ONCE again the annual cost-cutting frenzy at Newcastle City Council rears its ugly head (‘‘90 jobs on line as council trims budget’’ Herald 27/2).
I wonder if many councillors even know that the following suburbs fall in the NCC local government area – Sandgate, Shortland, Wallsend, Maryland, Fletcher, Minmi, Lenaghan, Blackhill, Beresfield, Tarro, Hexham, and Stockton.
Every year we go through the same histrionics – ranting about core business, user pays, and staff and service cuts.
All we ever hear about is cut – never one reason about how or why we are in this financial predicament or whether any of these proposed cuts will in fact result in a positive outcome next year.
Should NCC core business ever include the funding of a regional museum, a regional art gallery, or even an airport?
Yes, the region needs these facilities, but should ratepayers be paying for them?
And on the subject of paying, if ‘‘user pays’’ is an underlying criterion for NCC, why do users of the Newcastle and Merewether baths, the museum, and the art gallery pay nothing? Meanwhile, kids and families at every inland pool and users of Beresfield Golf Course, for example, ‘‘pay through the nose’’.
Why not build a real wall – then we can stop the trains at Warabrook.
Peter Carey, Tarro