22 October, 2021
A selection of the letters and texts to the editor this week
Letters and Texts Friday October 22, 2021
NOT HAPPY - NO QUIZ
Where’s the Super Quiz? What is happening? No sport, not news, no quiz. Surely you must realise the quiz is popular. It’s sad to see the decline of what was a great paper. The past few issues are an embarrassment. Sorry but you have lost me as a reader. I can almost guarantee you will not print this letter to the editor
MITCHELL J H, Cairns
Where’s the quiz????
RODGER THE DODGER, Cairns
Hey there Jade W from Redlynch. We must do nothing of the sort, we DON’T NEED daylight saving up here full stop,
NEAL C, Innisfail
IN DEFENCE OF TREES
I must say along with Mark J.
I (and half the global population) would have to think ‘yes Warren from Cairns, you have fried your brain’ but it is most likely due to the lack of oxygen caused by the lack of leaf material (cos you’ve killed the trees). Have you also seen countries that have massive and deadly landslides have them because you chopped down trees.
Tree roots, Warren, are what holds the soil together.
One has to wonder what this new ‘half-wit’ in NSW is doing? The new boy in town wants to be the PM’s whipping boy, generous of you to want the states to open ‘just cos you want it’ Have you failed to notice that your part of the country isn’t something to write home about? Leave being the new hero to your own state.
YOU CAN REMOVE THE TREE
Any tree, damaging foundations of any dwelling can be removed with the permission from CCC. COMMON SENSE is the Heritage Library Building is more important than any tree.
TRUE LOCAL, CBD
FEDERATION HAS FAILED
I wholeheartedly agree with your editorial on the failure of Federation and the growing need to reduce to two tiers of Government. Sadly few State politicians will ever put the best interests of the people ahead of their own self-interest. Peter Beattie was one of the few who publicly pushed for this and this underpinned the amalgamation of councils into larger bodies capable of running regional government.
Sensibly, the only part he didn’t do was small regional councils recognising that they are the major employer and hub in small communities and amalgamating many of these would be the death knell for towns who didn’t become the regional centre.
As an example, amalgamating the Gulf Councils of Burke, Carpentaria, Croydon and Etheridge, perhaps along with Mornington Island and Doomadgee might make sense on paper, but Normanton would be the only beneficiary (assuming that became home to the centralised council).
Sometimes some inefficiencies need to be maintained for the good of the communities. Devolution of some former State responsibilities would serve to strengthen these communities and add to their viability.
If looking at major projects, others that should be considered include :
- Electrification of the National Rail network combined with change to a single National Rail gauge (perhaps excluding Tasmania who could stay Narrow)
- Development of a Nuclear Power Industry to provide green baseload power as part of the transition away from Fossil fuels
- Balancing Road and Rail Charges to move more long haul freight to rail and off roads (rail charges full cost for freight whereas road is massively subsidised with road infrastructure provided to freight companies essentially for free)
- This would make roads safer with less heavy vehicles and reduce carbon emissions. It would also save outlays on repair and upgrade of highways with reduced wear and provide more funding for improvement of regional roads for local freight distribution, eg 4 lanes tunnelled between Cairns and Tablelands.
Locally we should dust off the work that was done a few years back on the Northern Beaches with Aquis and put a team together of Feds and Locals to approach Disney. Set up funding through NAIF with an interest free loan and do what it takes to get the First ever Disney Park to be built in the Southern Hemisphere and to have it located here in Cairns. This would become a catalyst for growth and set up the future of Cairns in the long term. We need to recognise that with Climate Change there is likely to be degredation of the Reef as a tourist attraction and look to alternatives for our future. Sit back and picture how strong our future would be with just about every Aussie, Kiwi and more putting Disney Cairns on their bucket list!
SIMON GRANT, Cairns
POVERTY IS NOT A CHOICE
Poverty is not an individual choice. Poverty is the result of decisions about what we prioritise as a nation that result in an inadequate income support system and lack of affordable housing.
Australia is a rich country. We have enough to go around. But the lack of affordable housing and proper income support have created a crisis that has been turbocharged by COVID-19.
Anti-poverty week runs from the 17th to the 23rd of October. This year the focus is on two important solutions for poverty: raising income support above the poverty line and creating more social housing.
Vacancy rates for rental properties are low around the country,. meaning there’s nowhere for people and families who rent to live. Mission Australia regularly hears heartbreaking stories like a young man with two jobs sleeping in his car, or a family with a newborn living in a shed. Individuals and families are under financial pressure because they’re spending huge amounts of their income keeping a roof over their head. Some have even been pushed into homelessness.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020 the government brought in the COVID supplement to JobSeeker and other income support payments. This contributed to an astounding reduction in poverty in Australia, allowing people who relied on income support to afford essentials like food and medicine, but turned out to be a brief reprieve. The COVID supplement was cut and, in the 2021 lockdowns, most people on the lowest income support payments have been denied extra support, leaving them to rely on payments such as the manifestly inadequate $45 a day JobSeeker Payment.
We can help end poverty by creating more affordable housing and lifting income support above the poverty line. The question is whether our nation has the will to make sure every person, every family can afford the essentials they need in life to thrive.
PAUL FLINT, Regional Leader NQ, Mission Australia