A RECENT letter from Oliver Guthrie mentions the 60th anniversary of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). This is a wonderful achievement from the largely volunteer-staffed organisation that receives no government funding.
In celebration, the majority of National Trust properties were open, free-of-charge, to the public. This included Mooramong at Skipton, which is the closest trust-owned property to Ballarat.
We would love to welcome Mr Guthrie to join in some of the local activities. Be a volunteer at Mooramong, guide walking tours, attend a working bee at a heritage place, record details of Ballarat's rich legacy of cast iron, and plan spring activities.
The Ballarat branch was pleased to hold Heritage Awards as a lead into a very busy Ballarat Heritage Weekend. Indeed, the Ballarat branch is alive, well and actively moving through our 55th year of service.
- Dianne Gow, National Trust Ballarat branch president
INSTEAD of increasing tax for everyone why not put a tax, or increase it, on every trust fund, as they can be used by people earning big money so they only a small amount of tax. Business people have trust funds, not everyday hardworking people.
- Lynette Campbell, Mt Gravatt East
AUSTRALIAN consumers looking to buy eggs will find supermarket shelves bare for at least the next couple of months, as retailers struggle to implement even the woefully inadequate protections of the new "free range" regulations.
Consumer affairs ministers around the country have agreed that factory farms can still call their products free range up to a density of 10,000 hens per hectare - allowing each bird just one square metre of space. Even this minimal new standard has apparently proven difficult for producers to meet, proving that "free range" was always just a marketing slogan.
The Model Code of Practice, published by the CSIRO, which set the limit at 1500 hens per hectare, is apparently just a joke to the egg industry.
Australians are already struggling with a barrage of misleading and vague labels on eggs, including "barn laid", "free to roam" and "cage-free", all of which tell the consumer little about how the chickens were actually farmed.
- Desmond Bellamy, Special Projects Coordinator, PETA Australia
LIBERALS are paranoid by the Labor Party/trade union relationship, when, alternately, a potential conflict of interest through strong controlling financial interests exist between Liberals and big business.
Unlike Liberals, big business and corporate supporters, the unions are not promoting Labor, instead recommend their members vote according to their conscience, but put Liberal last.
The unions are unhappy over Labor's failure to counter John Howard's anti-worker legislation throughout the six years in which they had an opportunity, although a hung parliament was somewhat prohibitive.
Almost two million temporary residents and 457 visa recipients currently work in Australia, which adversely influences future employment forecasts.
One of Australia's wealthiest business people, Andrew Forrest claims slave labour is present in Australia with at least 4000 current slaves. If Andrew is cognisant of this, the government must surely be aware.
Is it the government's intention to expand on Australian slave labour to reduce wages and achieve their balanced budget? Let's see what the government instruct for those current 7 Eleven employees who are paid half-minimum wages. Their reaction will surely confirm or deny their future employment intentions for Australian workers.
- Wally Reynolds, Perth
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