I just read Ron Baine’s letter on the life of washing machines and fridges (The Examiner, August 20). My family home was on the corner of Margaret and Canning streets. We had an Electrolux refrigerator which was 50 years old and still working. I think it only had to be repaired once. I have a washing machine that is 20 years old and still going – a miracle really.
Cecil Neil Guy, Youngtown.
Council Independence Essential
COUNCIL auditors and accountancy firms should be changed every 10 years, and the same firm is not to represent council concurrently as auditor and accountant.
Councillors should be restricted to a maximum of three, four-year terms, to retire at age 70, similar to that of High Court of Australia judges.
Quintessentially, councils are about public administration, entrusted with other people’s money, and should never be compared to the childlike comparison of a small business, whereby council is a planning authority, provide services to the entire community, not to an entitled self-interest, but must be fiscally an independent, open and accountable third tier of government, with robust checks and balances.
Kenneth Gregson, Swansea.
Early Superannuation Withdrawals
UNDERSTANDABLY there has been significant discussion about the federal government allowing people to access up to $20,000 of their own superannuation prior to their preservation age.
While I am not prepared to take a position on this, it is clear that many of the estimates for the compounding losses on the withdrawn money have been grossly exaggerated, presumably using lazy assumptions of past returns. Most estimates use absurd real return estimates of 4 to 7 per cent.
The current 10-year Australian bond yields near -1 per cent in real terms.
Global equities since 1900 have returned just north of 5 per cent in real terms and are at stretched valuations, largely due to the American technology stocks.
It also seems unlikely that the equity risk premium will be so much larger than historically has been the case, suggesting future real returns before tax of 5 per cent are optimistic.
Since superannuation members in accumulation mode pay tax, pay an average investment fee of 1 per cent and increasingly invest in bonds as they age, it appears obvious to me that the forgone returns for people withdrawing part of their supper auction is closer to about 2-3 per cent annualised in real terms. On a balance of $20,000 over 30 years, this amounts to a real balance of $48,545 at a 3 per cent annualised real return; compared with a real balance of $152,245 if a 7 per cent annualised real return is projected. This is a notable difference.
Aaron de Wit, Riverside.
THE other day I heard one of the most sensible things for months. Politicians aren’t essential travellers. If many others can do meetings and deals via technology surely our elected leaders could do the same and save us all a great deal of money into the bargain. After all, not everyone attends parliament every day and when they do there is more yelling and angst than actual doing.
Glennis Sleurink, Launceston.
JUST wanted to say what a brilliant idea this is to have a voucher system for Tasmanians to help support local tourism accommodations etc.
My partner and I often spoke about this same thing many times for years.
As we are both big believers in this system.
It should be a normal regular exercise for all times and not just while the state is closed to other tourists.
We tour about Tasmania quite often and have on numerous occasions asked upon check in at hotels.
Do they give a discount if you’re from the state such as a local and the usual reply is a large “no”.
Cannot see this not being a big hit..
Julie Jones, St Marys.
I AM a regular traveller to interstate and overseas destinations.
At the present time I have travel vouchers for two interstate destinations and an overseas voucher with Virgin Australia and Etihad. Jetstar have refunded a trip to Queensland.
I think the hospitality voucher etc. would be a great idea as it would encourage fellow grey nomad travellers like myself to spend more time in our state especially now that interstate travel is a no no.
I must admit it has been a few years since I went down the West Coast to Strahan and Queenstown etc.
Peter Pickering, Launceston.
MY WIFE and I are both pensioners and see this as a wonderful scheme.
We would certainly get to places and spend a few extra dollars to local establishments. This government is doing a wonderful job for the people of Tasmania.
Let’s keep it up.
Bob Coad, Longford.
WE SUPPORT the premier’s decision to keep the borders closed until December 1, unless there is a dramatic change on the mainland or overseas.