LETTER: Sad to see councillor go
WE WERE saddened to hear about Peter Heuser resigning due to ill health.
From the time he announced his nomination to run for council, he introduced himself to the people personally in Division 10 (the good old fashioned way) listened to their concerns, gave them his phone number and assured us he could be contacted any time.
At no time did he engage in any denigration of his opponents.
When we raised the suggestion of sun shades at Boreham Park, he met with us at the park, took photos, and kept us informed about the progress.
Peter was there for his community, not himself.
We say God bless and wish Peter and his family all the best.
To the new nominees, we offer this advice, treat us the way Peter did, as equals.
JOHN AND MAREE READ
THOUSANDS of our iconic, native koalas are being bulldozed in their homes, due to land clearing in Queensland.
They are killed or displaced and their habitat lost.
Koalas only survive in groups in tall eucalypt stands.
Finding them in suburbia, isolated, lost and starving, dying or dead is symptomatic of the destruction of their habitat.
The article in the NewsMail, January 11, "sick sort screws koala to post”, even if it was dead, how can anyone even contemplate such a unfeeling, disturbing, senseless act?
THERE'S no doubt in my mind that if a nationwide poll was conducted, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed would support the need for a federal corruption watchdog.
Electronic and print media news outlets are full of reasons why voters are demanding more transparency and accountability from parliamentarians.
They are virtually the only elected representatives in the country without a dedicated anti-corruption watchdog to keep an eye on them.
Each state has one.
Turnbull and Shorten, along with their sidekicks, would like us to believe that corruption is isolated exclusively at the local and state government levels, consequently, in their eyes a corruption watchdog at federal level is unwarranted.
Ironically, this is the one precept on which the Coalition and Labor agree.
Instead they self righteously boast that the existing bodies they have whipped up are quite capable of tackling any perceived corruption... what claptrap!
Meanwhile, the same politicians in both the House of Representatives and the Senate continue to hurl smears and allegations of "corruption” at each other.
Their opponents, working on the assumption that offence is the best form of defence, then return fire with similar accusations or, having no independent umpire to turn to, accuse their accusers of far worse.
All the public hears are the accusations, because in the federal sphere there is no such thing as exoneration.
With no standing body that has the power to investigate MPs, the public is sceptical of those who say there is no problem.
If by some stroke of luck there was a federal corruption watchdog established what should it look like given that not all watchdogs are created equal?
While none of the existing state models are perfect, the New South Wales ICAC model is probably the best as it has a broad definition of corruption.
Investigators can often find systematic failures and criminal behaviour where initially there was only evidence of poor record keeping.
Such a body would need to have long-term appointments by its head, budgets must be sufficient and stable, and the body must be respected by all in parliament.
It's hardly likely that the current government will move to create a federal corruption-fighting body, but unless our parliament moves to create one soon it will continue to lose the moral authority on which delegated democratic authority actually rests.
If Opposition and Crossbench MPs are desperate enough to gain votes and power at the next election, they might just be self-sacrificing enough to put the desires of the public ahead of their desire to avoid scrutiny - it's happened before.