Monday, March 26, 2012

The Prime Minister's First Warning Letter

This morning I read this...

THE Federal Government has been warned that celebrating the centenary of Anzac Day could provoke division in multicultural Australia - and that there are "risks" in honouring our fallen soldiers.

The centenary is a "double-edged sword" and a "potential area of divisiveness" because of multiculturalism, a taxpayer-funded report from 2010 finds.

Bureaucrats spent almost $370,000 for focus-group testing and a research paper used by the Government to guide commemoration plans, which listed multiculturalism under "risks and issues" to avoid "unexpected negative complications".

Full story here >>

I almost choked on my coffee, then I almost threw my cup in disgust.  The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I would have to clean it up!!    Instead I have written the following open letter to our Prime Minister.

Dear Prime Minister Gillard

I appreciate that you are the leader of our country and I appreciate that I have no experience in politics.  However, I have over 48 years of experience in being an Australian, I have grown up with ANZAC day and I expect to die with ANZAC day being celebrated the exact same way it has been for every one of those 48 years.  I also expect the 100 years celebration to be the same.

As a tax payer, I would like you to provide me with a breakdown of the $370,000 spent on the focus group to review a report on the commemorative plans.  You are spending my money and I believe I am entitled to know exactly what you are spending it on.

Correct me if I'm wrong, or naive, but isn't the RSL best equipped to make our commemorative plans?   Haven't they been looking after these things for almost 100 years?    Aren't they an already established organisation?  

May I be so bold as to give you a little lesson in management.  It is quite simple really.  You allocate roles/tasks to the people who are best equipped to handle them.   You don't create a new department/focus groups, fill them with people who don't have nearly 100 years experience, and ask them to give you recommendations, at a cost of $370,000.  

You have got to be kidding me,  $370,000 spent on a focus group to guide commemoration plans when we have a perfectly good RSL fully equipped to handle this?

Ms Prime Minister, if you had a lazy $370,000 lying around, burning a hole your pocket, why not spend it on our failing mental health system?  A system that does not adequately provide for the many thousands of mentally ill people in Australia. I'm sure the lady who cannot get into a hospital to get the mental health care she so desperately needs to function normally is none too happy about your spending right now.

What about the ever increasing homeless situation in this country? The family who are about to lose their home because the husband has lost his job and the cost of living has all but sent them bankrupt?  My guess is they are not very happy with you right now either.

Ms Prime Minister you are wasting my hard earned dollars on fixing things that don't need fixing.  As our Prime Minister, I do believe you were elected by the people to serve us.  This makes you our/my employee. As my employee, I instruct you to spend my money on essential services and stop wasting it on useless focus groups.

You can consider this letter a "first warning" letter.   We will review this situation in four weeks time.




  1. Great post! I heartily agree with your sentiment. It's so sad when our tax money is wasted like that when there are so many things that matter that seem to go "unloved".

  2. Oh Annie, this was on the news this morning and I was disgusted! What is wrong with us that we are so flexible that we're willing to do away with things that make our culture what it is today?

    It seems like a lot of money to us, but that is just chicken feed when you have a multi-billion dollar budget.


    Thanks for sharing. You rock, girl. xx

  3. Annie I love your extremely interesting and passionate Blog and today's blog reinforces the relevance and necessity to continue as you do! Totally support your comments.

  4. There is no evil plan to do away with Anzac Day. There is no government study claiming that Anzac Day itself is somehow "divisive". There is $370,000 spent by the Department of Veterans Affairs on what the government should best do to commemorate 100 hundred years since Gallipoli, which has been incredibly distorted and misrepresented in the Murdoch press. It's fair to question how money is spent. It's not fair to misunderstand how the money was actually spent.

    If you're interested in reading the actual study, not somebody else's slanted caricature of it, it's here: Department of Veterans' Affairs: "A century of service" Community Research.

    For example, that section on the "divisiveness" of "multiculturalism"? All that the study actually said was that the community is unsure whether the military service undertaken by immigrants in countries other than Australia should be commemorated at Anzac Day. Opinion is divided on that question, hence "division in the community" over that one particular question. Nothing else about multiculturalism was ever brought up.

  5. Anzac Day, these foreign people have a country, a FREE country to live in because of the fallen and the current we commemorate Anzac Day!

    Yes, why not spend that lazy $370,000 on fixing the accommodation so that elderly lady can have a roof over her head instead of having to do her kidney dialysis in her car!

    Bravo dear...Lest we forget


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

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