Grand­chil­dren fac­ing Bill

Herald Sun - - YOUR SAY -

IT’S more than a tri­fle harsh of Bill Shorten to plan to tax my grand­chil­dren at the rate of 30 per cent when he be­comes PM.

The trust I have set up for them owns a small part of var­i­ous com­pa­nies and my grand­chil­dren’s share of the in­come earned on that small part is taxed at 30 per cent.

Mr Shorten has made it clear he will con­fis­cate that “tax” by not right­fully re­fund­ing it.

But he has left me a “loop­hole”. All I have to do is ar­range for one of my grand­chil­dren to qual­ify for the mer­est frac­tion of an age pen­sion.

Now, how can I get one of those grand­chil­dren a tiny age pen­sion?

Cyn­thia Mor­gan, Mitcham

Pri­or­i­ties wrong

LAST year, a friend passed away from mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease. He had been a great ad­vo­cate for MND re­search.

Ob­vi­ously some very tal­ented and ded­i­cated Aus­tralians are mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant steps to­wards find­ing a cure, but they face fund­ing chal­lenges. At the same time, gov­ern­ments and other or­gan­i­sa­tions reg­u­larly spend too much money on ful­fill­ing work­place safety re­quire­ments that are of­ten un­re­al­is­tic, and are en­forced only in the name of “box tick­ing” or of “pol­i­tics” rather than out of gen­uine con­cern or con­sid­er­a­tion for work­ers.

Work­place safety is, of course, cru­cially im­por­tant. But our so­ci­ety and gov­ern­ments are grow­ing in­creas­ingly cau­tious — a cau­tion mo­ti­vated by self-preser­va­tion rather than by the pub­lic in­ter­est.

I re­cently saw a handrail be­ing in­stalled by a pond in a fenced area, though I had not seen any­one in this area in five years. My guess is it would have cost in the or­der of thou­sands of dol­lars, and I won­der how that can be jus­ti­fied in view of the ac­tual level of risk of in­jury.

On the other hand, we have a dis­ease which we know kills about 2000 Aus­tralians each year.

Yet there seem to be prob­lems in find­ing enough fund­ing to come up with a cure.

As a so­ci­ety, we could all ben­e­fit from a greater bal­ance be­tween self­p­reser­va­tion and self­less prac­ti­cal­ity.

Scott Mar­shall, Col­laroy, NSW

Hon­our de­graded

WHY on Earth do we leave the ex­tremely im­por­tant cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony to lo­cal coun­cils? Why leave this job to the low­est group on the gov­ern­ment totem pole?

Their main brief is rub­bish, roads and rip­ping off their ratepay­ers, so why they have any rel­e­vance in this mat­ter is be­yond un­der­stand­ing.

The grant­ing of cit­i­zen­ship of Aus­tralia is a cer­e­mony which should have the grav­i­tas of the be­stowal of a knight­hood and be of­fi­ci­ated by the lo­cal mem­ber of fed­eral par­lia­ment.

Al­lan Ca­ton, Mt El­iza

Dress for oc­ca­sion

WHAT’S wrong with those run­ning Aus­tralia Day cer­e­monies re­quir­ing par­tic­i­pants to ad­here to a dress code? Are peo­ple that un­grate­ful for the im­mense ben­e­fits that cit­i­zen­ship will give them?

This isn’t a blood­ing into the lo­cal bowls or leagues club. It’s cit­i­zen­ship to a sov­er­eign coun­try, which ar­guably al­ready has too much stress on its wel­fare and in­fra­struc­ture to be al­low­ing more peo­ple in. If you can’t mount a show­ing of mild re­spect for this process, why are you try­ing to be an Aus­tralian?

Con­rad Corry, Castle­maine

Drain­ing our fu­ture

THERE is no mys­tery about the rea­son for Mel­bourne’s wa­ter stor­age be­ing down to 50 per cent ca­pac­ity. The last stor­age to be com­pleted was the Up­per Thomson in the 1970s. The pop­u­la­tion then was in the vicin­ity of 2,500,000. No in­crease in the wa­ter stor­age ca­pac­ity since then, but the pop­u­la­tion of Mel­bourne is now re­ported to be 5 mil­lion. Our cur­rent ca­pac­ity is 1800 bil­lion litres.

The de­sali­na­tion plant is sup­pos­edly ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing 150200 bil­lion litres a year. It costs a stag­ger­ing $1.8 mil­lion a day to op­er­ate and is not pro­duc­ing one drop of wa­ter. That’s $649 mil­lion per an­num for the first five years of a con­tract last­ing 27 years. Who are the dum­mies here? The pub­lic, of course. Why not an­other wa­ter stor­age? New­ton Reynolds,

Croy­don South

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