Eden Letters to the Editor, May 17

The entrepreneurs night hosted by the Whale Festival committee was a hive of activity last week as local home-based businesses showcased their wares.
The entrepreneurs night hosted by the Whale Festival committee was a hive of activity last week as local home-based businesses showcased their wares.

Super hypocrisy

Mike Kelly: Mr Shorten is going to take awy dividend refunds from superannuation retirees whoi built up their nest egg over many years, paying 9 or 9.5 per cent into super, because he thinks they’ve got it too good. But you and every other politician gets 15.4 per cent into your super from your much-bigger-than-average taxpayer-paid pay. Isn’t that hypocrisy?

Jon Gaul, Liberal Party Merimbula-Eden branch

Out of touch

I suspect that Dr Andrew Laming has had as much exposure to the day-to-day challenges of the teaching profession as his colleague Julia Banks has had trying to exist on $40 a day (‘Teachers need fewer holidays, more work: Coalition MP Andrew Laming’, Magnet, 10/5).

While Dr Laming pontificates at the expense of taxpayers from the comfort of his leather armchair, he actually has little or no idea of the real challenges that confront the more than 300,000 teachers each day across Australia.

Particularly those who don’t have the luxury of permanent employment or the benefits that come with that, including paid annual, sick and long service leave, not to forget job security, access to continuing training and the opportunity to fully develop their skills and optimise their contribution by having the privilege of meeting the educational needs of the same class each day.

Instead of wondering how he can wring more water from the already dry washer that is the teaching profession, maybe Dr Laming could investigate the nepotism that has infected the public school system since school principals have been given direct responsibility for hiring and firing?

As for the easy time that Dr Laming believes teachers enjoy, perhaps he could spend a few days walking in the shoes of your average casual primary school teacher, often only ‘booked’ to work the night before, while regularly being expected to prepare work and pay for the resources they use, while also being expected to be grateful for the privilege.

And if they happen to be among the older casual teachers, they often get to enjoy the privilege of observing younger teachers, often with little or no experience, being offered permanent employment or contracts, while they are reminded that one of their most important responsibilities is to “mentor” their younger colleagues.

Fraser Buchanan, Merimbula

More reliable figures

The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association believes the suggestion made by Sapphire Coast Tourism chairman Bruce Leaver, that statistical data made-up of “average figures” supplied by Destination NSW is the “most useful readily available“ to inform residents and ratepayers about the tourism sector in the Bega Valley is simply nonsensical.

The BVSRRA believes the statistical data published by Bega Valley Shire Council on its website offers far greater reliability and value, as it provides hard numbers rather than just averages. 

More to the point, as SCT has been the recipient of between $3m to $4m in ratepayers’ funds via BVSC over the past 10 years, the BVSRRA believes that when it comes to measuring SCT’s performance, the responsibility for designating the appropriate measures and how they are derived should rest with BVSC and not with members of a particular sectional interest, as is currently the case.

After a decade of ratepayer-funded support for the sector, the BVSRRA believes that the exit of SCT, together with the suggestion by Cr Bain that BVSC intends applying to IPART to expand the scope of its Special Rate Variation for Tourism, now represents a perfect opportunity to take “time out” to conduct a full review of current arrangements, in particular to allow the community to have a voice in the future of the tourism sector.

John Richardson, BVSRRA