Eden Letters to the editor, July 18

In dark over walk

This proposal by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for the Light to Light Walk is a continuum of the past 200 years in the far South-East of Australia. A land grab by an elite, privileged and greedy few, sanctioned by a distant government to the detriment and exclusion of the general populace.

John Ryder, Eden

Treasurer's wacky maths 

I know, the Federal Treasurer is a politician so he can hope to get away with saying anything but how can he do his job when his grasp of basic maths is so wacky?

In the last couple of days, we have heard how the proposed reduced deeming rates will "cost" $600 million over four years - that sounds better than saying an average of $150 per annum, eh, Mr Treasurer?

The spiel goes on that the number of people who will benefit is between 650,000 and 1,000,000 and they will benefit up to $1000 each per year. Working on averages, the 650,000 would get $230 or the 1,000,000 would get $150 each per annum. If some will be receiving up to the higher $1000 amount, the average benefits for the bottom end punters will be minimal, eh?

When explaining the government's decision, the Treasurer pointed out the different average returns from investments in cash, super and shares but when asked about applying the simple solution of setting and using deeming rates for each of these investment types, the response was that the government is happy with the present system!

You might be happy Mr Treasurer but, while appreciating at last there is some acknowledgment of the unfairness of the last few year's deeming rates, many are not happy, indeed they are more adamant in their insistence that some justice in this area is long overdue.

It is galling too for these recipients to hear their benefits being referred to as "costs", when in your lingo, they would be better described as a returns on their past investments in government.

Most of these retirement recipients are the ones who have worked to make this country what it is today, rearing their families - now many of whom are in your generation, Mr Treasurer! - paying their taxes as they worked for much of their lives without any benefit of compulsory superannuation, rightly expecting that when they reached retirement, they would be fairly treated by governments who knew all too well that the baby boomers were getting to the stage when they would retire.

If the economy on your government's watch is so weak that it's not possible to be fair to these pension recipients, then please say so, take the lead and reduce your pension entitlements but don't waffle on with your dubious maths!

Jeff de Jager, Coila

Unique programming

The narrow-mindedness inherent in the on-going accusations of bias continually directed at the ABC was highlighted by the Logie results.

Category wins for excellent shows in lifestyle (Gardening Australia), light comedy (Rosehaven), drama (Mystery Road, The Cry), music (The Set), and especially children's shows (Bluey), none of which relate to politics in any way, served to illustrate the broad and inclusive range of programming provided by the ABC, despite an ever-shrinking budget.

This is not to mention the essential services provided by the ABC to rural and regional Australians, in which commercial media show little interest.

Meanwhile, critics of the ABC focus solely on the national broadcaster's handful of current affairs programs as justification for their calls for budget cuts or commercialisation, ignoring the much larger body of outstanding and often unique programming the ABC provides, illustrating their own biases.

Bob Guy, Cootamundra

No pre jitters here: Dancers Natasha Hayes, Alexia Richards and Kayne Woods ready to impress the crowd. Photo: Rachel Mounsey

No pre jitters here: Dancers Natasha Hayes, Alexia Richards and Kayne Woods ready to impress the crowd. Photo: Rachel Mounsey