News

Political give and take unbalanced

LIFESAVER: Patron of Humpty Dumpty and journalist Ray Martin interviews mum Samantha Durrington at Grafton Base Hospital. Photo: Adam Hourigan / Daily Examiner
LIFESAVER: Patron of Humpty Dumpty and journalist Ray Martin interviews mum Samantha Durrington at Grafton Base Hospital. Photo: Adam Hourigan / Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

THE trust deficit Australia's politicians are racking up with the public has never been worse, says a man who has brought current affairs into our living rooms for half a century.

Former 60 Minutes presenter and Current Affair host Ray Martin was in Grafton on Monday on a charitable mission with the organisation he is a patron of, The Humpty Dumpty Foundation.

The foundation, founded around 2008, has raised more than $40million for hospitals around Australia and Grafton Base Hospital has received almost $100,000 of lifesaving equipment from the foundation.

He said the fallout from last week's budget was only making matters worse.

"It used to be politicians were just above journalists and used car salesmen in their public standing, it's got to be much less than that now," he said.

"On both sides, the trust in terms of promises is gone. You can't say no taxes and give taxes and say no carbon tax and give a carbon tax.

"Especially now with the media. I mean in the old days we didn't remind them. Now there's the video tape of what Tony Abbott said.

Mr Martin finds the attempt to evade responsibility for broken promises particularly galling.

"The comments are absurd, I don't know who they think we are," he said.

"You read the cartoons and editorials of papers who were heavily behind the Coalition are now attacking them mercilessly, with both barrels.

"You can't call black white or white black or pretend it's something else."

He believes recent gov-ernments have lost sight of the core principle of a democratic society.

"Governments only have one role: To look after people who can't look after themselves," he said.

"Most of the rest of us are law abiding, we pay our taxes, we don't drive too crazily. Mostly people are law abiding.

"You need governments to look after people who are in need and it's the general consensus from those who know that those most in need are going to be most affected.

"And that's a terrible state of affairs, even if we have to fix the budget."

Mr Martin said governments needed to back up their austerity measures with action if they wanted the community to believe them.

"Joe Hockey said we're paying $500million to hold the G20 Conference. $500million for a talkathon," he said.

"It's a previous government decision and the Liberal Government have decided to go ahead with it. $500million. Imagine how much that would do for this hospital. That's for a talk-athon that will do nothing."

Mr Martin does not buy the notion taxing the rich will kill the economy.

"For the life of me - and I'm part of it - can't see why people who make good salary can't be taxed accordingly," he said.

"They can afford to pay a lot of money and yet they're not.

"There's some belief that you'll stop spending if you hit the wealthy with tax. It just won't happen."

In the USA business and wealthy families might pay low taxes, but there is a long-standing tradition of philanthropy, which Mr Martin would like more Australians to embrace.

"America has this tithing principle of 11% and if you can't give the money you can at least give some time," he said.

"We don't do philanthropy that well, it isn't part of our culture."

He said Sydney leads the way as Australia's most generous city.

When they were doing fundraisers for Chris Masters and RedKite (a fund that supports kids with cancer) they raised $1million with 400 people in Sydney.

The next Saturday night in Perth with 700 people, all they could raise was $200,000.

"Sydney, as much as it's LA and Glitz City is very generous."

Topics:  black budget, grafton base hospital, humpty dumpty foundation, ray martin



Littlest rider wins most hearts on big poker ride

TINY BIKER: Four-and-a-half year-old chihuahua Digga turned plenty of heads at the Hotel Five after completing the Clarence Coast Riders Poker Run.

Digga turns heads on bikers' big Clarence poker ride

Last hurrah for 2016 in Sydney for Midnight Basketballers

FAST BREAK: A player dribbles down the court at the Midnight Baskeball grand finals night.

Midnight Basketball has wrapped up another successful season.

Young girl with big plans in the surf

SURF'S UP: Maclean grommet Lilli Young is ready to show what she's got at the Hurley BL's Blast Off junior competition in Sydney.

Lilli Young could be a name worth storing in the memory bank

Local Partners

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

NEW HOME: Agents to the rescue for family of nine

RELIEF: Tanya Cone (middle) with her kids and McKimm's Real Estate property managers Regan Firth and Nadine Greenhalgh who helped find her family a home.

DEX article prompts property managers to help family find new home

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.