Archive for August, 2019

Letters to the Editor

True Champion Champion: Kate Young says Neale Daniher’s efforts to fight the seemingly unstoppable motor neurone disease are truly admirable. Picture: Getty Images

Many people in our community have opened their wallets to beat the seemingly unbeatable. Thanks to one unassuming modest, terminally ill man.

Footy great Neale Daniher’s efforts in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to put the freeze on motor neurone disease has brought people together in unity regardless of their football allegiance.

Truly a champion.

Kate Young, Stanley

Attack unwarrantedFor many years it has been the practice of forest industry opponents to personally attack and demonise individuals in positions of responsibility and the organisations they are part of, with the express intent of diminishing anything they say or do in the public mind.

That is a common tactic of the green movement in general.

The latest manifestation of this nasty tactic is the personal attack, both covert and overt, on Dr Peter Volker who is the new CEO of the Forest Practices Authority. In particular I refer to the letter to the Editor “Forest Independence” by Mr Lawatsch on June 6.

Why the personal attack? Simply because Dr Volker worked for me in my capacity as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

I asked Dr Volker to join my office as an advisor because of his impeccable qualifications in forestry. With four degrees including a doctorate and five years as the National President of the Institute of Foresters Australia, Dr Volker obviously enjoyed the confidence of forest scientists nationally.

Having had the opportunity to observe his work at an international level, I know that confidence extended even further.

I was therefore delighted to have someone with such skills and knowledge as my advisor to ensure that I was in a position to enunciate high quality science based policy on behalf of the Coalition government, rather than the hocus pocus approach of industry opponents.

The attacks on Dr Volker now can only be described as structured and organised bullying. This is sadly typical of the nasty politics of the anti-forestry brigade.

Senator Richard Colbeck

Super warningOur PM states “Only 6% are adversely affected by recent budget changes to superannuation” – clearly an untruth.

Those under 60 and aspiring to reduce working hours whilst accessing a Transition to Retirement income stream take note – a proposed 15% tax is to be applied to your income stream fund earnings postJuly 12017. When added to the 15% already applied to your income stream this tax effective strategy, designed to increase your chance at an independent retirement, becomes a marginal proposition for those with lower incomes.This will impact heavily on those ‘average wage earners’ that are preparing for a self funded retired future viaTransition to Retirement.

The opposition, in contrast, promote a 15% tax only on income stream fund returns above $75,000 pa, my goodness how the political landscape is changing.

Ian Fawkner, Spreyton

Senate questionsSenator Lambie, Senator for Tasmania and NOT Senator for Australia.Can you name one single achievement that you haveenacted for the benefit of Tasmania?

It is a pity that you are unable to include the approval of the Port of Burnie (your home town) to be upgraded to meet requirements needed for it be a regular exit of Tasmanian products, expertise etc. to the world.

You have promoted the re-introduction of National Service as an aid to offer positive results for many of our young citizens. Can you offer how this can be rolled out?I note you have low esteem for the armed services, as in Kitchen Cabinet last week (26/05).

I eagerly await your reply.

David Moore, Somerset

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Former Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott (left) and Tony Windsor address the media together, during the hung parliament.

FEARS are escalating during the closing stages of the 2016 federal election about reviving the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd era frustrations, with two independent MPs holding the balance of power in the lower house and Greens running the Senate.

Bookmakers have shortened the betting odds for Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor being elected on July 2 in their respective NSW rural electorates and making an unlikely return to Canberra, on the back of new polling data.

Despite holding the balance of power in the previous parliament, after agreeing to side with Labor following 17 days of negotiations following the 2010 election, both MPs resigned ahead of the 2013 federal poll, with their seats falling to the Nationals in comprehensive results.

Ahead of the last election, Mr Windsor cited health reasons in quitting federal politics after 12 years but has decided to contest New England this year against Nationals’ leader Barnaby Joyce, claiming to have regained his appetite for action.

“I don’t really want to be here in three years’ time – there’s other things that I want to do,” Mr Windsor said in 2013 referring to work in Africa and a return to farming.

Mr Windsor will turn 66 later this year and held New England for 12 years before his resignation.

He was also involved in agri-politics before entering the NSW parliament where he was the State member for Tamworth for a decade, before moving into the federal parliament in 2001.

Mr Oakeshott turns 47 this year and recently made a surprise nomination to run in the seat of Cowper held by senior Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker.

The independent held the NSW coastal seat of Lyne in the hung parliament but is changing electorates this time because boundary redistributions in NSW at this election have pushed his home town of Port Macquarie into Cowper.

Mr Oakeshott entered the NSW parliament in 1996 representing the Nationals for the seat of Port Macquarie but turned independent in 2002 and then won the seat of Lyne in 2008, following former National party leader Mark Vaile’s resignation.

When he resigned ahead of the 2013 election, he said having had five years in the federal parliament, 17 years in public life and after contesting six elections the time was right to move on from politics, given he also had a young family.

