Letters to the editor

Blame cause not the past

Yet again, social engineers are skirting around the real issue of domestic violence, perpetrated by men against women and children, by attempting to lay the blame at the feet of a well used saying from years ago, ‘boys will be boys’.

Those who used this term frequently in the past, never associated its application with acts of any type of violence or aggressive behaviour, but rather to explain their reactions to a range of simple and mischievous actions.

Too often today, events and happenings from past generations, are used to shift the blame from the actions and behaviours of today’s generation, the real cause of  declining social standards and inappropriate behaviours being exhibited currently.

Values like respect, honesty and integrity were learnt in the home, from a child's parents, who back in the day, actually took responsibility for the actions of their children. Poor parenting is the biggest cause of many social issues which our society faces, and it is time this was acknowledged, and action taken to address it.

Using an old saying, "it is too late to shut the gate when the horse has bolted!".

IAN MACGOWAN

Ceduna

Equinor disappointment 

I was disappointed that Equinor failed to engage with our communities again.

As a major sponsor of Oysterfest I expected them to be present at the site, as the Ceduna District Council and Iluka were. It was a golden opportunity to meet the locals. Equnior, why do you sponsor an event that you have no intention of participating in?

It seems you prefer to splash money about in lieu of answering questions about the flow on effects of exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight. Is this how you conduct your business?

SANDY DESIRA

Streaky Bay 

Thai-Burma Railway anniversary

Seventy-five years ago, the Thai–Burma railway was completed on October 16, 1943, costing the lives of more than 2800 Australian Prisoners of War (POWs).

During the Second World War, the Japanese sought to maintain their armies in Burma and began construction of a 420km railway between western Thailand and Burma through harsh jungles and mountains.

Construction of the Thai–Burma railway began in October 1942 and by the time the line was finished, around 270,000 Asian labourers and some 60,000 Allied POWs, including Australian, British, Dutch, and American troops had worked on its construction.

The most notorious site along the railway is Hellfire Pass, where prisoners were required to drill, blast and dig their way through solid limestone and quartz rock. Shifts lasted up to 18 hours a day during the most intense period, a regimen that continued for some six weeks.  The Pass was named for the brutal working conditions and the eerie light thrown by bamboo fires as skeletal figures laboured by night, reminiscent to some of Dante’s Inferno.

Private James ‘Snow’ Peat found strength in these difficult conditions by thinking of home, and those waiting for him. “I had a wife and little girl. And the will to live. I said ‘I’m not dying in this bloody place, and that’s all there is to it,” he said.

This attitude, and the resilience and determination shown by Australian POWs during the Second World War epitomises the Anzac spirit forged more than two decades earlier during the First World War.

Today, we remember the some 75,000 Asian labourers who died alongside the Allied prisoners while working on the railway and we honour the service and sacrifice of the some 12,500 Allied POWs who died, including more than 2800 Australians.

Lest we forget.

DARREN CHESTER MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs