AT Stockton we are shocked at the council's move to shut one of the town's icons, Lexie's on the Beach. What is more shocking is that the council left it to engineers to advise the owners of the establishment of their decision ('Cafe strip', Newcastle Herald 19/2). Not a good look.
Along with that comes a representation of the NSW Opposition Labor party Leader Ms McKay and the local member, whose approach is that Labor will support changes to the mining of sand regulation from offshore to replenish the beach stripped along Stockton's edge. They accuse the NSW government of twiddling their thumbs on the issue, so how about you stop playing politics and put a bill forward to the parliament to reflect the changes that are needed to move forward and get something done instead of turning up and talking about it?
I really feel that the cafe's owner, his son, staff, the many customers and the Stockton community have been dudded by politics. Stop using your position for self promotion and give the town what it wants: action.
John McLeod, Stockton
BACK FARMERS WITH TROLLEY
THE Australian community, along with many other celebrities, have contributed millions of dollars to ensure those who have been impacted by drought, fire and floods may have the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, it will be with many treasured memories lost.
It has always been the Australian way to look after each other in the time of need and may that tradition and respect for each other never waver. If we wish to continue to support each other, our farmers continue to be pressured to reduce costs by the major supermarkets to compete with imports of frozen commodities from overseas. I fear some imports may not have the health regulations in place required in Australia to protect us from serious diseases.
The Australian government should introduce a high imports percentage tax to ensure that Australian produce gets preference over imported frozen commodities that only serve to improve the profits of these major supermarkets at the expense of fellow Australians and families doing it tough.
Today we have just heard of another major supermarket that has underpaid staff over a long period of time, which makes one wonder what happens to those on the land being pressured into reducing prices to compete with cheaper imports in the interest of profit whilst farmers try to make a living in a harsh and changing environment.
At my age I have been privileged to have experienced the local fruit man, bread deliveries with their amazing fresh smell and the soft drink delivery truck coming up the street and being able to put the milk bottles and money out of a night with never a problem. But then again, I guess now according to some we are now a very progressive society.
Please buy Australian products and support your fellow Australians.
Peter Mullins, Rankin Park
TOURISTS NOT BIGGEST BLOW
I FIND it very hard to accept that our commercial enterprises are whinging about the lack of trade because the Chinese are not coming due to the coronavirus situation ('Trouble in paradise', Herald 15/2). Surely the health and welfare of Australians takes precedence over a lack of trade and the mighty Chinese dollar?
There is an upside to all of this; consider the reduction of arrogance. Maybe a showing of basic manners from many of these self-opinionated visitors might suddenly appear. Again, I doubt that, but I am fully in support of the government's travel ban. It should be until the threat is passed and applied to all visitors.
We certainly existed prior to the travel explosion and I can assure those in doubt, particularly those who are whinging, we will survive and prosper. I find it very objectionable that the administration of those countries are upset about our decision, but then again, good manners and careful dialogue will always prevail.
Dennis Crampton, Redhead
THE DETAIL HAS MORE TO SAY
FOR John Arnold (Letters, 15/2) the previous one was the hottest decade in human experience. Never mind that scientists only mark the start of modern global temperature record keeping from 1880.
Scientists generally do agree that it is getting hotter, but I believe it is a simplification for Mr Arnold to see humans as the only cause of climate change (Letters, 10/2). Even the IPCC attributed the warming slowdown between 1998-2012, which their computer modelling failed to predict, to natural variability (cool ocean cycles), volcanic eruptions, and relatively low solar activity.
In 2018 climatologist Judith Curry co-authored an article with Nicholas Lewis in the American Meteorological Society's peer-reviewed Journal of Climate which looked at actual temperature records and predicted a global temperature increase 30-45 per cent less than the IPCC's models, which focus only on man-made climate change.
This would mean the planet warming from human activity, but below the target set at the Paris agreement, at a manageable and not dangerous level.
Peter Dolan, Lambton
HOLD POLITICS TO ACCOUNT
I UNDERSTAND John Hewson's six-point plan to clean up politics as restoring voter influence by reducing private funding of political campaigns; making lobbying more transparent; truth in advertising laws for political campaigns; penalties for politicians who make misleading statements; vetting of political candidates through an independent authority; a federal ICAC, and ensuring federal police act free of political influence.
In the world of Australian realpolitik, Mr Hewson's plan will never be adopted unless his plan achieves bipartisan and voter support. Mr Hewson should know this. I believe that back in 1993 Labor played politics in rejecting Mr Hewson's worthy tax reform package.
I would add two more reforms to Hewson's list. Firstly, if an elected government doesn't deliver on its pre-election promises, voters should be able to petition the head of state to refer the matter to the High Court.
If the case was resolved in favour of petitioners, then the Governor-General would dissolve parliament and call a new general election. In the case of an individual MP who doesn't deliver on promises, a by-election would be called if the court ruled in favour of the petitioners. MPs who lost their seats in these ways would be required to pay back any taxpayer-provided election funding they received.
Secondly, party-supported politicians who resign from their parties should automatically lose their seats. This would trigger by-election for the house of representatives, while parties would nominate replacements for senators who leave.Again, such MPs would be required to pay back any taxpayer-provided election funding.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
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CORONAVIRUS (CoVID-19) and other winter viruses have made the greeting handshake way too dangerous. It should be replaced by the doctors elbow knock - try it for better health.
Alan Hamilton, Hamilton East
SUPERCARS must take some of the blame for the demise of local car production. The V8s have very little to do with normal production cars. They are virtually all the same with different plastics hanging off them. The old adage of win on Sunday, sell on Monday does not apply because there is no real connection with vehicles we all drive.
John Bown, Fingal Bay
MAX McKinney's article trumpets the demise of Holden by speculating, "Holden is to be no more after the event" ('Newcastle could be Supercars farewell to Holden', Newcastle Herald 18/2). If only the whole event was to be no more. Just ask the residents and businesses of Newcastle East who will have to endure their disruptive and destructive invasion right up to Christmas.
Cecily Grace, Newcastle
THE closure of Holden Australia ('End of the lion', Herald 18/2) comes as no surprise since the government stopped spending billions of dollars to subsidise factory workers earning as much as twice the average wage. I dare say if these workers would have agreed to work for the average wage they would still be employed, but I suspect the union would have had no part in this job-saving effort. So, as a matter of principle, rather than earning $1200 a week they will now receive welfare of $400 per week. Principles don't pay the bills and mortgages, as some are about to discover. Taxpayer subsidies were always going to end.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
NOW a City of Newcastle engineer has closed Lexie's Cafe at Stockton beach due to what I consider erosion through neglect time and time again. Tim Crakanthorp and Jodi McKay were there on Tuesday ('Cafe's wipeout washes jobs away', Herald 19/2). Where was the lord mayor? Keep your chin up, Lexie's.
Glen Morgan, Waratah
SO, another retail giant has been caught underpaying their workers. Coles, along with in more recent times Woolworths and Bunnings and a notable restaurateur to name just a few, have been caught out. The reason most give is the old chestnut that an accounting error has been made. It's strange that their workers never seem to be overpaid. In my opinion, the only people being overpaid are the decision makers at the top and that's not just restricted to big business.
Neil Meyers, Warners Bay
I BELIEVE most Australians are proud of the work done by the Australian Federal Police, and in the past they have tackled and prosecuted much bigger fish than Angus Taylor. Contrary to the opinion of Alan Metcalf (Letters, 18/2) I suggest that if the evidence against Mr Taylor had been substantial, the police would certainly have pursued the matter. However, it was obviously flimsy at best and consequently unlikely to proceed further.