BEFORE citizens exercise their right to vote in the upcoming state and commonwealth parliamentary elections I implore them to consider the financial rewards that the recipient of their vote could realise.
A base salary for a member of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in NSW is about $3000 per week. Holders of office get varying additional amounts as well as significant expense allowances.
For their Commonwealth colleagues in the House of Representatives and Senate, the base salary is about $4000 per week. Again, holders of office can qualify for substantial additional payments.
In addition to the generous remuneration is the opportunity to benefit from a parliamentary pension after losing their seat in an election or on retiring
In exercising your vote also remember that Members of the Legislative Assembly in NSW are in the job for four years and for members of the Legislative Council you are footing the bill for their salaries and allowances for eight years.
Federally the term for House of Representative members is three years and the Senate six years unless the Prime Minister decides to go to an early election. I can think of many previous and current members of parliament in NSW and the Commonwealth that in my opinion have been substantially overpaid for their job of representing the interests of constituents and making sound decisions for the benefit of all Australians and this amazing country.
Make sure your vote goes to a worthy candidate. You are going to fund their position for several years.
Steve Weatherstone, Warners Bay
CONSENT IS THE KEY
BRAD Hill (Short Takes 9/3) enjoys the attention and notoriety that comes with his frequent provocative letters, but he may want to reflect on whether he has crossed the line by applauding what he calls an “envious romp with the opposite sex” by NRL players.
Currently we have Jack De Belin facing charges in court of aggravated sexual assault in company. We have Jarryd Hayne facing charges of aggravated sexual assault.
We have Zane Musgrove and Liam Coleman facing charges of aggravated indecent assault. We have Tyrone May facing charges of filming and distributing a sex tape without consent.
As yet, one can only speculate about how many of the other sex tapes rumoured to be circulating around were also made and/or distributed without the consent of the women involved. However, I don’t think anyone will be surprised if more are charged over time.
Perhaps the “new-age do-gooders” that Mr Hill derides understand that a “good romp” must involve consent by both parties. Perhaps the “new-age do-gooders” that Brad Hill derides understand that filming and sharing an intimate act without the consent of the other party is both disrespectful and illegal.
Move with the times, Mr Hill. Attitudes like yours regarding the treatment of women are no longer viewed as acceptable.
Vicki Keast, Adamstown Heights
TAPES NO LAUGHING MATTER
I WAS surprised and disappointed to see a Short Takes item published in the Newcastle Herald on Saturday (9/3) that appeared to condone and encourage rugby league players filming their sexual encounters, without the knowledge or consent of their partner (or, more correctly, their victim), and publishing the film on the internet.
The item was no doubt intended to be funny (although I suspect that few would have appreciated the joke) and I realise that Short Takes has become a forum for inconsequential banter and is generally not to be taken seriously, but I am surprised it was published.
The filming of a sexual act by one party without the knowledge of the other is demeaning, humiliating and unlawful. It has become such a serious and pervasive problem that even the NRL is doing something about it and of course it is also brings into question the mental capacity of the players involved, both those doing the filming and others who get some sort of vicarious thrill out of viewing it.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
DALEY RIGHT TO MUTE JONES
HOW good was it to see Michael Daley taking on Alan Jones? If something is white and Mr Jones says it’s black, everyone agrees with Alan, not Michael Daley. He went in there and fought for country people who are asking why the Coalition is talking about stadiums when the bushies are coping with grossly depleted government services and kids sweltering in temporary classrooms without air conditioning; where parents, to protect children at school, are paying for the toilets to be cleaned.
Mr Daley took the agenda away from Mr Jones because he's not afraid of crossing him. The response from Twitter showed Michael's well-executed stance got a hearty response from voters heartily sick of hearing the same broken record on the radio every day.
John Butler, Windella
SMOKE OUT BAD BEHAVIOUR
I LIVE in beautiful Fingal Bay. The view across the beach to the North is exquisite. Just the week after Clean up Australia Day, I observed a mature aged gentleman take his last suck on a fag and then put it out under his foot, all within 10 metres of a bin, whilst gazing at this beautiful vista.
What a grub (to be polite).
When will the federal government make such littering illegal and penalise accordingly, given the significant fire risk in this hot dry land? When will local council make more bins available to encourage smokers to use? When will business communities engage on stamping out this awful practice which conflicts with promoting our area as “beautiful"?
When will smokers stop this disgusting practice and use existing bins or personal ashtrays? When will cigarette manufacturing companies be penalised and asked to contribute to keep Australia beautiful?
As a Port Stephens ratepayer, I am happy to pay a small levy in my rates to purchase millions of of Chinese-made personal ashtrays to be given out through local businesses to help reduce local degradation of our wonderful natural beauty and waterways.
Andrew Higley, Fingal Bay
SHARE YOUR OPINION
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Responsibility for election comment in this issue is accepted by Newcastle Herald editor Heath Harrison. Writers should disclose any alliance with political or community organisations and include their phone number for verification. Election candidates should declare themselves as such when submitting letters.