Stick­ing to the let­ter

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LOOKING BACK -

IN­SIDE a premier’s of­fice some­where in south-east Queens­land . . . “Ah, there you are Mark, come in.” “Thank you ’Sta­cia.” “The na­tives up in Port Dou­glas are rest­less again. Some­thing about re­ally, re­ally want­ing lol­lipop ladies for the cross­ing at the state school. Doesn’t seem too hard to do, does it?

“— er, well, the cross­ing is too far away from the school to meet our sci­en­tific for­mula for such things, Premier, and we have to stick by our own rules.”

“Yes, I sup­pose so, but what if a kid­die gets knocked down on that road, all hell will break loose. I see the lo­cal pa­per still hasn’t shut up about it and has been urg­ing Billy G to get into ac­tion and even put John-Paul on to the case. Blasted trou­ble­mak­ers.”

“— yep, but for­tu­nately Billy seems to be look­ing the other way. You never know how he’ll vote on any­thing. But with his bal­ance of power thing he could re­ally give us a hard time on this.”

“Too right. I see you’ve drafted a let­ter in re­sponse to John-Paul’s nag­ging. But af­ter the bit where you say no, it can’t be done, you tell ev­ery­body how we’re go­ing to fund an­other 75 lol­lipop ladies! Rub­bing their nose in it a bit, don’t you think, now we’re say­ing they can’t have any? Make sure you take that out be­fore you send the let­ter out.” ++++++++ As if the reef’s prob­lems aren’t enough, now we have the fed­eral gov­ern­ment want­ing to stick it to back­pack­ers.

The agri­cul­tural lobby has been fight­ing this idea of putting a 32.5 per cent tax rate on the earn­ings of back­pack­ers, fear­ing that or­chardists and oth­ers would be left without a labour force as the back­pack­ers de­cide to stay away.

Back­pack­ers are also tourists, and work­ers in hos­pi­tal­ity serv­ing other tourists. This tax is a bad move.

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