THE tone of the article about Lake Macquarie's record $1.16 billion development boom (“City on the rise”, Herald 2/7) is very upbeat.
Phrases like boom, bonanza, strongest growth, great outcomes and potential waiting to be unlocked should have Lake Macquarie residents blowing their car horns and cheering with joy. However, they are too busy fighting peak hour traffic snarls on inadequate roads, waiting on unreliable transport or fighting for a car park even outside their own homes to cheer along with the mayor and the developers. The development community must be popping champagne at the comment the council "will be looking to build on the strong and collaborative relationships council has created with the development community." Unlimited growth in a finite space seems a dream for developers.
Nowhere in the article will you find the words community wellbeing, careful planning of infrastructure, or community consultation. God forbid any reference to the protection of sensitive environments from over-development.
Anyone living near or enjoying open public spaces like waterfront or green spaces take careful note of what council is proposing for the foreshore at Toronto (“Complex for foreshore”, Herald 24/4). "Delivering great outcomes"? Not if you are a resident or a lake, in my opinion.
You could be next, and community wellbeing will simply not even be on the table for consideration. When you have rapid growth and congestion, it's usually malignant.
SOME men, including football players, just don’t seem to get it do they? With all the talk of men needing to show respect for women and the concern for women’s safety, particularly with the alarming number of the cases of rape and murder of women and girls, a “joke” from footballer Barry Hall insinuated that it would be hilarious if a doctor did something obscene while examining a pregnant woman patient.
Doesn’t the moron realise that what he has suggested is in fact sexual assault? And it wasn’t only him, but other members of the panel acting like it was a big joke as well, including the woman’s husband. Hall has apologised and thanked everyone for their support, which is in itself is a bit worrying, and says he has respect for women.
I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word. He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself and he deserved to be sacked.
THERE has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding compensation for businesses affected by the light rail construction (“Rail fight off to court”, Herald 23/6). I agree the state government should indeed compensate those businesses, but has everyone forgotten that a lot of disruption and loss of business started before the light rail? Remember the disruptions for more than six months for Supercars roadwork in 2017?
A complete downturn in business, not to mention the fact that virtually all money-injecting foreshore events were cancelled.
Whether the light rail is finished by October or not, I expect there will be three more months of Supercars disruption from that month until the end of the year. Therefore I think a joint compensation package between those responsible for the light rail and Supercars would seem appropriate.
OUR minister for tourism and major events Adam Marshall's claim “The city of Newcastle has done an incredible job hosting more than 190,000 people from around Australia and the world” (“Race hits state target”, Herald 3/7) brings to mind the words of American journalist Calvin Trillin: “I never did very well in math - I could never seem to persuade the teacher that I hadn't meant my answers literally”.
According to the GIPA obtained from Destination NSW over 58% of the claimed 192,242 tickets issued were freebies. Likewise, were more than half the interstate/international tickets? No record of how many attended has been provided. They were never counted. I believe the comment that “these results confirm the event is on track to reach the projected visitation and economic impact targets of 81,000 overnight visitors and $57 million in visitor spend over five years” is dependent upon a flawed methodology, and not just the attendance mathematics. The NSW Auditor-General criticised the Homebush event estimates derived from the economic statements given by Supercars for not including a costing of the economic impact on the local community. The statements for Newcastle also omit this. I feel duty bound, despite their mathematic and economic shortcomings, to congratulate Supercars on their mastery of agnotology - the art of culturally induced ignorance or doubt.
MANY papers regularly run opinion pieces about Australia's high population growth, quite often implying that such a process whether good or bad, is unstoppable – but this is not the case. Our current population is growing largely because of our immigration policy and family incentives.
It is the policy of both our major political parties based on the assumption that this will create a growth in GDP which is assumed to be good for all of us. The reality, however, is much different. Our GDP growth is meagre and our per capita GDP is lower than that of Japan, which has the world’s highest decline in population numbers.
I believe we not only cannot supply the necessary infrastructure for this growth, but have been saddled with the the highest level of personal debt from housing costs with growing levels of homelessness and poverty.
AS FAR as I am concerned a 12-month custodial sentence for turning a blind eye to the sexual abuse of children is scandalous. Some individuals receive the same penalty for stealing other people's possessions. Surely ignoring the theft of many children's innocence is worth more time than that? I think it proves yet again there is something wrong with Australia's system of justice. For those of us who have been on the receiving end, it's a serious flawed and unjust system. Will it improve? I am sure it will not.
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