Irate about rates
I would like to respond to the letter from Dr Katrena Stephenson (CEO of the Local Government Association of Tasmania) in The Kingston Classifieds on 26 April.
My wife and I arrived in Hobart in early December 2017 for a lifestyle change, having moved from Sydney. We sold our Sydney house for $1.8m. It was in the Hills Shire in Sydney, which is in the western suburbs. The council rates for our property were $408 a quarter based upon the capital value of the property. The house we moved into in Blackmans Bay is not worth anywhere near as much as our Sydney house, but the council rates are $803 a quarter.
The offer of basic services from Kingborough Council comes nowhere near what we had from Hills Shire Council in Sydney. For example, here there are no green waste bins, no free council clean ups, etc.
Retirees and those on low incomes who own a home would have less disposable income due to the high council rates. Maybe Katrena can look at why the services offered in Tasmania are so much higher in cost than those in Sydney.
Brian Hogan
Blackmans Bay

The Sue Hickey putsch
I am writing to express my disappointment with John Fleming’s sadly predictable ‘Opinion’ in The Cygnet and Channel Classifieds of 10 May 2018, regarding the ‘Sue Hickey putsch’.
We all know that had Rebecca White succeeded in winning the state election, only to be betrayed in the first minutes of the House of Assembly sitting, John Fleming and others of his political ilk would have been livid. I can imagine his column right now, full of furious anger and howls of outrage. For him to ‘glory be’ celebrate Sue Hickey’s actions simply because they weaken a party he dislikes is absolutely hypocritical and ethically bereft.
Oh sure JF half-heartedly tries to justify his expediency on the basis of Will Hodgman being “pro-pokies”. Then he risibly starts nattering about the “emergence of three women as an entity separate from the three major political parties” when two of those women are the leaders of two of the three “major political parties”!
The real issue here is that in a democracy, an individual who runs for and is elected to public office using the policies, identity and support of a major political party who then within minutes of commencing office aligns themselves with the opposition has misled the party whose support made their election possible and betrayed the voters who voted for her as a proxy for the party for whom she ran as an endorsed candidate. If Sue Hickey ran as an independent she could claim a personal mandate and do what she likes – but she didn’t.
These events, far from damaging the credibility of Eric Abetz, show that he saw right through Sue Hickey when others in his Party did not.
Be careful what you wish for, lest, like Allende in Chile or Gough Whitlam in the glory days of your youth, the seething rage of the people spurned results in the ‘surprise’ election of someone truly unpalatable like Trump, or your ‘the end justifies the means’ disrespect for the peaceful expression of the peoples’ democratic will doesn’t bite you ‘you know where’ next
time around.
I do actually agree with John Fleming’s later conclusions regarding the number of elected Members and that number being insufficient for the ministerial responsibilities of Government. However, when the opening paragraph is so gleefully opportunistic, it is difficult to accord what follows with the merit it might otherwise deserve.
Paul Sciberras
Oyster Cove

Letters to the editor are the opinions of the writers, whose name and address appear with each letter, and do not necessarily express the opinions of this publication. Letters are published in part or full at the sole discretion of the editor and no correspondence will be entered into. Please keep letters short and to the point.

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