In a recent article praising Mr Windsor’s decision to make New England “alive” by contesting the seat this year, Mr Oakeshott said he was a contractor with the United Nations in Myanmar and Fiji and studying to be a medical doctor while “bringing up four awesome kids”.

Today, on the back of new polling data showing an increase in primary vote by the challenger, online bookmaker Sportsbet shortened Mr Windsor’s odds of winning New England from $3.30 into $3.00.

Mr Joyce remains the favourite with his odds going up, from $1.30 out to $1.35, while Mr Oakeshott has firmed in from $5.00 into $4.50 to defeat his Nationals rival who has eased from $1.06 out to $1.17.

The betting agency’s Ben Bulmer said the two former hung parliament independent MPs continued to cause headaches for the Nationals in northern NSW, with Mr Windsor “making up ground on Barnaby Joyce”.

“Rob Oakeshott’s decision to enter the race at the last minute could be a winner with the majority of punters backing him,” he said.

Mr Windsor’s office declined to comment on new polling results released this week by The Australian showing the gap closing between the two candidates, with Mr Joyce marginally ahead.

The polling put Mr Joyce’s primary vote at 48 per cent, with 44pc and anything below that number opening up the danger zone for tipping the result in Mr Windsor’s favour.

National party sources have declined to reveal any internal polling data results for New England but are growing increasingly anxious in the final stages of the election campaign with Mr Windsor gaining ground on his political nemesis, on the critical primary vote.

Mr Joyce has said he remains confident but not cocky about the final election outcome while Mr Windsor has always maintained the seat is winnable, despite an overwhelming win by the Nationals in 2013.

Mr Oakeshott’s former seat of Lyn was won by the Nationals Dr David Gillespie and is now considered a safe conservative electorate with a 13.6pc margin.

Asked about the potential return of Mr Oakeshott to Canberra today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said voters had a clear choice on July 2, and were also voting now, between a stable Coalition government “with a clear national economic plan that will deliver stronger growth and more and better jobs”.

He said on the other hand, “you have an increasingly desperate and ragged Labor Party looking around in the midst of its scare campaigns to do deals with the Greens and with the Independents”.

“We have some of the former members of the Julia Gillard hung Parliament band seeking to get back together,” he said.

“We have Mr Windsor running in New England.

“We have the prospect of the chaos of Labor and the most anti-business Labor leader in generations, the Greens and the Independents.

“It’s a very clear choice – stable Coalition government, a clear national economic plan or the chaos and dysfunction of Labor, Greens and Independents.”

Quizzed on the same issue, Treasurer Scott Morrison said there was a “whole caravan of chaos with Labor, the Greens and the Independents, with Oakeshott and Windsor”.

He said with the polling up for Mr Oakeshott in Cowper, amid potential preference flows, a repeat scenario was “a very real prospect”.

“The choice at this election is fairly clear; the Coalition can form a stable government and govern in its own right – that is one choice,” he said.

“The other choice – and I don’t think there is anyone suggesting any differently – if Labor were to form a government on the other side of July 2 it would be with Independents and the Greens.

“In particular, with where Oakeshott is said to be polling, well, we could have Rob Oakeshott back in the Parliament and Tony Windsor, the whole gang.

“It’s just chaos – that is the alternative.”

Mr Morrison said Mr Hartsuyker was “a really good local member” who deserved support in Cowper to be part of a stable government and “not part of the chaos that Rob Oakeshott would bring”.

“The best way to avoid that is to just vote for Luke,” he said.

“If Luke can get his primary vote to even closer to 50 or over 50 then obviously he will be elected.”

Mr Joyce said he’d always believed the election would be tight and was unsurprised Mr Windsor had chosen to stand against him at the election.

He warned that if anybody thought their vote or preference flow doesn’t count, “it does”.

“Not only could it determine the electorate it could determine…where the nation goes,” he said.

“I believe obviously the best place for the nation and the New England Electorate is with the National/Liberal party Coalition.”

Mr Joyce said at the start of the election campaign people had a form of “sentimentality” about their considerations, based on previous experiences.

But he said as the election continued on, voters were now becoming increasingly focussed on the electorate and nation’s future and potential outcomes.

“Further into the election people are more focussed on the future and making a decision about what is the best long term outcome for the seat of New England and who’s got the best capacity for the long-term, to provide the greatest delivery back to the electorate,” he said.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said the election was “a very tight race”.

“We’ve got to fight for every single vote,” he said.

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The Bendigo Junior Football League retained the Goldfields Challenge trophy on Saturday.

HEAVY CLASH: A Ballarat player and a Bendigo player collide in the under-12 game at Strathfieldsaye.

The BJFL and Ballarat split the six-match carnival at Strathfieldsaye with three wins each, but Bendigo retained the trophy because it was the defending champion.

