I have just returned from an overnight trip to Melbourne. Coach both ways.
Member for Indi Cathy McGowan seems to be doing all the heavy lifting in the battle to turn around the North East’s rail woes. Where are Bill Tilley and Tim McCurdy and what are they doing?
We hear nothing and see nothing and yet as I see it, they should be fighting tooth and nail to improve the situation for their constituents.
Cathy took a good deal of flak on this matter when first elected while Bill and Tim remained silent and kept their heads down. Come on boys. Take a risk and do something.
Andrew Walker, Wangaratta
Give them a shake up
Something occurred to me while I was watching The Ghan: Australia's Greatest Train Journey on SBS recently.
Here we all are, in the wonderful North East of Victoria, and no one can give us a reliable and workable train system from here to Melbourne and back. We should all be laughing, if it wasn't so bloody serious.
Please everybody, the only way to combat this is to stop making this a safe seat, because while we do, nothing will improve. It's all about politics, and it stinks, but give the present lot a good shake-up.
Ottie Oswald, West Wodonga
Leash or pay fine
Recent letters about bikes, dogs and earphones touched on problems I have every day that I go out on the bike, and cycle on shared tracks.
I am seeing dogs off leads, roaming anywhere they please to do their business while owners saunter along carrying no leash. Dogs loose can run after moving bikes and get caught behind the front wheel if the rider is unable to stop.
The city of Casey is proposing $500 fines for dog owners who don't pick-up after their dogs, a good idea and deterrent for those who don't care about the environment and consideration for others.
The $500 fine would also be a good lesson for dog owners who don't leash.
John Stevens Albury
A shift on super
Superannuation is but a private old age pension. Why do politicians allow these private funds to be creamed off by fund managers, stock market crashes and anyone else who can get their hands on it? What if super payments went into a government fund which would guarantee retirement payment to the superannuant?
Let us say that retirement age was set at 70 with a life expectancy of 15 years. A guaranteed annual income of $50,000 would require a nest-egg of $750,000. If the superannuant were allowed to contribute this as a tax-deductible sum during his working life, he would be guaranteed a comfortable retirement without risk of his funds being plundered. Further, the government would no longer have the problem of soaking a decreasing proportion of taxpayers to fund old age pensions.
There are presently over $2 trillion in private superannuation accounts. If a significant proportion of this was transferred to the government fund, the government could pay out its debts, build necessary infrastructure and have a continuing superannuation income stream to maintain its financial strength. But, of course, the political downside is that a number of financial parasites would be out of a job.