RSA stuck between a rock and a hard place

Beth Ad Lib

Beth Houlbrooke
ACT Deputy Leader / Vice President


You?ve got to feel sorry for the RSA. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place on ANZAC Day parades after advice from the police that they don?t have sufficient resources to ensure attendees? safety in every location.

No one wants to give the police a headache either, but where some of these cancellations get ridiculous is in small rural communities like this one near me, where individuals or small groups of local volunteers have organised their own parades and services without any RSA or council involvement. In lieu of military or defence marches, it?s an opportunity for Fire and Emergency volunteers, Scouts, Girl Guides, and Boys? Brigade to parade before the local community and be proud of their uniforms and civic contributions. 

These gatherings take place at monuments, band rotundas, memorial plaques, or anywhere that is a focal point for the community. They are no bigger than the funeral of a prominent local. It is complete overreach by authorities to put pressure on them to cancel, and in most cases, unnecessary. It has created resentment, upset, and even anger directed at organisers for ?caving in?, many of whom are just volunteers wanting to provide a gathering point and sense of occasion for their community?s commemoration.

Keep Calm & Stay Free

These are community events and should be able to carry on as usual, after organisers have listened to advice from the police and assessed the threat level.  And those of us who attend should make our own risk assessment. Now, how?s that for an idea: personal responsibility.


The speed at which the government moved on gun law reform over the past two weeks was illogical and hazardous. It had already restricted the guns it wanted to ban to individuals holding E Category licences with an immediate ?Order in Council?.

It could have taken its time to get the law change right. Instead, there was no robust analysis, no proper scrutiny or consultation, and no idea of how a gun buyback would work.

Good intentions and quick action don?t guarantee the good outcomes. That?s why David this week stood up for proper democratic process.

Authorities don’t really know because there’s no comprehensive register of individual guns in New Zealand. Treasury estimates the buyback could cost up to $200 million, while gun lobbyists say it will be more.


Free Speech

What could possibly go wrong with hate speech laws? It frightens me to think how many people are going to come to the attention of police for having ?offensive? views.

?How is hate speech to be defined? Who gets to define it? And how can we trust those people not to use hate speech laws to suppress ideas they don?t like??


I understand that berm parking might cause valid issues with access to underground services, and rubbish and recycling collection, but before we go fining people for doing it, surely the questions should be: why is it happening, and what could the solutions be?  There is a free market solution already, check out Parkable app.  If I was Parkable, I?d be using this opportunity to place promotional material that looks like a parking ticket under every windscreen wiper.  You can thank me later.


Looking forward to catching Australian comedian Chris Lilley?s new series now after reading this.  The perpetually outraged and offended have given it some priceless promotion.