I WAS privileged to be in attendance at the royal commission into aged care quality and safety forum in Newcastle this week ('Commission hears of failures in aged care', Newcastle Herald 28/11).
Many families, registered nurses and two doctors presented their personal experiences with a wide range of recommendations, in many cases a truly brave effort speaking for the elderly who were unable to.
As a registered nurse myself, I am in awe of those registered nurses, enrolled nurses and assistants in nursing who do provide quality care in aged care facilities to our frail elderly, as this is not seen as a glamorous area to be working in.
They are passionate and dedicated to providing appropriate care and maintaining the residents dignity.
In my first year of nursing at Auckland Hospital in 1979, I still recall being taught we are the patient's advocate.
The nurses and carers who are abusing this trust have no place in our aged care facilities, and the community at large needs to expect nothing less than excellent care and respect for our older population.
Any concerned member of the public is able (through the correct channels), using an online or paper form, to make a submission to the royal commission.
I met some exceptional people yesterday and thanks to Ms Lynelle Briggs AO for her commitment and respect for this long-overdue process.
If children en masse were being neglected, or animals, there would indeed be a huge public outcry for change.
We cannot be silent, and we all need to be an advocate for our aged.
Christina Clarke, Rankin Park
CLIMATE WAR WORTH FIGHT
SEAN Farnham (Letters, 28/11) is correct, and we have precedent. The idea that Australia could do anything about a looming threat but suggest the threat doesn't actually exist, is really part of a natural cycle of threats, has been much worse in the past, or is really the responsibility of other countries and it would be bad for our economy to actually do anything about it, does seem absolutely laughable.
By that logic, though, Australia doesn't need to spend the money on defence because our neighbours' military ambitions (if they even exist) are really just part of the natural cycle that is the whole human history of war; wars today are less severe than World Wars I and II, when I was a boy; and spending 2 per cent of GDP is just going to ruin our economy when (let's be honest) America, Russia and China are all a hell of a lot bigger than us and we couldn't really do anything about it anyway.
Ben Egan, Newcastle West
PREMIER QUESTIONS FOR PM
I HAVE a few straightforward questions regarding Mr Morrison's actions ("PM says nothing wrong in phoning police over Taylor", Herald, 28/11).
Why did the prime minister telephone the NSW police commissioner, on his mobile phone, to discuss an investigation involving one of his ministers? Why did the police commissioner accept the call and discuss the investigation with the prime minister?
Why is the NSW Premier not demanding an explanation from the prime minister as to why he bypassed her and phoned the police commissioner directly?
We haven't heard a peep out of the premier. Isn't this an extreme breach of protocol and convention, for a prime minister to speak directly to a senior state government official without first seeking clearance from the premier or her office? Does the premier, as well as the prime minister, have no regard for the "separation of powers" doctrine that underpins our system of government?
John Ure, Mount Hutton
WE ARE THE WORLD'S QUARRY
AUSTRALIA is now the world's largest exporter of empty containers. The letter by Raymond Stewart (Letters, 28/11) does an excellent job in detailing the extent of our de-industrialisation.
The reasons for this terrible decision are difficult to understand but surprisingly Jessica Irvine, a Nine economic writer, has done just that. She claimed that while we think our economy is about making stuff anything from cars to pins, the greatest economic development has been a shift to the production of services.
It's hard to imagine that she is so naive as to be unaware of how manufacturing transformed Australia in the years up to 1970 and then catapulted the Asian tiger economies into their present dominance today. That she is able to ignore that manufacturing was an export and import replacement industry beggars belief.
We now import over 1 million cars plus buses, trains, ships and all the things we once made our selves paid for very largely with exports of coal and minerals, making us the world's quarry.
Don Owers, Dudley
BURNED OUT ON THE FUMES
IN the movie Apocalypse Now, the character Lt Colonel Kilgore famously says "I love the smell of napalm in the morning", a chilling line that smacks of the conditioning of humans to crazy pursuits like war.
On both Saturday and Sunday, in my opinion the East End was a war zone as residents bunkered in while fans exposed themselves to noise and air pollution. A modern day Lt. Colonel Kilgore might love the smell of burnt rubber. For those of us in Scott Street, the deliberate burn-outs by Supercars filling the air smacks of a total disregard for the health of both residents and fans alike. When I complained to police on Saturday, they advised me that they had questioned Supercars management about the burn-outs and were told that Supercars was simply exercising its right under the Motor Racing Act 2008 allowing them to promote their brand.
How a private company can get away with this behaviour is beyond belief in this day and age. Where are the responsible agencies, who complain about air and noise quality associated with mining in the valley, but in my opinion ignore vastly worse noise and air pollution in the East End during this race? It's time to move this race out of the East End and it's time that the environmental laws that apply throughout the community were applied to Supercars' activities.
John Davies, Newcastle East
WORK ON UNION HISTORY
NOT all unions are militant as this government wants you to believe. In fact, a lot of unions and their delegates are hard-working people who are doing their best to make sure your rights are protected. Young workers today have no idea what older workers had to go through to get better working conditions. I believe this Liberal government is going all out to erode your rights and those conditions which were won.
Andy McFadden, Warners Bay
LETTER OF THE WEEK
THE pen goes to Dennis Crampton for his letter regarding development conditions.
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.
AM I alone in being so horrified that here in Newcastle we have "bread and circuses" while the country burns? The sky is thick with smoke and red dust, and now we are deafened by cars burning precious fuel and spewing fumes into our polluted atmosphere. We can hardly breathe. How long, City of Newcastle, will you abuse our patience as we witness the annual vandalism of our once lovely old city?
Dr John Boulton, Carrington
DO the anti-vaccination fraternity believe in climate change science?
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WHY is it some people think that Mr. Folau has had his 'right' to free speech violated when in truth he was stood down for violating his contract? It seems quite obvious that what he is inclined to say is constrained by antique superstition.
Peter Ronne, Woodberry
SCOTT Morrison should know that since China is gradually buying this country they would want someone in parliament to watch over their own interests. Besides, isn't that what most politicians do? And to think that the alleged spy was a Liberal too. It's almost enough to make you vote One Nation Party - but not quite.
Barry Reed, Islington
I FEEL the public would be better served if the government spent their time and effort into seeing proven law-breaking banking executives behind bars instead of wasting many hours trying to de-unionise us.
John William Hill, Williamtown
ROBODEBT has been in the news again, described by a Federal Court Judge as unlawful. I believe it gets its name from the things that devised it; a bunch of robots, a heartless bunch, devoid of any human feelings, who masquerade as the Liberal Party. They call themselves politicians, but really they are just machines, programmed to create havoc on the working class.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
DONALD Trump has no respect for boundaries, and neither it seems does his budding protégé Scott Morrison, the Mini-Me to Trump's Dr Evil. In both cases, I believe hubris and arrogance are the drivers. In my opinion it has long been apparent what we would get in Scott Morrison as prime minister, and his phone call to the police commissioner is merely more evidence; wedges instead of wisdom; bluster over bravery; sneers rather than substance; a lightweight in lieu of a leader. How ironic it is that, yet again, the sanctimony with which the conservatives in this country champion Western values is rivalled only by their willingness to trash them when it suits.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
WORKING-CLASS Australians and pensioners still have to finance the profits of often multinational overseas companies. When is the government going to investigate these power companies as their profits soar and everyday Australians have to pay excessive prices? The Morrison government was dragged kicking and screaming over the banks, now so it should be over the energy providers.