An Open Letter To Our Government RE: Flood Levy

Now, I know that I usually try to refrain from all things political (unless it’s environmentally related), but this morning I found that I couldn’t hold my tongue. I’m really disappointed that our government wants to tax us because we have recently gone through a flood (tax or levy, it’s all the same thing). And because I’ve basically got a big mouth… I figured I’d let you guys know all about it.

Thoughts? (I can forward them on too, if you like)

Edit: My apologies to Anna Bligh for sending this original letter to the wrong Twitter account. In my defense, Anna has a number of accounts that she hasn’t used for a while. I simply took the first account to be hers. Yes… I should have looked better… my bad.

This is the letter that I posted on Twitter this morning… hence all the @’s and # tags.

@JuliaGillard @PremierBligh

A quick Q RE: #floodlevy A genuine inquiry I’d appreciate the time you take to read & would love a response if possible.

Wondering how much did State & Federal governments actually give #floodappeal. We don’t hear much about that any more. However, I must say that I was very disappointed in the original $1mil offer. At the time 200 000 people had been affected… that million would only stretch to $5 per person. At the time you were also very proud of that offer and couldn’t see why people complained. Not very fair… not very Australian.

Now I also must say how proud I am of my fellow countrymen. The rest of us collected $150mil+ for #floodappeal in a mere few weeks. These are people in our community. People who have already taken on the responsibility of taking care of their friends and neighbours. People who have shored and bouyed our state when it needed it… who have jumped in and just done what needed to be done. People who have taken it upon themselves to help you do your job of caring for our citizens, to be frank.

And to reward those people for their selfishness you are going to take more in way of a flood levy?? Honestly… how do you have the balls to even ask? After your piss-weak offer and our completely selfless donation of OUR time and money… shouldn’t you be trying to step up to the mark yourselves, rather than penalizing those who have already lost so much, and still given what they can?

Yes, I’m aware that the govt has spent lots on Army, Emergency Services, etc… but that’s your job, your responsibility to your countrymen. It’s your job to take care of our citizens, even when something terrible and unexpected happens… nay, ESPECIALLY then. But I’m also aware of all the things that were fixed/cleaned/saved by many and varied individuals who took to those jobs of their own volition. Your public thank-you’s to these people was nice… but this subsequent ‘temporary flood levy’ is an insult.

And let’s not forget that maintaining our water catchments is ultimately also the government’s responsibility. I hate to jump on the ‘his fault, her fault’ bandwagon, but you do have to admit that things could have been handled better there, and that at least some of the damage (perhaps even deaths?) could have been avoided if it had been handled differently.

And to add to that one… who allowed a whole bunch of housing to be built on floodplains because of our ‘flood-proof’ dam? We believed the govt on that one when asked to. You must consider these things.

Disregarding who IS at fault (laying blame won’t fix anything), I do know who is NOT to blame for this disaster. Everyday Aussies are NOT…

Personally, I’m disappointed… in the govt, not the Australian people (let me clarify that). I’m disappointed that you are going to give with one hand and take with the other. Not fair… not when it’s your responsibility anyway.

So, here’s my serious question that I really would appreciate an answer to… well a few questions…

How much has both State and Federal governments added to Flood Appeals? And I’m also interested in how much this flood levy will net us? Basically, are you trying to tax back your donation? And then… is there plans for any other inflated taxes. How much will you ask average Aussies to pay for? Do you plan on taking until we pay for the whole damage bill ourselves?

That’d be handy, wouldn’t it?