RECENT assaults on NSW Police are unconscionable. They occur irrespective of gender and have no place in a civil and caring community.
My thoughts are with the sergeant from Port Stephens-Hunter Police, who while stopping a driver on Sunday, allegedly received a fractured eye socket that risks the vision in his left eye (Cop's eye socket fractured', Newcastle Herald 23/6).
There are those who walk among us who disregard authority and the rule of law. They disrespect, degrade and debase police. The Police Association of NSW reports that officers are deliberately targeted, punched, kicked, head-butted, stabbed, shot at, dragged, bitten, spat on, and injured by various weaponry, projectiles and vehicles. Police cop lacerations, fractures, tissue damage and psychological injuries.
Policing is dangerous work. The Police Honour Roll records that 272 officers have died in NSW while serving and protecting our community. In 2019, the Police Association reported that over the past five years the cost to taxpayers of treating officers injured on duty was $780 million for psychological injuries and $300 million for physical injuries. I believe the NSW government should investigate unfettered assaults on police; review its penalties, community education programs, and early intervention and support for police. It's appropriate to evaluate whether offenders should contribute toward the significant costs of treating these work-related injuries.
Black Lives Matter has put global attention on law enforcement. Australia is a multicultural and diverse society which requires a robust police force in which everyone is respected and held accountable, and policing has community ownership and support.
Dr Michael Walton, Lambton
Tough job tackles worst days
GREG Budworth and Terry Tynon (Letters, 24/6), you both described just what we get from our NSW Police Force. Definitely not the best of jobs at any time. A neighbour many years past was a police sergeant and was called to an accident where a woman had deliberately walked in front of a motor vehicle.
He arrived and quickly realised it was another neighbour of ours. It shook him to his bootstraps, but that's what happens to police officers. I volunteered at Boolaroo many years back and heard some terrible things that had happened to our Lake Macquarie police. Keep up the good work, all of you.
Wal Remington, Mount Hutton
Pollie honours miss whole tale
THE photograph of Tony Abbott and his mentor, Bronwyn Bishop, each a recipient of Queen's Birthday Honours, for their contribution to parliamentary service, has one reminiscing ('Abbott vows his public service will go on', Herald 8/6)
The length of his service is undoubted. Abbott, a 25-year veteran,is best remembered for his commitment to stopping the boats, Aboriginal affairs involvement and subsequent subsidy cuts, inaction on climate change policy, hampering marriage equality, the car industry's decline et al. Orchestrated photo shoots of his social engagements included blokey bar visits, ever present Speedo interviews, lycra clad bicycle tours and fire brigade occasions to a lesser extent. A photographer ever at hand, it seemed.
Bronwyn Bishop is well remembered for her coiffured presence, notably as speaker of the house, and her startling prejudice towards Opposition members displayed by their overwhelmingly higher number of dismissals from the House under her watch.
If awards for long service to parliamentary office are endangered, so be it. But who could overlook the Tony Abbott decree that there'd be no wrecking, no sniping and no undermining on his unseating as prime minister by Malcolm Turnbull? The 10-year anniversary of Julia Gillard taking the top job coinciding with her political nemesis joining her with an AC Queen's Birthday honour must be confounding.
Bob Allen, Hawks Nest
Reconciling past is our future
RECENT letters to the editor indicate some people have become concerned about the future of the nation and the world. I give credit to some authors who have concisely captured looming problems.
Don Owen (Letters, 17/6) demonstrates that the figures quoted by the council in their "bold sustainability targets" are questionable, which makes the vision of "promised native vegetation" awfully hard. Niko Leka (Letters 18/6) describes the absurdity and moral hole in the Australian asylum seeker policy, while Marion Bannister (Letters, 17/6) suggests we can help the nation's First Peoples suffering racism (something that seems to me to afflict anybody with dark skin) by writing to politicians to seek change. This is a project that must involve "community consultation".
