THE union I was privileged to have led, the miners’ federation, constantly opposed the introduction of measures its members saw as having potentially detrimental consequences for the social fabric of the nation. These included measures such as the adoption by government of wholesale deregulation, pursuing the illusionary “world’s best practice”, the mythical international competitiveness and the privatisation of publicly-owned infrastructure.
Subsequent royal commissions have clearly established self-regulation not to have been in the best interest of Australian workers. The race to the bottom to achieve the mythical “world’s best practice” has effectively destroyed decades of hard-won conditions of employment for Australian workers. Privatisation of publicly owned assets has increased the cost of living for Australian families. The continuing existence of this perfect storm confronting Jane and John Australia is due in great part to a combination of public apathy generally and corruption at the highest levels.
Regarding OH&S self-regulation alone, we have in the coal industry seen the re-emergence of black lung disease (‘Black lung inquiry finds 'catastrophic failure' in public administration in Queensland’, ABC 29/5/17), yet the Morrison government, the Australian Business Council and their camp followers continue to demand even more loosening of industrial regulation.
THERE has been a deafening silence from Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel and lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes about the imminent closure of the Tower Cinemas complex, particularly given its links to the CBD's new transport and parking regimes. Just more collateral damage, perhaps?
It's worth remembering that a decade ago we had two CBD cinema complexes until Newcastle council forced the sudden closure of the Showcase cinemas.
Late co-owner Margaret Goumas told ABC in 2008 that "Newcastle doesn't deserve this. Most cities of the world have a cultural hub and Newcastle has lost this".
It would appear that residents are being encouraged to move from the suburbs to CBD apartments, but if you want basic entertainment, like a visit to the movies, you have to return to the suburbs.
I recall that when Showcase closed there was talk of a new CBD cinema complex in the future mall redevelopment. Any news on that front? This weeks' Newcastle Star has an article claiming Newcastle aims to be a "global city" (whatever that means) by 2030. Most global cities, particularly within their CBDs have multiple cinema complexes.
THERE we have it. Thank you Michael Parris, (‘Phone data counters Supercars crowd tally’, Newcastle Herald 16/11) for your splendid and insightful investigative article.
And thank you, Newcastle transport consultant Ron Brown, for discovering the contradiction. And thank you Jeremy Bath. Your remark that “residents in any other suburb would be writing thank you letters to Supercars and the city every day of the year if this investment had come their way” demonstrates a degree of hubris usually only seen across the pond.
It must make you cross that some ratepayers see this event as a junket and are not grateful, servile or ingratiating. And, to misquote Paul Keating, some ratepayers are not flat out counting past ten either.
NEWCASTLE City Council must have gone completely mad.
If approved, the proposed six-level development on the corner at 59 Darby Street with access for vehicles on the Queen Street side will be chaotic morning and evening, especially in peak hours for those entering Darby Street and those wanting to turn into Queen Street.
Residents in Regency Park already suffer traffic and pedestrian congestion at their front gates. To make matters worse, the proposed huge apartment residential development on the old NBN site (‘Nine Network sells NBN studios site’, Herald, 17/7) will only compound the traffic issues.
Parking spots in and around The Hill area are scarce and residents have really had enough. The infrastructure isn’t in place for these huge developments.
AUSTRALIA needs to put terrorist attacks into perspective and decide what sort of society we want in the future. We should not be sucked in by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s political fear-mongering (‘Terror stabber was on bail’, Herald 17/11).
Do we want a big brother society where citizens’ freedom is curtailed in order catch a few radicalised Islamic terrorists? Do we want ASIO to use facial recognition software so they can watch us all in public places through CCTV cameras? Do we want the big software companies to surrender encryption algorithms so our private internet conversations can be spied upon by security agencies? Would all this be a slippery slope to a more authoritarian society in which political opposition was suppressed?
Or do we want an Australian society in future where citizens are free to speak their minds and live their lives without intrusive government surveillance? Attacks on radical Islam in the way proposed by Scott Morrison have already proved counterproductive. It is far better to join with Islamic organisations in addressing the causes of Islamic youth alienation from Australian society with education, mental health treatment and job training.
SCOTT Morrison says that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to Australians. Leaving aside heart attacks and domestic violence, if your current PM wants to end the 'business model' of the Islamic terrorist all he has to do is finally admit that there are no gods. Then all those who bully, kidnap, kill, exploit or repress others in the name of religion would no longer have an excuse. We'd no longer have to hear about atrocities in the name of religion.
Of course, many politicians use religion to get more votes, so this is never going to happen. It is up to us, the people, to get rid of religions and their pretend gods off the necks of humankind and off the face of this earth, or religion-excused divisions and atrocities will continue forever. We have enough secular monsters, morons preaching race-hate, and sociopaths in general. We can do without delusional religious murderers trying to bomb us back to the dark ages. Perhaps the current Pope could apologise to Muslims for the crusades, for a start.
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