Congratulations to Albo and Katy Gallagher for restricting staff levels for the new independents and Greens .
As Katy would know from her days in the ACT assembly, government backbenchers and opposition members got by with no more than two staff usually. For a number of years I got by with one and a half staff and we all shared staff.
Between 1995 and 1998 in the first Carnell government we had four ministers and I was responsible for four departments - Education and Training, Housing and Community Services, Children Youth and Family Services and Sport, Recreation and Racing. I had four personal staff; a chief of staff, a media officer, an electoral officer and a PA/receptionist plus four departmental staff (departmental liaison officers). I was responsible for about 35 per cent of the ACT public service. We all had state and local government responsibilities given the nature of the ACTLA. .
These precious new members want four personal staff (electoral) and four research staff.
What Albo is proposing is more than enough; plus he's increasing resources for the parliamentary library. A helpful hint for the teals and new Greens, try pooling your staff or allocate one of your four electoral staff to advise on bills and so on. Stop whinging guys and girls. And that includes you David. You're carrying on like a prima donna back.
I was bemused by reports on adviser staff cuts for independents in the federal Parliament.
Presumably this staffing level of one adviser applies to most backbenchers. We have a budget crisis and independents complain that they cannot have four paid advisers. Give me a break.
Once upon a time backbenchers had no advisers. When I worked for the Labor shadow minister for overseas aid and the Pacific in 2005 and 2006 he had one paid adviser. I worked as a volunteer adviser. Perhaps the independents can call on volunteers.
The decision to increase parliamentary library staff is a good one and will help independents and other backbenchers. I worked in the library years ago. It is much valued by members of Parliament.
Since the turn of the millennium the baby boomers have been divisively and angrily held responsible for all the world's ills.
This evocation of a lucky and selfish baby boomer "other" ignores the reality that the inequalities and injustices of our economy and society are embedded in all of our population's age cohorts.
It also ignores the reality that the baby boomers experienced a grossly underfunded and ill-equipped education system at the beginning of their life cycle, just as they are now facing a grossly underfunded and ill equipped health and age care system at the end of their life cycle.
The waves of future age cohorts should live in hope and even better mobilise and campaign to ensure that the health and age care systems get sorted, as the education system was in time for their arrival.
Fr Peter Day hopes that emphasizing the dignity of people will help us to avoid abortions. (Letters, June 29) It's unlikely to help and legally banning abortions doesn't stop people from having them but it does turn a significant operation into a brutally dangerous one.
The only factor that can reduce the number of abortions is sex education that includes a sound knowledge of contraception. Many Catholics use contraception but don't explain to their priests why this is important.
Every adult and teenager should routinely carry some condoms at all times because sex is an extremely powerful need which can outdo our fear of consequences.
For a woman, being on the pill increases the protection against pregnancy but not against disease. So when leaving the house, we should check "condoms, driver's licence, cards, phone ..." This may decrease unwanted pregnancies. Banning abortions will not.
The fact that teachers and nurses are carrying out industrial action has been a long time coming. It also means that governments are reaping the whirlwind. Of course, those who sowed the wind are long dead.
Until about two generations ago young women would leave school early, and had mainly three career paths: teaching, nursing, and secretarial work.
They were supposed to find a husband and start a family. So hospitals and schools had an endless supply of young women looking for work, and could pay not much for too much stress.
These days women can find jobs with more money and less stress. The ones who are left are the ones who want to see these services provided. There are not enough of them.
A recent study has revealed that politicians in prosperous democracies live longer than the people they allegedly represent. The study included seven European countries, the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. It was conducted over several decades.
In Australia a politician can expect to live longer on average by 3.4 years. Its hardly surprising when one considers that they are generously remunerated, have a superior lifestyle and pension entitlements, and last but not least, appear to have become very adept at " passing the buck " thus avoiding responsibility.
