Franking credit debacle

It appears the federal ALP is softening or changing its opinion on the proposed franking credit policy as had been outlined by Bill Shorten.
Pensioners may be spared in franking move is the latest headline in the Financial Review – March 26.
It is obvious despite all the claims by Labor spokespersons that this was a thought-bubble not well researched or homework done on its effect on pensioners.
Bill was blinded by his attempt to tax the rich and should have consulted with the pensioner associations and super associations.
Even the chair of self-managed Superannuation Funds association has pointed out: “That it is important to have good evidence based policy” (Australian Financial Review March 24-25).
Why would Shorten show surprise when he found out how many pensioners would be affected by his policy?
All he has done is to create uncertainty around the superannuation and investment in Australian shares.
This was poor policy intent and the ALP may pay a price at the next election.
Pensioners face real issues such as placing a partner in a residential home which can cost a $400,000 bond and daily fees.
This federal Government charges 5.72 per cent on any bond money outstanding .
Why do people, and especially pensioners, have to place bond finance up front to obtain a place in permanent residential care?

Bill Collier,
Golden Square


Setting targets

I have been patiently awaiting a response from mayor Margaret O’Rourke or CEO, Craig Niemann, to Michael McKenzie’s letter (Weekly February 23 Step up to the mark).
Both appear reticent to respond publicly to Mr McKenzie’s idea of setting targets for a range of council activities, including a community satisfaction target.
In the past, Mayor O’Rourke has been quick to respond when she thinks ratepayers are on the wrong track. Not this time.
As Michael pointed out officers flouted the intent of Recommendation 51 of the Independent Review which called for the setting of satisfaction targets, implement appropriate plans and track progress annually.
This has not been done.
The alternative officer driven strategy to improve the score for Community Satisfaction has been a dead set failure.
Messrs Ted Coleman and Michael McKenzie have given council a blueprint of ideas on how targets might be set and reached.
The community is entitled to know why Recommendation 51 was not adhered to, why targets have not been set, and why Ted and Michael’s improvement ideas appear to have been rejected.
A public response from Cr O’Rourke, Mr Niemann, or both, is long overdue.

Colin Carrington,


A poor example

People sometimes use a sporting analogy when commenting on political proceedings by comparing them with events on the sorting field.
Perhaps now it is time to reverse the order and compare events on the sporting field with those in the political arena.
Could it be that Steve Smith and his leadership group used a political event to break the rules governing the playing of a game of cricket?
By using as an example the news that Victorian Labor party was found guilty of breaking the rules relating to whose money can be spent at an election in order to win.
Surely there is no ethical difference between stealing tax payer’s money to win an election and using tape to rough up a cricket ball to win a test match.
The comparison is accentuated even more by the lack of sincerity in the hollow apologies forced from each leader at a press conference and their assertion that they would not resign.
To further tarnish the nation’s sporting reputation, the world at large is now aware that a sportsperson unhappy with a penalty handed out for breaking the rules of the AFLW is now taking the case to the Human Rights Commission claiming sexual discrimination.
It seems that our politicians and our sporting identities are setting poor example to not only our children but to us all, that rules no longer matter.
That cheating is not something we should be ashamed of, but something that is acceptable, just another example of how low we have sunk as a society.

Ann Grant,
Kangaroo Flat


On the naughty step

I was somewhat surprised one Friday morning to receive a naughty note in my letterbox from the City of Greater Bendigo.
I was not doing the right thing when dividing my rubbish into three bins.
I was totally taken aback as just a couple of years ago I was not recycling much at all (maybe a milk container or two).
I have confidentially felt that I have excelled in my ability in the last few years.
I sit there with each piece of paper – cardboard – empty cat tin – bottle – milk bottle – newspaper and have a meeting with myself in my home office to determine which bin I have to use.
I then have to make a further decision as to whether the container has had food in it or not.
This means do I wash the container out – just wipe it out or place it in the general waste.
If I am not sure I refer to the brochure provided to us – the one that gives us a guideline of what to put into each bin – I also refer to the bin lids and anybody in my household that can give input.
Generally I get it right but only for the see through garbage bags that I bought on special to put all my rubbish in the waste bin – to save water in washing the bin out on a regular basis.
On top of all the decisions above that I have to make each week – I then need to think about which bin has to go out each week – thank goodness I have good reliable neighbours I can just look up and down the street and see what bins they are putting out.
Let me explain
If I was at school and I got a 33 per cent pass, as shown on the naughty note from the City of Greater Bendigo – I came to this conclusion by seeing that that had ticked two boxes out of six – I would have been delighted and
my teachers would have supported me in fixing the areas I need to improve.
They would have spent time with me on a one to one basis, may even include my parents and the Principal – not just to leave a note in my letter box.
I have read that around 12 per cent of the waste residents put in their waste bin should go in the recycling bin.
This is showing that I am below average as a resident of the City of Greater Bendigo.
Being well below an average recycler in Bendigo I would anticipate that I would be getting a call directly from the CEO to discuss my report.
I am feeling that they may say if I do not improve I may be expelled from the City of Greater Bendigo.
I have been a resident for more than 40 years – do I get anything for good behaviour?
The naughty elf and the City of Greater Bendigo have concentrated on 33 per cent in their report telling me I have slipped up.
Where is the positive feedback?
Just wondering how much time I will have to spend next week to get a better report.

Ann Gibson
Kangaroo Flat


Where is the outrage?

Australians are outraged about cheating by the Australian Cricket team, and rightly so.
Yet where is the outrage about the Australian government deliberately detaining 1200 innocent people … for five years … in order (they say) to deter others from seeking asylum?
Where was the mainstream news coverage of the tens of thousands of people who attended Justice for Refugees rallies in all capital cities on Palm Sunday 2018?
Do we care more about a cricket game than about 1200 human lives?

Jan Govett,


MP a beneficiary

Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan may not have signed any fraudulent time sheets on behalf of Mr Andrews, Lenders, and others, but she was definitely a beneficiary of the scheme.
That makes her just as involved as Daniel Andrews.
Because the Ombudsman hasn’t been able to investigate the Lower House members, such as Ms Allan, they haven’t been under as much scrutiny as the 21 Upper House cheaters: But, Jacinta Allan had the benefit of the red shirters campaigning for her during the 2014 election.
How she can stand up in Bendigo and say “Not me” flies in the face of evidence.

Helen Leach