Tsunami relief may not reach targetsreach targets
By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE resident Barry Hotalling believes the churches have a finger in the tsunami appeal pie and that the Indonesian Government might use relief money to wage war on Australia.
Yesterday he told The Observer more Australians should give their opinions as to how a distribution system should be set up to avoid the participation of the churches.
Mr Hotalling also warned the Australian Government's contribution of $1 billion to the Indonesian Government may come back to bite us.
He said he was not against giving aid to the tsunami or other disaster victims.
'I am concerned that the money may not be going into the right hands and I believe the churches may have their fingers in the pie,' he said.
'Is the money going to the people who really Mr Hotalling, who confessed no belief in God, said some religions had brought him into the act, some by claiming the tsunamis were an act of God.
'Tsunamis are just natural occurrences and God has nothing to do with it,' he said.
'We don't need a God to look after us, we should be able to stand on our own two feet.'
Mr Hotalling said Prime Minister John Howard was too quick to give money to Indonesia.
He said in the past, relations between the two countries had not always been friendly and in the future Indonesia could prove to be an enemy and direct some of the tsunami relief money toward weaponry which it could turn against Australia.
He equated this with the United States' assistance to Saddam Hussein in his war against fundamentalist Iran which he later turned against America.
Mr Hotalling admitted he did not have alternative aid relief policies to those that already existed.
'I don't know that I am qualified enough to make any suggestions about how relief should be conducted, but many heads are better than one and the public should have a say,' he said.