Water is the issue

We have several candidates for the House of Representatives for our local seat of Bendigo. 

My personal concern is water, or the lack of forward infrastructure planning re watering south-eastern Australia.

No party has, or proposes, a definitive attempt to secure our water resources. Infrastructure for schools, hospitals/health, airports and roads are mentioned, which is all common sense for any government to be providing for the people. 

We live on a continent of droughts and flooding rains, all too obvious to us all in light of recent natural disasters.

Yet without a secure supply of water, what use is the $90 billion NBN to the people of the Murray Darling Basin, where a major drought exists ?    

To all our Bendigo candidates, we now have a crisis of water security and lack of water in Victoria.

Victoria’s water security is and will become more and more dependent on the water availability in the Murray Darling Basin.

The Goulburn River/Lake Eildon, part of the Murray Darling Basin, is now the last reliable source of water for northern and western Victoria, and it is already being used to supplement Melbourne’s water supply, via the north-south pipeline; as well, it is a major supplement to Bendigo’s water supply, and further connected to Ballarat.

Do any of the candidates for the seat of Bendigo, and their respective parties, have any concern, let alone a policy for our water supply future, especially as Bendigo’s population is growing very quickly?

I hope each candidate realises this water situation is the most important issue that confronts the Federal Parliament and government, inclusive of relevant state governments, if they become our next MHR.

    Doug  Harrison,


No bollards

I support Paul Penno and the Vietnam Veterans Bendigo Sub Branch.

Concrete bollards shut people out. The Anzac Day march is a community event to remember and pay tribute to our veterans. It is always orderly, always well attended.

Drivers respect and give way to those marching.

The barriers are an overreaction. Not only are they intrusive but they bring the wrong message to people.

The march is always attended by people of all ages, young, old, families with children.

It has a special, respectful and inclusive atmosphere.

How may people and much equipment will be required to put these bollards in place?  Who is paying for this?

And then the same effort will be required to remove them.

Please listen to the people, especially the Vietnam Veterans Sub Branch.

The bollards imply we are preparing for a terrorist attack. A total overreaction.

This is a peaceful remembrance march.

We thank those who served to protect our country, and we remember all who gave their lives to protect our freedom.

It is also a time when we think of our family members who served.

Please do not put those concrete bollards in place on Anzac Day.

Maree Cashen,


Bollards bother

The excellent letter from Paul Penno titled “Solid barriers dismay” (Weekly 18/04) pulls no punches and accurately reflects the massive overkill with the grotesque safety barriers for the Anzac Day commemorations.

Common sense missing and no involvement of veteran agencies.

This is Bendigo, not Iraq! And to add further insult, our veterans will be hit with a large bill for those unwanted eyesores. It is symptomatic of a deeper problem at our local council.

Gone are the days when officers consulted their community, had their priorities uppermost in their minds, and the courageous councillors stood up for the concerns of ordinary people.

Now we have professional elite officers quite removed from the thinking and aspirations of battling residents (who are in the majority) influenced by well-heeled articulated special interest groups, aided by councillors who automatically dance to their tune with our hard earned.

This little coterie lives in a cocoon, divorced from the realities facing ordinary people grappling with hefty power bills, school cost, high council rates etc. And they have the audacity to say they know what is best for us, SPARE ME!

Our notable letter writers are awake up to council shortcomings, highlight their inadequacies and offer solutions.

But nothing change, pity that!

Robert Smallpage,


Hoskin stance concern

IF, AS media reports say, Julie Hoskin is not eligible to be the Federal Member for Bendigo, then how can the system allow her to even stand as a candidate in the federal election?

It seems odd that the High Court is the only institution that can rule on Ms Hoskin’s eligibility, and that will only happen if she is elected.

You cannot stand as a candidate in a local council election if you have been declared bankrupt, but it seems you can in a federal election.

Why does the AEC not have the resources to do a simple cross check with ASIC? It costs the public only $15 per search.

In this case, the bankruptcy has been public for some time. At this stage it is not a matter for interpretation.

If Ms Hoskin’s bankruptcy is discharged, then she will be eligible. If this doesn’t happen until after the election, then how can she seriously stand?

It seems that a vote for Ms Hoskin is a wasted vote. More unwanted negative attention for Bendigo.

Anthony Radford


Super concerns

Most working Australians would have their superannuation accumulating in either an industry or retail fund. These are known as group funds because the investment earnings and tax obligations are generally shared within the fund.

When the average Aussie gets to retirement age they simply commute their super into a pension without changing their fund provider.

Any dividend imputation credits earned are used to offset tax liabilities on the accumulation side of the fund. Therefore no cash refund applies.

When retiring, if they had cunningly rolled their super balance from the group fund, which performed so well when they were working, into a private or self-managed fund (SMF) they would receive the full imputation credit refund.

This could substantially increase fund earnings each year, however SMFs do have higher running costs.

Should a new Labor government stop the cash payout of imputation credits it would effectively create a fairer, more level playing field between SMFs and group superannuation funds.

Retirees with SMFs who feel aggrieved by this action would still have the option of rolling their balance back to a suitable group fund and benefiting from the greatly reduced cost savings.

Ironically the reverse is true for non-super investments. The retention of imputation credits would only affect low income people who should not be paying the extra tax.

Tony Dewhurst

Kangaroo Flat

Trust is an issue

Scott Morrison is now asking ‘Who do you trust to manage the economy?’ Well on recent past performance, the answer should be Labor.

Net debt has now reached a new record of $373b; that’s double what is was in 2013, under Labor. The LNP were adding about $435m to debt every day in January 2019 (Commonwealth Monthly Financial Statements 2019), and probably still are.

Real net national disposable income grew by 2.8% since the LNP came to power in 2013; but in the same period of time under Labor, before September 2013, it had grown by 4.2% (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), April 2019 & Greg Jericho, The Guardian, March 12 2019).

Under the LNP , business investment as a share of nominal GDP has declined by 33% (ABS, April 2019).

Since the middle of 2016, corporate profits have risen 43% while wages have risen just 8% (Greg Jericho, March 12 2019).

Meanwhile the share of Australia’s wealth held by the richest 10% is now at an all time high of 52.7%. (Alan Austin, Independent Australia, November 2018).

I can’t find anything that doesn’t support the conclusion that in recent years, Federal Labor has been a better economic manager than the LNP.

Leigh Callinan,