Herald Sun

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

Such hypocrisy

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

Daddy over-arch­ing

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

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