Letters to the editor

GOBSMACKED: So much for politicians’ statements about Australia having to be the clever country, writes Greg Price about prison job losses. Photo: Supplied

GOBSMACKED: So much for politicians’ statements about Australia having to be the clever country, writes Greg Price about prison job losses. Photo: Supplied

We’ll see the jobs loss in the main street

So the Baird Government wants to eliminate more government jobs in Goulburn. The proposed elimination of 10 teaching positions at the Goulburn jail is bad news for prisoners and the Goulburn economy.

It is bad news for prisoners because many of them are not well educated and fine getting employment difficult. This usually means multiple prison terms through their lives so they rely on the Goulburn prison teachers to educate them and make them employable after their release and reintegration into society.

I am gobsmacked that the Minister for Corrective Services believes that teachers don’t need a degree. So much for politicians’ statements about Australia having to be the clever country.

Without the opportunity these teachers provide they will be condemned to continue their lives of crime. It would be more advantageous for society in general for these teaching positions to be retained in Goulburn.

It is bad news for Goulburn’s economy because it has been calculated that the removal of 10 teaching positions from the jail will cost the economy something in the order of $795,000 per year.

When taken in conjunction with the loss of government jobs over the last three to four years from TAFE, Countrylink, Fair Trading and the RMS it is possible the Goulburn economy has lost as much as $2m after taking into account jobs already lost plus the loss of 10 teaching jobs at the Goulburn jail.

Little wonder that there are so many empty shops in the main street of town and it is starting to look shabby.

I find it amazing that the business community and Goulburn Mulwaree Council are not pressuring the government to retain these teaching positions and the money they generate in Goulburn. Instead, they seem to be relying solely on the unions to save the jobs.

Unless they all work together along with the Member for Goulburn, Pru Goward, we will all be the losers.

Greg Price, Goulburn

Demon-cracy, is that how it’s spelt?

People are talking about this demon-cracy idea: is that how it’s spelt? That way, I’m told, the circus of government is done by an elected parliament in accord with the will of the people, of course.

Just tell the representatives who have been elected to parliament what we want, and – presto! That’s demon-cracy.

I recall (then) Prime Minister John Howard once stating that “I alone will decide...” whether or not our armed forces would invade Iraq. That’s demon-cracy.

More recently, the federal Attorney-General decreed that courts hearing certain cases were to consider ‘staring’ and ‘silence’ to be domestic violence, a matter on which the federal parliament has no constitutional right to be involved. That’s demon-cracy.

Bill Shorten, aspiring PM, recently referred to us millions who disagree with his support for homosexual marriage as “haters who come out from under rocks”. Not nice, aspiring PM and my ‘representative’ Shorten, and surely the lowest standard of debate. That’s demon-cracy.

We get to vote on who we want to be Prime MInister (although that position is not mentioned in the Australian Constitution). Then a roomful of people over-rule us and we have an unelected PM. That’s demon-cracy.

Some members and Senators who would like some freedom of speech to be allowed are working to modify Section 18c of the anti-free speech and anti-freedom of choice... – whoops! I mean, the Discrimination Act.

A dissenting parliamentarian expressed concern that while there is so much important work awaiting parliamentary attention, others are quibbling about needing “the right to insult fellow Australians”. If that’s demon-cracy, there must be a better way.

Dan McSweeney, Goulburn

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