We just want what's fair
Ho hum, the Veterans' Community have been conned by Minister Chester again. Why make promises with no intention of keeping them? The Minister issued a press release on March 25 this year where he stated: "The Government recognises the importance of open and transparent discussion around veteran concerns and we will consult with the ex-service community about the terms of reference for the inquiry, as well as panel membership.
"Ex-Service organisations and scheme members will have the opportunity to make submissions to the inquiry and raise any other concerns relevant to the scheme."
We now find the Commonwealth Ombudsman will conduct an "own motion" inquiry into misleading information that may have been distributed to members of the Defence Force by Commonwealth Superannuation. The Ombudsman may well find a case in favour of our veterans but Minister Chester can just ignore any recommendations as that is all they will be: "recommendations".
The Minister also stated in his press release that "other matters of concern in the superannuation scheme" would be investigated. He has also reneged on that promise.
Thousands of fine Australian men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice that has ensured my freedom to criticise a Minister of the government in a public forum. Some veterans survived the horrors of war yet they came home bearing physical and mental disorders, others could not be released for operational service as their knowledge and skills were required at home to support the front line. Yet they all contributed to the government-run and managed superannuation scheme. We want nothing more than a fair and transparent inquiry.
Jim Hislop, Wodonga
Voting system isn't just
As reported in The Border Mail, our newly elected federal member for Indi Helen Haines will make her maiden speech in parliament on August 1.
Without doubt, she won't be mentioning she had the third lowest primary vote of any elected candidate in the 151 seats in federal parliament. Helen received 32,664 votes or 32.35 per cent of the primary vote compared to Steve Martin's 35,426 votes, or 35.09 per cent of the 100,956 people who voted. Only Shayne Newman who received 31.26 per cent in the seat of Blair in Queensland and Anne Webster who received 27.86 per cent of the vote in the seat of Mallee received less primary votes than Helen.
In the six polling booths in Wodonga, Helen received 7791 votes compared to Steve Martin's 8847 votes, so 13 per cent more people voted for Steve than Helen in Wodonga, Indi's largest city.
Also the Australian Labor Party received 33.34 per cent of the primary vote throughout Australia and lost the election. Helen received 32.35 per cent of the primary vote in Indi and won. Go figure.
I followed the Liberal Party how-to-vote card and voted for Steve Martin. I got one vote. Compare this to a Labor supporter who followed the Labor Party how-to-vote card who would have voted their primary vote for Eric Kerr, then their second vote would have gone to Helen Robinson (Greens) then their third vote went to Helen Haines. All these votes are counted so the Labor voter gets three votes whilst I receive one vote. How is this system fair and just?