Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Monday, March 20, 2017

FADING DREAM: The skyrocketing price of real estate has locked many first home buyers out, with some arguing negative gearing, not stamp duty, needs addressing.

FADING DREAM: The skyrocketing price of real estate has locked many first home buyers out, with some arguing negative gearing, not stamp duty, needs addressing.

THE governments of Australia are at it a again, coming up with crazy schemes to make the out of control house prices for people who need a home more affordable.

Once again they are dodging the real targets, which is so obvious to all people not implicated in tax schemes. That is, negative gearing for investors buying houses, particularly used houses, and the fact that John Howard and Peter Costello halved the capital gains tax for these multiple buyers of that particular commodity.

The notion that playing with stamp duty will miraculously enable the battlers old and young to buy a home is fantasy. Stamp duty has always been payable on a percentage basis, just as the cost to the seller for the agent has always been percentage based.

The sooner voters realise the dodging that is going on because of the gravy train mentality, so evident in house accumulation in this once caring nation, the better.

Fair Australians will then demand politicians halt the cover-up, remove the schemes and once again after more than two decades, common decency will return to home buying market in Australia.

Russell Schatz, Narrabri

Show some humanity

I HEARD that a play about Manus was performed in Iran. It seems, thanks to the courage of editors, reporters and playwrights that voices from Manus are echoing around the world.

The Newcastle Herald is to be congratulated for doing its part by giving voice to Kurdish journalist, Berouz Boochani (Letters, 11/10/16). In that letter he explained the Australian government had exiled refugees to Manus by force.

Intrigued that a play featuring Boochani was staged in Iran, from where he had fled, I emailed the playwright Nazanin Sahamizadeh. She replied that she interviewed Boochani and others on Manus. She found their situation: “tragic and shocking because Australia is a first world country and the pretender of human rights. But this behaviour with refugees and asylum seeker is completely against humanity”.

Is there something wrong with the very idea of governments, when no matter where you turn, what they do is completely against humanity?

Niko Leka, Mayfield

Against boarding house

ON February 25, over 100 concerned residents of Swansea gathered to hear news of and express concern regarding a proposal to build a “boarding house” in the area.

The building required a social impact assessment and a crime risk assessment as part of the development application. I understand the resultant report indicates many safety features should be incorporated including completely enclosing the balconies and making the windows inoperable. I understand this three-story building is to be used to house transient guests and accommodate mainly people with issues.

I believe the building is to be situated in the heart of our shopping hub on the last block of commercial land in Swansea and adjacent to our beautiful waterfront.

In a final insult the three-storey building is only metres away from the local council pool, park and primary school. Surely for that reason alone, the project should be abandoned.

Make your voice heard, tell the Sydney developer Swansea says no.

Joan Harman, Swansea

Praise for Washington

ON behalf of myself and many others, I would like to personally and publicly say a big thank you to Kate Washington MP for Port Stephens for her tireless and ongoing commitment, in regards to disability care. 

Recently she made a submission to the NSW government, asking that it revise its policy on the complete privatisation of disability health care. She has been vocal in regard to keeping the Stockton centre open. 

I and I'm sure many others can see no reason why private and public health should not coexist. Inhumanity and lack of compassion are clearly the result of the government’s stance on these issues. I would also once again ask them to reconsider.

Karen Starkie, Waratah

Pedestrians need time

YOU are standing at the traffic lights and press the button to cross the road. The green man comes on and you have a matter of seconds to cross before the flashing red man comes on to give you time to complete your crossing. Well that's just fine for the young, the fit and people with no disabilities but it’s not much help to the elderly, or a pedestrian on crutches or with young children. 

Admittedly cars must wait until you finish crossing but many people might feel a bit intimidated by the fact that they must hurry.

Might be a good idea for the RTA to consider changing the timing at traffic lights to give pedestrians a more reasonable chance of crossing safely.

Margaret Priest, Wallsend

No need for mansion

NO young couple without children needs a two-storey, four-bedroom house. Their expectations are far too high. The first home buyers allowance is being abused. Many couples use it to buy a larger house. This allowance should have strings attached specifying that the house must be a single-storey, two-bedroom house – no more.

It is well known that Australia has the largest homes in the world. The taxpayer should not have to bear the burden of this.

After the last war England had hundreds of thousands of homeless – they had their homes destroyed. They came up with a very successful scheme – the prefabricated house. It was small but had most facilities; and was cheap. 

Tom Edwards, Wangi Wangi

The voters will decide

JAY Weatherill used a 'boots and all' attack on Josh Frydenberg on the topic of energy policy, and how richly did he deserve it.

The federal government has criticised Jay Weatherill for using tax dollars to build a gas-fired generator just as Canberra announces a $2 billion expansion to the Snowy Mountain Scheme.

Canberra blamed the SA government for a power failure after a storm flattened power lines. After Mr Weatherill's attack, Mr Frydenberg assured reporters that SA voters would decide Mr Weatherill's fate.

Mr Frydenburg is absolutely right. Australia's voters will decide his fate too if he can't get a handle on energy policy after Canberra abandoned an electricity sector carbon price and put nothing in its place.

John Butler, Windella Downs

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