Australia is a land of wide open
spaces but the vast majority of its citizens live in overcrowded, gridlocked and crime
ridden cities while country communities struggle to survive. Despite decades of discussing
the merits of 'decentralisation' and departments of government established to encourage growth in regional and
rural areas, it is the capital cities that
are expanding at unprecedented rates.
continuing growth of human population, is this trend in the
best interests of future Australians and will we
be doing our part in meeting global needs for food
in the years ahead? It is said that democracy only works
if voters are well informed. Information has never
been so readily available as it is today through the Internet. It is a
veritabe goldmine, but like gold, without fossickers, it is unlikely to
be found. Figures that demonstrate that the prosperity generated by use of Australia's resources is
not spread evenly throughout the community are available
on government web sites.
They show conclusiely
that this wealth is going into the hands
of a few people living in the capital cities who are benefitting from government
policies . It makes little difference which side of politics is
in office. It is not an argument that our cities should not have the
infrastructure they need - the question is who should
be bearing the costs? But above all is the issue
of justice and fairness.
Charles Dickens was a
20-year-old journalist in 1832, the year 14 -year-old Joseph Evans
was tried at Old Bailey for picking pockets. Great grandfather Evans
was sentenced to transportation to Australia for 14 years. The
circumstances of the two incidents that led to his conviction were
almost identical to those described by Dickens in Oliver Twist first
The Trials of Joseph Evans .
John Scott was an innkeeper in Caputh, Perthshire,
Scotland before he and his wife, Margaret, decided to migrate to
Australia in 1825. Twenty years later, he and his family made an
epic journey through rugged south eastern Australia to take up land
in the newly explored country that became known as
The Scotts of
The Hobart Town Gazette in Oct 1842,
a "List of Servants arrived
Apolline, Saturday October 1st, 1842 ."John Whitbourn and
his wife (nee Jane Charter) of Cambridge England, brought
seven of their eight children to Hobart. Early in 1843, John's
wife, Jane, died and the following year he married Elizabeth Cross
with whom he had a further twelve children. Three of the first
family married children of John and Margaret
The Early days.
On June 1st 1858, the Shanklys with five surviving
children left Scotland aboard the S.S. Conway for Melbourne.
Three years later, when living at Oakleigh, Victoria, they
lost three little boys aged 6, 4 and 2 to diphtheria in just
two days. More children were born, one of whom, James McFarlane
Shankly married Mary Ann Donovan, a newly arrived migrant from
County Cork. Mary Ann was the only one of my grand parents not born
These, my forebears,
contributed not only to my physical attributes but also to the
principles and opinions that I hold so strongly. Does that matter?
Only that I was privileged to represent the people of Gippsland East
in the Parliament of the State of Victoria from 1961 to 1992 and I
was expected to express my opinions. Members of my family have been
associated with Gippsland since the beginning of European
settlement. They were a mixture of English, Irish and Scottish
origins who 'did it tough' in a harsh and strange environment.
Bookmark this page or add it to your
favourites. If you share my concern for the future of Australia, please pass