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Letters to the Editor

Poor tasteLAST Friday, February26I was driving into Horsham from Dimboola when I spotteda large group of teenagers crossing at the lights near May Park.
Nanjing Night Net

Most of the students were wearing lookalike combat army uniforms and carrying very large guns (no doubt toys).

Apparently the young people were going to the school swimming sports.

I feel it was poor taste and the parents and school should have put a stop to it.

Perhaps these students and their families should sit down and watch what is going on in many countries less fortunate then us.

There are other better ways to have fun. Never fool around with any type of gun.

I was quite shocked to see this happening in the Wimmera.

RHONDA HUF

Dimboola

Medicare will vanishI COMMEND William McIlwain (Mail-Times, February29),for his very frank and honestletterconcerning aged care.

The major political parties, including the Nationals, have let go of aged care.Nursing homes are struggling to exist in country Victoria and noone seems to care.

These issues come up every election.Don’t forget the Nationals have occupied the Wimmera-Mallee seats for many many years and still spend their time canning the governmentin office, instead of doing the job of fixing the massive problem.

Aged care is not the only concern either.At present, thefederal governmentis gutting Medicare so that it can be privatised.

Under proposed changes, seriously sick people would have topay for blood tests and other oncologyprocedures.

If the people want to keep and preserve Medicare and ensure aged care is taken care of, we must shake the members of parliament representing this area.

The only way things will get done is to stop this electorate being a safe seat.

The health budget has been cut down terribly. Horsham’s hospital is sadly overworkedby the dedicated doctors, surgeons and highly-skilled nurses.

It services every other town in the Wimmera.Isn’t that enough to wake up the National Party representatives who have been in office for years?

Aged care and Medicare in the country should be a major election issue.

State or federal,we will have nothing and privatisation will take over.Our wonderful Medicare system will vanish.

GLENN BAKER

Dimboola

Issue oflegalityI WOULDlike to comment on Cr Heather Phillips’ Mayoral Matters column (Mail-Times, February 24).

Cr Phillips states the Local Government Act is being reviewed.

I wonder ifcouncillors have read and understood the Constitution of Australia?

Cr Phillips states ‘we are the third tier of government’. If Cr Phillips’ statement is trueit should be reflected somewhere.

There is no such thing as a ‘third tier of government’in Australia.

I would like to point out to Cr Phillips thatthe referendum to recognise local government in the constitutionon September 3, 1988, was not carried.

Cr Phillips goes on to say councillors are not company board members, yet local councils arean entity, operating as a business with an ABN number.

Businesses are not entitled to levy taxes of any kind, yet local councils levy taxes in a form they call rates.

The power of taxation is vested exclusively with the federal government, so declared in the Australian Constitution.

Furthermore, John Howard, Peter Costello and Michael Carmody all stated before the introduction of the GST that‘local government council rates will attract no GST because council rates are a tax and we cannot tax a tax’.Can Cr Phillips explain how it is that rates are not a tax, seeing the government of the day clearly stated council rates are a tax?My point is, why review the local government act in its current formwhile there are serious constitutional problems based on local government legality?

MARK VALE

Horsham

Small business strugglingI WOULDlike to respond to Peter Schmidt’s comments (Mail-Times,February 29),regarding the closing of businesses.

I work in a small business of just two employees (my manager and I). I only work 20 hours per weekand have just been told that these hours may have to be cut.

I am now a single mother to two boys, with a mortgage and bills to pay, so really cannot afford to lose any hours.

Sadly, I blame internet shopping and email for this happening.

People do not realise that because of internet shopping they are killing smaller businesses.

People think that the convenience of internet shopping is easier as it gets delivered to their door, without thinking about what it is doing to the small business. We are more than willing to order stock in for people(within reason), but they don’t seem to want to wait – even if it’s only for a week.

They don’t realise that it doesn’t really work out any cheaper for them, as they then have to pay postage as well.

I have had numerous customers saying to me ‘don’t you ever close’, but without the customer support, small business don’t really have much chance.So, I ask people tosupport their local small businesses.

The majority of us will go above and beyond to help you and keep you coming back. If this internet shopping doesn’t stop, sadly, more of us will lose our jobs. We cannot stay open if we aren’t making money.

ANGELA LUTZE

Horsham

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