In Australia that was very well exemplified by former PM Scott Morrison and currently by the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
M Flint (Letters, June 27) claimed that the ACT takes 63 per cent of its demand for electricity "from fossil-fuel generators outside the ACT, through the NSW grid".
According to the ACT government's Environment, Planning and sustainable Development Directorate, the ACT achieved its goal to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable generators in 2020.
The input was from local large-scale generators including Mugga Lane Solar Park, Royalla Solar Farm, Williamsdale Solar Farm and Royalla Solar Farm, with a contribution from local small rooftop solar and medium-scale solar generators (less than 200 kilowatts) on more than 30,000 ACT homes and businesses.
If fossil-fuel energy were to be used, it would come from the Eastern Australia grid: there is no "NSW grid".
How can Australia claim to be a robust democracy, enjoying rights, privileges and the rule of law, when we allow, nay, encourage, the victimisation of those who have sought to make its citizens aware of improper or illegal behaviour by those who are supposed to serve the country's interests?
Where is our legislation for the protection of whistle blowers? Where is the line in the sand for Australians faced with vindictive treatment by our supposed allies? When do we stop prosecuting those who bravely speak truth to power?
We have a new government in office. Is it going to demonstrate that the rule of law actually means something? Or is it going to follow in the steps of the previous government by allowing brave individuals to be thrown to the wolves?
Bradley Perrett ("China's claim needs to be set strait", canberratimes.com.au, June 25) bemoans the fact that China says the 130 kilometre wide Taiwan Strait is Chinese territory. He also says that if Australia was to send so much as a naval dinghy there we could probably expect another round of trade sanctions.
Why would we want to send a naval dinghy, let alone real warships, there, as we do? What's the point of Australia sending warships to the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait? What possible need or justification do we have for sending warships near China's shores, many thousands of kilometres away from Australia?
Before the election Australia's then Defence minister, Peter Dutton, hypocritically and belligerently called Chinese intelligence ship Haiwangxing sailing 90 kilometres off the Western Australian coast an aggressive act. Why? We routinely send real warships to patrol the South China Sea. Why do we do that; and why is that okay?
I'm guessing, from his hawkish stance, that your anti-China correspondent Bradley Perrett must have all of his super invested in armaments companies.
"Let's talk about abortion" (Letters, June 29) is an extremely cogent analysis of the abortion issue. For me, late abortion is a heinous act. Sugar coating it politically only makes it worse.
Who cares what a male priest thinks of women and casual sex? What qualification does he have to tell any of us how to think? Don't import the US culture war here and leave us alone!
It is bizarre how Fr Peter Day can conclude that a "pro choice narrative lets men off the hook, allowing them to, among other things, to spread their seed with impunity, leaving women to do all the heavy lifting". Has he never heard of the Child Support Agency?
The ALP government is merely resetting independents staffing numbers back to what they were prior to the Morrison government's tenure. Between now and the end of the year there will only be about 32 sitting days in the Senate. Surely an intelligent senator could review any intended legislation between sitting days.
Some would say that nobody deserves respect, just acknowledgement, unless they've achieved something.
Americans are a laughing stock and about 60 years behind the times. Those who voted against abortion would be part-time God fearers. Why can't "smart" Americans work out a way to stop children being killed by guns.
Did the judges appointed by Trump perjure themselves at their confirmation hearings? They all said Roe vs Wade was "settled precedent". Now we know they lied. Doesn't that make them legally unfit for office?
If people are concerned about facial recognition technology in shops and stores perhaps wearing a well-fitting face mask is the answer. This would kill two birds with one stone.
It does not inspire confidence when Noel Whittaker uses kW and kWh as if they were interchangeable. "Doing the sums on solar batteries as energy crisis looms in Australia" (canberratimes.com.au, June 27).
It was disgraceful for Broelman, in his cartoon of Monday, June 27, to suggest Albo was in any way responsible for the French submarine debacle and the consequent demeaning of the nation.
When will Qantas admit to itself, its shareholders and the long suffering flying public that it is now another just a cut price airline?
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