Bendigo girl, 10, takes PM to task

RELATED: Rachael's letter gets national attention

EDITORIAL: Rachael pens thoughts in heartfelt letter

A BENDIGO 10-year-old is challenging the Prime Minister on the Federal Budget.

Grade four Camp Hill Primary School student Rachael Hamilton has written a letter to Tony Abbott urging him to reconsider proposed GP co-payments and his asylum seeker policy.

Rachael said she didn’t like what she heard on Federal Budget night or in the news.

“I knew Tony Abbott was making bad choices and I got really annoyed about it,” she said.

“Joe Hockey is making people pay more for doctors when they can’t afford it.

“I had the idea to write a letter.”

Rachael's letter reads:

''To Mr Tony Abbott,

''We are absolutely shocked at your actions. We think that you are being so unfair and a disgrace.

''Why do you make rules at include not letting refugees into the country? How would you like it if you travelled to a country  like Vietnam and they wouldn’t let you on their land?

''Joe Hockey said that all Australians are kind and friendly. So where are you from?

''We already pay enough money for doctors and the chemist.

''Please don’t think this note is unimportant because it came from a student.''

Rachael said she learnt about the plight of asylum seekers from children’s book Refuge by Jackie French.

She said Mr Abbott was being unfair to refugees.

“I think the government should let them in and give them what they need,” she said.

Rachael hopes to hear back from the Prime Minister.

“I was thinking he would write back to me saying he’ll think about making better choices,” she said.

Rachael has a younger brother, Aeden, 8. Her parents are Bernadette Ward and Martin Hamilton.

Ms Ward said her daughter’s letter was “totally off her own bat”.

“We sat down and watched the budget and we talked about what the budget is and how the government works and some of things the treasurer was saying,” she said.

“We don’t tell the kids what to think or say but it’s getting them to think about what the government is doing and decide what they think about it.

“It’s about having children who are engaged with what’s happening in the Australian community.”

Ms Ward said Rachael and Aeden learnt about politics at school but no one pushed a particular position on them.

“We’re not a household that sits down and talks about this all the time,” she said.

“We just talk about what they’ve learnt at school and how that applies to the broader community.

“We want them to think and be engaged in discussion on all sorts of issues.”

Ms Ward sent the letter to Mr Abbott this week.

“We’re looking forward to hearing back,” she said.

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