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Your views: on privatisation, land tax and promoting SA

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Today, readers comment on public transport privatisation, aggregate land tax and selling SA to the world.

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Privatisation versus outsourcing

Commenting on the story: Rail privatisation fight explodes, but the evidence is not black-and-white

When is privatisation not privatisation? When it is “outsourcing”, I suppose.

The fiasco that is the State Government is getting worse by the day.

Transport Minister Knoll, a master of polliespeak, claims that better savings and services will come from this meddling in the public transport system that he also claims to be committed to.

But the evidence for both is particularly slim. It’s hard to find any privatisation program that has improved services and reduced costs – look no further than ETSA.

And his quoting of the Melbourne tram system and the London underground as successful examples has been shown to be blatantly and demonstrably wrong.

While short term injection to state coffers can come, the evidence of  long term costs to the community and reductions of service are legion.

After all, when the motivation changes from service delivery to profit making, what else can be expected?

Publicly managed services are not per se inefficient.  Efficiencies can always be made with competent management.

And the assurance that the savings to government costs would be ploughed back into services can clearly not be trusted from a government that came to the last elections with “no privatisation agenda”.

Furthermore recent research has clearly shown that commuters are much more satisfied with the train and tram services as they are, than with the bus services that have already been privatised.

Put all this together and we have a government that is appearing not only untrustworthy, but also stupid.

The electorate is not stupid and can see through this absurd proposal. – Peter Bleby

Shifting tax goalposts

Commenting on the story: Debt and taxes help Lucas protect his modesty

I am a 53 year old, married with 2 children. I have been a maintenance electrician all my working life, and have worked extremely hard to have built a small portfolio of properties to provide security and prosperity for me and my family in our future years.

However, I have never felt so threatened, such disbelief and shock at the Marshal Liberal Government’s state budget recent announcement of changing the current land tax arrangements.

Over the past several years, I as others have had to sell up their investment properties because of the ongoing burgeoning SA property taxes. The biggest burden being land tax.

Over  many years I have bought the properties under separate structures including personal, shared (with my wife), as well as a family trust to provide extra security for the assets the family has accumulated.

I have always paid all my property taxes including land tax in full and on time, understanding it’s just part of the property investment journey.

However, this proposed new aggregation land tax model would in one fell swoop put me in a precarious financial position, and force me to sell some or all my properties.

My calculation shows my land tax bill could escalate from approximately $11,000 to $65,000 (approx. 600%) which is unsustainable with the income the properties generate. 

This is not a fairer land tax system that the SA State Government claims.

Even in the state of Victoria that we adopting a similar model from, I would pay approximately $19,000.

I also cannot believe that the new land tax proposal does not recognise that decisions were made at the time with the rules in play.

I voted for no new taxes and now find myself in position that could turn my whole financial position in turmoil.

All I ask is for our state government to consider all the consequences of these changes and don’t make the same mistake of shutting down aspirations that the recent federal election highlighted so clear. Roberto Formato

Direct flight dilemma

Commenting on the story: After Brand SA: It’s time for the state’s global pitch to mature

We want to promote South Australia to the world yet our government(s) and tourism ministers are totally silent on the fact our national airline “The Spirit of Australia” Qantas has stopped flying international into Adelaide over 6 years ago.

It seems David Ridgway, SA Minister for Trade, and Tourism SA are continuing their silence on that issue. And no-one in the media is questioning this.

What does that Qantas decision tell the rest of the world about Adelaide?

If you want to fly to Adelaide, South Australia on our national airline, be prepared to land in Sydney or Melbourne first. Kerry Seebohm

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