Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

Read carefully, make your opinion count

People have started to receive their postal forms for the same sex marriage survey. I would urge people, at this time, to consider carefully what the form is asking: "Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?" That's all.

It's not about the Safe Schools program, or religion, or transgenderism, or children. It is about whether two consenting adults can choose to engage in a legal contract to show their commitment.  Read carefully, and make your opinion count.

Virginia Moon, Quarry Hill

No certainty

David Young was convicted of the 1864 murder in Daylesford of Margaret Graham. He hanged for it eight months later. Deborah Benson, having done much research into the case, is ‘convinced that he was innocent.’ I agree wholeheartedly with Benson that on what we understand today by ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’, Young should not have been found guilty.

The evidence was by modern standards, utterly inconclusive. Certain key factors were behind Young’s unjust conviction. These included that Young was an ex-convict with a history of violence against women (and one case of sexually deviant behaviour against a young girl); he had no money, no family and it seems, no friends to support him in his defence; his legal counsel was negligent and even incompetent, and the murder victim had complained of Young making inappropriate advances towards her in the days prior to her murder.

Add to this the primitive standards of forensic testing and the incentive given to the police of reward money for a guilty verdict, and the odds were very much against the unfortunate man. 

However, despite the unsafe verdict, there has been no evidence presented, much less proof, of Young’s innocence. The fact remains, he may well have committed the crime after all, and while we may be aghast at the standards of justice meted out to Young 152 years ago, we cannot today say with any certainty, that he was innocent.

Greg Pyers, Daylesford 

Reforms are wrong

The Andrews Government focus on the way the transitional payments (100k, 50, 50, 50 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th taxi licence) have been paid on a per entity basis.

E.g., husband and wife own 2 licences jointly receive 150k.  Husband and wife own one each singly receive 200k. 

17 licences owned in a trust with 7 beneficiaries (mum, dad and 5 adult kids and a shared $2 million debt) get $250k. Husband and wife with 10 licences held in 6 separate entities - singly, jointly, company, family trust and superfund got $750k. Guy with 13 licences in 13 separate entities got 100k for each one - that is a staggering $1.3 million!

Minister Jacinta Allan has these reforms so wrong.  By fluke alone some people have come out way on top and others penalised severely.

We do not begrudge people their accidental win but the inequity is staggering. People have structured their financial affairs to suit their own unique personal and business situation.

No one planned for this ridiculous outcome. Not one person was more clever than the next.  

A taxi licence is property as ruled by the High court in 1998 but it is being treated by this government like a token found in a pack of cereal. Each licence is equivalent in value!

Rod Barton, Victorian Hire Car Association