Border Mail letters: Border Mail readers have their say on the issues of the day

Calling on katrina

I have noticed that over the years politicians in safe seats tend to become arrogant and lose sight of their responsibilities to the people who elected them to office.

In reality, politicians are supposed to do what the electorate wants them to do and not the other way around. 

An example is our local member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodkinson.

In the forced council amalgamations farce, she is deliberately ignoring the wishes of both the Cootamundra and Gundagai residents and is stubbornly sticking to her party’s flawed amalgamation policy.

Hodgkinson has said all along that she is right behind the Gundagai Council and the townspeople and that they had her full support. 

PARTY LINE: A reader says Katrina Hodgkinson is ignoring the wishes of Cootamundra and Gundagai residents on the issue of forced council amalgamations.

PARTY LINE: A reader says Katrina Hodgkinson is ignoring the wishes of Cootamundra and Gundagai residents on the issue of forced council amalgamations.

However, she has recently indicated that when it comes to the crunch, she will not cross the floor to back up her alleged “full support”.

And it must be remembered that she and her colleagues all voted against releasing the KPMG report to the councils. 

The NSW Court of Appeal has already ruled that by not releasing the report it has denied councils procedural fairness. And according to the highest court in the land, everybody has a Constitutional right to procedural fairness. 

Ms Hodgkinson is not only letting her constituents down, she and her government are also denying them their constitutional rights.

This is Ms Hodgkinson last chance to put her money where her mouth is. 

She constantly boasts of arranging meetings with a number of ministers. Well, for the record, a drover’s dog could have done that.

If she really wants to maintain any semblance of credibility within the electorate then she has got to stand up and be counted. No more hiding behind a false pretence. 

This is her chance to prove that she actually stands for something. And, if by some miracle she does decide to cross the floor, I hope she takes John “no-show” Barilaro with her (if she can find him). 

Our community is sick and tired of being represented by a parliamentarian who doesn’t believe in the common law, democratically elected councils or, respects the will of the people in her electorate. 

The following adage more than adequately sums up the situation: “She who is not with us, is against us”.

Come on Katrina, you can do better than this. No more empty rhetoric. Just show some ticker for once and do the right thing. We want our town back.

Geoff Field, Gundagai

Farm safety in spotlight

National Farm Safety Week (July 17-21) is a great opportunity for farmers and farm workers to think about how they can make their workplace safe. Tragically, 32 people have died this year in farm incidents according to analysis by the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, with more than half of these deaths occurring in NSW.

That is 32 deaths too many, not to mention the many more that have been injured. It’s a sad fact that the agricultural industry accounts for one in five workplace deaths in Australia, despite it representing a much smaller fraction of the national workforce. 

I grew up on a working farm and am very familiar with the tough conditions, dangerous tools and the pressure come harvest time. But even so, many agricultural work injuries and deaths are preventable with proper training and appropriate safety procedures.

For example, quad bike safety continues to be a big concern. But the simple act of wearing a helmet could very well mean the difference between life and death or life-changing injury. 

The theme for Farm Safety Week 2017 is “Creating a resilient, safe and healthy ag community” so let’s make farm safety a priority and reduce preventable work accidents across our region. 

Danielle De Paoli, special counsel Maurice Blackburn Lawyers 

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