I WANT to say an almighty big thank you to the LGH emergency Department/Ward 4D for all the compassion and the care that was shown to me on my recent stay.
I am an elderly lady who had been in self-isolation with hubby for three weeks and suddenly I was in an ambulance to Launceston taken away from my security, alone, without my hubby and my wee therapy dog.
It was to say the least, scary. The staff, everyone working at the LGH are on the frontline in this battle. They are putting themselves out there going above and beyond to see that their patients are comfortable, they deserve to be recognised.
So thank you all again, big hugs to you all and stay safe.
Lyn Giunta, Scottsdale.
Penny Wise, Pound Foolish
MASSIVE funding cuts levied upon the CSIRO by the Howard, then Abbott and Turnbull governments, plus the 1994 privatisation of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, were made in the interests of so-called economic rationalisation.
For many years LNP supporters ranging from shock jocks to prime ministers and treasurers brayed the chimera that their side of politics will always be the better economic managers. Now we are woefully unprepared to deal with this pandemic; indeed, a pandemic predicted many years ago by those whose job it is to know and warn about such matters; which they did.
Meanwhile, politicians squabbled.
Scientists were reviled by moronic presidents. Research was stripped of funds with hundreds of jobs lost.
So instead of managing this present crisis via planning, preparation and provision, we are left to raid supermarkets and close our public facilities. Vital items such as face-masks and testing kits are not available.
The aged and weak will be triaged.
Meanwhile, the cost to our economy will be vast. We will never be told the correct figure, yet one thing is for certain, that is that if our so-called representatives had heeded the advice of scientific institutions worldwide, and not decimated vital public health bodies, all for the sake of saving a few dollars, then the economic hit would be considerably eased. We must do better.
Dave Robinson, Newstead.
IN 1947, Bob Hawke, then-President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, laid out his vision in a series of Boyer lectures which he titled -The Resolution of Conflict.
Two of his major reforms were:
- Allow non-politicians to become ministers.
- He advocated for one quarter of politicians in the Federal Government ministry to be opened to non-politicians.
- Eliminate the States. These he described as being a dangerous anachronism which in 1901 made sense as each colony was its own independent economy.
Sadly, Hawke's reforms never came to fruition and now we are seeing why the states should be abolished and non-politicians should enter the ministry
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed that the states are not united and the need of virologists and epidemiologists to be advisers to the ministry.
Likewise, all economic decisions should be made by senior economists who are non-politicians and in the cabinet.
Donald Boden, Launceston.
AS A retired bank manager who looked after the corporate sector it disturbs me how everyone, including the media, government ministers, the opposition and the public at large seems intent on trying to bring our major banks down.
For a start let's look at deeming rates.
On July 1, 2014, the cash rate was 2 per cent and the deeming rate 3.5 per cent.
Why should the deeming rate be higher than the cash rate?
With the new cash rate of .5 per cent, the deeming rate is now 2.75 per cent.
Simple mathematics will reveal that the cash rate has dropped the equivalent of six lots of 25 basic points and the deeming rate three lots of 25 basic points?
On the basis of the above how can the Prime Minister and Treasurer virtually demand the banks pass on the full cut when they have not done the same and how come the media does not bring this anomaly to our attention.?
The reason? Bank bashing is fashionable. The banks have not been beyond reproach as the Royal Commission has illustrated. However, with fines already imposed and others hanging over their heads, surely they [the banks] have learnt their lesson. The share market endorses those sentiments. Due to the above, the banks have shed billions of dollars in value and many will say serve themselves right. But whose money is it they have shed? Every hard-working Australian who has any sort of pension fund and any mum-and-dad investors who are trying to provide for their retirement or those who are already living off interest and dividends.
It is all for the common good, to help young people into their first house, a worthwhile ambition.
However, it has lit a fire under the housing market, particularly in the eastern capitals.
With the low-interest rate people now have mortgage balances that look like phone numbers. It has no doubt also exacerbated the current housing shortage. This also limits the RBA in its options to increase interest rates when the economy picks up. A small increase in rates of, say, 3 per cent, would double repayments and that would only take the housing rate up to about 6 per cent, very low historically. I can remember in the late 1980s when the housing rate was 17 per cent. Our banks have served us well over about 200 years and have played a large part in our great nation's development.
We need strong banks who are allowed to get a fair margin on their investments, that is the money they lend to us for industry and housing.
Graeme Barwick, Riverside.