Problems not hard to fix

The Labor Party proposal noted in your news article, to clamp down on dodgy directors not paying superannuation and entitlements, is great.
Like most other political initiatives it won’t change anything though. It certainly won’t deal with the problem before a company goes belly up.
However, there is something that the federal government could do straight away to pull employers into line.
I worked as a management accountant for 40 years before retiring recently. At several companies I started at I found that they were already in deep trouble, and had a long list of outstanding withholding tax, superannuation, company tax, GST etc.
But one tax/obligation was NEVER in arrears at any of these companies – payroll tax was always up to date.
The reason for that is when a company is one day late remitting their payroll tax obligation they receive a phone call from the State Revenue Office.
A few days more and legal action is rolling. These people are on the ball, ensuring that the state gets its tax revenue promptly.
The ATO on the other hand? Not a peep from them despite months of arrears, sometimes nearly 12 months I have seen.
In effect the ATO, by being so lax and inefficient, is allowing employers who are struggling to keep their business temporarily afloat at the cost of employees and taxpayers. That is ultimately bad for the business, bad for the employees, and bad for taxpayers.
So the most urgent need is for the ATO to pick up their game, to do their job. One additional help then would be to legislate to funnel the superannuation remittances via a monthly BAS system so it is under the same regular scrutiny.
It’s not hard to fix these problems. If the State Revenue Office can do it, surely the ATO can.

Rob Robertson,
Epsom

 

Questioning attitudes

This letter is in response to former councillor Helen Leach’s letter (Whose strident voices? (Bendigo Weekly, April 27) in which she castigates me for my criticisms of strident right wing political views.
Firstly, if I “complain” about right wing politics, why does that automatically place me at “the far left”?
I have always believed that extremist attitudes at either end of the political spectrum are dangerous, and the current political climate gives me no reason to change this opinion.
All doctrines and opinions need careful scrutiny, not mere blind acceptance. It is surely a sign of a healthy democracy when all beliefs and ideologies can be examined and discussed.
To suggest that one must be either far right or far left, therefore implying there is no middle ground, is simplistic at best.
Secondly, it must have escaped Ms Leach’s notice that I mentioned no names in my letter.
If she chooses to appoint herself defence counsel for the right, or assume that my letter is somehow a personal attack, then so be it.
But the words Ms Leach objects to are not used, as she seems to think, simply as name calling. I do not use words like xenophobic or compassionless, for example, merely because I disagree with right wing views.
I use these words to call out the attitudes for what they are, not to make personal accusations or score political points.
One would hope that political discourse in this country will eventually rise above such pettiness.

Julie Hopper,
Bendigo

 

This girl can

I hope women in Bendigo, Castlemaine and our region will be inspired to get active thanks to the powerful new campaign This Girl Can – Victoria launched recently by health promotion foundation VicHealth.
The campaign, now playing on our TV screens, is a local version of the world-renowned campaign by Sport England which inspired an incredible 3.9 million English women to ditch the couch and get active.
This Girl Can – Victoria aims to build upon this success and empower women across the state to get active and overcome feelings of judgement, fear and embarrassment which are stopping them from getting active.
The ad features everyday Victorian women – no airbrushed Instagram models – overcoming their fears and giving it a go, curves, jiggles, wrinkles and all.
The women, from across the state, get their sweat on in a range of activities from boxing, cycling and roller-derby to netball and Aussie rules.
This Girl Can – Victoria shows everyday women getting out there and having a go. That’s what this campaign is all about – getting Victorian women up and moving.
This campaign is about empowering women to smash outdated stereotypes about what they can or can’t do in the gym, on the sporting field and in our neighbourhoods.
I encouraged local women to become part of the This Girl Can – Victoria community.
Go to thisgirlcan.com.au and join the community on facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow #ThisGirlCanVIC

Maree Edwards,
Member for Bendigo West
Who has double standards?

In reply to Max Gamble’s letter (Bendigo Weekly, April 20.)
The hope was for Nanga Gnulle to continue as a business where the community for generations to come, could enjoy and celebrate in this amazing property.
Nanga Gnulle was sold in good faith to a family who not only expressed their plan to live on the property with their extended family, but confirmed this in local media.
However, this was clearly not their intention, as history has shown they never lived on the property after the sale and 18 months later transferred, not sold, the land to Jing Ling Pty Ltd, resulting in a planning application to demolish the entire site.
It is evident to me and many others, that they are the ones who have the double standard.
This campaign is much greater than I, with more than 120 objections submitted to council by residents from Bendigo and beyond.
Prominent architects, local historians and The National Trust have also voiced their concerns and recognition of the local significance of this property. Bendigo has an extraordinary history, including mid-century, and there are clearly many people who continue to value the protection of our heritage.

Cathy Spencer,
Quarry Hill

 

Off the rails

With a state election approaching we are now starting to see the big sales pitch to grab our attention from all sides of the political circus.
One being the opposition’s transport policy of improving trains and opening up train services through Ballarat, Maryborough, Donald and St Arnaud would be great.
But given the coalition’s track record with public transport and rail infrastructure over many years in government, seeing is believing.
It was the coalition that saw the decline and closures of a number of train lines that serviced our rural and regional towns over many years, resulting in the death of a vast majority of townships state wide.
The final blow was the sale and privatisation of the transport industry by the Kennett-led coalition government.
Will they be committed to getting the service back to the people in Mildura, replace the double line and complete the designated line for commuters on the Bendigo line from Sunbury to Southern Cross, along with putting more freight and dangerous goods back on the rail which will make our roads safer and protect the regional roads and highways?
Their transport record has been off the rails for some time and only time will tell if their promises will be carried out.

Ivan Kitt,
Bendigo

 

Promises fulfilled?
Before Victorians get carried away with the big taxpayer funded promises in the state budget this week we should keep a few things in mind: firstly the largesse is enabled by the sale of the Port of Melbourne, Snowy 2.0, and some hefty state taxes.
A bloated public service, growing at 10 per cent, will cause a huge drain on the state finances.
Another consideration is the question of why we are being promised what we should have, only in this election year?
Roads, bridges, hospitals and schools in Victoria have fallen into disrepair, but it takes an election to get action outside of metro Melbourne.
No amount of promises will make amends for the destruction of the CFA, the taxi and bus companies; Safe Schools propaganda; the massive rise in electricity costs and loss of reliable baseload power since Hazelwood was closed with no
replacement.
And nothing will make us forget the election rorts.

Helen Leach,
Bendigo