ON THE LEAD: Bendigo under-14 forward Tanner Nally takes a mark.

The most one-sided result of the day was in the under-16.5 game where Ballarat won 9.11 (65) to 2.5 (17).

DETERMINED: Bendigo under-14 players line up for the national anthem before their match with Ballarat. Pictures: NONI HYETT

In the under-15s, Bendigo rallied from a 26-point deficit to win 10.10 (70) to 7.13 (55). Will Wallace, Za MacDonald and Jordan Power were best for the home side.

SPLIT PACK: Action from the under-12 game between Bendigo and Ballarat.

The Bendigo under-14s lost 9.9 (63) to 4.5 (29). Brodie James, Mitch Trewhella and Sam Conforti were Bendigo’s best.

Bendigo won a thrilling under-13 encounter by one point. Harvey Gallagher, Kai Lohmann and Dominic Bennington impressed in the 5.5 (35) to 4.10 (34) win.

UNDER THE PUMP: Bendigo and Ballarat battle for the ball in the under-12s.

Ryan Wilson, Nathan Tuddenham and Lachlan Spiteri were best for Bendigo under-12s in their 5.8 (38) to 3.4 (22) win.

Ballarat won the youth girls game 5.4 (34) to 3.2 (20). Jaime Sawers, Kodie Jacques and Tia Needs battled hard for Bendigo.

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A DOLLARsaved from the taxman is ours to keep forever, plus the earnings compounding from it in future years. So it’s well worth a little effort to find ways to reduce our tax or increase our refund. Arranging our affairs to legally reduce the tax payable is entirely legitimate.

Options are available for the self-employed, small business, employees and investors. There are now only days left in this financial year to act.Self-employed people and small business owners can claim tax deductions for superannuation contributions. The limits are $30,000 for those under age 50 and $35,000 for those 50 and over. This not only reduces tax but boosts retirement savings.

Small business owners can prepay rent, property expenses, loan interest, equipment and vehicle leases, IT service contracts and other genuine expenses for the next year. They will need to prepay again next year to remain in front but next year may not be as profitable.

TAXING DECISIONS: Who doesn’t want to save some money, especially when it comes to tax time? All it takes to legally reduce the payable tax is a little bit of planning. Photo: FILE PHOTO

Primary producers can defer income into Farm Management Deposits until a later year. This is only a deferral with the income having to be included in future tax returns, but future years may not be so good.

Business owners can spend up to $20,000, or $22,000 including GST, on plant, equipment, machinery and motor vehicles needed for their businesses and claim the deduction in full immediately.

There are also options suitable to many employees. Workers with income below $35,454 who contribute $1000 to their super fund without a tax deduction will earn a $500 contribution from the Government into their fund. If their income is up to $50,454 they receive a part payment.

Employees who contribute to the super fund of a low income spouse can earn a rebate off their tax bill. The maximum tax rebate of $540 is available for a contribution of $3000 if the spouse’s income is below $10,800 per annum. Income up to $13,800 – part rebate paid.

All investors are entitled to tax deductions for prepaid investment expenses. These could include interest on loans taken to buy property, shares or managed funds. Prepayment of maintenance and other costs associated with investment properties would qualify.Investors with shares and funds who have sold some at a profit this year can sell others that are showing losses to offset the gains.

They can even buy them back later if they wish.People who have sold a property at a profit should speak to their advisers about options to reduce capital gains tax.Income protection insurance premiums are tax deductible.

Those who have policies must remember to claim deductions.They provide peace of mind in the event of accident or illness.

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THE Bathurst Bullet continues to be one ofthe remarkable success stories in our regionover recent years.

Thousands of people have made use of theBullet since the introduction of a return daily railservice to Sydney four years ago.

It was a brave move at the time by the O’FarrellGovernment to start the daily rail service after theprevious government had said for more than adecade that it was not viable.

But Rail Action Bathurst, led by John Hollis,put together a formidable campaign to ensure thedaily rail service became a reality and passengershave supported it in great numbers ever since.

The announcement on Monday that thestategovernment was contributing $700,000 to seal anew car park at the railway station is further proofof the service’s incredible success.

Commuters were left in limbo after vacant landat the station that served as a makeshift car parkwas fenced off to allow the soil to be tested forpossible contamination.

Other parking spaces at the station filledquickly each day and unlucky motorists werepushed out on the street to try their luck – hardlyan ideal situation.

It has taken some time, but now we are finallygoing to see a real solution to parking pressures atthe station.

Not surprisingly, Mr Hollis was celebratingMonday’s announcement and the wholecommunity should welcome any infrastructureupgrades at the railway station precinct.

Bathurst has a long, proud rail history datingback to former prime minister Ben Chifley andbeyond.

For a long time it looked as though the goldendays of Bathurst rail were well behind us, but theBathurst Bullet has heralded an on-track revival.

And to think they said it couldn’t be done.

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