ANTI-POVERTY Week (13-19th October) action will rightly call for an increase in Newstart allowances of $75 per week. It is a disgrace that there are over 100,000 homeless, that pensioners struggle to survive and can't afford dental and medical care and that Newstart is $40 a day.
One has to question government spending priorities, and the first would be the $200 billion military spending over the next 10 years. We are not under military threat and, according to the last Defence white paper, there is no future military threat to Australia that Defence can foresee.
The motivation for this heavy military spending appears to lie in the demand the United States had made of its allies to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on the military, and in Australia's case, for inter-operability with the US military as it gears up for war with China and/or Iran.
We are under no military threat from either country. Isn't it time to cut military spending and fund social need?
Bevan Ramsden, Lambton
ONLY SOME FACING FIGHT
NO wonder our society is disintegrating, if Monday night's Q&A is any indication. The topic was a review of aged care facilities with support from the Commonwealth government.
Too often we hear dire predictions for future aged people because of their present excessive number, which is expected to rise further in the future. This is not a new phenomenon.
I remember the surprise and shock I felt more than 30 years ago when this situation became apparent. At the time I thought the government would establish solutions to prevent any adverse effect.
Well, that hasn't happened and I felt sick watching the minister for ageing muddle his way through questions. In typical Liberal style, he quoted findings from a royal commission but with no precise resolution to existing difficulties such as what they have done to alleviate the situation.
Mind you, ScoMo followers will quietly chuckle that it won't be their problem, and therein lies the obstacle when it comes to effective governance. Money speaks all languages. Members of the community who don't care, combined with the well-heeled, will leave the campaign for better conditions to the battlers. Hope remains eternal for a new brand of government.
Pat Garnet, Wickham
PM PICKS WRONG BATTLES
PRIME Minister Morrison demonstrates his government has its back to the wall when he attacks the United Nations and when he attacks the piano players who disagree with his financiers' policies.
He tells us the banks won't pass on the latest minuscule interest reduction. Could it be possible the banks are aware that in reducing interest rates they remove self-funded retirees' income? Who is more needy?
He attacks a young girl, declaring as one must expect from him that she is just an ignorant child. He doesn't care to remark on the thousands of scientists she is quoting, or the millions of people who march with her. He parrots destructive statements such as 'negativity' and 'fake news', pretending that fossil fuels, population growth and water resources can continue indefinitely.
This country and this world desperately need leaders prepared to face reality.
George Paris, Rathmines
THE NUMBERS ARE CLEAR
JUST a quick congratulations to Robin Hopps (Letters, 8/10). You nailed the description of the man-made climate change argument as fallacious.
Without providing a single fact, your letter informed us all that climate change is a "fabrication and counter-intuitive". You also deserve praise for highlighting the fact that rising sea levels are not causing any problems. The agricultural land lost on Pacific islands is a myth and the photographs of it have obviously been 'doctored'.
As far as crowd sizes go, I personally believe that the crowd at Donald Trump's inauguration was the largest ever; I hope that you agree as the pictures prove it.
Regardless of those pesky 100 plus scientific organisations who claim man-made climate change is real, I bow before your opinion. After all, your opinion on climate change has the support of Trump, Fox US, Sky News Australia and Scott Morrison, so must be correct. Keep up the good work, Robin, and carry on informing us of the 'real' story on climate change. Just ignore the hundreds of millions of people who disagree with you.
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
PLAGIARISM IS A LONG BOW
ALAN Hamilton (Short Takes, 5/10) says Greta Thunberg "borrowed the memorable heart of her comments from Aboriginal Senator Neville Bonner". and "there's no shame by the left of politics". Senator Bonner used the phrase "how dare you" in an admirable 1998 speech to the constitutional conference. I can't find anything in that speech reminiscent of Greta Thunberg's, except that one phrase.
I'm sure there have been thousands of instances of the words "how dare you" used in speeches, plays, TV shows, novels and songs. Is it really likely that a 16 year old Swedish girl would have been aware of an Australian Senator's speech to a conference 21 years ago? If this is proposed as a shameful act, it suggests desperate reaching for accusations against Greta Thunberg as to happily include plain fantasy.
Michael Jameson, New Lambton
THERE'S MORE THAN THE NRL
THE KOORI Knockout on NITV had been a great spectacle this weekend. It was far more entertaining with very few, or in fact no, bad refereeing decisions, unlike the NRL with the bunker who are seemingly unable to see much at all to overturn on-field refereeing blunders. Is it any wonder AFL is becoming far more popular? I'm not too sure I am going to be able to follow the game I grew up playing and following from 2020 after the disgrace in 2019. I think players were being fined instead of given suspensions because they were in a grand final, unlike other players throughout the season who missed games. A sorry, sorry state of affairs for what used to be a great game.
Matt McAlary, Waratah
LAWS MUST MAKE SHORE
I RESEARCHED the official sea levels in and around Sydney Harbour 1886-2018 and found there has been no significant sea level rise for the past 120 years; nor has there been at Collaroy for the past 140 years. Casual observations from Bondi beach 1875 to the present also suggest the same benign situation. In my opinion local councils and state governments' rush into legislating harsh laws and building covenants along our coastlines now seems misplaced.
G. Barnett, West Wallsend
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.
NUATALI Nelmes, how and where did you get the impression that ratepayers "absolutely" support the move to new premises ('Nua says ratepayers on board with move', Newcastle Herald 5/10) when the money spent could've saved Stockton years ago? Next election please.
Michael Casey, Waratah
I THINK the authorities in Hong Kong should take a firm stance. Ban umbrellas.
Peter Hay, Islington
BY not passing on the entire Reserve Bank rate cut ('Reduced rate cuts 'a balance'', Herald 5/10) in my opinion Newcastle Permanent has virtually changed its status to a charity. I believe it cannot be considered a bona fide financial institution if it does not look after all of its members, especially the borrowers who supply so much income.
Graham Parker, Speers Point
I HAVE found the solution to world carbon emissions. Just stop making drinks with CO2 in them. This will, of course, have to include beer.
Graham Duncan, Greta
AS a former volunteer Lifeline counsellor I had more than just a passing interest in your editorial ('Navigating the mental health system', Opinion 8/10). However, the former NSW opposition leader is apart from being the CEO of Landcom also the current chair of the Lifeline Australia Board. The most notable absence from what was otherwise a timely reminder of the importance of mental health was the footer "Lifeline 13 11 14".
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
ALL those complaining that NRL players did not sing the national anthem on grand final day should realise that the majority of players were not Australians. From now on, let's play 20 national anthems before a game to be woke and inclusive. Hopefully the video ref will fall asleep and wake up when everyone has gone home.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
AFTER reading a previous Michael Hinchey letter I commented to my wife that I thought I'd enjoy meeting him. Now, after his latest gem (Short Takes, 9/10) I am sure.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
I FEEL sorry for the Canberra players and supporters; I believe you won that game. A poor decision by the ref signalling six again. If they had backed their call I believe Canberra would have scored, plus Hargreaves was head hunting the whole game. Was it bad luck, or just bad calls?
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
PERHAPS the rains will come after the 26th of October and wash away the rude footprints of all those immigrants whose failure to assimilate was exhibited by climbing Uluru.
Peter Ronne, Woodberry
OUR lord mayor says ratepayers she has spoken to are quite happy with the council admin move ('Nua says ratepayers on board with move', Newcastle Herald 5/10). $36 million over 15 years on rent. Please, someone let me know what credentials you need to become lord mayor of Newcastle.