Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Give and Take Unbalanced

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Give and Take Unbalanced

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Howard tim.howard@dailyexaminer.com.au

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. …

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