Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Monday, April 17, 2017

ROADSIDE HELP: Motorists can only use one car at a time, so one correspondent is questioning why roadside coverage is sold per vehicle, rather than per driver.
ROADSIDE HELP: Motorists can only use one car at a time, so one correspondent is questioning why roadside coverage is sold per vehicle, rather than per driver.

ROADSIDE care auto sevice, once with only one provider, now has competition offering special deals with insurance policies, or a choice of insurers.

I imagine because of this l have been sent a survey to suggest where they may improve their service.

Because they were not interested in what l said, maybe the Herald’s readers will be.

For starters, I am a retired motor engineer with five roadside policies – one for my daughter so she won’t wake me in the middle of of the night, and four for my hardly used collection, in very good mechanical condition.

Considering my daughter travels twice the distance as myself, l am paying four times as much for half the distance, or eight times as much per kilometre.

In other countries rather than the car being insured, it’s the service to the driver being covered – covering whichever car is being driven at any one time.

Why this service is not available here is obvious and maybe now with more players available one can take the bold step of providing a driver cover of any car at any one time. Let's face it, a person can only drive one at a time and retired collectors, who number in the thousands and are not out all times of the night nor in far away places, are a safe investment.

To all the other people in my position, make it known we are not happy and may also transfer other policies to a company catering for our needs. If not driver coverage, maybe at least a 50 per cent reduction for two and 75 per cent for three or more cars.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

Crippling ownership dream

MR Turnbull must take the general public as complete fools with his unbelievably blind and dangerous refusal to acknowledge the four main components driving the out-of-control housing price costs in this country; negative gearing, half rate capital gains tax, highest pro rata immigration in the developed world and out of control foreign buyers of homes competing against the ever-increasing negative gearing crowd.

The latter is frightening the pants off Mr Turnbull and Scott Morrison, who is, I think, probably the most bits and pieces Treasurer since federation.

This pair can't see the tragic result of this ongoing madness that has accelerated at a ever-increasing speed since Paul Keating went to water back in the ’90s and John Howard became known as generous John not so long afterwards.

Every year the damage and hurt for young and battling Australians continues to increase, simply driven by greed and incompetence, make no mistake about that.

No one could seriously look at the situation any other way. We are looking at the most dangerous and long-lasting crippling of our home ownership ability during the last 80 years, a time many of us lived in two-roomed huts.

Russell Schatz, Narrabri

No moving the tram

WITH all the arguing that has gone on about the relative merits of trains, buses and light rail for the central business district of Newcastle, we now know that the railway is out of the equation, leaving just the bus and “tram”, with the “tram” the winner.

But an article in Wednesday’s Herald (‘Car parks to get the chop in bus plan’, Herald, 12/4), should leave no doubt about what should be the most beneficial mode of transport for the future – “buses”.

It seems that the buses will be rerouted at the cost of some car parking spaces for the short term and they can be re-introduced as parking later on. And the cost? A few signs nailed to a telegraph pole.

Try rerouting a tram, oops, light rail line.

David Barrow, Merewether

Adopting transparency

CONCERNING the recent review into SRE and ethics teaching, Kevin McDonald (Letters, 13/4) is clearly at odds with NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes who found no widespread or systemic evidence of problems in the present system. 

If, as Kevin says, there is no place for religious zealots in public schools, neither then is there any place for secular zealots.

From someone demanding supporting evidence for claims made by anyone, Kevin’s claim that religious beliefs and science are incompatible is not just unsupported, but clearly contradicted by the veritable litany of famous scientists throughout history who have been religious believers.

If parents feel that the churches have lost credibility over child abuse, they can simply withdraw their children from SRE, because no child is obliged to attend scripture if their parents state that as their preference.

As for ethics classes being ‘suppressed’, once again where is the supporting evidence? If ethics classes are ‘unavailable’ because of lack of volunteer teachers, whose fault is that?

The NSW government is not ‘scrapping’ the review, but rather adopting recommendations to improve transparency and accountability.

Peter Dolan, Lambton

Invested in policy

THERE is an obvious reason why politicians won’t vote to stop negative gearing and that is because a great number of them have their snouts in the negative gearing trough. I understand most of them, including the Prime Minister, have several.

The publicly-available forms show that at least 97 federal members and senators, or their partners, own an investment property. A handful own more than 10, while 50 MPs own more than two investment properties.

But as all sides of politics debate the merits of negative gearing – how many federal politicians are negative gearing their own investment properties?

It was an episode of the ABC's Kitchen Cabinet that prompted Melbourne-based Jan Dods on Curious Canberra to ask how many federal politicians negatively geared property in Canberra.

"It's something I hadn't thought about but I was watching an episode of Annabel Crabb's Kitchen Cabinet where she was having lunch with Joe Hockey," she said.

"It came up that he rented rooms in his house [in Canberra] to other people.”

Jan began wondering how many politicians have investment properties – and whether that might influence their thinking on negative gearing.

"It came on that they need to save money with budgeting and things, and I thought, why don't they attack negative gearing?" she asked.

Tom Edwards, Wangi Wangi