YOUR TAKE: The government’s funding priorities remain misplaced | border mail

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Health services, elderly care, strategic infrastructure, research and development, climate investments, manufacturing, youth and education support, defense and integrity are areas of concern majors. Strategic priorities have been overlooked when funding is directed towards entertainment on crucial infrastructure such as the Mulwala/Yarrawonga Bridge and our border hospital services. Victorians, in particular, suffer from inadequate health services as NSW carries the region’s health burden. Chris McGorlick’s mention (The Border Mail, April 20) of home gardens providing abundance – and sharing the produce – reminds me of childhood. It is sad to see that future development applications do not provide for such space as several developments are approved demolishing the single dwelling on blocks. Barely room for shade trees, our suburbs will require more thought to provide green spaces. When you think of banana republics and authoritarian nations, regardless of their size, the first thing that comes to mind is their secretive nature and their management of the country’s money as if it were their own. We condemn both traits as undemocratic. The current government of the PNL has shown that it is committed to these paths. His secretive nature can be seen by not telling us how he made decisions and who was advising. Think of Australian Border Force agents who can force people to hand over their phones and passcodes to enable a search by phone. They do it without any explanation. Consider the attempt to have the Future Fund not tell us who it had invested in and how much. Consider the Liberty Victoria Rights Advocacy Project’s 2017 report Playing God; The Absolute Power of Immigration Ministers, which concluded that there were at least 20 non-delegable, non-reviewable, non-binding personal powers available to ministers responsible for migration law, up from just three in 1989. The government is using Australians’ money as if it were its own by increasing the number of discretionary grants. This means that it is not a transparent process based on needs, but rather on how the government can achieve greater political success and retain power. It’s pork barrel like the ones you see in sports purses and parking purses. Consider the Safer Communities Fund, where Peter Dutton authorized two grants that did not meet the criteria.

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