Q: How can be keep our elected MPs and Senior Bureaucrats honest?

We’re continually hearing of rorts and serious offences by them, across all party groups. (“Ron” of Maroochydore, QLD, August 10).

Answer

There are specific provisions in government and parliamentary procedures (and legislation) to censure and/or sack offenders – and these obviously must be strengthened, and more rigidly enforced. But MAP believes the controls should start BEFORE they are even elected (or appointed)…not just AFTER offences.

MAP’s Constitution requires prospective candidates to lodge with the Party a formal notice of any serious offences (accompanied by an official Police criminal record and report), before they’re considered for endorsement. This should be lodged with the relevant Electoral Commission (State or national) also, so serious offenders could be “outed” before any election…..not just after it (or in office), as is often the case now.

Q: We now have two classes of “entitlements” in Australia

in salaries, superannuation, pensions, transported – one for our elected (and appointed) elite, and one for the rest of us. WHY?   (“George” of Adelaide, SA, August 6).

Answer

Basically, MAP believes it is because we (electors, throughout the country) have ALLOWED it to happen. We have become too complacent and compliant in the level of power we have allowed our elected MPs (and our bureaucrats also, in some areas). The rules and procedures of our Parliaments (which very conveniently circumvent the Australian Constitution in many respects) allow it to happen, too.

Electors answer more to governments today than ever before, whereas the reverse should apply. Governments are elected to work for us…not vice versa.

Q: Volunteers play a key role in our communities

This often is at considerable expense to them. How can we help? (“David “of Newcastle, July 30).

Answer

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities in many areas. Their efforts save our governments (local, State or national) millions – perhaps billions – of dollars, annually. In firefighting, emergency services, aged care, child care, medial support, food and clothing ,housing and welfare services…. the list goes on and on.

MAP believes that all costs incurred by volunteers in areas of training (including clothing, transport, meals, employment loss, etc.) should be either reimbursed or tax deductible. This wouldn’t compensate everyone, adequately, for cost burdens in service delivery …or costs saved by governments… but it would certainly help.

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