Nobody can argue against that, because it is the most-used phrase I hear from First Nation Peoples and their pleas for help. The pandemic has been the saintly elephant in the room. In many areas it has catapulted nations into a more level playing field. Remember "We are all in this together"?
During the last 30 years many books have been written warning of an uncertain future. Let's begin at the root of a problem and ensure that no matter what happens, we can ask for forgiveness from the nation's First People for raping and pillaging their consecrated land while admonishing them to the lowest standards of humanity.
Patricia Garnet, Wickham
Green is good for business
AS well as "flexibility", Professor Will Rifkin ('Businesses desperate for more flexibility', Opinion 20/6) should also mention that most Australian industry groups are desperate for better government leadership.
The Business Council calls for innovation, higher education reforms, better enterprise bargaining, and increasing the Newstart allowance. It also wants a firm price signal for sustainable technologies as the best way to transition to a low-carbon economy. The Australian Industry Group representing 60,000 businesses echoes the need for consistent rational policies.
The National Farmers Federation realises the dangers of a warming planet. Their goal is carbon neutrality plus $100 billion farm gate value, by 2030, and a rural carbon market of $40 billion by 2050. Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes believes Australia could be a renewables superpower in a worldwide shift to green energy, quickly achieving a 70 per cent emissions reduction.
Despite record coal and gas extraction and exports over the past two decades, Australia has among the world's highest electricity costs and per capita emissions, with debt rising and gross domestic product falling even prior to coronavirus.
We are being ripped off. Australian businesses are desperate for better leadership, not just timid policy tinkering.
Dr Michael Schien, Doctors for the Environment Australia
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name, suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words and Short Takes fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
GEOFF Black (Short Takes, 23/6) reckons George Pell should not be permitted to gain from his proposed prison diary and he suggests that Pell's victims would be expected to mount a court challenge seeking to confiscate any profits he might make, if the diary is published. However, once the High Court overturned the Cardinal's guilty verdict, I'm not sure that he has any victims, in the legal sense.
David Stuart, Merewether
A PHOTO published of the Newcastle lord mayor and others standing beside their push bikes with helmets on would indicate that they were ready to set out on a bike ride, ('Cycle link on a fast track', Newcastle Herald 22/6). The riders all had dark clothing on and unfortunately in my opinion this promotes the wrong image, particularly to our younger riders. Hi-visibility clothing should be the order of the day to make them more easily seen by motorists and other users of roads and shared pathways.
Andrew Wilson, Rankin Park
GIVEN the current disasters befalling the USA it is hardly surprising that Trump is rushing to get his wall built. Difference this time is that he needs the wall to stop Americans leaving.
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
MARK Creek (Short Takes, 20/6) your repeated assertion that the opinions of some East End residents regarding Supercars divide and separate the community doesn't hold water. If anything does that, in my opinion it's the absurd event that was thrust secretly upon those residents without consultation merely to appease a small group of revheads. If we want to showcase our beautiful city to a wider audience, why can't we stage a major golf tournament at one of our top class valley courses?
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
WITH so many fans of the ABC willing to spend other people's money on their favourite media organisation, surely they could reach into their own wallets if it is of so much value? We have never had access to such a broad and diverse selection of media. Previous generations could only dream of the rich depth and breadth offered by the internet. To ask taxpayers to continue to bankroll anachronisms like the ABC and SBS is like demanding that we pay for farriers and stables - just because some people prefer horses to cars. The ABC and SBS should be spun off as not-for-profit organisations with their supporters free to fund them through subscriptions, donations or any other means. Then we would truly see what value they offer.
Scott Hillard, New Lambton
LIKE everyone else we are trying to get out of the cold and head to Queensland, and with all the offers of cheap airfares which most are now sold out. A word of warning: we contacted a motel in Cairns to see if we can book early prior to the eventual border opening and they said people arriving before borders open were escorted by police back to the airport even though the motel said they are screaming for business. Double check before you fly to Queensland or you may be in for a real disappointment.