Pub­lic money should ben­e­fit pub­lic

The West Australian - - LETTERS -

What a pity that Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Sue Min­is­ter Ellery and Trea­surer Ben Wy­att have backed them­selves into a cor­ner af­ter last year’s ed­u­ca­tion cut an­nounce­ments, back­lash and back­flips.

As G. Lawrence said (Let­ters, 14/5), the money is there to save Moora. This is sim­ply an is­sue of willpower and pride, but alas our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers doggedly hold on to their penny-pinch­ing po­si­tions.

If money was truly the is­sue, the State Gov­ern­ment wouldn’t be giv­ing $22 mil­lion to re­lo­cate the pri­vate In­ter­na­tional School of WA to Dou­ble­view. They have a per­fectly good fa­cil­ity in City Beach (nice and close to the homes of the Chevron ex­ecs who send their kids there), which could have been eas­ily con­verted into an­other much-needed pub­lic high school at the end of ISWA’s lease.

Pub­lic funds ought to be al­lo­cated for the ben­e­fit of the pub­lic. There is no greater pub­lic good than in­vest­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion of our chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly those in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties — those same re­gions which gen­er­ate so much of the State’s agri­cul­ture and re­sources wealth in the first place.

Sam Birm­ing­ham, Dou­ble­view

Ital­ians come first

Paul Pa­palia has made a $720,000 grant avail­able for Ital­ian lan­guage ed­u­ca­tion from the Depart­ment of Mul­ti­cul­tural Af­fairs. I know a lot of Ital­ians, who are well in­te­grated into Aus­tralian so­ci­ety, many of them are very suc­cess­ful busi­ness peo­ple. Why would mul­ti­cul­tural af­fairs fund lan­guage ed­u­ca­tion for a coun­try that is not in the top 12 vis­it­ing coun­tries to WA? Surely the $500,000 the fam­i­lies of the Moora Res­i­den­tial Col­lege are ask­ing for could be found ahead of the funds go­ing into Ital­ian ed­u­ca­tion?

Frances Hill, Moora

Con­sider the kids

In this Na­tional Board­ers Week, spare a thought for the stu­dents of Moora Res­i­den­tial Col­lege who are the in­no­cent vic­tims of po­lit­i­cal point-scor­ing in the clo­sure of their home away from home. Time to take a step back and see the chil­dren, Mr McGowan. They don’t de­serve this.

Todd Henville, Binnu

Bonus bo­nanza

One hun­dred and eighty-nine em­ploy­ees of the ABC on ex­ec­u­tive pay-grades have been awarded a to­tal of about $2.2 mil­lion in bonuses. A fur­ther 190 non-ex­ec­u­tive em­ploy­ees of the same tax­payer-funded or­gan­i­sa­tion have been awarded bonuses to­talling $385,000. This is on top of their bloated tax­payer-funded salaries and gen­er­ous su­per­an­nu­a­tion schemes.

I could un­der­stand bonuses be­ing awarded if the ABC was mak­ing a profit, or rat­ings were soar­ing, but the re­al­ity is that the ABC does the op­po­site of make a profit and is bleed­ing the tax­payer dry. Its rat­ings, if it were a com­mer­cial or­gan­i­sa­tion, would be head­ing it to­wards liq­ui­da­tion. So what are these em­ploy­ees of the ABC be­ing awarded bonuses for, one might ask? It ap­pears that it is for merely do­ing their job.

The sooner this anachro­nis­tic, money-guz­zling or­gan­i­sa­tion is pri­va­tised, so that the hordes of Aus­tralians who sup­pos­edly love it can pay for it them­selves, the bet­ter.

Greg Wil­liams, Bic­ton

How do I get one?

I have read of the gen­er­ous bonuses be­ing paid to the ex­ec­u­tives of the ABC — and other big or­gan­i­sa­tions like banks, min­ing com­pa­nies, etc. Surely bonuses should only be paid where some­one is clearly ex­celling at their duty in or­der to merit this ex­tra cash?

Be­ing on a part-pen­sion my­self (less than $500 per fort­night), I also work part-time where I can to sup­ple­ment this, as my part­ner's mod­est su­per­an­nu­a­tion low­ers my age pen­sion en­ti­tle­ment. I also do reg­u­lar vol­un­tary work with sev­eral com­mu­nity groups and I’m a for­mer mem­ber of the defence forces. Can I put my hand up for a bonus, please?

Name and ad­dress sup­plied

Bar them for­ever

Mar­i­anne Stevens is right (Let­ters, 17/5) — those “Aus­tralians” who went to the Mid­dle East in sup­port of Is­lamic State should never have been per­mit­ted re-en­try.

How long be­fore this el­e­ment of the ex­trem­ist fringe of that re­li­gion of love and tol­er­ance re­peats here their sick­en­ing acts of vi­o­lence, sac­ri­fic­ing even their own chil­dren in pur­suit of twisted ideals, as just wit­nessed in Indonesia?

The scat­tered time-bombs tick away while our seem­ingly im­po­tent politi­cians wring their hands and mouth plat­i­tudes of how we’ll never be cowed or change our way of life in the face of ter­ror­ist threats. Re­ally? Why then the “ero­sion of rights” spo­ken of by Carlo Meleca (Let­ters, 17/5) via ex­tended Fed­eral po­lice pow­ers, and re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of in­tru­sive full-body scans at air­ports? Just two more changes to our way of life that would have never oc­curred if not for the threat Is­lam poses to us and the world.

Char­lotte Groynes, Bulls­brook

Worth the sac­ri­fice

Your cor­re­spon­dent Carlo Meleca (Let­ters, 17/5) asks why Fed­eral po­lice have been given new pow­ers. The ter­ri­ble in­ci­dents which have oc­curred on our doorstep is the rea­son why. If this means erod­ing our civil lib­er­ties so as to help stop fur­ther ter­ror­ism in­ci­dents, then one would as­sume most Aus­tralians would be happy.

An­dre Nel, Karakin

Sue Ellery

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