Grandchildren facing Bill
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
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
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,