Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

The an­nounce­ment that the Fed­eral Coali­tion (LNP) Gov­ern­ment is about to hike up the goods and ser­vices tax (gst) to 15 per cent is an­other slap in the face to mid­dle and low in­come earn­ers by this harsh LNP Gov­ern­ment.

Rather than turn things around as promised the new Prime Min­is­ter Malcolm Turn­bull is sim­ply turn­ing into a wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing and leav­ing all of Tony Ab­bott’s poli­cies in­tact but talk­ing more softly than the cruder Tony Ab­bott.

The GST was in­tro­duced by the Coali­tion and they will be man­ag­ing over its first in­crease when in fact they should be re­view­ing the tax­a­tion sys­tem as a whole and clos­ing the loop holes as to how big busi­ness and over­seas com­pa­nies get away with pay­ing min­i­mal tax. That is the real chal­lenge to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

In­creas­ing the GST will be par­tic­u­larly

bad for tourist ar­eas such as Port Dou­glas and Far North Queens­land be­cause it ham­mers the av­er­age in­come of Aus­tralians and their ca­pac­ity to hol­i­day. Al­ter­na­tive in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions which don’t hike up costs be­cause of a GST be­come more pop­u­lar.

Rather than worry about Billy Gor­don’s pri­vate is­sues the Coali­tion would be bet­ter served to fo­cus on the mat­ters they have con­trol over. Let’s fight the hike to the GST.

Al­lan Holl­way, Craiglie

I would like to high­light to your read­ers that 993 peo­ple have drowned in a river, creek or stream in the past 13 years. This makes rivers the lead­ing lo­ca­tion for drown­ing in Aus­tralia.

All types of peo­ple are drown­ing in rivers from young chil­dren to the el­derly. What is most alarm­ing is that al­most three quar­ters of peo­ple who drowned in rivers, were close to their home and a ma­jor­ity were male.

So why are so many drown­ing in our lo­cal rivers?

The flat, still sur­face of a river, gives a false sense of se­cu­rity. You can’t see ice cold wa­ter, snags like tree branches or strong cur­rents but they can be lethal.

Dan­ger­ous ac­tiv­i­ties such as con­sum­ing al­co­hol, driv­ing through flood­wa­ters and not wear­ing a life­jacket are also adding to the alarm­ing fig­ures.

To lose a loved one so close to home when it could have been pre­vented is heart­break­ing. Peo­ple need to act re­spon­si­bly around rivers and avoid any be­hav­iour that may in­crease the risk of drown­ing.

Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety – Aus­tralia has launched a cam­paign to save lives on Aus­tralian rivers and is ask­ing when en­joy­ing our rivers to please re­mem­ber

more in­for­ma­tion read­ers can go to www.roy­al­life­sav­ re­spect­theriver

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