What a week or so it has been in the political arena inNew South Wales.  We have our newly elected Premier Barry O’Farrell making it clear to all and sundry that he will not tolerate a second airport in his backyard, Paul Keating a former Labor Prime Minister joining in the fray, along with Max Moore-Wilton, a former Departmental Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet adding his tuppeny h’penny’s worth into the bargain.  They’ve all had their say, but where does this leave the people ofNew South Walesin the long run.  This saga has been going on for 60 years too long and its about time someone had the fundamentals to bite the bullet and put the airport where it belongs – Badgery’s Creek.  No ifs, buts, or maybes – JUST BUILD IT!

FORMER prime minister Paul Keating has slammed both sides of government for sitting on their hands over Sydney’s second airport, saying Badgerys Creek is the only option – just like it was 17 years ago.

Mr Keating yesterday attacked the federal government for ruling out the site, insisting: “In this race, there is only one Black Caviar and it is Badgerys Creek.”He also slammed successive state and federal governments for denying the Badgerys Creek option for no reason other than “base political purposes”.A joint study into a second Sydney airport found “immediate action” was needed – and doing nothing could cost the Australian economy up to $60 billion.

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Its enough to make a person’s blood boil of the pay of politicians generally, without having to add to the existing anger with reports of excessive spending by MPs.  Peter Slipper, the currently suspended Speaker of Parliament, is unmatched when it comes to spending on cabs and chauffeur driven comcars.  He has also added sexual harrrassment claims to his bow of behaviour unbecoming of a parliamentarian and besmirching the Office of Speaker of the Parliament into the bargain.  Much has been written of him this week so I won’t dwell on that issue but will hammer home the amount of taxpayer’s money that has been spent by this individual.  As I write there are more details emerging of the extent of these expenditures so this will not be the last we hear of this matter in the near future.  Suffice it to say, the man is a disgrace to the Office of Speaker of the Parliament and to parliamentarians generally.  We, the taxpaying public have a right to demand and to expect better behaviour of our elected officials.


SPEAKER Peter Slipper splurged $75,000 on lavish limousine and taxi travel in just 18 months – including $3000 during separate holidays in Tasmania and Western Australia.

The man who holds the highest parliamentary office in the nation also spent $1000 on a shopping excursion to Brisbane with his wife – in an apparent breach of commonwealth entitlements – an investigation revealed.

Taxpayers also forked out $1500 so Mr Slipper could fly to Sydney on January 7, 2011, to enjoy a day at the Test cricket and lunch with the English team.

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The voters of New South Waleshave been dudded by both sides of politics on the issue of the abolition of stamp duty.  When the GST was introduced back in 2000, it was a condition of the States receiving an equal share of GST, that all the state taxes would be abolished.

Whilst some states have done this it appears that is not the case everywhere and voters have a right to feel cheated.  I would put the question to those states who have not abolished stamp duty – WHY NOT?

Federal treasurer Peter Costello has called for the abolishment of stamp duty on commercial real estate transactions. It’s a call that has been welcomed by Real Estate Institute of New South Wales president Cristine Castle “Part of the original agreement with the States back when the GST was introduced was that they drop stamp duty by 2005,” Castle said. “We urge both sides of politics in New South Wales to back this proposal as it will stimulate the property market and help reinvigorate the State’s economy.” NSW earns around $800 million annually from stamp duty imposts on non-residential real estate such as factories, shops, offices and land. “This move is long overdue,” said Castle. “These taxes have represented windfall gains to the State Government and should have been abolished in 2005 as agreed.”

It really is about time that this issue was forcefully dealt with and those states failing to fall into line should have their GST receipts reduced until they do so.  (writer’s view).

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The removal of the stamp duty from the purchase of homes would go a long way I believe in giving the housing market the fillip it needs.  So how about it pollies?


Julie Coker-Godson
For the Editors