MICHAEL SCHILLING: Kevin Naughton (Report slams State’s high traffic fines, 19 December 2013) and Roger Frinsdorf (Letters to the editor, 20 December 2013) hit the bull’s eye.
Our traffic fines are too high and, in the view of many, out of proportion with the deed. In fact the whole business could be described as a money making racket. Rather than letting our politicians and bureaucrats determine the level of fines, it should be done by an independent body, with appropriate representation from all walks of life including the Police. And someone in government also needs to sort out the confusing different speed zones: there are too many and that should not be necessary.
ANDY ALCOCK: I read with interest the article, Human Rights face-off: the battle of the Tims, by Professor Andrew Jakubowicz (InDaily, 18 December 2013).
It seems to me that the appointment of Tim Wilson, formerly of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), to the position of the Australian Human Rights Commission by George Brandis is about as appropriate as Tony Abbott appointing himself as the Minister for Women’s Affairs. The IPA is a strong proponent of the free market, deregulation of workplaces (ie workers’ rights receive a very low priority), the free flow of capital and privatisation. It is not not noted for ever taking a strong stand on human rights.
If the Attorney-General considers that Tim Wilson is appropriate for this important position because he supported the so-called rights of Andrew Bolt to slag on those he disagrees with, then I would contend that he does not really understand what human rights are all about.
The leaders of our nation have decided to vilify asylum seekers who are escaping wars and repressive regimes, supported the Indonesian military as it committed genocide in East Timor, Acheh and West Papua, where people still face genocide on a daily basis, and continue to support Israel as it commits abuses against the rights of the Palestinians. These are real human rights issues and are the ones that our leaders should be addressing.
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