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Any swinging voters considering voting Labor should understand that unions don’t protect your jobs; they protect their jobs.

Justin Baulch, Graceville, Qld


There have been many letters to the editor reminding us that Labor left a debt mountain, but not many noting that after nearly three years of Coalition government we still have a mounting debt.

Ian Collie, Aspley, Qld


We should be grateful that Bill Shorten’s 10-year plan acknowledges what we know from looking at the past. Deficits happen under Labor. I just wish that his plan didn’t remind me of Lewis Carroll’s Though The Looking-Glass. “It’s jam every other day: today isn’t any other day.”

Michael Doyle, Ashburton, Vic


Bill Shorten and Labor should explain to voters that one of the benefits of free trade agreements is that consumers pay lower prices. So if a Shorten government follows the dictates of the union movement on the FTAs, and they elect to protect union jobs, the Labor battlers will be disadvantaged by higher prices.

R. Watson, Sunnybank Hills, Qld


If you don’t like Bill Shorten’s plan for Australia’s future, he has another in his pocket for tomorrow.

John Lord, Brighton East, Vic


Australia has a huge blind spot when it comes to shielding schoolchildren from proselytising in public schools (“Labor acts against Christian schools program”, 8/6). If the enlightened minds who designed our secular education system in the 19th century — when society was bitterly partitioned between Catholics and Protestants — did so today, they would recognise that religious divisions have been replaced by political divisions.

Without that insight, we have the ludicrous situation that teachers use the classroom as a pulpit for inducting students into their political and social ideologies — sometimes with the mandate of state and federal curriculum authorities — yet cry breach of ethics if anyone tries to teach those kids Christianity.

Political sectarianism represents as great a threat to education today as religious sectarianism did in the 19th century. The concept of secular education should be updated to a broader idea of nonpartisan education. Schools are there to serve our kids, not to manipulate them into serving us and fighting our battles.
James McDonald, Annandale, NSW