ADZ Carter's (NH 4/1) rush to attack those who support Newcastle's life- saving package of liquor licensing conditions(NH, B. Ferris 28/12), relies upon the same untested and false assertions deployed by the powerful alcohol lobby supporters in their failed attempts to rewrite Newcastle alcohol regulation political history.
Between 2008 and 2017, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) advised that reported weekend night non-domestic assaults in inner Newcastle had fallen by 72 per cent.
At the same time, local police figures showed that the number of smaller bars and licensed restaurants over the same period and roughly within the same location, had increased by around 110 per cent.
Contrary to Mr Carter's wild assertion of the closure of 'hundreds of venues', this contributed to increased business prosperity and more jobs prior to the 'revitalisation' shut down of the CBD.
Equally, I could find no reference to the assertion that the former head of BOCSAR described the Newcastle Solution's results as based on 'dodgy data' and 'misleading'.
This reduction in local assaults is not inconsistent with recent BOCSAR crime data relied in part by the Independent Liquor and Gambling Authority (ILGA) to refuse in July 2020, a CBD bottle shop because the CBD still had an assault rate around 20 times the NSW average.
What this simply means is that Newcastle's safety record based on effective evidence-based measures including modest reductions in late trading hours, drink strength controls and an earlier curfew, has come a long way.
But as Hunter New England Health said in 2018 to the effect, 'we can't afford to take our foot of the pedal'. I appreciate this inconvenient truth may be distasteful for the alcohol lobby mouthpieces.
One should be curious upon the AHA's and hotel owners' invisibility and reliance on other organisations and individuals in these important public safety debates.
Sensible proven controls are an anathema to a thirsty industry whose competitive business models are based on the profit maximisation and growth imperative within a weakening liquor compliance environment.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
I respectfully suggest the future of Newcastle's alcohol violence control measures is now sadly, tenuous at best.
The alcohol lobby's continuing systematic undermining of our Newcastle package of conditions is in large part, reflective upon their ability to unduly influence our malleable elected and appointed law makers and shape public perceptions through unadulterated spin, nonsense and rewriting the above history book.
Recent Australian research found that the industry had misused scientific research in 94 per cent of its submissions seeking to influence government.
The media therefore has a critical responsibility to remain impartial by ensuring the veracity and authenticity of all published letters and material related to Newcastle's problem with alcohol.
HAS Newcastle City Council given up on keeping the median strips and footpaths free of weeds?
It's a disgrace to see our main roads leading into Newcastle overrun with weeds, it makes you embarrassed to be a Novocastrian.
Check out Newcastle Road, Lambton, the median strip is overrun but not as bad as the southern footpath where the path is just about completely covered by weeds.
Before long pedestrians will have to walk on busy Newcastle Road to walk along this section of footpath.
This is probably only one of many areas needing attention so come on Newcastle Council put our rates to good use and do your job.
MARK Diamond, of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, accuses the Deputy PM, Michael McCormack, of "selling out" his constituents: rural and regional communities along proposed inland high-speed train routes ("There'll be no trains without the freight", Newcastle Herald 2/1).
According to Diamond, our Deputy PM has quietly approved more "flag of convenience" ships plying Australia's coastal routes.
The ships' operators don't pay Australian wages or provide Australian working conditions.
Diamond argues that this will have the effect of commercially destroying any rail freight businesses before the lines are built.
I believe the lines should be built.
But not because they would provide a cheaper freight service in the absence of unfair competition from shipping.
Rail can never compete with water as a mode of transport, whether or not the shipping operators are providing fair wages and conditions.
If these lines are built then they would need to be government owned and run at a loss for perhaps 20 years.
In time, the lines would encourage the development of both agriculture and manufacturing in the inland and provide jobs.
These developments would also encourage people to relocate from densely populated coastal metropolitan areas.
After the lines turned a profit, they could be sold off to private operators.
IN 2007 Tim Flannery was asked on ABC Landline, "what will it mean for Australian farmers if the predictions of climate change are correct ... ?"
In the context of their inland environment he replied that there would be "a decline in the winter rainfall zone ... and a decreased runoff ... because the soil is warmer due to global warming and plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture".
In the context of reliable, long term water stability for farmers he concluded, "so even the rain that falls isn't actually going to fill dams and river systems".
On December 4, 2020, the BOM Drought Knowledge Centre reported that there was below average rainfall in South East Queensland causing water deficiencies; water deficiencies persisted in WA; accumulated rainfall deficits are significant in many parts of Australia; root-soil moisture has reduced in some parts of eastern Australia; water storage levels remain low in the north Murray-Darling Basin and northern Australia water storages reach lowest levels in more than 10 years.
The Drought Knowledge Centre concluded, "despite above average rainfall for much of SE Australia, serious or severe longer term rainfall deficiencies persist over very large areas".
Data and records have proven Flannery was correct in his 2007 position on climate change's effect on our country's farming environment.
HOPEFULLY after the Premier's current overseas holiday she will go into hotel quarantine like other travellers and not again flout the public health requirements as she did when awaiting results of her COVID test on the eve of the state budget. She needs to send the right message to the community.
THERE is only one true answer to reducing/eliminating COVID transfer in our country and that is to stop all international return travellers coming into Australia, harsh as it may be. But it's as plain as the nose on your face, if you remove the cause you remove the threat, the lock downs, the restrictions and the deaths.
WHEN I received my Rubella vaccine it was by a gun. Can't remember too much as I was 13. It was quick and no wastage. Try it with the COVID one. Schools are a great place to start for max effect. I suggest high school first. Plenty of retired nurses around.
TERESA Smart (Letters 01/21), obviously you have never travelled in the outback and witnessed the size of some of the feral cats, they grow to such a size that they can bring down a kangaroo. A law should be passed to make cat owners keep them inside, so that they cannot prowl the streets. By law, dog owners have to keep their dogs from roaming the streets.
IN the haste to get a vaccine for COVID-19, has anybody thought about how we are going to prove that we have had the jab? If flying becomes a jab or no-jab event, we already know that people will lie to attain their goal. Any such proof will need to be small and portable to fit into a wallet or purse and be safe from counterfeiters or scammers. It would also need to be international for overseas visitors coming here.
CAN John Bonnyman (Short Takes 31/12), advise which essential services personnel have had their pay cut by Scott Morrison?
HISTORY tells us that while Rome burnt, Nero played his fiddle. And now we have a modern-day Nero in the US president who believes he can solve America's problems from the comfort of his private golf course. Obviously he is more concerned about improving his golf swing than the health of the people he was elected to support.
WHAT happens when a politician's pivot meets a mayoral back-flip? My nomination for 2020 Word of the Year - the "flivot", perfect to describe some of Newcastle Council's sudden volte-face decisions. Hopefully, the flivot won't become the "new normal" in local government.
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