Letters to the editor

Civil Society - will it survive this current federal government?

I am deeply disturbed that the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017 appears to target civil society groups - those supported and funded by ordinary people.

While large corporations and their lobbyists seem to have unfettered access to politicians and Government Ministers, ordinary citizens will often choose to make their voices heard through various activist groups that are independent of political parties.

As a regular donor to more than one of these groups, I regard with dismay the onerous conditions planned for the thousands of people who look to these groups to advance their vision of a fairer Australian society where the well-being of all people is our goal.

The extraordinary attacks from certain politicians on groups that displease them (rather than on their arguments) – in particular Get Up – is a warning to all of us.

Democracy does not flourish without participation by people (as distinct from corporations).

These activist groups provide a means for that participation.

Those who try to weaken grassroots organisations are not true democrats.

Brian Phillips, Bethany.

Block the bill

Dear Senator/Minister 

I urge you not to support a bill which restricts social media organisations, like Getup, from challenging politicians on all sides, for policies which may not be in the public’s interest. 

If politicians are so afraid of these organisations scrutinising their policies etc. then perhaps these policies are not going to benefit the majority of Australians?? 

Perhaps they are only interested in supporting the multinationals and big business at the expense of many Australians. If your policies are just and fair, then you have nothing to be frightened about!!

I will not support any political party that tries to stifle the public’s voice! 

Please treat Australians with more intelligence & respect!! 

Lynne Jones, Eden Valley.

Independents influence for regional development

Before the last state election our Labor Government’s annual budget allocation specifically for regional development was a grossly inadequate $1.6 million.

The influence of Geoff Brock’s election as an Independent member in Frome resulted in this being raised to $15 million – almost a 10-fold increase.

It is now the policy of both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party to budget $15 million per year specifically for regional development.

This $15 million regional development budget is still grossly inadequate for regional SA which is 99 per cent of the state.

The clear message from the last election is that electors can push significant change to both Labor and Liberal policies if they vote for Independent influences when they go to the polling booths.

Andrew John Scott, Whyalla Norrie.

SA Best Cheesy Political Advertisement

I thought it was good. Why? Well, as far as I can see - it was done on the smell of an oily rag, without expensive advice from an advertising agency, done by volunteers, the candidates did the singing, it covers all major issues like education, health, jobs, small business, farmers, aged people, youth, multicultural influences, immigration, stopping our youth leaving the state looking for work, something needs to be done, providing a service for all financial demographics in the state, the existing state debt, it looks sincere, provides no unfunded promises, there is no poisonous nasty slurs and remarks against anyone else, and because it is so cheesy it is being talked about, dissected and debated which is absolutely priceless.

It costs mega bucks to put these ads onto the commercial stations, and they just don’t have the money.

This “talk” is spreading the profile of the SA Best Party through the roof – for good or bad.

What Liberal Party ad do you remember, and other than the famous “It’s Time” Labor party ad in the 70s, I can’t remember any other Labor party add?

If I can see this, I am sure many others can.

Mike Galea, Strathalbyn.

  • Letters commenting on election issues must bear the name and full address of the writer(s). Responsibility for election comment in this issue is accepted by Fairfax South Australia group managing editor Brooke DuBois, 200 Greenhill Rd, Eastwood. Writers should disclose any alliance with political or community organisations and include their telephone number for verification. Election candidates should declare themselves as such when submitting letters.