IT'S disappointing that Newcastle council parking officers feel they are being placed under stress to raise revenue at a time when many people are under financial duress due to the pandemic.
This comes at a time when there are reduced numbers of workers in the city centre again due to the need to wear masks so workers are staying at home.
I live in Newcastle West and now many unit developments do not supply enough car parks for residents or tenants who have more than the allocated one car space. Council staff need encouragement and should not be expected to be revenue raisers for the council, there should be cost cutting if there are budget shortfalls in revenue. There should be more emphasis on helping people to visit Newcastle as businesses are reporting a downturn in business revenue again for the second year sadly due to many factors as a direct result from COVID restrictions.
I am fortunate to work now where we have our own large car park at Bennetts Green where there are no parking meters in the Lake Macquarie East area. When I worked from home last year I had to move my vehicle every hour, or if I was more fortunate, every two hours. Why are residents, shoppers and tourist visitors expected to raise revenue for the council? Many parking meters don't work properly either.
Jenny Barrie, Newcastle West
Vaccine 'stroll-out' a disgrace
THE Morrison government's vaccine 'stroll-out' is a disgrace. It has created a need for a lockdown cycle, in that it has failed to order enough vaccines or build effective quarantine facilities.
It should therefore reinstate JobKeeper or its equivalent. For the same reasons, the Morrison Government should provide compensation to those whose health has been permanently impaired by the infection, and to the bereaved loved ones of those who have died.
The federal government, since it controls the purse-strings, can more easily do these two things than the states. The states, including NSW, must balance their budgets. They rely on the federal government for 80 per cent of their revenue. The federal government does not really need to balance its budget.
During the past 18 months the federal government has spent money that it hasn't received by way of taxes or borrowings from the public. How did it do this? The Reserve Bank and not ultimately the Treasury, simply bought government debt from the private sector as it fell due, at a faster rate than the Treasury sold new government securities to the private sector. This helped flood the economy with money and kept local interest rates low. In turn, this increased demand and reduced unemployment.
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- Open your eyes, city has never looked better
- Angry, courageous students deserve better
- Pump cash into Carrington icon
- My COVID-19 vaccine experience at John Hunter was just the shot
- Don't play games in Newcastle with pandemic's potency
- In the heart of a changing city and I love living here
- Nurse demands would save lives and cash: letters to the editor
To retire the one third of government debt sold to the RBA when it falls due for repayment, all that is required is a phone call from the Treasury to the RBA. There is no need to reissue or rollover this debt. The Australian public and the RBA don't suffer financially from doing this. The RBA's shares are not sold down since the RBA doesn't have listed shares. It would be nice to be able to ring your banker to cancel your mortgage in this way. But private debt isn't public debt. The federal government is only cancelling debt that is owing to itself. Provided there is a local shortfall in demand, and the federal government doesn't 'print money' willy-nilly, there is no hyperinflation and no collapse of the Aussie dollar on the international foreign exchange market.
Reinstating JobKeeper and providing compensation, would have limited effect on the federal budget deficit. Moreover, it would help pay for itself. Nearly all of this extra money income would be spent many times over via the 'income multiplier'. This would, in turn, generate a lot more GST and income tax.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Looking for pool disclosure
I READ with curiosity Declan Clausen's reflections (pun intended) on the maintenance of Lambton Pool, ("$1m 'underspend' on inland pools queried", Herald, 12/7).
In his view, the state government "had potentially committed" to a facility close by. And the business case "may include" an aquatic centre in the nearby Broadmeadow Sport Precinct. Therefore it would be "irresponsible" to spend millions on Lambton Pool. "Had potentially committed, may include?" Now that's reassuring. It seems his pledge in 2015 if elected to investigate the cost of turning Lambton into a ''regional aquatic and fitness centre'' that would operate ''year-round'' didn't get too far.
We can only hope that Cr Clausen has clearer messages for his Ward 1 constituents come September.
Kevin Coffey, Cooks Hill
Costly gamble on renewables
STEPHANIE Gray ("Barnaby Joyce's costly gamble on coal" Our Future, 12/7), claimed an influx of renewable energy projects was bringing down electricity prices.
