Letters to the editor

DRIVER LICENCE RIP-OFF

I HAVE just been charged $170 to renew my driver’s licence for another five years.  

This is an exorbitant rip-off. I would have thought that such a necessary item – which these days is used as an identity card as much as permitting one to drive – should be provided on a cost-recovery basis only, a few dollars at most, I’d suggest.

How much can it cost the Transport Department for a few key strokes to update information every few years?

The only bright side was the patient and helpful clerk in the office.

- L.R. Watson, Redland Bay

BUDGET TIME BLUES

According to Treasurer Scott Morrison our nation's healthy financial state is able to deliver tax cuts to big business and middle to low-income workers alike, without the need to raise the Medicare levy on incomes over $80,000 annually.

It must be federal budget and 30-plus polling time. In Queensland, Centrelink has a backlog crisis regarding pension and family payments pending.

Centrelink is under-resourced and incapable of issuing pensions and payments for weeks. Centrelink clients know queues are endless and phone waiting times are preposterous. It is as if those waiting are invisible and their time is not money.

It's torture for those dependent upon our taxpayer-funded welfare system.

With a $500 billion deficit, politicians assure us they will bring it to surplus in 2022. Who do they think they are kidding? It is a fairy tale.

There is no going back when the treasurer gives the big end of town tax cuts, while the rest of us flounder. 

While Centrelink is in a resource crisis, many welfare dependants will struggle to pay $1.50 per litre for fuel.

The delay in the government setting up the royal commission into banks and big business reaping from the corruption they have sown was deplorable.

The divide between the rich and powerful and the rest has alienated us from any guarantee that life will be better, no matter how positive Mr Morrison presents.

Fix it. It's broke. Stop the pretence. 

- E. Rowe, Marcoola

AGE OF THE MACHINES

History is punctuated by the creation of tools and machines that made life easier.

Our first tools were digging sticks, spears, boomerangs made of wood and axes, clubs, knives and grinders made of stone. These were all powered by human energy.

Then humans learned how to control fire for warmth, cooking, warfare and hunting. Then came the wheel and we harnessed animal power using donkeys, horses, mules and oxen, and made better tools.

All of these tools made hunting, gathering and trade easier and more reliable. Wooden ploughs revolutionised the cultivation of wild grasses for food for animals and humans. Farming started.

Tool-making made a huge advance with the discovery of how to extract metals like copper, lead, zinc and tin from natural ores using charcoal. Brass, bronze and pewter made many useful tools. These were then replaced with better tools when man discovered how to smelt iron and make steel.

Then along came game-changers – engines and electricity. Mankind made another leap with internal combustion engines using petroleum liquids and gases for fuel. An even bigger leap was the harnessing of nuclear power.

Tools, engines and electricity have allowed humans to live better from less land and natural resources per person than ever.

- V. Forbes, Washpool

Highway off-ramp opens

When do the lights go in (or have they already)?

- J. Callon, via Facebook

 What a mess. There were so many beautiful trees there.

- T. E. Amadio, via Facebook