Graham Gorrel's Friday On My Mind | OPINION, August 18, 2017

WHILE there is little to admire and even less that might raise our hopes politicians across the globe will forget their egos and actually do something constructive about the real issues affecting our nations, you do have to appreciate the wit of voters.

Take Andrew Waites of Mosman: “Given this newfound love of public opinion and that a little extra ink is pretty cheap, can we add a question to the plebiscite? Should $1 billion in taxpayer funds be used to enable the construction of the Adani coal mine in Queensland.”

Better still, seeing as our Australian elected representatives are finding it difficult to make a decision about anything, might we suggest, as Greg Loder of Springwood and his mates did in The SMH letters column recently, that “it’s well past time for us to take the power back”.

This was a direct reference, as Loder wrote, to the need of MPs to stand up and be counted on rising power costs (and) not resort to photo opportunities; unfortunately, “the first interest of power companies is the interest of their shareholders so nothing will happen voluntarily”.

Or, as another letters writer, offered: “Let’s hope Malcolm Turnbull’s eyeballing of electricity retailers has far greater success than Tony Abbott’s threatened shirt-fronting of Vladimir Putin. Or, it could mean as the late Pat Sullivan, editor of The Gundagai Independent, would offer in diabolical political times like these in Australia: “What we need is a benevolent dictator”.

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WE HAVE missed only one of the annual Eddie Graham Dinners in Wagga since their inauguration 10 years ago. Named in honour of the last ALP Member for Wagga, who held the seat from 1941-57, Graham was the state’s longest serving Minister for Agriculture, and known as “the Minister for Wagga”.

His establishment of the Wagga Teachers College led to the creation of CSU and subsequently education has become pivotal to the city’s sustainability.

Federal MP, Michael McCormack, was later to call Wagga the capital of regional education in Australia. In true ALP fashion the dinner was held at a Chinese restaurant and well organised by the local branch.

Tony Burke, back for his second stint as guest speaker, proved his value as probably the most erudite speaker in the Federal Parliament. He pointed out Graham served three progressive ALP premiers, Sir William McKell (late Governor-General), James McGirr and Joe Cahill.

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THE current facts are that more men will die of prostate cancer in Australia than women will die of breast cancer in a year, especially in the Riverina/Murrumbidgee regions where more men are diagnosed than any other region in the State.

The good news is that this week the national PC body will reveal funding for 14 more PC specialist nurses bringing to 43 the total number thanks to pressure from organisations like the Wagga Support Group, which help local men and their family.

Nevertheless, more funding for PC research is needed and the fourth annual Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch in Wagga, the proceeds of which does just that, is on Friday, September 1, at the RSL Club.

Previous lunches have raised a total of $160,000 for the vital research; so far organisers are on track for a sell-out again but want those who have registered for a table (or those who want to) to confirm the booking (telephone 6921 3012) or pick up their tickets.

GRAHAM GORREL, www.dailyadvertiser.com.au