Daily Advertiser letters to the editor, March 15

MERGER FARCE: The forced merger of Gundagai Council was a flagrant violation of natural justice, according to a letter writer.

MERGER FARCE: The forced merger of Gundagai Council was a flagrant violation of natural justice, according to a letter writer.

Natural justice denied

YOU don’t have to be a Perry Mason to work out that the Gundagai Council and townspeople were denied natural justice during the amalgamation process.  

It is obvious that all the submissions that were made were never given the proper weight (if any) that they deserved and also, the government would not release the findings of the $400,000 KPMG report in its entirety to councils because it may have, in all probability, supported their efforts to stand alone.

And former Nationals deputy leader John Turner, who conducted the meetings and gathered the submissions, was far from impartial in his reporting back to the government.

He apparently ignored all of the evidence in the submissions and gave Premier Baird the decision that he wanted.

His findings convinced the NSW Land and Environment Court ( to conclude the Gundagai Council “had not established any grounds on which to challenge the merger decision”.

According to the High Court, all that has to be shown is that the denial of natural justice deprived our council of the possibility of a successful outcome – their right to stand alone.

I am also led to believe our councillors were never officially notified their services were no longer required.

They read about their dismissal through the media and, according to the court, this also amounted to a denial of natural justice.

The court has ruled that an appearance of bias is impermissible in the public interest and such a ruling is binding on all courts and judges in the Australian judicature.

So, if one goes by the common law, and as it is irrefutable that the Gundagai Council and the townspeople were denied natural justice/procedural fairness then, it is obvious in my way of thinking that the court’s ruling should invalidate the LEC’s decision that dismissed council’s appeal to stand alone?  

I could be wrong but I don’t believe I am.

Geoff Field

Gundagai

Health double standard

AS A SINGLE woman who dates, I am acutely aware of the prevalence of STDs.  

My recent experience of meeting a man who had genital herpes enhanced my fear of catching a STD.  

Motivated by fear of getting sick, I went to the doctor and had a free STD test.  

While waiting for my results, I realised how lucky I was to be in Australia, a country with a good quality public health system which is free for Australians to access. 

I realised that people in developing countries would have a different experience engaging with STDs and health.  

340 million cases of STDs occur around the world each year, with the greatest number in developing countries where STDs are the most common diseases treated by healthcare professionals other than malaria and diarrhoea problems.  

Within the poverty-stricken continent Africa, 25 out of 100 people will be infected with an STD each year, compared to only 9 out of 100 people in Australia.  

Even though the majority of STDs are preventable through public health measures like vaccines, antibiotics or condom usage, the sad reality is that developing countries lack the resources to fund this, resulting in larger numbers of people experiencing poor health and early death.  

When the doctor informed me that my STD test results detected no infection, I felt incredibly relieved and I realised having access to public health measures shouldn’t be contingent on where you live.

Viewed in this light, the Turnbull government should re-evaluate whether cutting 220 million dollars from the AusAid budget was immoral.  Australia should recheck our priorities because all people have the right to live free from disease. 

Elisha McMurray

Wagga

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