April 9th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Why did Terri Schiavo have to die?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Welfare to work: serious changes needed

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Trade and Australia's farm dependent economy

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Infrastructure back on the agenda

FILM CLASSIFICATION: Report whitewashes declining film standards

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Australia, Indonesia to negotiate new treaty

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Relearning Federalism / 'New' thoughts on marijuana / Kofi's whitewash

Neglect of public infrastructure (letter)

New deal for superannuation (letter)

Compelling case for rail transport (letter)

Selling the nation's assets (letter)

AUSTRALIAN HISTORY: The Labor Split - 50 years on

FAMILY: AFA calls for adopting parents to be married

FAMILY LAW: Family Court 'a monstrosity'

BIOETHICS: Australian stem cell breakthrough - adult nose cells pluripotent

OPINION: Pot goes in the too-hard basket

ENVIRONMENT: The death of environmentalism?

BOOKS: OUTRAGE: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage

BOOKS: LIBERATION'S CHILDREN: Parents and Kids in a Postmodern Age

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Selling the nation's assets (letter)

by D. Geraldine Lucas

News Weekly, April 9, 2005

I found your National Affairs article, "The WMC takeover - losing our last mining giant" (News Weekly, February 26, 2005), extremely enlightening.

It seems far from right that a government, elected temporarily, can sell off the nation's assets without reference to the people, either by way of referendum or by acknowledging public responses.

It is rather like renting a house and selling off the owner's furniture!

Most of us realise that big overseas corporations own most of our retail businesses and maybe more.

I note the leniency of the Foreign Investment Review Board, but what do they use to turn the opinion of the objectors (those being of the same party - such as Ron Walker and Peter Costello)?

Your article says, "The nation does not seem to notice", but that is not wholly true. I am a minnow in this enormous pond and I care very much when I become aware of a situation.

So, who should be responsible for making us sit up and take notice? The daily press should.

Unfortunately, people are so busy with their daily lives that they haven't the time to be collecting all the information and responding in a way that would make any difference.

A letter here or a letter there - I know all about that! And what sort of response does one get? A polite acknowledgement and advice that it will be passed on the appropriate department.

No, what we need is something that threatens the sitting government, whatever its creed.

Only recently I heard someone on the ABC's Radio National saying, "People should get together in their community and have discussions ..."

I am sure that there are others like myself who would enjoy a thrash-out of ideas/opinions, for instance, on the remuneration, superannuation and big pay-outs that politicians award themselves when they retire from public service, plus their ability to take on other paid employment while still receiving a pension.

They are elected on the strength of their promises that things are going to get better, etc. So they are elected. Time passes. Election time arrives again and they spend literally millions on advertising in an effort to be re-elected and keep themselves in office.

This is the time when we should ask the hard questions: Did they fail in their promises? If so, why?

You recall the old saying: "You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Well, I'm not so sure about that, currently.

(Mrs) D. Geraldine Lucas,
Mount Tamborine, Qld

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