'Simple query, no answer'
I have one simple question - will the Liberal National Coalition equal or better the commitment of $25 million by the ALP towards capital development of the new Eurobodalla hospital? I was not allowed to ask this question on a recent teleconference with the Prime Minister and my question is now blocked on social media. Simple question - no answer.
Dr Michael Holland, One Eurobodalla Hospital campaign
'Mind over matter'
Dr Michael Holland's heartfelt appeal to the current government, on all our behalves, for the simple courtesy of a response in respect of funding for a proper hospital, was deeply concerning.
In three weeks of canvassing community support, his petition for a proper category 4 hospital for Eurobodalla Shire (and - NSW Government please note - the immediate resourcing of appalling gaps and shortfalls in our current healthcare services) collected 3000 signatures, curtailed only by a pressing deadline. In government departmental circles, a petition with 350 signatures from a rural community is usually deemed significant. By that standard, the ONE Eurobodalla Hospital petition was off the scale.
There is little room to doubt the community's united and crystal-clear wishes, and even less so for obfuscation or evasion from our politicians in proactively responding as they are remunerated to do.
Dr Holland's carriage of this issue has been measured and temperate, reflecting the non-partisan and altruistic nature of his approach. His high standing in our community, based upon valued care of others, should give much food for thought to the less self-absorbed amongst our politicians.
When we see transparent discussion of a significant issue, along with its respected and knowledgeable representative, shut down in an undemocratically and controlling fashion, such behaviour adds to the growing negative image of a pervasive rot in standards of political conduct.
The disrespect shown to Dr Holland, in attempting fruitlessly to table this vitally issue, was just as much an act of collective disrespect to each of us in the Eurobodalla.
(It is) apparently a case of mind over matter: "We don't mind, you don't matter". In an exceedingly marginal seat the logic of such behaviour is most certainly unwise.
Fitzroy and Mylene Boulting
Franking credits and the Eurobodalla
If Labor is successful in implementing its franking credit policy it will have far reaching effects on retirees in the Eurobodalla Shire.
In January 2017 major changes were made to Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) to help the Federal budget; principally the assets test was drastically lowered.
In 2019 Mr Shorten and Bowen are proposing a huge reduction in an SMSF ability to provide a reasonable standard of living, especially to those who lost their part pension in 2017.
Mr. Shorten proposes to remove the return of franking credits to these retirees. Shorten and Bowen sneeringly claim this is a gift of taxpayers' money. Perhaps they think the aged pension, child care rebates or even unemployment benefits are similar gifts?
The anomaly can be seen when two households, next to each other in the same street, are compared.
An age part-pensioner couple living in their own house could have an SMSF with up to $830,000 invested, which returns the franking credits. As well, they could have an outside income (ie. retired government employees) and earn up to $80,000 per year before they lose their part-pension status.
The retired couple next door, living in their own house, with only an SMSF from their 30 years self-employed working life has a total of $880K in Australian shares. This couple is not eligible for a part pension.
This super fund earns about $47,000 per year with a balance portfolio. Franking credits in a balanced fund would return between $6,000 and $12,000. In Eurobodalla Shire, this would be the financial situation of the vast majority of retired folk who are not eligible for a government aged pension.
Franking credit refunds would be used by retirees to spend in our local communities, especially in regional areas such as Eurobodalla Shire.
'Climate emergency, climate election'
There aren't so many outright climate deniers around these days, it seems, as so many more people have noticed the number of very hot summers this century, the drought and then floods in Queensland and wild fires in never before burned areas of Tasmania this summer.
Added to these, we've had the fish dying in huge numbers in the Murray-Darling rivers and locally, at Meringo.
We hear about species going extinct at a frightening rate and we may have noticed that the bogong moths and Christmas beetles don't come in anything like the numbers they did a few years ago. We may also have noted the many fewer insects on our windscreens. Insects extinct ... hmm - no food.
Young people across the world are striking from school because they know what is going on - they are understandably deeply fearful about their future and the lack of political will for action on climate change: now very urgent. Some scientists say we have eleven years to decarbonise our economy. That's not much time. Will you consider the critical need for climate action in your vote this election?