Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

CLOUD NINE: Some politicians are living in a different world, with little to no understanding of the financial difficulties facing pensioners.
CLOUD NINE: Some politicians are living in a different world, with little to no understanding of the financial difficulties facing pensioners.

AN open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg. Sirs, having read your energy policy, which flips and flops from frightening to horrific for us pensioners, it seems we are about to lose our pension rebate in the coming weeks if the new energy policy is passed by Mr Abbott and the rest of his Coalition mates.

If this is so can you tell me how we are to survive until 2020, when the measly 50 cents reduction a week rebate becomes law.

I have read where you say we get a reduction of $100-$150. But this is not true, it is only 50 cents a week making it only $26 a year. It seems to me, Prime Minister you are living on cloud nine and have no idea the hardship you have made as you seek to appease your mates in the export markets.

How can you sit in Parliament as the highest lawmaker in the land and not have in place an order whereby gas exporters are told (not pleaded with) that no gas exported until all our quotas for our own use is fulfilled?

And making it law they cannot export until all our needs are certain, thereby they are not selling our own gas back to us at an inflated price (or gas gouging).

I will hold you responsible for this at the next election if you do not do this.

John Matthews, Newcastle

Theatre a nightmare

STREET theatre, more like a nightmare. In keeping with our city’s decision to enthusiastically embrace the 1980s with and host the Fords and Holden Supercars event, how old fashioned and somewhat disturbing are the notions communicated in the opinion piece ‘All the city’s a stage for the best free show in town’ (Herald, 19/10) .

Women tiptoeing around their own home, too scared to make a sound because the man of the house is watching Bathurst on TV. Does this still happen? If so those women need help. Men out working, doing important things like cutting down trees. Funny I have seen plenty of women out working as well. Women pushing prams, another outdated stereotype. At least this piece is in keeping with the delusion that many tell themselves in order to live with this decision, that this is a city street circuit, not a racetrack through residential streets.

As for the street theatre, there are plenty of examples of high drama that were not discussed by Edward Duc and Evelyn King, and are easily dismissed by those not living centre stage. The anger of finding access to your driveway has been cut off. The dismay of seeing your heritage home crack and sustain damage as a result of rushed roadworks, roadworks that were unnecessary other than to build a race track that residents do not want. The sense of astonishment at the realisation that the government has no qualms about removing the rights to protection under certain legislation from a small group of our community. The daily drama of angry motorists caught in traffic jams, the near misses on our pedestrian crossings that are there one day, gone the next.

As for Supercars being a professional exercise this must be the comedy section of the theatre. What a joke. Supercars have behaved appallingly towards residents.

Clearly the theatre of Supercars is lost on those living the daily nightmare as opposed to those who can just pop in for a visit.

Dominique Ryan, Newcastle East

Are we really free here

GOOD to see a response to my letters and I agree to a certain extent of Mike Sargent's reply (Letters, 20/10), however to fully understand China one must research its history. China has been invaded by British and Japanese forces intent on controlling its assets. The root cause of communism is the so-called elite class living to excess while the majority suffer. The French revolution, although not under the umbrella of communism, is another case where the elite lived the life of luxury at the expense of the majority, sound familiar? One of the fastest-growing religions in China is Christianity and the Chinese communists donated $30 million towards the construction of a Christian Church and while others such as the Falun Gong have faced persecution. Mike correctly says freedom of speech is not allowed in China unless it is favorable to the ruling party however freedom of speech is dead in Australia due to political correctness. Try disagreeing with any indigenous or ethnic spokesperson and you are branded a racist, or have a differing opinion to someone gay, you are homophobic. Yes China is not ruled by communism as such more by a dictatorship however given our politicians have sold not only our port, Darwin's and granted numerous mining leases to China, Mike you had better used to living under Chinese control because that is where we are headed, courtesy of Canberra. A small correction to Alan Parsons (Letters, 20/10). Sorry Alan best check your facts.

Alan Metcalf, Thornton

It’s easy to criticise

SHARON Claydon, Member for Newcastle, gives a sigh of relief that the Senate won't agree to university funding cuts which will reduce HECS funding to $42,000 (Letters, 21/10). As a reply, l would suggest Sharon would be rather glad her party was not in the position to require any cuts in any funding, because that is what governments are required to do, and opposition prey on. Rather than reduce all funding, why fund anything that hasn't a hope in hell of finding a job, that would never be able to repay the cost of a wasted education. And those learning and training for positions short of trained people, be given full financial support.

Sharon should be following this direction rather than being negative without alternatives. I believe politicians read and listen to people's views on the letters page, just hope she at least, considers my suggestion.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

Change habits for safety

REGARDING the cycling issue (Letters, 21/10): Start some police enforcement on the shared paths around Newcastle. Start a tailgating blitz of fining cyclists traveling within three seconds to the bike in front of them. But we cannot discriminate here, we are all humans. So we also need a tailgating blitz of fining motorists traveling within three seconds to the car in front. This would mean almost all motorists would get fines because 99 per cent drive within the three second gap (it is about 50 metres at 60km/h). 

Basic human rights to change peoples behaviour to get them into better habits of not causing harm to others. Just like drink-driving was socially acceptable 30 years ago, but is not now, society can change.

Dan Endicott, Islington


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