Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

RISING: The sun rises over Hazelwood power station. The looming closure of the French-owned supplier has prompted a steep surge in electricity prices.
RISING: The sun rises over Hazelwood power station. The looming closure of the French-owned supplier has prompted a steep surge in electricity prices.

ALL political rhetoric is designed simply to obtain your vote, we already know that. Ever since the Emissions Trading Scheme and Carbon Price were suggested, the Lib argument has been that consumers would see a massive rise in electricity prices. 

The evidence is that there was little impact on consumer prices or energy prices. Yet since the Abbott government “axed the tax" we have seen the electricity market privatised, poor power management, and increasing electricity costs.

Simon Benson says that the present system is costing the equivalent “a $50-a-tonne carbon price and was costing consumers between $240 and $360 a year in higher prices” (‘Power rows drive surge in prices equal to '$50 a tonne' carbon tax’, The Australian, 9/3) while Brian Robins says electricity prices have doubled (‘Price surge after Hazelwood closure’, Sydney Morning Herald, 14/3).

Mr Turnbull says we need debate free of ideology on climate change and electricity. I say we've had enough of ideological rhetoric from the Libs.

Scott Bell-Ellercamp, Clarence Town

‘Warehousing’ homes

THE elephant in the room is "warehousing" of empty residences.

Landlords in Manhattan, New York, have been successful for decades in keeping prices sky high. Have a look around your town, your suburbs and others, do a count and find an average; it’s big.

Mention it to estate agents and you will mostly get muted mumbling. 

Albert Joass, Swansea

Reality TV flow-on

I WOULD just like to thank the program directors of the major TV networks for allowing all the so-called reality shows to go to air.

My reading has improved and I am getting through many books, both on my Kindle and in book form, that I have wanted to read. My garden is going well and my exercise has increased, now to increase my study in other courses.

All in all a win, win for me. Keep up the good work TV networks directors.

Steven Wisnie, Dudley

The entitled ones

RECENTLY I heard the story of a mum who took her toddler and baby into a local "child free" cafe and upon realising her mistake simply said to herself and later to friends that she and her kids were different and special and so she stayed there.

People like this are the same people who park their cars in disability zones without displaying a sticker and who are very obviously not disabled.

They also allow their dogs to bark constantly showing no respect at all for neighbours and walk their dogs not carrying plastic bags.

They are the "special people" in our society. They also unload their 58 items in the 12 items or less lane at the supermarket and take the parking spot you saw first and have your blinker on to show that you are waiting for that spot.

Of course they see an entitlement to make appointments at medical practices, hairdressers and restaurants and not show up, denying these businesses some income and denying others those appointments. They are found in every generation and they cross our path almost every day.

Thank goodness there are still wonderful Novocastrians, who will stand aside for a disabled person, allow you to go first at the register because you only have two items and walk their dogs on a leash clutching a plastic bag. They don't park in disabled zones and they don't let their children annoy other diners in cafes or restaurants. They also show up for appointments on time. And finally they have their children vaccinated, keeping them and other children safe from contagious diseases.

I'm hoping that these people keep being in the majority.

Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield

Changing language

NEWCASTLE City Council succeeds in dramatically re-defining the language again.

Danger – fig trees in Laman Street which might fall at any second, so must be removed.

Safety – Supercars racing just three metres outside your door, travelling at 280km/h.

Diligence – accepting Supercars offer, when other councils walked away.

Danger – what Supercars drivers would be exposed to if the race went around The Esplanade.

Security – old people and young families barricaded inside their homes for three days, subject to noise levels illegal in any workplace.

Heritage – removing sandstone kerbing in Coal River, and only replacing it if absolutely necessary.

Risk Management – removing figs because insurance premiums were too high, then providing no guarantees about insurance if a Supercar hits your house at high speed.

Leadership – delegating crucial decisions about safety and heritage to Destinations NSW and Supercars.

Transparency – refusing to account for council decisions by citing “commercial in-confidence”.

Trust – imposing a gagging order on residents representing the East End community on the MERWG consultative committee.

Who is really running Newcastle?

John Beach, Cooks Hill

Destroying scenery

WHEN you access the Newcastle City Council website, you are greeted with a panoramic view of the city, the harbour and beyond. A feature of this image is the tree-lined road and luscious green parkland around the East End.

A very attractive and spectacular photo and it would appear to be what the council uses as an image and selling point to entice visitors.

Why then would we encourage and chase an event, which is by the nature of its location, going to destroy the trees and parkland we are so proud of.

Let me reference a NCC document, The Council 2030 Vision for the City.  I quote: “In 2030 Newcastle will be a smart, liveable and sustainable city. We will celebrate our unique city and protect our natural assets.”

Sounds good, wonder what the residents of the East End think?

I love politicians who make decisions and tell us it is for our benefit, when quite often it is to feed their egos and profile. 

They make the decisions and we get left their legacy.

Stephen O’Neill, Lambton