Letters to the editor: Border Mail readers have their say on the issues of the day

ISN’T it great to see the Australian Tax Office doing its job, by undertaking random audits of taxpayers to bust them if they have overclaimed on work expenses. 

Meanwhile, Julie Bishop has claimed $32,000 in taxpayer-funded family travel for her long-term boyfriend. Of course, she is not obliged to disclose his financial interests on the parliamentary register as he is not her spouse, or de facto partner. But he certainly is important enough for be ferried around the country on the taxpayers’ dime.

TWO SETS OF RULES: Commissioner of taxation of the ATO Chris Jordan. The ATO has begun random audits of workers to check on overclaiming of work expenses.

TWO SETS OF RULES: Commissioner of taxation of the ATO Chris Jordan. The ATO has begun random audits of workers to check on overclaiming of work expenses.

In other news sure to lift the spirits of Australian workers, we learn that several politicians are spending more on photocopying and communications than the average Australian would earn in a year.

Barnaby Joyce apparently spent $98,000 in 10 weeks. Of course, as a spokesman said, all that spending was “within the printing and communications guidelines, complied with the necessary requirements and was independently approved prior to distribution”.

They spend more on printing that we earn in a year, and we’re the ones getting audited. Is it just me, or is this simply outrageous?

Craig Anderson, Wangaratta

Not fit for the job

My friends from the Riverina and I are absolutely horrified that the Nationals have elected Michael McCormack as their new leader. Mr McCormack's written comments in 1993 say it all.

He is not fit to hold any public office, let alone the position of deputy prime minister and leader of the National Party.

His hateful comments of 1993, written and published when he was an adult and not a teenager, cannot be ignored.

Too often young gay people take their own lives as a result of hatred voiced against them. Even our neighbour near Gundagai took his own life as a result of the intimidation he felt as a gay man under 30 living in rural Australia.

I cannot fathom why Mr McCormack has been elected leader of the National Party, but if this is the best the Nationals can do, it's time to think about changing our allegiance to another party. My family were born and raised in Gundagai and Wagga, they have always strived to contribute to the betterment of our community in a positive way.     

Country people care for each other, they don't have reason to hate, they are too busy working together to make life on the land a success. Increasingly, country folk are concerned with the environment, solar energy, floods, droughts, production, exports, imports and just surviving with poor infrastructure, roads, internet, long distances, long hours and harsh conditions.   

Whoever these people are who elected Mr McCormack the leader of the National Party, we just do not need them any more.

Carl-James Asimus, Warriewood   

The damage already done

I was a gay teenager in Wagga at the time Michael McCormack made use of his position as editor of the local paper to pen a frightening piece about gay people.

What Mr McCormack wrote made those years of my life, and subsequent acceptance of myself, so much harder than they might have been. 

For many gay people in rural communities it sent an alarming message about our place. His subsequent apologies are all well and good but they neither repair the damage nor give back those years. May he be more thoughtful in his new role, and may he do less harm.

Luke Moloney, Balmain