Letters to the editor

Deserving of penalty

The Tuross Head Progress Association is hosting a Meet the Candidates forum at Kyla Hall on Wednesday, March 6 at 7pm prior to the NSW election.

The public is invited for the Q&A. 

Here is a novel suggestion for all elections: let’s adopt a new regulation requiring politicians to resign if any pre-election promises they made are not introduced within a year of election.   

To save a costly by-election in that seat,  the candidate who received the second highest primary vote (should) be offered that position.  I believe a pre-election promise is a contract between a candidate and the voters.  Failure to comply with an election promise may be the result of deceptive marketing spin or fraud or dishonesty and deserves a penalty. 

Gary Smith

Tuross Head  

Stream of traffic

Travellers continue to stream down Bermagui Road expecting to cross the closed Wallaga Lake Bridge.

The only sign before reaching Akolele is outside the old Alpha Cheese Factory on the Princes Highway that encourages drivers to go through Cobargo via the Princess (sic) Highway.

There was a sign before the Wallaga Lake Koori Village turnoff in the lead-up to the closures, but that was removed for some strange reason.

Even some of the speed signs are chaotic where, heading north through Wallaga Lake Heights, the speed limit drops from 60kph to 40kph for about 200 metres then back to 60kph and near the bridge 40kph, 25kph and then 60kph into Akolele.

No wonder drivers are confused and frustrated.

Sean Burke

Central Tilba

We vote too

As the major parties try to point score off each other, neither is concerned about the long-serving ex-servicemen/women who have had their superannuation entitlements “ripped off.” 

Both major parties have waxed lyrical about the “unique nature of military service” and the “debt owed to these men and women” but this is just lip service.

Superannuation in the services has been compulsory since 1948 and the first two schemes, DFRB and DFRDB, under which some 55,000 defence force retirees still receive benefits, would not stand the pub test. The government did not invest members’ contributions to these schemes, but rather, transferred them into Consolidated Revenue where they have always been used to help balance the budget.

Under these schemes, retiring members could, after 20 years or more of service, take an advance lump sum payment of future entitlements to help them resettle into civilian life. If they opted to take the lump sum, their ongoing superannuation payments were reduced based on what their life expectancy was in 1962 which, on average, these men and women are living beyond, by more than 14 years. But the government continues to pay them at the reduced rate.

The government also fiddled with the indexation of their benefits, using an inappropriate index, which does not keep pace with the cost of living. 

Minister Chester regularly states that the whole issue is a misunderstanding, but in the military misunderstanding are invariably caused by miscommunication.

In 1991, the Government introduced a third scheme, known as MSBS, and it has just as many problems. Then in 2016, it introduced yet another scheme. Is there a federal politician in the country who would accept the conditions they force on those who served their country in peace and war?

Jim Hislop

Wodonga

NOT HAPPY: Returned service men and woman around Australia are complaining about their retirement funds.

NOT HAPPY: Returned service men and woman around Australia are complaining about their retirement funds.

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