IT WAS enlightening to learn the salary of the Prime Minister and other parliamentarians (‘At $528,000 a year Turnbull’s pay is the highest of any leader in OECD’, theherald.com.au, 28/5) and the relativity to average wages in Australia.
To me, the salaries are fairly comparative to average wages when we consider the requirements and the responsibilities of the jobs. The doubt that exists is whether those receiving the salaries are earning them, which comes down to individuals.
A comparison of the salary with other countries is irrelevant. Australia is its own nation and we have our way of deciding these matters. Galling is the fact that so many of those elected to the federal parliament have recently been found to have been there illegally by breaching the constitution. To top that off, they are allowed to stand for re-election despite the default.
The comparison which is really horrifying is with the salaries of chief executives of the ASX100. The salary of the Prime Minister should be used a benchmark, and any executives extracting a pay packet of more than that from their public shareholders, customers and policy-holders should be taxed at 90 per cent on the excess.
ANY time a football team, any team, loses by a large majority, especially in the last half, the fans and supporters are up in arms (Letters, 29/5). Has anyone considered that when a win is impossible it may be better to back off, prevent injuries and plan the next encounter? How many players become injured for no reason, apart from putting on a brave show?
In the boxing world, when their man is beaten they throw in the towel to avoid further punishment. Even the referee stops matches, maybe footy coaches should do the same. A wise commander knows when it's time to retreat, regather their forces, and plan another day. He doesn't sacrifice his men to just put on a good show.
THE call for a Wickham ferry terminal and the enhancement of aquatic public transport in the Newcastle Harbour (‘Entrench Wickham ferry terminal in any foreshore sale: Crakanthorp’, theherald.com.au, 28/5) show Mr Crakanthorp MP as a man of good vision. An upgraded Stockton ferry will certainly help the development of both sides of the harbour, and the neighbouring towns like Fern Bay and Fullerton Cove in Port Stephens. It is not too difficult to imagine that one day an upgraded public transport system like the light rail could connect Stockton ferry to the Newcastle Airport in Williamtown.
PAUL Anicich (Letters, 25/5) writes with justifiable pride of the role the lower Hunter played in Australian beginnings.
No one doubts that Newcastle is a colossal destination. Our coastline setting uniquely adds to this. Revitalisation policy should have been 90-minute intercity rail trips, putting global Sydney at the doorstep of Newcastle station. Yet the Maritime Museum, in a worthy historical building, has folded. Frontline Hobbies has moved its flagship store. With fast intercity services using a "cut and covered" corridor, and an interchange, not a rail terminus, in the west, light rail could proceed. Newcastle's future would not be choked.
EVERY day I watch the construction of the light rail project and marvel at the efforts of the workers putting long hours. I also notice the struggles of traders, hoping the project is completed soon. However I am excited that we will soon have a vibrant, new-look city.
I see staff and students making their way to NeW Space, some walking, others cycling and many getting off buses.
The heavy rail system, of mostly empty carriages, was never an appropriate way to move people around short sections of the inner-city. While buses could do the job, a brave and expensive decision was made to introduce a light rail system.
It was never an option to provide on-site parking for all these people, and no other inner-city university does this. As for turning the city over to developers? That is a positive, if you look at the number of new structures and construction sites.
I am sure that a developer can easily do the maths as to the value of a site that needs grouting to reinforce against mine subsidence and one that does not – so let’s put that argument about a narrow strip of rail being some kind of treasure that all developers are trying to acquire to rest.
I give credit to the state government and to Newcastle City Council under lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes for working in the best interests of the city. I think those constantly whining about this project, firstly that Newcastle never gets money spent here to now complaining that the project has had too much spent on it, should take a break, come back in a year to see what I’m sure will be a brilliant result.
MUCH has recently been viewed and written concerning the disgraceful conditions in which sheep and cattle often have to endure in their shipping overseas. However, I am unaware of much media coverage as to how our livestock is transported within our own borders. It would do our armchair critics no harm to take a day trip out to the bush or to an abattoir entry to note the conditions in which sheep and chickens, in particular, are crammed into trucks with no room to move and no water or feed available, even in oppressive weather conditions.
Perhaps it is time for us to look closer to home. I would also add that it has been a long time between profits for the graziers who sell their sheep or cattle overseas.
I don’t think we should be arguing for a complete cessation of the overseas live trade. Our legislators should be, and I believe are, working overtime on a sensible set of regulations governing the transportation of livestock. Any new regulations must be backed up with the strictest controls and penalties. I hope reasonable reactions to what are appalling visions and reports do not penalise graziers. We must ensure improved conditions for the transportation of livestock generally. Such improved conditions must include professionally qualified people accompanying each shipment.
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