20.6 C
Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: Museum to die for

Latest News

Police confirm Main Arm drug operation

NSW Police have finally confirmed what pretty much every one in Main Arm already knows – they are conducting drug operations in the north of the Shire.

Other News

Letting the love light SHINE in Lismore

A discovery focused light festival in August hopes to attract locals and visitors to Lismore.

Super swim challenge accepted

A group of mates from Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Head, recently formed a swim team known as the Anti Budgie Boardriders for the purpose of taking part in the Starlight Foundations Super Swim Challenge.  

Man rescued from Upper Wilsons Creek causeway

At about 10pm last Friday a man from Mullumbimby was driving his his car along Upper Wilsons Creek Road and was swept into the creek.

Ballina sludge a mixture of blue-green algae species

A reader has sent Echonetdaily some photos of what he described as 'something nasty and green coming down the Richmond River'.

Police confirm Main Arm drug operation

NSW Police have finally confirmed what pretty much every one in Main Arm already knows – they are conducting drug operations in the north of the Shire.

Suffolk pump track

Dr Ray Moynihan, Suffolk Park Thanks to The Echo for ongoing coverage of the debate about the proposed pump track...

Image S Sorrensen

My place. Anzac Day, 7.30am

Here we go again…

I can hear Turnbull on the radio, his whine mixing with the tolling of the bellbirds. Both are death knells, but bellbirds have a sweeter tone.

Turnbull’s in Villers-Bretonneux, France, opening an overseas Australian war museum, the Sir John Monash Centre. (It cost nearly $100 million.) Meanwhile, in Australia, plans are afoot to extend the Australian War Memorial (about $500 million). Anzac is a thriving industry.

His voice drones on about war with the same sincerity that tells us that coal is good, refugees are bad and the rich need a tax break.

It makes me angry. I want to hit something. Luckily, I have a hammer.

I’m making steps for my shack under the cliffs. Of course, there is already a step of sorts there, but it’s as dodgy as a pollie’s waffle – an 8×3 plank on two tree stumps. After snapping my achilles tendon on this step a year ago, I’m determined to make real steps. Today. (I don’t act hastily.)

The squawking of opportunistic politicians that dominates Anzac Day these days distracts our attention away from the reality: the callous disregard Australian governments have for human life. They send young people to kill other young people in far-off lands like France, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam. War is a horror show choreographed by older men in expensive suits, far from the blood. We shouldn’t forget that.

Despite the chanting of ‘Lest we forget’ by young Australians draped in Chinese-made Australian flags, we do forget. There’s political and commercial potential in the militarisation of our national psyche. (Arms dealing means jobs, right?)

We forget that our young men died in WWI, not defending Australia, but defending Britain. We didn’t learn. Our soldiers continue to die in, and for, other countries.

To hear these politicians, these well-heeled killers, prattle on about honour and sacrifice just makes me… Luckily, I have a saw, and steps to build.

Usually, when you make steps, you use stringers. That’s a building term, but, because I’m not really a builder, stringers are beyond me. And, seeing as there are only two treads (another building term) in my staircase, I’m going to make frames with 3x2s (left over from a stud wall), onto which I will attach the two treads. Clear?

Anyway, I can hammer and drill my way through the frustration I feel as this country, which has the opportunity to build a visionary democracy using its untapped wealth of history, stumbles down the track of deliberate forgetting, simplistic populism and corporate convenience.

To spend a hundred million dollars in France – to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on extending the Australian war museum (while still totally neglecting the only war Australians fought on Australian soil against invasion) – only highlights the Anzac hypocrisy.

There are many returned soldiers in the community struggling with war-induced traumas inflicted upon them by impoverished leadership. That money, the people’s money, would be better used helping those soldiers. That would be showing true respect. That would be honouring all soldiers who served. That would be not forgetting the real message of Anzac Day.

I have the 3x2s on the sawhorses. I have marked out the cuts. My circular saw is ready. I pull on the cord of the generator (my solar regulator cannot handle power saws)…

Nothing. It doesn’t start. Bellbird knell and Turnbull whine still pollute the air. I check the exhaust. Mud wasp nest. I scrape it out.

There are real battles to be fought in this country – Indigenous neglect, climate change, housing crisis – but the government, while applauding the bravery of those it sends to war, is a coward and avoids those battles at all cost.

I pull the cord again. Success. Noise.

Ah, Turnbull gone.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Call to protect oceans from plastic and pollution

A new sign has been installed at Main Beach, Byron Bay, calling for increased awareness and collective action on the issue of marine debris and pollution. 

Pottsville’s controversial Men’s Shed extension to be advertised

The controversial Men’s Shed at Black Rocks Sports Fields in Pottsville was granted the opportunity to expand its footprint 12m to the west at last week’s Tweed Shire Council meeting.

A closer look at Byron Council’s fossil fuel investments

Is Byron Council putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to reducing carbon emissions?

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 24 February, 2021