yeah. i know its political but cant hide our heads in the sand forever. Dr David Pascoe BVSc PhD OVH Repro AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE: Dear Men and Women of Australia, There are two photographs on this page, and they almost look like father and daughter.... One is of a young woman, the other is of an elderly man. The photograph of the woman was taken in the Great Depression of 1934. Her name was Florence Owens Thompson, a 32 year old mother of seven children who was sitting homeless in a tent. The photograph was published in the newspapers of America and it enraged the nation, because people could not believe that Americans could be treated in such a way. It forced President Roosevelt to act, to step up and become a leader for his times: he launched soup kitchens, work gangs, programs for the homeless, dams and roads and railways were built – and he gave his people hope. John Steinbeck later wrote a book called The Grapes of Wrath which became an American literary Icon. It was about a drought that made the farmers penniless – and how the banks had forced them off their land so they could sell it on o the big corporations. What happened to the farmers of Oklahoma carved a deep and shameful scar across the American identity that was felt throughout the Twentieth Century. The second photograph on this page is of Charlie Phillott, 87, an elderly farmer from Carisbrooke Station at Winton. He has owned his station since 1960, nurtured it and loved it. He is a grand old gentleman, one of the much loved fathers of his community. Not so long ago, the ANZ bank came and threw him off his station because the drought had devalued his land and they told him he was considered an unviable risk. Yet he has never once missed a single mortgage payment. Today, Charlie Phillott, Grand Old Man of the West, is living like a hunted down refugee in Winton, shocked and humiliated and penniless. And most of all, Charlie Phillott is ashamed, because as a member of the Great Generation - those fine and decent and ethical men and women who built this country – he believes that what happened to him was somehow his own fault. And the ANZ Bank certainly made sure they made him feel like that. Last Friday my wife Heather and I flew up with Alan Jones to attend the Farmers Last Stand drought and debt meeting. And after what I saw being done to our own people, I have never been more ashamed to be Australian in my life. What is happening out there is little more than corporate terrorism: our own Australian people are being bullied, threatened and abused by both banks and mining companies until they are forced off their own land. So we must ask: is this simply to move the people off their land and free up it up for mining by foreign mining companies or make suddenly newly empty farms available for purchase by Chinese buyers? As outrageous as it might seem, all the evidence flooding in seems to suggest that this is exactly what is going on. What is the role of Government in all of this? Why have both the State and Federal Government stood back and allowed such a dreadful travesty to happen to our own people? Where was Campbell Newman on this issue? Where was Prime Minister Abbott? The answer is nowhere to be seen. For the last few months, The Prime Minister has warned against the threats of terrorism to our nation. We have been alerted to ISIS and its clear and present danger to the Australian people. Abbott has despatched Australian military forces into the Middle East in an effort to destroy this threat to our own safety and security. This mobilization of our military forces has come at a massive expense to the average Australian taxpayer which the Prime Minister estimates to be around half a billion dollars each year. We are told that terrorism is dangerous not only because of the threat to human life but also because it displaces populations and creates the tragedy and massive human cost of refugees. Yet not one single newspaper or politician in this land has exposed the fact that the worst form of terrorism that is happening right now is going on inside the very heartland of our own nation as banks and foreign mining companies are deliberately forcing our own Australian farmers off the land. What we saw in the main hall of the Winton Shire Council on Friday simply defied all description: a room filled with hundreds of broken and battered refuges from our own country. And all over the inland of both Queensland and NSW, there is nothing but social and financial carnage on a scale never before witnessed in this nation. It was 41 degrees when we touched down at the Winton airport, and when you fly in low over this landscape it is simply Apocalyptic: there has not been a drop of rain in Winton for two years and there is not a sheep, a cow, a kangaroo, an emu or a bird in sight. Even the trees in the very belly of the creeks are dying. There is little doubt that this is a natural disaster of incredible magnitude – and yet nobody – neither state nor the federal government - is willing to declare it as such.