I COMPLETELY agree with Bradley Perrett's vision for the remaining Honeysuckle development ("Honeysuckle idea simply sucks", Newcastle Herald, 10/11), the supposed centrepiece of the city's waterfront development. No one would deny the need for more social and affordable housing, but not on the remaining section of Honeysuckle.
There is an opportunity here to create something that is memorable and visually pleasing, a gateway to the city of Newcastle, especially for those arriving at the Newcastle Interchange. The waterfront is already crowded with the litter of Lego boxes that I believe lack architectural merit. In my view, the only building of any merit is the Queen's Wharf development where the colourful facade and the roof line resemble something from Bergen, Norway's waterfront. Anyone paddling or sailing into the harbour would be disappointed to see the recent development of concrete boxes and pot-plant balconies.
Honeysuckle HQ and the Labor government have a chance to do something special with the remaining waterfront parcel of land. Please, not more of the same.
BRADLEY Perrett's column on public housing quotas in Honeysuckle's new HQ development ("Honeysuckle idea simply sucks", Herald 10/11) is an indignant litany of excuses for inequality. Why should the mature women who have left failed marriages and find themselves with little money and low incomes deserve to live in an urban centre? Back out to the suburban fringe with you, we have investors to impress.
Part of his argument is that developers would build only low-grade dwellings if required to include a decent quota of public housing. I encourage Perrett to actually visit any house built in the past five years; they're all low grade. Inspectors are finding hundreds of faults in some new builds. This is not the fault of public housing tenants, but of dodgy developers and builders trying to fill their own pockets.
Using land values to justify ghettos in outer suburbs is neoliberal garbage. The NSW government's estimation puts the general public housing waiting list at a decade. Affording a private rental or actually owning your home is becoming impossible for many. The Reserve Bank, in all their wisdom, have raised interest rates again, forcing new homeowners deeper into mortgage stress or, tragically, out of their new homes. Meanwhile, this attitude of gentrification by stealth is allowing our city centres to be held to ransom by tax-dodging investors who don't actually live there, while the actual people who work in our cities have to drive or catch unreliable public transport in order to work.
THE Reserve Bank has raised interest rates again, apparently worried that inflation is still increasing. It has cause to worry; inflation results in a decrease in purchasing power that hurts us all, especially to those paying off a mortgage. In simple terms it's caused by too much money chasing too little supply, a perfect example being the skyrocketing prices for houses and rents.
Economists have long pondered measures to control inflation, including raising interest rates and increasing unemployment, both of which are designed to leave people with less money to spend and thus reducing demand and hopefully lowering inflation. Both approaches are socially destructive, unfair, and have limited effect on inflation. This is because those being targeted are generally the ones, like the 30 per cent of home buyers in mortgage stress, with less spending capacity. The idiocy of this approach should be apparent because the big spenders in our society, the ones doing most to drive inflation, are due to get a tax cut that will enhance their capacity to spend even more.
There's a better way to control spending and it's already in place in the form of compulsory super contributions. These reduce the disposable income of everyone in the workforce but as a saving rather than a cost. It would need modification to have variable rates, higher in periods of inflation and lower when the economy needs a boost. It's scarcely a revolutionary idea, but not one that our banks would welcome.
I CAN'T believe that anyone would think about blocking any waterway, namely Cold Tea Creek. Did they have any idea of what they were doing, stopping the free flow of water from the Belmont Lagoon to a tidal lake allowing the passage of fish to the wetlands?
I think the obstruction needs to be removed. A normal solution to crossing water is to bridge it, which would require only a modest structure over this narrow creek.
If we can't get the small things right, what hope do we have to get anything right?
CONGRATULATIONS Bradley Perrett for your article on the plans for the Newcastle West End, as you have stated so well what many Novocastrians believe ("Honeysuckle idea simply sucks", Newcastle Herald, 10/11). The development on the site of the old power station at the East End is a disaster and at least twice as many homeless people could be housed in a different location. Why can't governments admit when they make mistakes as big as that one? No, they just keep repeating their mistakes to win future elections. "We made a mistake" would be a great statement to hear just for starters.
IS Bradley Perrett as paranoid and classist as his writing appears to me, or is he trying to raise his profile through "controversy"? ("Honeysuckle idea simply sucks", Herald, 10/11). Yes, stop public housing being built at Honeysuckle, move all public housing far out west where the sight of it won't offend our self-appointed elitists. Instead, fill the hole with overpriced units built by greedy developers who cut costs wherever possible. Then fill it with rich old people, turning the entire harbourside into an enclave of pretension. It will be, in Perrett's words, "just another collection of mediocre apartment buildings" without any help from us crass lower classes.
OH shock horror! There might be poor people living in what is supposed to be the CBD centrepiece ("Honeysuckle idea simply sucks", Herald 10/11). Are the machinations of Communist China at work here? How will vastly-wealthy mavens be able to enjoy their strolling with the poverty stricken and worker types hanging about? Will they have to send their servants to do the shopping?
WHY are the honest, hardworking decent Australians paying millions of dollars for the police to watch these violent, hateful protesters who have recently caused so much chaos in Australia? Why, if they are so enraged with what is happening to Palestine, are none getting on a plane to go help? Oh that's right, they are safe in Australia. Our Prime Minister is never in this country. Best of luck getting him to do anything.
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