Ararat Advertiser and Stawell Times-News Letters to the editor for April 13, 2018: dividend refunds and Ripon campaign

UNDER FIRE: Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has lost one Ararat voter over his plan to reduce tax refunds for dividends paid to retirees. Picture: Tony McDonough

UNDER FIRE: Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten has lost one Ararat voter over his plan to reduce tax refunds for dividends paid to retirees. Picture: Tony McDonough

Dividend tax refund change goes too far

We are in our late seventies, fully self funded retirees and will lose about $19000 p/a leaving us with the same amount as the aged pension.

At the moment we can do most of the things we worked, saved and planned for but that all goes out the window if Labor attains government.

After 55 years of supporting Labor and 50 years working in the shearing industry that’s it for me.

The old time shearers and shedhands started the AWU and ALP 120 odd years ago. Shorten has wrecked both.

I don’t know of any present day shearers still in the union. I wrote to Catherine King outlining our concerns and she basically said bad luck. Get the politicians to give up 30 per cent of wages.

Neil Nicholson, Ararat

Double standards

Lambs are treated better than Men on Manus.  White South African farmers "deserve special attention" and "need help from a civilised country like ours." according to Mr Dutton  but the Men on Manus Island are victims again of Australia's *UN*civilised Immigration policies.

A refugee was brutalised by Manus Island locals, stabbed repeatedly during an armed robbery.  Due to grossly inadequate medical care provided by Australia to people under our duty-of-care, another refugee phoned a doctor in Australia requesting assistance. 

We Australians appear more upset by despicable deaths and contorted conditions of live-export sheep than we are about deaths and conditions of human beings we transported to Manus Island and to other out-of-sight, out-of-mind detention camps. 

These people under our duty-of-care - they're not "cute" like little lambs; they're not "white" like the South African farmers; they're not "civilised" in a way our Government - or many Australians - comprehend.

The Manus Men; the men, women, and children on Nauru; the people incarcerated in on-shore detention camps - they're people of colour and different religions, fleeing situations often far worse than those of lambs and farmers.

Our Government insists they need our help but only  if those people are white and Christian, apparently.

Judy Bamberger, O'Connor

History repeating?

When Louise Staley won the seat of Ripon in 2014, her success was completely at odds with the wider swing against the conservatives.

At the time, Staley accused Labor and incoming Premier Daniel Andrews of ignoring the electorate. She had good cause.

The campaign by Daniel McGlone was appallingly lack lustre and Staley deserved to win on the strength of her campaigning. On the weekend I had the opportunity to meet with the new Labor candidate at the Clunes farmers market, Beaufort’s Sarah De Santis.

In Sarah I encountered the same attitude to campaigning that plagued the McGlone campaign, emphasising ‘meet the people’ opportunities over traditional media forms . 

The election lead-up is about to begin in earnest, but it is already evident that Staley is in with a real chance of winning this seat again in the face of an under performing Labor campaign in Ripon to all out detriment.

Patrick Hockey, Clunes.

Roads deterioration

Our freeways need urgent repair Generally when travelling to Melbourne we take the train; however, last weekend we drove due to our destination. Has anyone else noticed the state of the Western Highway and the West Gate freeway road between the Ring Road and the West Gate Bridge? Without exaggeration we bounced uncomfortably along both roads! Why are they in such a poor state? Is it that the roads weren't constructed for the heavy haulage that uses them? Or is it simply the roads have been poorly constructed? 

Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill