Letters to the editor

A FEDERAL government recent survey found that Australians living below the poverty line in 2004, says Peter Doddy, of Trevallyn.
A FEDERAL government recent survey found that Australians living below the poverty line in 2004, says Peter Doddy, of Trevallyn.

Poverty Line

A FEDERAL government recent survey found that Australians living below the poverty line in 2004 are in a worsening position, after promising changes.

An alarming statistic. which coupled with billions of dollars the Australian taxpayer pays in monthly interest in borrowed money spells disaster. Disaster for future taxpayers.

Labor started our humongous debt with irresponsible spending and Liberals have the blinkers on, changing little.

Australia is being supremely generous as though we actually have money.

However, we give billions in foreign aid to other countries and are still offering immigration as though we did not owe a cent.

There should be some accountability for poor but costly decisions by our government.

It is a culture we have let fester. Politicians award themselves for poor performance and leadership, by increased wages and perks.

We are living far beyond our means, carried by struggling small businesses, and many in poverty.

For all your rhetoric there is much to address.

Peter Doddy, Trevallyn.

Council Amalgamations

MATT Maloney writes: ‘‘perhaps it’s time to be less timid and more proactive about council amalgamations in the North.” (The Examiner, October 8).

It is heartening to see positive moves in this direction materialising in the south of Tasmania in efforts to significantly reduce the ludicrous amount of 29 expensive councils serving our state's meager population of around half a million people.

No such willingness in the North, however, for example three separate councils service the Tamar Valley when just one greater Tamar Valley council would be quite capable of providing all the necessary services at significantly less cost.

To appease amalgamation proponents, token efforts have been made by Northern councils through resource sharing but any steps to go beyond this are vigorously and angrily rejected by some councils, and councillors; fearful of losing their individual identities or power base, they find every possible excuse why they should not participate, at continuing cost to Northern rate and taxpayers.

Apparently if four Southern councils were to merge a saving of some $7.6 million a year would result, a not insignificant amount; one wonders what savings could be made if, for example, Launceston, George Town, West Tamar and, possibly, Meander councils were to amalgamate; food for thought?

Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein should be more forceful and insist Northern Tasmanian councils take their place at the amalgamation table (dragged kicking and screaming if necessary) to ensure council mergers occur in the North.

It will never happen if left to individual councils to act on their own initiative.

Jim Collier, Legana.

Mental Health Hypocrisy

IN LIGHT of the claims of the detrimental mental health effect  due to the proposed plebiscite, consider the hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with a mental illness who are going through reviews of their pensions at present.

What is the life cost of the personal stress and grief to this minority not to mention their family's or carers.

How many times will those people have to go through their life history in their minds, of the traumatic or dysfunctional life they have experienced, trying to justify their plight for fear of being declassified on the social security hit list.

Where are the Greens, Labor and independents on this failure of duty of care.

Like mental health departments everywhere there mistakes are buried; literally and we did not hear any stories about this crisis strangely enough on mental health day.

David Brimble, Scottsdale.