Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

APPEARANCES: Residents in some suburbs are opposed to construction they feel does not suit the area, claiming there has been an "open slather" approach to development.

APPEARANCES: Residents in some suburbs are opposed to construction they feel does not suit the area, claiming there has been an "open slather" approach to development.

SO our Lord Mayor doesn't want the rail corridor to become a ghetto (‘Council votes to back rezoning of corridor’, Herald, 14/10). Well, may I suggest the mayor and other councillors, especially those who represent ward four, hire a mini bus and take a tour around Shortland.

I think that this is exactly what the council is doing to our suburb – turning into a ghetto.

It seems Newcastle councilors have a open slather approach to any development in Shortland, regardless of how large or inappropriate and out of character it might be for the area.

There are streets now where two cars can't pass now, let alone oncoming buses that refuse to give way.

The back streets of our suburb were never meant for this amount of what I would call gross over-development, with no thought given to the large amount of increased traffic movements and parking congestion that all these developments have brought.

The council has done absolutely nothing to fix these problems, they just seem to be preoccupied with what the developers want and their money and not those of ratepayers.

A woman asked me to sign a petition recently about a inappropriate development in her street in Shortland. While I signed it I said to her “best of luck to get this council to knock back a inappropriate development in Shortland”.

Stephen Millett, Shortland

Keep transport corridor

IT’S hard to believe that anyone in Newcastle council could see any benefit in support the rezoning of the rail corridor for a development that would sterilise its use as a transport corridor.

They only have to look at the terrible mess in Sydney where successive governments sold off every bit of land they could and now are buying it back for transport corridors.

A report by the Automobile Association found that an average two-car family spent $419 per week on transport – nationally congestion costs $16 billion and is expected to reach around $30 billion because of population growth.

The state government belatedly realising that car transport isn't working has spent more than $568 million on just 236 properties to make way for the North West Rail Link, NorthConnex, WestConnex and the South East Light Rail, the total cost of acquisitions is expected to be well over a billion. And the governments plan to tax developers in order to fund the infrastructure they need will put up home prices. A similar tax in Sydney, the Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) of $200/sqm put an extra $20,000 on a two-bedroom apartment.

Don Owers, Dudley

Black lung return

THE emergence of pneumoconiosis (black lung) among the Queensland coalmining workforce is extremely concerning. On the evidence available, during the 1990s, pneumoconiosis among NSW coalminers had been reduced almost to the point of eradication, a circumstance which resulted in the NSW coal industry being recognised internationally as having instituted the most effective procedures to combat respirable dust levels.

This status was not achieved easily; it took decades of vigilance and action to become a reality. Despite facing continuing and unwarranted criticisms from the coal associations; the Joint Coal Board (JCB) with its dedicated teams of mining engineers, dust monitors and industrial medicine physicians, spearheaded the dust disease prevention campaign.

A campaign which benefited from the NSW coal industry workforce; from miners at the coal face through to management, being constantly alert to the health problems associated with respirable dust.

Possibly, had a similar level of vigilance and “across the board co-operation” existed in Queensland; the pneumoconiosis problem Queensland miners are now confronting may have been “nipped in the bud”.

Barry Swan, Balgownie

Where’s our luck gone

AFTER 25 years of economic growth, we have 13.3 per cent of the population living in poverty. A total of 753,000 children living below the poverty line.

What does that say about the lucky country? To answer the question, the people who have the power to change this only have their own survival as their main goal.

Half a century ago, this country had full employment, we could reach that goal again if we had a government that would spend money instead of worrying about a surplus.

Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana

Baird’s career safe

ASHLEY Fruno from PETA’s opinion piece (‘Greyhound backflip could finish Baird’s political run’, Herald, 15/10) came across as very sour grapes.

I'm sure he's very frustrated that the animal lobby "ban racing mantra" was overturned this week.

But telling the world that the Premier’s political career will be killed off is ridiculous.

I'm sure the Left truly believe this. But traditional workers who like to enjoy a beer and a flutter after work will support the Premier’s decision. I'm sure the thousands of hardworking peoples that earn their money from racing greyhounds will. 

The real people of NSW have spoken Ashley, try banning pigeon racing maybe.

Peter Lockwood, Cardiff South

Finding opposition

SO the federal Liberal government is going after aged pensioners once again.

Funny that we don't hear a word from the local opposition members. We always heard regularly from Jill Hall and she was certainly a big part of our community.

By the way I'm not a Labor voter.

Wal Remington, Tingira Heights

Death penalty for some

NOW would be a good time to restart discussions on the death penalty in Australia as Vincent Stanford is sentenced to life without parole for the rape and murder of about to be married 26-year-old Stephanie Scott.

It’ll probably cost of $100,000 a year – can there be any justification for this waste of money as this bloke has no rehabilitation prospects and will die in jail?

No longer can Australians claim they don’t believe in willfully taking life because we condone it every day that we allow our government’s participation in wars that we should not be engaging in where innocent women and children are blown to bits.

Allan Earl, Thornton

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