IT appears that Prime Minister Scott Morrison expects the electorate to get excited by his statement that his next budget will show a surplus, and that as a result we will return his government in gratitude.
This Coalition government has shown that it is easy to achieve this apparent holy grail by failing to provide proper funding for our public schools together with their callous failure to provide adequate funds for the NDIS. I understand this government’s refusal to offer sufficient funds for the provision of care in the home for the aged means some 120,000 seniors are waiting in desperate need of this assistance.
In our region, the residents of Williamtown are being left to be slowly poisoned while the government apparently considers achieving surplus more important than helping these people in a Labor-voting electorate. At the next election, I believe this heartless government will find out that we want them to spend our taxes providing proper care for the sick and elderly and to ensure all kids get a decent education.
Frank Ward, Shoal Bay
CRACK FORMAL DRESS CODES
THE recent debacle over the dress code in our Parliament (‘Patricia Karvelas was kicked out of Question Time for showing 'too much skin’’, ABC 4/12) leads to some interesting thoughts. Why is it all MPs dress upper class and as if they're going to a business meeting? Some would represent working class electorates.
How about turning up in overalls? Those from a seaside constituency could be even more radical. I can just see the PM and leader of the Opposition battling it out in t-shirts and shorts! Then there’s that vain and impractical garment called a tie. I wonder why we bother with that.
No doubt the dress code conveys a professionalism, for what that’s worth. Personally I’d like to see some variety and colour. As for the female members, anything goes!
Neville Aubrey, Wallsend
BACKLASH AN INDICTMENT
WHETHER you agreed or not with the students’ protests about lack of action on climate change last week (‘Too young to vote but will be heard’, Newcastle Herald 1/12) is not the issue.
Refreshingly, these young people are engaging in politics. That is something that has simply not been happening. The consequences of the recent lack of participation are there for us all to see. They should be encouraged not ridiculed.
These young people are the future, and their opinions count. I wonder, however, whether if the protest had been in favour of the status quo the people criticising them in this paper would still have been as negative? Personally I doubt it.
Herein lies the problem with our current level of debate about anything in this country and indeed the world. Respect for others’ opinions and considered reflection is overlooked in favour of ridicule.
Mark Bowen, Broadmeadow
TRYING TO PULL A FAST ONE
JUST how stupid does the Berejiklian government think NSW voters are? This week they trotted out that old fast train chestnut ('Rail options have backing’, Herald 5/12). While I’m not in the first flush of youth, I just can’t remember how many times I have heard this around election time.
She is talking about over 1000 kilometres of rail infrastructure. Just have a look at the light rail in Sydney and ask yourself how’s that’s going. I don’t think anyone reading this will live to see this happen.
Les Baldwin, Pelican
SAVE SYMPATHY FOR ADDICTS
SORRY Julie Robinson (Short Takes, 27/11), but I for one cannot share your sympathy for the convicted drug runners Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence.
They are both convicted criminals who, like all greedy drug dealers and drug runners, play a part in untold heartache and misery plying their vile trade. Everyone knows drugs are the cause of death and destruction, and while I agree people who take drugs are fools, those involved in helping addicts feed their habit get no sympathy from me.
Would Ms Robinson have us believe that other criminals such as wife beaters and rapists are entitled to a quiet life after serving only part of their sentence while their victims continue to suffer? I think not.
Ian King, Warners Bay
SIGNS ARE JUST OF THE TIMES
IT is not just the recent coal sign on Watt Street and other advertising that Christine Everingham (Short Takes 4/12) mentioned that should be of concern to Newcastle's image. Aerial footage of a spinning burnout over the name Newcastle during Supercars is not good either.
Newcastle’s leaders claim our polluting image is a thing of the past, that our regional capital is becoming a clean smart global city (whatever that means), yet they stand by for promotion polluting coal and burning rubber. I find it quite confusing.
Furthermore, the burn-out was within a state heritage precinct. Promoting such activity in such an area makes a mockery of heritage and is disrespectful to our forefathers. The destructive impact on this area has been more than burnt rubber. On the weekend after the race at least half the grass was dead, down to mud in places, and much other vegetation trashed.
Overall I thought it looked like a disaster zone. Access to beaches and attractions was limited and confusing, not that there were many people there visiting them. I imagine any new visitor to Newcastle, domestic or International, would have looked for the nearest exit sign and will never return.
The race is simply in the wrong place and should be on a purpose-built track. Until that happens, I believe Newcastle's image will continue to slide. With any luck, no-one is watching this madness.
Christian Patteson, Hawks Nest
LESS SPILL, MORE DRILL
I THINK the suggestion by Scott Morrison to make it more difficult to knife a party leader by requiring a two-thirds majority is a great start. I think we should move to a system that allows the leader of a party who is successful at the time of election to go the full term with, of course, safeguards as in the American system.
This would benefit both parties and free up more time for all the backstabbers so that they could carry out the duties for which they were elected. It would also benefit the media, so they could start reporting the news instead of making it. Of course none of this would be necessary if the politicians in general would exercise some integrity.
Sandy Buchanan, Largs
LETTER OF THE WEEK
THE pen goes to Philip Mallows, of Stockton for his letter about erosion.
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