I'VE noticed in recent times, when reference is made to the development taking place in Newcastle we hear of a city being transformed. What happened to revitalisation? I went for a walk along Hunter Street last Saturday to see how things were going. Much of the construction I saw when I last visited the city was complete. However, I can't help but wonder what happened to the revitalisation we were supposed to see. I saw a lot of cars driving up and down Hunter Street but not many people on the footpaths. Only two trams were running and not many people were catching them. I also saw a surprising number of empty shops. How much of this lack of activity is a result of the bad decisions made nine or 10 years ago and how much is due to COVID-19 is hard to say. In any case, the city is a far cry from the vibrant hive of activity it once was. The closure of the railway, putting the light rail in Hunter Street and the construction of high rise buildings on the harbour's edge seems to have achieved nothing. That is if revitalisation was the real aim. The only thing that might bring people back to the city in any number is if the light rail is extended into the suburbs; that's if we really want people to come back into Newcastle. Otherwise we will have to ask what is meant by a city being transformed.
IN response to Geoff Black, ("Billions of reasons to like what Mike's doing", Letters, 11/5). Geoff claims that the Liberal government isn't doing enough towards introducing renewable energy to combat the use of fossil fuels. Entrepreneurs will always make money out of misery and despair. There isn't a single person on this planet who isn't concerned about global warming, and yes we need to address it now, but we should be taking advice and direction from world leaders in climatology, not from scripted puppets like Greta Thunberg. Yes, she is compassionate, but our directions should be from knowledgeable experts, who, if they all got together, could explain what our world can do to slow down, or even stop, this disaster happening. I do not personally believe that renewables could cope with peak demands, in the extreme temperature increases and decreases, and we must be regulated as to who supplies these items (solar panels, manufactured in China by an enslaved provenance, and mineral mining of cobalt in the Congo using child labour, many dying). What will our country do to dispose of solar panels and batteries after their use-by date? Even if Australia switched off every coal-fired power station today the effect on carbon emissions would only reduce by 1 per cent worldwide. Other major nations like China and India need to take responsibility, otherwise the way we are heading we will face catastrophic weather events, famine and conflict. Our planet is overpopulated, food and fuel will become scarce. Yes Geoff, something needs to be done and now, do we go nuclear?
CARL Stevenson has, once again, raised the opinion that nuclear energy is the answer to Australia's energy needs, ("Nuclear is the only answer", Letters, 12/5). Does he realise the fuel is a finite resource? If the world transitioned to nuclear energy production, the fuel might last 10 years. The future can only be with the use of renewable energy sources. There should be an increased focus on the exploitation of tidal energy to support the obvious solar and wind energy sources. Tidal energy is not only constant, but predictable and reliable. Renewable energy is safe. By contrast the Chernobyl and Fukushima legacies are to make the surrounding areas uninhabitable for thousands of years. People involved in the clean up of these disasters have died, and others will die, of radiation sickness and cancers. Radioactive waste water is still leaking into the Pacific Ocean. I suggest nuclear is not the answer.
OVER the past decade, the minimum wage has increased from $15.51 per hour to $20.33 per hour. This equates to an average annual increase of $0.48 per hour. Over this decade, Coalition Workplace Relations Ministers, Christian Porter, Kelly O'Dwyer, Craig Laundy, Michaela Cash and Eric Abetz have made no positive efforts to have the wage increased. In the case of Michaelia Cash, there were active efforts to oppose any increase. Over this same time, Porter received $1 million from a secret trust and Cash forgot she owned a multi-million dollar investment property on the Swan River. Perhaps the Coalition has not taken this Ministry seriously and this explains their outrage when someone suggests an increase in line with the pace of inflation. The Fair Work Commission, in determining minimum wage increases, supposedly takes economic performance into consideration. As we are currently told our economy is the strongest in the world, I can not help but wonder why there is such opposition towards helping workers in genuine need. Perhaps the economy is considerably weaker than what the prime minister tells us.
ANTHONY Albanese has declared Labor's support for a 5.1 per cent increase to the minimum wage to bring it more in line with inflation and the CPI. Should the Fair Work Commission (FWC) grant a 5.1 per cent increase it would mean minimum wage recipients getting $21.37 an hour, an increase of $1.04. While the possibility of the FWC granting a $21.37 an hour minimum wage, creating a surge in demand among its recipients for purchasing Teslas or international holidays is extremely remote, it has put Scott Morrison on the attack. He has accused Anthony Albanese of being an "economic vandal". Morrison's accusations have since become even more florid and bewildering. Anthony Albanese, he says, is "an economic loose unit, who opens his head and spills its contents onto the table". Weird and utterly incomprehensible remarks from a clearly desperate Scott Morrison. Remarks suggestive of an individual who has "completely lost the plot". An alarming circumstance which most Australians should find discomforting in an individual again seeking to be our prime minister.
ANTHONY Albanese is a "loose unit" economy wrecker because he believes lowest-paid workers are deserving of an extra one dollar an hour says the prime minister who gifted $40 billion of our taxpayer funds to companies that didn't need it and refuses to ask for it back; will compensate France with $5.5 billion of taxpayer funds for cancelled sub contract; paid $112 million over the market rate to conserve water in the Murray Darling Basin; spent $450 million on carbon capture and storage projects with no carbon being captured; spent $1400 per person per day to feed off-shore asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea; and spent $400 million on running Nauru immigration detention centre which works out at around $15000 per person per day.
WITH 2022 being the worst year for COVID, I would like to hear from the election candidates on how they are looking to work with the states to develop treatments and protocols to reduce fatalities and serious illness - as well as finding ways to relieve the health system of the burden of this virus. Sadly, I hear nothing from the candidates; and this is a concern. So potential parliamentarians, you only have a short time to address this issue. What is your response?
MARK Sheerin, (Short Takes, 10/5), I definitely don't want the Liberal Party views representing me either. I think it's bad enough to have blame shifting and passing the buck be the default setting for the Morrison government, without having them tell us how trustworthy they are with the economy. Bit rich when we have a treasurer who overestimated the cost of JobKeeper by $60 billion, and a national debt set to pass $1 trillion. Speaking of being trustworthy, Mr Morrison also said of Anthony Albanese "You can't trust someone you don't know". That may be right. Before he knifed Malcolm Turnbull, I'd never heard of Scott Morrison. Call me sceptical, but I don't see why anybody should trust someone who has voted against a federal ICAC on 31 occasions.
SCOTT Morrison says Australia is now a different place to live in. These are words of truth from undoubtedly an individual that has made sure that Australia is a different place in which to live. I would suggest that the great book has never been more relevant and that in particular ScoMo should take note of Luke 8:17 - "For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light." Sometimes the talking evil lies within. May God bless us all in these biblical times.
FANCY our future prime minister coming out in support of our lowest paid workers. What next, actually governing for all Australians and not only those who in the current prime minister's eyes "have a go!"? ScoMo's colour-coded rorts, rip offs and scams look like they're coming to an end.
SO Victoria wants to ban the Swastika symbol. Why not kill two birds with one stone and ban the Union Jack on the Australian flag. The Union Jack, a symbol of death, has killed far more people than the Swastika. I claim the Union Jack a symbol of the British Empire was founded on pillage, rape, murder, racism, where black people were concerned on the British Empire. The Union Jack on the Australian flag represents the horrors of the Empire, and why should the Aborigines respect the Australian flag, while the Union Jack remains on the Aussie flag, a symbol of the horrors of conquest of the original inhabitants of this land. Lest we forget.
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