HERE'S a thought Mr Morrison: Newstart and Youth Allowances need to be increased to give the unemployed a chance to live with a modicum of dignity. Many are in their current situation through no fault of their own and cannot obtain jobs which don't exist. Instead of another costly government bureaucracy for drug testing benefit recipients, use the money to offer a $75-a-week increase to those who volunteer to have the proposed cashless card. Too easy. As a self-professed Christian, I think you exhibit no discernible Christian traits whatsoever. Instead of tackling the real issues facing Australians, such as water and energy security, climate change, housing affordability and the rising influence of the Chinese Communist government in our region (not to mention the PFAS contamination problem), you choose to attack the less fortunate Australians to divert attention from your government's failings. Shame.
Zenon Woloszyn, Rutherford
Idea to get water flowing
IF Joel Fitzgibbon is deadly serious about helping farmers and those who do not live in major cities on the coast, ('Farmers are Morrison's forgotten people', Newcastle Herald, 10/9) he really needs to get behind what John Barilaro and the Nationals proposed at the last state election; that is the Bradfield scheme. If Joel can convince his comrades in the state QLD Labor government of the merit of such a nation-building project, we can get on with building what could arguably change agriculture in this country for the better forever. With water diverted from the Burdekin, Tully and Herbert there would be enough water for not only western southern Queensland, but for water to be fed into the Darling River system, thus helping that river system. Never forget that Labor scrapped Tillegra Dam and being on the driest continent on Earth, we must build more water storage. So please Joel, if you want to help farmers and communities west of the divide, get behind this.
Nick Stibbard, Thornton
Is soil still tops
THE recent dust storms have made me consider the changes that European settlement have had on the quantity and quality of Australia's topsoil. The first settlers found lush vegetation and soft-footed animals along with the Indigenous people who cared for and protected the land, causing minimal change. Since then, a large proportion of trees and other native vegetation have been cleared. Hard-footed animals have been introduced. These both damage and compact the soil. Cultivation has led to erosion and irrigation has led to salination. I'm not a scientist, but I wonder has anyone measured how much topsoil has been lost in the last 200 years. Of course, organic growers and especially biodynamic farmers are doing their best to restore the soil to its original fertility.
Joan Lambert, Adamstown
Not most Australians
JIM Wright (Letters, 7/9) said "like most Australians". Always an incorrect way to start a discussion. I am Australian and come from many generations of Australians. I asked family, friends, acquaintances and all thought the Tamil family should be deported. They queue-jumped, and then after many times being told they weren't genuine refugees they had a family here. I want genuine refugees, I want compassion for people who stay in camps and apply and wait and wait.
The Tamil people had enough money to buy a boat; they have visited "home" a few times (no fear there). And yes I know others are coming by plane, deport them as well.
K Bow, Wallsend
THE Herald over the last few days has done a good job of pushing recycling. The mention of plastic ties and the damage they do to the marine environment is a good thing, may help people to be more aware of things. On September 4, A Current Affair did a very good segment on the thousands of tonnes of waste waiting in various states to be recycled. The people in the plastic recycling business would have a lot to say about the hurdles they face. I have heard of a person wanting to recycle waste plastic and I was told that at 80 years of age, the person would be 100 year old before all the hurdles and hoops were jumped through. So if that is the case it is no wonder that there is such a huge amount of material waiting to be recycled.
Fred Saunders, Waratah West
I'll spell it out for you
I NOTICE in your editorial ('Sceptics pointing the spoon at course', Herald, 10/9) that you had a little dig at the spelling "skeptic" as an Americanism. We learned at school that "c" followed by "e" is always pronounced soft, yet it beats me as to why "sceptic" is allowed to remain as an exception. The Americans have made a perfectly logical spelling adjustment. Other one-time "Americanisms" have become fully accepted on this side of the Pacific, such as "jail" for "gaol". We are fully accustomed to spelling "gram", the unit of weight, in only four letters, even though some traditionalists in Britain still insist on "gramme". These are now Australianisms. It's curious that words such "authorize" and many other others which can end in "-ize" are frowned on as a sort of Americanism. Not at all. This spelling was commonly used in NSW government papers up till about 1910. After then it fell out of use, in favour of the "-ise" ending. The former spelling variant is still used in Britain by Oxford University Press, in many academic journals. It is known as Oxford spelling.
