Letters to the editor February 16 2018

THIRSTY WORK: Joey takes a drink by Margaret Johnston. Send your pictures to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.
THIRSTY WORK: Joey takes a drink by Margaret Johnston. Send your pictures to letters@illawarramercury.com.au or post to our Facebook page.

People threaten strike for higher wages. The NSW Government and Unions fall over themselves to solve the problem because the voting public will be disrupted. However, pensioners can not strike. In 1989, the then NSW Government, gave pensioners a $250 annual discount on their local Council rates. This was a welcomed amount then.

Well 29 years later, this amount has not changed yet every thing to do with living expenses has. The $250 is worth 25 bucks in our present time. I point out that Wollongong Council have the ability to increase that rate, but won't.

Not everyone has super, or saving accounts and investments (mine disappeared in the 2008 Global Financial Crisis along with the directors of the financial company, though I understand they got a slap on the wrist and are working elsewhere in the financial sector) which has completely affected my life and still does. The GFC will never be over for a lot of people despite what the boffins state.

So therefore, I now exist entirely on a pension (disability). There are a lot of people worse off than me because I have no one else to worry about. Still it's a farce regarding the pensioner council discount. My local council (Wollongong) says it's a NSW Government issue. The NSW Government says it's a council issue. So what do I think it should be?

The discount should be doubled to $500 and indexed each year going up with the CPI. Simple? My Wollongong rates are now over $2,000 a year even WITH the pensioner discount rate. 

Alan Bond, Stanwell Tops

A LABOR OF LOVE?

I’m all over the Barnaby Joyce’ alleged extramarital affair. And, do you know why? Well, let us go back a few years when Labor’s Tony Bourke, Bill Shorten and, earlier, Bob Hawke tried on the same thing.

Yet, was the media so incensed, frenzied and intrigued by Labor’s high profile figures and their activities outside the sanctity of marriage, as they are today with Barnaby’s alleged dalliances? Methinks not.  The time is now ripe for the media to take a grip and treat pollies of either hue with fairness, balance and impartiality. 

DJ Preece, Wollongong

HAND BACK POWER

My electricity power company is a “wholetailer”. The company owns electricity power stations (generators) and at the other end of the scale is a retailer. On one hand the company sells generated electricity to the federal governments` National Energy Market (NEM). Then on the other hand as a retailer, the company buys it back at a megawatt hourly price and bills customers on kilowatt usage plus 15 per cent.

The company does not own transmission networks. Non-ownership means the power company has to pay transmission costs, plus maintenance costs for networks to carry electricity from power generators to household and industrial users. On average 55 per cent of my electricity bills costs are diverted to transmission companies.

On my bill the network “supply cost” is 83 cents a day. My energy company has 4.2 million customers. NSW has three transmission companies, TransGrid, fully privatised, owned by local and overseas investors, Ausgrid, 51 per cent privatised, owned by superannuation funds, Endeavour Energy, 51 per cent privatised, owned by  local and overseas investors.    Our transmission grid NEM with 40,000 kilometres of transmission lines and 9.8 million customers is the largest interconnected electricity system in the world.

On the information available; my energy company is paying each day, $3. 486 million to keep the transmission network operational. The federal government system of electricity marketing—fully funded by levees on electricity bills should be abandoned. The system is too big. The responsibility of electricity generation and delivery should be handed back to the states.

John Macleod,  Berry

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