SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

I THINK you’ve just got to ignore the ‘woke BS’ where you can. But it does go too far at times.

We saw the reaction to the first transgender athlete’s win in an NCAA swimming championship in the United States last month.

Of course, vilification and discrimination on the basis of gender is not on but in sports where strength and endurance are a factor, the involvement of women will be threatened right down to the grassroots unless the division between male and female is maintained.

It’s a tough one though. You want to be as inclusive as possible and initially at least, establishing a new level of competition that is gender neutral may be confronting but ultimately it will give everyone who wants to play the chance to compete for national and international titles.

There’s another space where woke activism has gone too far and it’s a controversial one to address – the acknowledgement of our First People, the Traditional Owners of Our Land.

Most Australians are proud of this country’s indigenous heritage and it’s a wonderful story of resilience and achievement that should get the profile it deserves.

But take the ‘Distinctive Areas and Landscapes’ planning review process going on in Bass Coast at the moment and you’ll see that the acknowledgement of “Aboriginal cultural and historic heritage values” has been taken to a ridiculous extreme.

By all means, at the start of a government event or important occasion and where change is being considered, an acknowledgement that we are proud residents of Bunurong Country, while honouring the traditional owners, is welcome.

But if you take a look at the documents associated with this planning review, the acknowledgments are so prevalent as to threaten their significance.

Almost every question in the submission forms includes a nod to our indigenous heritage. For example, if you want to make a “Sustainable economic development” submission, Objective 6a is as follows: “To build a sustainable, responsible, year-round visitor economy that aligns with the declared area’s significant landscape, environmental and Aboriginal cultural and historic heritage values. To what extent do you agree with the above objective?”

“In partnership with the Bunurong people…” continues Strategy 6a1.

And so, it goes on.

At what point does it become a joke… maybe we’ve reached that point!