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Your views: on Lib factions, Town Hall portraits, abused nuns, e-planning and Centrelink

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on Liberal Party preselection, pioneering Adelaide City Council women, internal church abuse, income support and a new electronic planning system.

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Commenting on the story: Lib factions declare war as McLachlan closes on senate

The article contains this statement: “The Right had a proposal to the Left such that [Lensink] would be supported …”.

Surely a ‘left’ liberal is an oxymoron. Frank Taylor

Commenting on the story: Women to finally grace Town Hall chamber walls

What about a portrait of the first woman elected to the Adelaide City Council, Lady Esther Lipman-Jacobs? – Sally McLean

Commenting on the story: Vatican says nuns abused, kicked out, forced into prostitution

This article makes me cry.

Fortunately for me, when I was told to move to another part of the country after I suffered a significant trauma at the hands of a priest, I was physically and emotionally unable to pack and move.

After representing this to my superiors, who gave me no support after I reported the priest to the Cathedral, I was sent a letter by the Superior General which said that I was to move by the given date or I was to vacate the convent I was living in.

I had nothing … no home, no money, no job. After 20 years of faithful service I was totally abandoned. Yes, in Australia in the early 1980s.

I took exclaustration, but after 2 years decided that religious life wasn’t for me, after such cruel treatment.

Fortunately I had a teaching background and quickly found work to support myself.

Not only some clergy, but many religious superiors, have sinned against their own nuns. – Marie Hardwick

Commenting on the story: Govt flags delaying reforms after e-Planning guru quits

As a building practitioner, I found your article regarding the possibility to defer the proposed e-Planning system to be the ‘light at the end of a dark tunnel’ and extremely hopeful.

Common sense may prevail after all!

As a past public servant of 37 years and a senior executive in the last seven of those I had been involved in various reforms and changes brought on by respective governments, including the introduction of the Development Act and Regulations.

I vividly recall that during the development of these reforms two fundamental principles were applied:

1. Engage the end user and those most affected as early as possible and during the entire process; and

2. Ensure that ‘common sense’ prevailed at all times.   

Building certifiers deal in excess of 80% of all building applications in SA and it saddens me that this time around these principles were not even remotely considered let alone applied to this group, other than a recent 3 hour workshop to supposedly train us on the new system.

The alarming point at the end of this session was to be reminded that come April we must be proficient in the use of the new system for regional applications, and come July for the metro areas.

There are hordes of end users that need to be trained and familiarise themselves with the new system including planners, building surveyors, architects, engineers, builders, designers, developers, the average ‘mum and dad’, council staff etc, etc.

Whilst there may be some merit in a universal portal for all to use, the net benefit and end goal is somewhat obscure, including the potential for increased costs due to inefficiencies and increased approval times if the system is not fully functional on its activation date.

As practitioners involved in the development process are we to be left with the task of training our clients and the public on the use of this hastily and ill contrived application system?

The ‘education and familiarisation’ phase will surely further stall a development application system that is already causing much frustration and is stifling development in SA. 

The new system is promoted as one which “..will make planning easier, simpler and quicker”.

This statement could not be further from the truth, as things stand at present.

Whereas the intention behind the proposed system aims to achieve these goals, the plain truth is that considerable work is yet required to streamline and improve the system. 

Almost all of my colleagues believe that the government’s original intention to introduce an e-Planning system has merits, except that unless much more work is done with intense consultation of the end users we will end up with a confusing, cumbersome and unworkable mess, resulting in the whole exercise failing abysmally, not to mention the embarrassment it would cause to certain officials. 

Surely no one wants or aspires to this, as I would like to think we are all on the same SA team. – George Capetanakis

Commenting on the story: New Centrelink  income rules after illegal robo-debt debacle

Peter Maidorn (letters 30/1) commented that “Centrelink’s IT costs alone are equal to the amount it pays out”.

I have been waiting for a child care subsidy to be approved for the past 2 months and prior to that for the past 6 months, the only reason they can give is that they are having internal IT issue and unable to tell me when it’ll be fixed or when my claim will be processed.

I have recently started a franchise business and still gaining customers while my wife is working full time and kids going to day care.

The cost of day care without subsidy puts us in a situation where we are having to borrow day to day expenses from our relatives.

Being in Australia for 8 months from New Zealand, I have never seen such a bad service, I thought work and income New Zealand was slow but Centrelink surpasses far beyond disappointment.

We are considering moving back to New Zealand not because we don’t like it here but the reason that we have lost our trust in the system and we see more problems being here. – Asim Liaqat

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