Well, there is precious little evidence of that. Contrary to what she says, having coal-fired power stations and coal mines in regional areas already has diversified their economies and provided many well-paid jobs to regional people. Replacing those industries with solar and wind farms would provide less jobs and diversity. Maybe a 1000MW power station in North Queensland would cost $3 billion but refurbishing the Liddell power station on a site with already existing infrastructure of roads, buildings, water supply, power cabling and transmission lines could deliver a 2000MW power station for $2 billion. How's that for a better deal?
Stephanie's dot-point comparison numbers for $3 billion spent on renewable power don't stand up to scrutiny. 2800MW of large-scale solar (zero power at night) would deliver only about 12 per cent of that value, 336MW, over a year; 1840MW of four-hour battery storage and 1430MW of six-hour pumped hydro-storage looked like a joke. Apart from the fact that neither were generators, they only store power generated elsewhere, the battery may last for only one sixth of a day and the pumped hydro for one quarter of a day. On the other hand, a coal power station could go 24/7 days per week, week after week through the year. Renewables not looking so good after all?
Peter Devey, Merewether
Gladys' good call on Origin
FOR possibly the first time ever, I actually agree with Gladys Berejiklian on something, that being her decision to now not have Newcastle host the State of Origin.
With zero COVID-19 cases in Newcastle for so long, it's beyond me why such a risky proposal was ever considered for our city in the first place. All that being said, it's also beyond me why so many people are so keen to carry Miss Berejiklian on their shoulders for her 11th hour decision to lockdown Sydney and the Central Coast, when all that's really been achieved here is an implementation of the same lockdown model introduced in Victoria extremely early on into the pandemic. I also find it to be a double standard of the highest level when Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was so heavily criticised and labelled "Dictator Dan", etc, for his decision to lockdown Victoria, and now Berejiklian is being heaped with praise.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
I CLOSE the COVID-19 vaccination booking for the 19th time. The new Belmont vaccination hub, bookable from this week, doesn't appear in the listing. I call John Hunter. An automated message tells me to use the app. I hang up. I scan the other entries. The University of Newcastle allows bookings. I fill out the form. I navigate through pages of health checks and consent. I elect for AstraZeneca. Pfizer is not available to under 40s. It tells me they will not accept bookings in my age group for AstraZeneca. Pfizer is recommended. I close the app for the 20th time.
Nick Smit, East Maitland
I DO not see why all of country NSW should have restrictions placed upon it and be classed as 'red' because of the COVID problems that are being faced in Sydney. The majority of country towns, cities and villages have never experienced the virus, especially here in the Hunter, why do we have to pay a price for Sydney's sins? The Central Coast and the Illawarra are still under lockdown yet they have registered nil cases over the past week. If Sydney had a similar record then I imagine the bans would be lifted. It seems that when Sydney sneezes we all catch a cold.
Alan Kendall, Neath
STEWART James, do you realise the NRL employs thousands of people? Why do you want to put them all out of work? I believe you have a very selfish, miserable outlook. By the way, I was very disappointed that Newcastle lost the State of Origin game. No Sydney people would have been allowed in.
Frank Matzanke, Mayfield
FROM the word go the NRL has been soft on players breaking COVID rules. Back to Cleary and co up to Dragons players. All should have been out for the rest of that season.
Bruce Cook, Adamstown
APPARENTLY Darryl Tuckwell, (Short Takes, 13/7), forgot to mention that former prime minister Kevin Rudd had nothing to do with securing any extra Pfizer doses for Australia. Except in Kevin's own mind of course.
Peter Devey, Merewether
MOUNT Hutton's mobile phone troubles continue with our compulsory QR code check in at Woolworths and my doctors surgery not working because of poor mobile reception. At Aldi in Mount Hutton you have the same problem. Come on ScoMo or Gladys, get this fixed if we have to check in at every business.
Mark Fenning, Mount Hutton
THIS council has eliminated hundreds of parking places, causing tourist areas such as Nobbys and Horseshoe Beach to be packed with all day city parkers. What's going to happen when Supercars return next year and lock up that whole area, plus the pits car park for three months?