I am all in favour of a bit of spelling reform, when it makes English spelling more logical, phonetically. I do not mean wholesale changes to half the words in the language, as that would be a recipe for chaos. A few minor adjustments should be acceptable.
Mati Morel, Thornton
Postage a pain
AUSTRALIA Post is a total disgrace. Not so long ago our red postal boxes proudly declared, and achieved, "Local delivery 1 day, Sydney 2 days, Metropolitan 3 days" - and you could bank on it, all for 60 cents, which seemed fairly expensive at the time. Now a typical letter from, and to, Charlestown takes almost one week for the cost of $1. How do they so effectively delay the processing of mail? They're absolute masters at it. Do they let the stockpile build up for a week before doing a batch processing by casual labour? Now there's talk of further massive increases, as they can't make a profit - just unbelievable. Today's management practices of calling everyone a CEO, paying ridiculous salary and benefits packages of millions of dollars for mediocre and unaccountable performance, and then paying them to resign, is just disgusting.
Allan Searant, Charlestown
Letter of the Week
THE Herald pen goes to Robert Kear for his letter about Stockton.
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
I WOULD love Annette Gillies to organise recycling at John Hunter Hospital (Letters, 12/9). I work there and currently take home plastic milk bottles, but I am one person doing what I can - it's disgusting how much is going to landfill.
Name withheld, Waratah
THE naysayers are at it again (Short Takes, 11/9). True supporters of any sporting team stick with their chosen team through thick and thin. Disappointment often occurs. My advice to complaining so-called Knights' supporters is suck it up and look forward to next season.
Robert Tacon, Adamstown Heights
ONE hopes the whale carcass doesn't end up like the rock on South Newy beach.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
WELL done Matt Hall ('Top gun's on top of the world', Newcastle Herald, 10/9). We have another world champion. You need to be congratulated for being an ambassador for the greatest land on earth. If anyone would like to take the ride of their life, contact Matt Hall Racing and his very experienced crew at Belmont airport. Thanks Simo, the memory lives on.
Bob Pattie, Caves Beach
THE question regarding climate change is a simple yet problematic one. Are we going to be consumers or conservers, because as things stands we can not be both.
Geoff Starke, Macquarie Hills
ANYONE should know that in what has historically been a safe Labor stronghold, nothing ever gets done as promised (Short Takes, 11/9). The Liberal sitting party will not spend a dime, as they know the people will vote Labor, but if a Labor government gets the vote, no money is spent as it is a safe seat. When will people learn the only seats that get money are the swinging seats?
Maurice Fintelman, Cardiff
IS it true that the government has plans to supply Stockton residents with canoes when their suburb becomes an island?
Peter Newey, Hamilton
I CAN answer Elaine Street's Short Take (11/9) regarding the light rail operation during the Supercars event. I asked this question to the organisation via email last week. Their answer was the trams will only go as far as Queens Wharf for the duration of the races. Knowing they spent a day covering the tracks on Watt Street last year, I suggest we should prepare for the trams to terminate at Queens Wharf from Thursday till Monday - five days.
John Fear, Newcastle East
I AM not sure what Wal Remington meant by his comment regarding the Knights (Letters, 12/9) that he had not waited since 1999 for this rubbish. The Knights won the comp in 2001.
Steve Fernie, Maryland
ONE would hope commonsense will prevail with City of Newcastle providing parking for tourists with caravans at the new tourist information centre at the former Civic railway station site. Without such parking these tourists will have no access.