My wife and I were at Coles Supermarket doing our grocery shopping recently. We thought we had enough money to cover it, but were $7 short. Without hesitation, the young couple behind us gave the cashier $10. We offered to repay the money but they wouldn't hear of it. They suggested we could 'pay it forward' to someone else one day. Thank you to the young couple for your generosity. How wonderful to know there are still good people in the world.
Murray Harrison, Ballarat East
Could you please stop the continual Vline bashing in your newspaper. It is tiresome and extremely biased reporting and not informative. Recently you again criticised the punctuality of Vline's Ballarat-Melbourne service without mentioning the other performance indicator, that of reliability which is over 98 per cent. You also never mention the continually increasing patronage numbers or any specific reasons for delays such as vandalism which is beyond V/line's control. I do not use the train for commuting but every time I do, such as last Saturday, the train system seems to work well, and my wife has a little joke every time she uses the train to commute to Melbourne when she texts me that, "the rotten train left on time, again". And no, I am not a Labor voter.
Philip Howe, North Ballarat
Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, welcomes the long overdue replacement of government IT systems managing payments for residential and home and community care providers. The Department of Human Services payment system has been a considerable point of frustration for the aged care sector for many years. LASA has pushed hard for a better IT system with government and the Department of Human Services to get a sustainable, reliable and stable payment system for the aged care sector.
The existing system is inefficient and unreliable, and clearly not up to the task. It has caused substantial delays and problems for providers, often leaving them out of pocket for months at a time, whilst also creating confusion and anxiety for older Australians receiving care and services. While it is encouraging that the government has committed to build a new payment system, it needs to invest now in dealing with the problems industry and consumers are still experiencing while we wait to transition to this new system.
Sean Rooney, CEO, Leading Age Services Australia
Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iraq. Immigration (Border Force) cites these nationalities as those most prevalent among asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.
"Exercise a high degree of caution." "Reconsider your need to travel." "Do not travel. Very high risk; seek professional security advice." These are the messages of advcie from the Foreign Affairs Department for each of the six countries above. By contrast Immigration Minister Dutton's advice to those we've incarcerated on Manus Island and Nauru."Take the package, go back to your country of origin."
What about the nearly 200 stateless asylum seekers? Recommendation: Dutton spends time in each country and investigates how safe each country is for returning asylum seekers, with a "fixer" so he can find food and accommodation and without his security entourage. Include an independent, documentary journalist. If it's not safe enough for DFAT or Dutton, how could any right-minded person think it's safe to return those we've incarcerated for years, whose mental and emotional states we've destroyed, if they weren't destroyed already.
Judy Bamberger, O'Connor
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