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

LETTER: Photo normalises unacceptable situation

The controversial photograph showing a family with all the females with their mouths taped shut and the father holding a sign reading "peace on earth" shown during the principal's address at the McAuley Catholic College Year 12 Graduation Ceremony last month.

Resident clarifies community sentiment towards offensive photograph

1990-2015: A life lived full remembered one year on

"Hayden never had time in his life for diabetes."

Kalti on the trail of grand master's title

TOP TRACKER: Tracey Knox and her champion tracking dog Kalti celebrate their latest title, a Master of Track and Search.

Tracey Knox and her dog Kalti are searching for new titles.

Local Partners

Green light for sports centre to re-open

NEW operators hoping existing users will return to sports centre and get 'business back to normal'.

Tea party with the 'Queen'

TRADITION: 1955 Jacaranda Queen Stella Wilson sits with reigning 2015 Jacaranda Queen Charlotte White at last year's Jacaranda Afternoon Tea.

Meet the royal patyu in style

Making steps for 'Blacky' in Walk 4 Brain Cancer

Grafton locals are doing a Walk 4 Brain Cancer in Sydney for Robert Black.

Team Blacky aims to better $5000 to battle brain cancer.

Sound of Music star to compere An Afternoon at the Proms

This photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment shows, from left, Chairmian Carr, as Liesl, Nicholas Hammond, as Friedrich, Heather Menzies, as Louisa, Duane Chase, as Kurt, Angela Cartwright, as Brigitta, Debbie Turner, as Marta, Kym Karath, as Gretl, and Christopher Plummer, as Captain Von Trapp, in a scene from the film, \"The Sound of Music.\" The 1965 Oscar-winning film adaptation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical \"The Sound of Music\" is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015. To honor the milestone, 20th Century Fox is releasing a five-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD collector's edition, the soundtrack is being re-released, the film will be screened at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood later this month and to over 500 movie theaters in April. (AP Photo/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Saraton's rich history of stage and screen honoured in musical tribu

Priscilla concerned people will forget about Elvis

Priscilla Presley source Bang

She says she feels responsible to keep his legacy going

Taylor Swift files lawsuit over alleged groping

Taylor Swift source Bang

Swift has commenced legal action against a DJ over the incident

Kanye West threatens to boycott Grammys

West says he won't go to the Grammys if Frank Ocean's not nominated

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track