Letters to the Editor

Are we skilling in the right places?

The 457 visa is of concern. While we should share our ever-so-lucky country with others less fortunate, we sooner or later may realise we have an unemployment problem here. At the old fashioned technical schools, we were taught engineering, sheet metal, woodwork, electrical basics and motor mechanics; plus a good dose of discipline and manners.

Mr Kennett demolished or re-branded our tech schools, thus giving a more prestigious status to students who now attend colleges or high schools. This creates computer operators, hospitality workers, clerks, coffee baristas and tourism workers; desirable jobs - even journalism - but with limited vacancies. (Try Fairfax) Not only could my generation easily find jobs, but we could save money by repairing things at home. It appears that Asia, who make good cheap cars and appliances, may have had the foresight to retain their tech schools, and now, with 457 visas, kindly share their expertise with us Aussies, that we lack.

The 457 visa is aimed at filling skills gaps but shouldn't we be training our own people in these areas?

The 457 visa is aimed at filling skills gaps but shouldn't we be training our own people in these areas?

Warning: anyone who rocks the boat may be put on the next one. Many of our youth may end up at centrelink if we are not careful and don't plan for the future of jobs.

Colin Holmes, Ballarat

who answers for the victim

I read with interest that the mother of John Torney is urging her son to seek financial compensation after he was cleared of murdering two year old Nikki Franicis-Coslovich recently. We were all sickened, saddened and outraged by the circumstances in the way this little girl was left in the roof to die. In my opinion, the only money that should be spent is to find out who is responsible for this little girl's death. As society we should be outraged until that happens, otherwise our justice system has failed little Nikki dismally.

Geoff Rundell, Ballarat

Memo to mr Andrews

If a young healthy, fit and trained police officer is unable to protect his family and himself from violent home invaders, how the hell are the elderly and infirm expected to defend and protect themselves? All law abiding Victorians should be given back their inalienable right to self defence in the sanctity of their own homes. Castle Doctrine should be enacted to allow home owners the basic birthright of safety in their own homes, instead of the current situation where people do not feel safe behind locked doors.

Bill Dobell, Sebastopol

too casual

When casualisation of the hitherto permanent work force first began to raise its ugly head, the politicians who promoted the ideology were seen by some as great leaders, innovators, visionaries. To others of us who were affected by the changes, we could see beyond those first moves. We could see the situation exactly as it is today. Ever increasing numbers of workers, now in the millions, who, under casualisation conditions have not had pay rises for several years but instead, have had to accept pay cuts. In my own case, my pay has been cut by $4.60 per hour. Others have had larger cuts than mine. Large numbers of people in this position are unable to service their monetary commitments.

Unable to even think about the enjoyment of living or heaven forbid, emergency expenses. May I ask how long our visionary leaders think this situation can continue before a desperate casual workforce numbering millions will decide to do something drastic? If you have read and understand history you will know that the great Roman Empire crumbled because most of the money in the empire ended up in the hands of just half a dozen people. The economy collapsed. We here in Australia are staring at the same scenario. Someone in power needs to see the real picture and take some positive action. A first step would be to return to permanent full time employment.

George Furze, Dysart