MP ENTITLEMENTS 'EXORBITANT'
With MP's perks being sent to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, voters would certainly believe that it is time for a far-reaching and meaningful review of elected representatives' salaries, allowances and their plethora of entitlements.
The exponential and rapid growth of an MP's income, beyond their base salary, has been foisted upon taxpayers, while at the same time, worthwhile and important services and programs have undergone significant cuts or cessation.
At present, our MPs have access to the following allowances: Any expenses, Motor Vehicle, Parliamentary Sitting Accommodation, Travel, Commercial Transport, International travel, Electorate and Office and Communication Expenses.
At the same time, they also have access to an extremely generous superannuation scheme.
Like many other hard-working Australians, I am paid a base salary and receive no allowances or entitlements beyond that.
But as salary and wage earners, we are entitled to make claims for expenses and costs encountered in the course of our employment, which are then submitted to the tax department to approve as deductions on our income.
These deductions in no way compare to the exorbitant allowances and entitlements that our elected representatives receive.
As an example, country MPs in SA receive $234 a night when parliament is sitting.
In contrast, when I go to Adelaide, I stay with friends or family in order to reduce my expenses.
Perhaps MP's could adopt this practise across all of their allowance expenditure?
FORESTRY HAS ROOM TO GROW
I am encouraging stakeholders in the Limestone Coast to make a submission to the federal government's inquiry into supply chain constraints in the Australian plantation sector.
The House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources has launched the inquiry and will be accepting submissions until Monday, 17 August.
Australia's forest products manufacturing sector is worth more than $23 billion a year, with room to grow.
Australian plantations are unable to fully meet the sector's demand for timber, resulting in more than 900 million cubic metres of sawn softwood being imported each year.
Within SA alone, the forest industries employ more than 10,000 people across the supply chain, and more than 7400 of these are in Barker. This is a major employer in our region and it has room to grow and create more jobs.
I'm encouraging local stakeholders to make a submission to this inquiry to ensure our views on the sector are heard.
Member for Barker.
PAIN IMPACTS QUALITY OF LIFE
Chronic pain affects more than 3.2 million Australians and is arguably one of the world's fastest growing conditions.
It can significantly impact a person's quality of life and mental wellbeing, often leading to isolation and feelings of hopelessness.
This National Pain Week - July 27 to August 2 - Chronic Pain Australia is launching two important new resources to help educate and reduce stigma in the community; a video series called Faces of Pain, which tells the stories of everyday Australians living with chronic pain, as well as a new booklet called Understanding chronic pain to explain what pain is and how best to manage it.
These can be found at nationalpainweek.org.au.
Together, we can improve the lives of those living in pain. We appreciate your support.
Chronic Pain Australia president.
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