I am writing this in response to two things. Firstly, my time in front of Bass Coast Shire Council at their Community Connection Session and what was said to me there. Secondly, from points taken from the quotes with the Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, in the September 19th edition of the Sentinel-Times which to me differ to the spoken word I heard.
On the 13th of September I had my 15 minutes in front of council to say ”hey, you passed a motion way back in May [the 17th] and I really think it’s time that council showed their support and did something about it”.
I gave them figures from Switchboard Victoria, the main LGBTI phone in counselling service, that they had had a 30% increase in the calls they received and had recruited/trained 16 new phone counsellors to help with the increase load to their service. I felt that I had gotten across the point that LGBTI people are hurting from all that is going on.
I also reminded them that any statics will show that up to 11% of the population, which is a lot of ratepayers and residents within the shire, could be hurting and they need to see support and when are you going to stand up and show your support?
I heard these words “we had better put our running shoes on” and the all too common “I will do whatever I can for you”. I left that session with a feeling that council would do something sooner rather than later. But now I shake my head thinking they were listening to tell me the answers I wanted to hear instead of listening to act. Oh, all the political words that smell like BS.
Your quotes by the mayor made me realise that.
“When we passed that resolution, it was really clear how we felt …” through to “… maybe council needed to do more, but was keen to talk to councillors and get a general consensus before acting.”
It is past the time of talking, you have had four months to do that. People in your shire are hurting. I hear that being an elder of the LGBTI community. It is now the time of action.
I have a simple and cheap action plan for you. Grab $5 from petty cash and go get a packet of biscuits. Go to Mitchell House Community Centre and ask to borrow their rainbow flag, which by the way they have flown two times more than you have. Put on the kettle.
Raise the Rainbow flag and get a photo of it …and we can all have a cuppa and a biccy together. It’s that simple to show your support. I would love to attend a morning like that and I know a few good people around the shire who would attend… be it with a tear.
Sally Conning, Wonthaggi.