Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor: TAFE funding, tax cuts, climate change and plastic straws

TAFE funds put end to ‘moment of madness’

We appear to have had our “moment of madness” in allowing private providers to take over the education of some of our young people. 

It is heartening to see that the TAFE system is once more becoming the major educator for a large number of non-university courses. Tragically for these young people we lost some very skilled and experienced teachers to the new system which prevailed for a short while.

Unfortunately I suspect the private providers now see buckets of money coming their way in the NDIS scheme. This system is ripe for the rorting. Like the roof batts and the failed “training colleges” this too will ultimately fail and government will be left to pick up the tab. 

Annie Young, Junortoun

Pay tax forward

I do not believe big business should get tax cuts.

However, if they do, it should be put into place that in the first 12 months of tax cuts companies should be made to put all the savings towards the homeless and low-income earners affordable housing. 

Ray Tonkins, California Gully

Climate change missing

I am shocked and dismayed by the complete absence of climate change in any discussions of the 2018 budget. It doesn't seem to be on the radar at all and it should be a priority, given that a stable climate underpins a stable economy and supports our infrastructure and health.

The Australian Conservation Foundation says “if you breathe air or live on Planet Earth, this was a bad budget.” I would have to agree, given that spending on climate issues was almost halved, with further decreases planned. Meanwhile, they are increasing fuel subsidies to big polluting companies, and reducing the tax that those companies will pay.

This budget is putting our infrastructure at risk, increasing our risk of higher intensity fires, and is providing no drought relief for farmers – and we will spend more time in drought in future. The only concession is some money to the reef (even though it's only half of what the government wants to give to new coal mines like Adani).

However it completely neglects the major cause of the reef's decline – ocean warming and acidification.

Global CO2 has recently hit 410ppm. It could rise to 550ppm by the end of the century, which will have a huge impact on the world my kids inherit. The effects of our addiction to fossil fuels undermine our health and infrastructure – let’s tackle one of the root causes of the problem, not just stick a bandaid on it.

Melissa Abel, North Bendigo

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Ban the straw

There has been recent discussion concerning the use and irresponsible disposal of plastic straws.  When I was a child there was no such thing as a plastic straw, they were made of paper strengthened by a coating of a wax substance and were white with red, blue or green spiral lines.

There were no plastic bags in supermarkets, everyone had string bags.  In America groceries are still packed in tall brown paper sacks which are then used to line the kitchen waste bin. 

Why is it that our leaders find tackling these harmful items so difficult? Just stop making them, we will survive without them but the animals in our oceans will not.

Ann Merry, Eaglehawk