OPINION: Letters to the editor of the Western Advocate

OH GEE: Will the Nationals' federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee face a contest from the Liberals at the next federal election?
OH GEE: Will the Nationals' federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee face a contest from the Liberals at the next federal election?

Will the three-cornered contests cause injuries?

BE careful Andrew!

I was surprised and disappointed to learn from ABC radio this morning that the Nationals are contemplating three-cornered contests in federal seats including where there are retiring Liberal members.

In Calare, the Nationals have been the beneficiary of a very special deal negotiated by former Liberal president, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, in which the Nats were given a free run after John Cobb's retirement.

In my recent meeting with my friend, former prime minister Tony Abbott, I was singing the praises of Andrew Gee as a very good fellow having moved to the bush and sacrificed a promising career as a Sydney barrister.

As the gloves are obviously off within the Liberal Party, I wonder if the Libs will also go tit for tat with the Nats and revisit Calare given their victory in 2004 over both the Nats and Labor on a two party preferred basis?

One often wonders what substantive strategic growth initiatives have the Nats achieved for Calare in the last 13 years? 

Perhaps a disillusioned electorate has lost hope and resigned itself to mediocrity, being satisfied with crumbs from the table granted to the Nats by its dominant coalition partner?

Paul Blanch, Bathurst

Please don’t give out cash on the pre-paid cards

I AM a compulsive gambler on a low income, who is trying hard to control and defeat my addiction.

Through Lifeline, I have self-excluded from all gambling venues in Bathurst (and some in Orange and Lithgow). 

To help remove temptation, I put my income into pre-paid Coles cards, which cannot be redeemed for cash.

I also buy pre-paid Visa cards, such as Australia Post sells, which can only be used for purchases.

Unfortunately, when the impulse is overwhelming, I have tried to get cash out of the pre-paid Visa cards at bottle-shops attached to hotels with gambling facilities … and have succeeded. 

It seems that many staff do not realise this is wrong. 

I do not blame them, as my addiction is my own problem to deal with, but I would like to make people aware that this should not be done.

These pre-paid cards are used to help people manage their gambling addiction by denying access to cash. 

Giving out cash enables the addiction, and causes hardship to families.

Basically, if a dollar amount is printed on the front of the card, it is pre-paid for purchases only, and cannot be cashed. 

On the Australia Post Visa card, it has “Gift Card” printed on the front and “Non-Reloadable” printed on the back. 

Incidentally, I believe that on a ‘normal’ credit card, cash can only be obtained at an ATM or bank.

On any Visa card (or Mastercard, etc), if the “Credit” button has to be pushed to operate the card, no cash out should be given at point of sale machines.

I hope that in making this public plea, I am also helping others control their gambling addiction.

Name withheld by request​