MY wife and I have just returned home from a beautiful cruise around the South Pacific.
What a huge blow that met us when we got home to see that the Newcastle cruise ship terminal has been shelved.
I did mention a while ago in this forum that the NSW government has little regard for this project or this town.
We met a lot of fellow passengers from Newcastle and other areas from Port Macquarie and the Central Coast area, who like us were hoping that the terminal in Newcastle would be built to save us the train trip to Sydney to catch the ships.
There are no spaces on the trains for luggage to be stored. So many people are standing up on the trip because suitcases take up seats.
Why can't we have a luggage carriage or space made available to put the bags. There is a sign in the carriages that says "that taking up space is a disgrace."
There are so many travellers in the same situation and the government should take notice of their policy of taking up seat space.
Greg Lowe, New Lambton
no negative response
I WRITE regarding people losing their houses years ago due to high interest rates during the early years of the Hawke government following their inheritance of a very deficient government policy after winning the 1983 election.
The new government had a few troubled years sorting out the issues that were left to them.
I personally did not know of anyone who lost their home but I have watched every night as more and more data shows the stress of the falling prices of houses under this Coalition government.
Under this latest data I have seen more people are under mortgage stress than ever before due to people borrowing exorbitant amounts of money to pay for these homes.
Their houses are now worth less than what they paid for them.
As discussed on theconversation.com, NSW Treasury's projections seem to confirm that Labor's negative gearing policy will barely affect housing prices.
I can't see how negative gearing would affect the price of houses on this data and hopefully should make the housing more accessible for younger people to purchase their own property.
Joy Conquest, Dora Creek
old allergy advice
IT is heart-warming to read of the joy that Joanne McCarthy is experiencing in grandmotherhood ('Baby Makes a Mess', Weekender 4/10) after what must have been harrowing and, at times, heartbreaking years for her in bringing to light the child abuse scandals.
In her article, Ms McCarthy wrote that for years parents were warned off feeding infants foods like peanuts and eggs. Apparently, the Australasian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergies require further evidence to clarify the optimal timing for each food.
As I had forgotten exactly how I had introduced solid food to my own babies, I decided to delve into my treasure trove and find Baby's Health Record, my little blue book, provided by the Mothers and Babies Health Association in Adelaide, which recorded the baby's progress. In 1962, the helpful Infant Welfare sister wrote advice for me on how to feed my precious first-born. Some entries might help some new mums:
Half a teaspoon orange juice and Farex at six weeks; prune juice and pulp at eight weeks; vegetable broth, stewed apple at ten weeks; lamb shank broth with potato, pumpkin, carrot and spinach leaf (sieved), and Vegemite at fourteen weeks; stewed apricot, pear, vanilla custard, raw mashed banana at sixteen weeks; fish, chicken, rabbit and brains at twenty two weeks; red meats at twenty four weeks; half teaspoon hard-boiled egg yolk in Farex at twenty seven weeks; egg white at thirty weeks; stews, soups and casseroles at thirty four weeks - also, toast with butter, Vegemite, smooth peanut butter, honey and cheese spread. All new food was to be introduced in small amounts and increased slowly.
I followed this advice for my other three babies as well. Thankfully, as adults, they have no allergies.
Sometimes, what is old has to be new again.
Moira Boettcher, New Lambton
cancellation not right
I WAS disturbed to read your story about the cancellation of the Greens' planned forum on racism which was to feature MLC Mehreen Faruqi ('Greens plan to reschedule forum at alternative venue', May 8).
The alleged threat by the far right to crash the event seems nothing less than an attempt to stifle democratic free speech.
These groups appeal to "patriots", but as usual they confuse patriotism with nationalism.
A patriot loves their country. A nationalist hates some other identifiable group of people.
It's quite possible to love your country without victimising a target group.
The call to patriotism from these groups, whenever used, must be called out for the falsehood it is.
Michael Gormly, Islington
let's be frank, here
IT seems John Davies (Letters 8/5) confuses franking credits with excess franking credits. And confuses us. Just as he does with mislabelling industry super funds as church and union funds. They aren't.
Half their boards are appointed by employers and the other half employees.
Individuals, all retirees and retail, industry and self-managed funds in the accumulation and pension phase will continue to receive franking credits.
Apart from pensioners, no one will not get excess franking credits (gift). There is a tiny minority at the moment paying no tax, yet sucking in $6 billion, and growing, in annual tax refunds.
Mr Davies, I can find nothing in the Australian Financial Review that remotely confirms what you say Mr Shorten said about retirees. He did say, "Two minutes worth of gift could be used to fund a knee replacement operation, 10 minutes worth would pay a nurse's salary for a year, and one hour's worth would fund a hospital bed for a year." Let's work that out for a 'year'. Mr Shorten did not say he intended running Australia like a trade union. He said something different. Please check.