Letters to the editor: August 20

Open letter to Mark Coulton

We are three people from different Federal electorates. We believe that no Federal members will ever choose to debate with candidates.

One of my friends had the member for Farrer – Sussan Ley – agree to a debate with the subject of saving the Big Four Australian banks from huge derivatives and a property bubble and the fact that J P Morgan, HSBC and Citigroup own about 40% of the Big Four. Our banks have to borrow from overseas so that in time these ‘shonky’ banks will eventually take over.

Sussan’s letter included:

‘Australia's approach to managing risk in the banking sector has been to focus on strong oversight by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Banks continue to be intensively supervised by APRA and the Australian banking system continues to perform strongly.’

The Reserve Bank of Australia have a graph of ever increasing derivatives with these comments:

‘Australia’s banks have become addicted to derivatives, the fraudulent and toxic betting instruments that caused the 2008 financial crash. While derivatives betting globally levelled off for a few years after 2008, in Australia it exploded.

The combined derivatives exposure of Australia’s banks has risen 163 per cent in eight years, with Bank’s consolidated off balance sheet business now in excess of $35 trillion.’

 The Australia Prudential Regulation Authority APRA publishing Prudential Standard CPS 226 - on page 10 showed that it was calling for each of the Big Four to reduce their derivatives to $4.5 trillion (with a ‘t’) by 1st September 2017.

APRA – as the banking regulator -  stated that the requirement was legally binding.

My friend has asked Sussan Ley four times whether APRA’s requirements have been or will be legislated with no response.

His friend has asked Mark Coulton the member for Parkes the same questions without a response. My friend has sent a fax to David Litteproud. To date there has been no response.

If this continues then they will continue to encourage as many minor parties and independents as possible to contest Farrer, Parkes and Maranoa to demand debates with these three members. The minor parties know that one of them can win each of these huge country electorates.

Mike Woods,

Gunnedah

Same-sex marriage debate 

With the coming survey on same-sex marriage, we should expect reasonable arguments for and against.

However arguments for this redefinition of marriage seem to be confined to fairness and sympathy for the less than 1 per cent of the population who are affected by this issue.

On the other hand, the more than 50 per cent of the population who are deeply troubled by this change and the many sound reasons against this change are largely ignored. 

The adverse effects on freedom of speech, the rights of children adopted by same sex couples and the legalisation of harmful LGBTQ teaching in schools should not be ignored.

Ian Holford       

Tamworth   

Support at hand for veterans

This Government is committed to supporting current and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) who may have been physically or sexually abused. 

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has introduced measures to make it easier for those affected to access compensation and to receive the mental health support they need. 

The Department has broadened the acceptance of statutory declarations as part of compensation claims, making it possible for such declarations to constitute sufficient evidence to establish that abuse took place. 

This change will benefit those who may not have reported abuse at the time it occurred or who have never previously spoken about it. 

A dedicated team has also been established to manage all new claims relating to sexual and physical abuse.

Treatment for all mental health conditions is now free for anyone who has served just one day in the full-time ADF. 

The Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service also provides specialist free counselling and group programs. 

This service is available by phoning 1800 011 046, or via their website: www.vvcs.gov.au.

I encourage anyone who may have suffered abuse in the ADF to contact DVA to access the support and benefits the Department provides. 

Further information can be found on DVA’s website or by calling 1800 555 254. 

Dan Tehan,

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Equality for all 

Sen George Brandis called Sen Pauline Hanson an insult and an attack on Muslims by wearing a burqa into parliament.

Sen George Brandis said “be very careful the offence you may do to religious sensibilities of other Australians and to ridicule that community, and to drive it into a corner to mock its religious garments, is a poorly thing to do,” yet the Australian Federal Parliament is not giving Australian Christians the same consideration on same sex marriage.

Equality should be given to all but without offence to Christians whose religious beliefs are that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Bill Caley

Moonbi