How the world has changed since our last OCM in January when this Chamber engaged with our ratepayers, lovers of Fremantle and lovers of Freedom.
This Council has set many precedents to give voice to community issues and I applaud them.
This tradition which castes a wide net can be called “grass roots democracy”. We need to preserve this tradition because picking and choosing which community issues the Council will champion is not an option. We have set the bar high and it must be extended even to issues that we do not support. To give voice to our community is a privilege. To pass the feedback onto state government is a duty.
Omicron will continue to be here for a long time just like Influenza and the Measles and we will deal with it because to be human is to take risks.
These two stories come from a compassionate doctor and are examples of the cost of living in fear and isolation. The doctor attended an elderly woman in her home where she lived alone with her pets. She had not ventured out into the community for months. The doctor after a short examination knew she was dying. She was hospitalised and died 3 days later. This doctor also went into a carpark to see a woman and her child because they could not enter the surgery due to symptoms. The child simply had tonsillitis.
Fear is a terrible way to live. Fear as a strategy becomes a club looking for a nail.
It is my view, that had we had our “builder” or “silent generation” in power, there would be no mandates, no emergency powers, no isolation, no fines, no one losing their jobs and no threats. This generation, regardless of the left, right or middle politics, agreed on basic freedoms. This was the generation that fought, bled and died for democracy and human rights in the second world war and the Korean war. Sadly, few of the "builders" are still with us.
In memory of my parents, who were survivors of the Yugoslav Communist Gulags of the 1950s; I will speak for freedom and for all Australians. This was a society that “othered” a section of their community with disastrous results. I cannot stand by and let my country follow the steps and mistakes of my ancestors.
For us to be truly the land of the free, we need to move beyond mandates. Mandating our health decisions violates our freedom, and compromises the doctor patient relationship.
The government needs my permission to enter my body, my bedroom and my beliefs.