Letters to the Editor

Less than perfect budgets

Ballarat is left feeling left out Both the state and federal governments being basically underpinned by short-term political motivation. When will we get governments focussed on a long-term future rather than a short-term fix with one eye on the next election.

Firstly to the Federal budget, sadly for Ballarat, federal politics has reared its ugly head in terms of the budget because although we have a very effective federal member in Catherine King, she is not a member of the government so Ballarat gets left out. Even the Ballarat delegation to Canberra in March was overlooked.

Malcolm Turnbull has had the temerity to ignore us,. We, too, are entitled to federal government investment. For instance, a fast, efficient express rail service between Ballarat and Melbourne and an upgrade to the tracks to accommodate the faster trains.

In the State Budget, the Victorian Treasurer promised a modern, easily accessible transport system, with more regional services to Melbourne and better bus services, but why not for Ballarat?

He also spoke about funding for people with disabilities; why not in Ballarat and in particular fund all-abilities access at the Ballarat Rail Station? The station is not DDA compliant.

The Minister for Transport has stated that "The Andrews Labor Government is building new car parks at busy stations across Victoria to make it easier for people to catch the train". But why not in Ballarat? In actual fact the government is substantially reducing existing car parking at our Ballarat Central Rail Station and the Civic Hall.

The Transport Minister went on to also say that "These extra spaces will make a real difference for local passengers - reducing the daily scramble to get a park and get the train". We totally agree, so why is Ballarat missing out?

When will the state government focus on a future through an efficient regional public transport system that will provide Ballarat with an essential integrated transport hub at its central station?

An upgraded Ballarat station precinct with a fully integrated transport hub and fast express train services, without the hotel and convention centre, will enhance the opportunity for jobs and growth now and into the future for our great city.

Ron Egeberg, Soldiers Hill

The budget solution in LNG that vanishes offshore 

The Turnbull government has been warning the Australian people of a loss in taxation revenue. The loss of taxation revenue can firmly be placed at the feet of federal politicians who have undersold the resources of the country. Qatar earns royalties of $26.6 billion for LNG exports and Australia exports the equivalent amount of LNG and earns $7.3 billion.The LNG companies pay no rent tax on the Australian resources. Japan places an import duty tax on LNG and earns $2.9 billion in tax revenue.

If Australia earned the same royalties as Qatar $26.6 billion then Scott Morrison's contemptible deficit of $29.4 billion would be totally unnecessary. The ludicrous aspect of the LNG shortage is that AGL is considering buying back LNG from Japan because it is cheaper. What has been revealed by the loss of revenue from LNG is that federal politicians have significantly betrayed the Australian people and undersold the resources of the country to multinationals. This has left the long-suffering Australian taxpayer to fill the gap in taxation revenue because of the incompetence, deceit and culpability of federal politicians both Liberal and Labor. Former Prime Ministers Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott all sat on their hands and put their heads in the sand about the iniquitous lack of royalties the LNG companies pay the country. It will be interesting to observe if Malcolm Turnbull will join his colleagues, or has the capacity to intervene and reclaim the lost revenue from the LNG companies.

TOUGH SELL: Whether it is cuts to the University sector, the big banks' levy or infrastructure, many remain unconvinced of Budget 2017, a week after its release.

TOUGH SELL: Whether it is cuts to the University sector, the big banks' levy or infrastructure, many remain unconvinced of Budget 2017, a week after its release.

Scott Ramsay, Strathdale