Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dear Mr Prime Minister and Mr Dutton

Dear Mr Prime Minister and Mr Dutton,

I just wanted to thank you for your joke about Pacific Islands facing extreme hardship as a result of climate change.  You further reiterated my stance that you and your colleagues are not fit to govern the country that I live in.  Your joke showed that you really do not care for the Aboriginals in Cape York nor the Pacific Islands and their well-being.  Your joke showed that you belong in colonial times where the white man is always right and the stupid coloured savages are there only to be the butt of your jokes.

However Mr Prime Minister and Mr Dutton, I believe the joke is on you!  Not only are your remarks offensive to the Aboriginals living on Cape York and the Pacific Islanders living on the islands, they are also offensive to the hundreds of thousand Australian citizens who are of Aboriginal and Pacific Island descent.  Not to mention the millions of Australian citizens who do not share your humour.  All of whom will be voting in the next election.

Your negative stance on climate change policies and now your jokes about time and sea level rising sends a clear message that a) you’re not very funny and b) you need to think before you speak in front of a microphone.  Your sorry excuse for an apology was not because of what you said, but because you got caught out.

I spoke to a man today who believed that the media are blowing your comments out of proportion and that what you said was nothing.  I have lived many years on a tiny island and witnessed firsthand the effects of climate change so I disagree wholeheartedly. 

I don’t want you to apologise again Mr Dutton and am yet to hear any kind of an apology from Mr Prime Minister.  I would like to challenge the both of you, and the man that I spoke to, to live a week as a local in Kiribati, not like a politician but a true local, including the $2 an hour pay scale.  To see there is a massive lack of freshwater.  To see the loss of land from increasing sea levels.  To learn that you can only swim in certain parts of the ocean at certain times of the day because it is not sanitary to do otherwise.

I believe that if you have lived like the people of Kiribati or any other Pacific Island you would not be taking lightly any jokes about waves lapping at doors.

I look forward to the next election so that I can vote for anyone else but you!

Kind Regards,

Morwenna Petaia