THE NRL and Allan Milton (Letters 11/3) seem to suggest that the no-fault rule for standing down players ('De Belin's legal battle against NRL kicks off', Newcastle Herald 8/3) is not a denial of the presumption of innocence and that the NRL have the right, if not the duty, to protect the game from disrepute for the benefit of the wider society.
The NRL has stated that the new rule shall apply when a player is charged with an offence that carries a maximum sentence of 11 years of imprisonment unless the NRL determine that the alleged offence is deemed serious enough that the player should be stood down anyway like in the recent cases of Dylan Walker and Tyrone May.
This in itself raises the question: if the NRL is not bound by the 11-year rule, it's difficult to see how they aren't free to suspend whoever they like or, perhaps more precisely, who they don't like.
Rugby league players are paid well compared with many other occupations, however their playing careers rarely last more than 12 years. Their professional development hinges on their ability to play. While a player suspended is to be paid, ineligibility to play impacts adversely on their professional development and whatever playing future that they may have left.
Combined with this is the fact that many contested court cases take substantial time to conclude. Despite protestations by the NRL, I fail to see how the new no-fault rule can coexist with a presumption of innocence. Therefore, if the NRL is genuinely concerned with the wider society, they should first consider the principle that underpins any civil society: a presumption of innocence. But that's not so sexy, eh?
Max Frew, Newcastle
IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN
I'M fired up by Janet Murray Green, candidate for Cessnock (Letters 12/3), and her thoughts on the proposed coal-fired power station at Kurri Kurri ('Firing up', Newcastle Herald 7/3).
A nonsensical scheme, to use her words? That's exactly what the Greens stand for in my opinion. We need coal mining and new power stations to survive in Australia. We don't have nuclear power stations or other countries we can get power from if needed. We are an island; we must look after ourselves first and the Paris agreement second.
Carbon dioxide levels need to be reduced, we all agree, but to be hung out to dry when there is no quick fix doesn't make you the sharpest tool in the shed. We need food, water and electricity to live. Take any of these away and we die. Without electricity there is no food and no water.
I call on the Greens to turn off your power when the sun goes down and the wind’s not blowing. Let’s see how you would cope, because I believe that looks like our future under the Greens and the Paris agreement.
Phil Payne, Gateshead
DON'T WRITE EARLY CHEQUES
ALL this talk from both sides to fix the Nelson Bay road ('We've been down this road before', Herald 16/1), with Labor promising half now and the other half in the following term of government ('Labor pledges $600m for Port road overhaul', Herald 13/3).
I don't know whether this is a promise or a threat, because this type of response is often used sometimes extending out to a decade in advance, all hinging on being re elected, it's like a insurance policy guaranteeing extended coverage for a price.
I believe this price is unacceptable and shouldn't be allowed as a offering. The term of government is three or four years and, like an insurance policy, conditions change, but continuation of benefits should not be a threat. I call it political blackmail focused on expecting us to trust them to be honourable and to stand by their word.
Some may believe it, but just like a dodgy insurance company l put little faith in the delivery of promises without a written contract and proven record, which no politician or party has ever, or is ever likely to, produce. Don't promise what's not yours to give.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
GFC MEASURES WERE SAVIOUR
SCOTT Morrison claims that the younger generations have never experienced a recession and that if a Labor government is elected they just might. The Coalition is the only party to be trusted with the economy, he says (AFR 5/3).
Well, if the Coalition had been in power during the global financial crisis I believe the younger generation would almost certainly have experienced recession. The stimulus strategies implemented by the Rudd government meant that Australia was one of only four developed countries that avoided recession. Back then, the Coalition opposition voted against the Labor stimulus package, instead arguing for austerity measures that ultimately proved counterproductive in other countries and created recession. Rudd’s trickle-up effect was proven to work through cash grants to families and massive infrastructure spending that kept money circulating and people in jobs. Australia had been 12th-ranked economy in the world in 2007, but found itself clear world leader on economic wellbeing by 2010. The Coalition keeps selling the line that it is the best manager of the economy, but in my opinion the facts don’t read that way.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
VOTE IS ONE FOR THE SYSTEM
THIS election should be an indicator of if, and how much, Australians are waking up to the costly incompetence of our political system, a system where the people are disrespected, kept in the dark and come second.
Who would have thought that the day would come when fellow Australians would whinge and whine because a royal commission and sensible reform had started to bring house prices back to a fair and sustainable level? Where the one thing that everyone should have the opportunity to provide for their family, that being a roof over their head, would be used by the well-off as a means of increasing their wealth?
Allan Earl, Thornton
RUNNING WELL-WORN TRACK
IT'S interesting to see Mark Latham running for the state election under the One Nation flag (Daily Telegraph 11/3). Can anyone actually see Latham taking orders from Pauline Hanson if elected? My prediction is that should he be successful in gaining a seat it will be no time before he will be off like a robber's dog to become an independent like so many before him.