elderly retirees and other marginalized groups. The impact of six months with no income support will be devastating and will have huge knock on effects to the wider community in higher crime rates etc.

– Freedom

Letter #304 - Paul Brecht

Garth and Me I didn’t get a chance to speak about Garth at the Celebration of his life at Repentance Creek Hall 18th Jan 2015. Our relationship goes back to when The Byron Environment Centre was first situated at Cavanbah Arcade back in the early 90s in Byron Bay. Our friendship got bigger further down the wallaby track when Northern Rivers Trains for the Future (now TOOT) was formed in 2003-04. It’s been ten years hard slog to first try and save the train and then after we lost it, to reinstate a light rail service and save our rails has done a lot of work to bring that to fruition as well. When I saw Lydia I gave her a hug and said ‘He’s at Peace now’ and Lydia knew what I meant. It was a lovely celebration with 300 friends and family at Garths send off and it was an honour to be one of you. R.I.P Garth for our Communities, Paul Brecht, Mullumbimby.

Editorial #304

Hi there VJ readers. Here we are for another edition of The Village Journal. It’s good to see in the Rainbow region that we all survived another “un petit flood”, relatively unscathed. This time the threat was from Ex Tropical Cyclone Marcia but by the time she touched down, the category level was downgraded from level 5 to level 1 and subsequently we got through without too much fuss or hullabaloo. Just imagine what could happen to the environment if some of those CSG open cover storage waste water wells if ‘the big one’ did occur and the area were to REALLY flood? Something to think about hey? In this month’s edition we focus on life and the things that challenge us, here in the Northern Rivers. Life on Planet Earth with all its climate change, plastic bags and fluoride. Talking about climate change. I hear New South Wales are finally talking about banning the plastic shopping bags. Coming from South Australia where recycling is light years ahead of NSW, I never understood why such a great environmental initiative only occurred in two states. In SA you can buy biodegradable bags for 10-15 cents per bag (polluter pays) or you can just BYO. It’s amazing how quickly you start to remember to grab a bag from home. Finally I’d like to offer a big warm thanks to all those lovely people out there who contributed to last month’s February Edition of The Village Journal and its tribute honouring the life of Garth Kindred. I know Lydia was touched by the kind outpouring of words, stories and love. Thank you all again from the bottom of our collective VJ heart. - Freedom

Editorial August #298

Who's going to save us?

Editorial August #298

Who’s going to save us? 

It’s a bit of a theme at the moment in Australia and locally. 

Federally we’ve got ‘Dame Abbott’ showing his political short-vision by ‘axing the carbon tax’ and yet not doing anything to actually reduce carbon pollution or mitigate global warming. Locally we’ve got Thomas George Coal Seam Gas and Co doing business as usual. If we are looking to politicians in Canberra for leadership – we are seriously mistaken. If we are looking for someone to save us – think again. So then the question becomes not ‘who’s going to save us’ but ‘how can we save ourselves?’ 

In our microcosm of The Village Journal - we’re still here, still hanging on but we still really need your help. By ‘your help’ I actually do mean YOU. See the thing is everyone says ‘oh don’t go – we’ll eat you up we love you so’ but as much as you all want a Village Journal it also appears the vast majority of you are expecting the person next to you to do the saving. The Village Journal doesn’t belong to the Editor or the VJ team or the RCI - it exists solely to represent all the people of the area and give us all a voice. So we want to hear from you. We want and need your contributions, your poems, drawings, photos, thoughts and energy. A local community newspaper is one of the truly independent media voices and it gives us a chance to spread our own ideas by talking to each other and tell our own truths. 

So my question to each and every one of you is what are you doing about the state of the environment? What do you think the future will look like and what changes are you implementing, and what’s working for you? 

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


– Freedom

Editorial #274

Dear Readers, I did but see him passing by, and yet I’ll miss him ‘til I die. I stole that and changed it a bit, it’s about Royalty, and it’s true about Vince Lovegrove. I’ve never met anyone who so impressed me with their vitality and honesty. He was full of boyish enthusiasm, yet was so incredibly wise. I feel my heart has been hiding under a blanket in the corner since I received the truly unbelievable news about Vince last Sunday morning. Suddenly everything has gone quiet, his amazing energy and enthusiasm has vapourised and is now God only knows where. We were just discussing future ideas for the VJ on Friday avo over a middy of pilsener at The Brewery. If it wasn’t for Vincent, I wouldn’t be writing this editorial now, I wouldn’t be working on the VJ at all, but that’s how life goes. In the short time I knew Vince, I found him to be a most remarkable man, someone you would want on your team in any situation. Also, he has the same name as my son, so I will always be reminded of him, and my son is just embarking on a career in the music industry too. So I’m dedicating this April issue, and every future issue under my steam, to Vince Lovegrove. Rest In Peace, brother. This month the anti Coal Seam Gas issue has gained momentum and is having huge successes with communities uniting and achieving amazing results. There’s more work to be done to save our water supplies, so keep an eye out for the surveys coming your way and for any meetings coming up. You can take the pledge online at where you tick up to five boxes pledging to lock the gate, communicate, provide support, help make your road and community csg free, provide peaceful direct action. Take a look; I’m amazed at the efforts of all of the coordinators and participants. These action plans are also a blue-print for future issues where the voice of the people needs to be heard and counted, and quickly, at the grass roots level. There lot’s of new contributors inside. I’d like to thank all my friends and new friends for their support. I hope you all enjoy the April 2012 edition. Helen White

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