Chopper a blatant waste
IT is disgraceful that Bronwyn Bishop even thought to use a helicopter to attend a “fundraising event” at Geelong, let alone to have commandeered this particular trip (“Flight of fancy”, HS, July 16).
The time has come to enforce a strict yearly travel allowance for all MPs entitled to claim flights, for all “jaunts”. This would allow them to choose which trips would be of most benefit to the electorate — after all, they were elected for their ability to represent us between elections, not for political jaunting.
It would be interesting to see how MPs chose to spend an allowance of, say, $50,000 — on trips within Australia for the “party”, or for overseas travel for the greater benefit of themselves, or both.
Whatever was not used would return to government coffers, and thus not amount to one luxurious trip being taken just before an election.
Australians are sick and tired of being told how we must bear the burden of our economic crisis while MPs continue to waste more and more of our money.
Nola Martin, Preston
AFTER pouring over the mess left behind by the previous government, Joe Hockey announced that we were up to our necks in poo and the days of entitlement were over — hard lifting was required by all, and the Liberals were the team to lead by example.
Fast-forward and we see the hypocrisy politicians thrive on; Bronwyn Bishop delivers the greatest example of self-entitlement you are ever likely to see by catching a helicopter to travel 80km, at a cost of more than $5000 to taxpayers.
Her spokesman said it was “within entitlement”. Maybe it is — but it smells like the same thing we were up to our necks in not long ago.
Bruce Andrews, Paynesville
Rules are rules
BRONWYN Bishop has agreed to repay the $5000 she claimed to charter a helicopter from Melbourne to Geelong. It was, it seems, not a legitimate parliamentary expense.
It is clear that she attended a party fundraiser for which either she or her party should have paid the cost. She is the Speaker of the House — the enforcer, as it were. She is presumed to know the rules. Does this mean she believed the rules did not apply to her or did she not know them?
Ken Rivett, Ferntree Gully
Too little, too late
IF this were Peter Slipper, it would be fuming, front-page outrage. His bogeys were not of the magnitude of Bronwyn Bishop’s, in my view.
A $5000 return trip to Geelong? There is no way she should be given the chance to simply “repay” such blatant squandering and abuse of taxpayer funds. Heads will roll, right, Mr Abbott?
Jos Linford, Warrnambool
$5000 just a snip
VOTERS are screaming over the cost of Bronwyn Bishop’s $5000 chopper flight from Melbourne to Geelong.
But they would be horrified if they saw her annual taxpayer-funded hairdresser’s bill.
Gary King, Koo Wee Rup
Labor had form, too
BILL Shorten slams Bronwyn Bishop’s $5000 helicopter ride down to Geelong.
I seem to remember John Brumby doing the same thing with a chartered flight a few years ago, so why wasn’t Bill up in arms then?
John Jessup, Cranbourne
Missing in action
WHAT feral abuse by Bill Shorten against Bronwyn Bishop. His own character is far from exemplary.
When Kevin Rudd spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on overseas trips, he was never home.
Robert Opie, Shepparton
It’s all a bit askew
MY previously hardworking, socalled “rich” pensioner friend will lose his paltry $2000-a-year age pension. Bronwyn Bishop can, “under the rules”, spend $5000 on a short helicopter trip. Something not right here.
A. Romano, Hadfield
Dan’s cheap trick
DANIEL Andrews sunk to a new and pathetic low in his cynical attempt to secure the Muslim vote, when he licked the boots of attendees at a post-Ramadan celebration by sprouting that migrants “have not got things to learn, they’ve instead got things to teach all of us” (“Migrants have lessons for us”, HS, July 16).
I doubt most Australian Muslims would agree with such a fawningly puerile assessment of our worth as a nation.
Doug Melville, Surrey Hills
Bike ban makes sense
THANK you, Robert Doyle, for your common sense regarding the bike brigade (“City bike ban”, HS, July 16).
This is welcome considering they require no registration, licence, compulsory or third-party insurance, and the recent suggestion that they have no responsibility for obeying traffic control signals or involvement in vehicle accidents. It’s about time somebody realised that bike riders should have all of the above when in public places.
Bruce Mitchell, Berwick
Bike ban nonsense
THE Lord Mayor’s plan to ban cyclists on some streets is in contrast to what leading cities (New York, London, Paris) are doing, which is installing separated bicycle infrastructure and lower speed limits.
Once a government begins banning cyclists from some streets, as proposed by the Mayor, it is difficult to know when to stop. Why not also ban cyclists from the many dozens of other roads that are not sufficiently safe to cycle (eg, Punt Rd, Swan St, Heidelberg Rd, Glenhuntly Rd, Chapel St, St Kilda Rd)?
The best way to achieve the safe streets the Mayor strives for is to create the bicycle infrastructure and lower speed limits.
Dr Elliot Fishman, Fairfield
Tradition stands test
I FOUND the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Survey intriguing, in regards to what it revealed concerning relationships: separation is more likely in de facto partnerships and where nontraditional views of marriage and children prevail (“Be a dynamic duo,” HS, July 16).
Far from being just a mere piece of paper, wedlock actually does uniquely change the framework and foundation of a union.
While cohabitation is indeed the norm today — with about 75 per cent of married couples having previously done so — perhaps the current worldly wisdom, which dictates that it is vital to ascertain compatibility and “try before you buy”, is actually a misnomer.
In an age when Western societies are desperately trying to redefine, reconstruct and shift the goalposts on the meaning of marriage, the message seems to be to not mess with an institution that by and large has stood the test of time.
Peter Waterhouse, Craigieburn
What solar silliness
DO I have this right? If you have solar power you are charged more per kWh than if you didn’t have it.
Imagine the outcry if you went to the supermarket and bought two apples, only to be told that because you are not buying enough, you will be charged more per kilogram than anyone else.
Gary R. Green, Wantirna
WHAT a party pooper George Calombaris appears to be (“Maccas not for you, son”, HS, July 16), and how rude towards the host.
Surely an occasional meal at Maccas would not hurt the child.
What is it with celebrities making their children the brunt of ridicule?
G. Wilson, Preston