Letters to the editor March 17 2018

By , 25/04/2020 19:36

BACKCHAT: Peter Ronne, of Woodberry, argues that concerns over enclaves of non-English speakers in modern harks back to settlers and indigenous language.

NICK Ryder (Letters 13/3) is worried about the effects of enclaves of people in not bothering to learn the local language.Perhaps he is right.

After all, 200 years ago there were enclaves of people who failed to learn the local languages. Soon enough they were heading out and stealing the land from the natives who shared it with each other. The natives who weren’t massacred were subject to indoctrination by a foreign religion and social system. Now those original languages are largely forgotten.

Is this the fate of the offspring of the slaughterers? Or will their grandchildren simply deal with the grandchildren of immigrants who have learned English through association and education?

Peter Ronne,WoodberryTRAFFIC IN COMMON SENSEIN some ways I agree with Gregory Grey (Short Takes 10/3). In my career I worked with some very fine traffic engineers. Practical and appropriate enforcement coupled with common sense was my approach todealing with issues including speed zones.

That said,I am becoming more and more concerned with some of the decisionsby the RMS in our region, but not restricted to it. Inconsistency in how speed zones are being applied, for example.

Public complaints on the number of different speed zonings is a fairly recent issue that I truly hope has not been taken on board. The zones have legitimate reasons for being implemented. I also know the political pressure that can be applied, which does not make their job any easier.

The presence of things such as mobile speed cameras is putting more pressure on drivers to closely monitor their vehicle speeds. This is as it should be, of course, but I can’t help feeling that there are some totally inappropriate decisions being carried through. Many unsuspecting careful drivers are going to be unreasonably penalised.

If conditionsseeminappropriate, they will drive to what they feel is right. Inappropriate speed zones also do nothing to lessen public perception of police being revenue raisers. They are not, but they are human and they will carry out their job accordingly. I just hope the RMS can fully backup some of their decision making with acceptable evidence.

Garry Scow,Warners BayA LIGHT ON A BIGGER ISSUEI AM one of those drivers who more often than not does not start off immediately when the lights turn green, causing great distress and long delays to Ross Edmonds (Letters 14/3). I do not do this because I am in no hurry, not concentrating, or playing with my phone, as he suggests. I do it because there is almost always still traffic crossing in front of me against the red light.

Unless there is no traffic at all on the cross street, moving off as soon as the lights turn green invites sudden death.The Park Avenue exit from the Westfield Kotara shopping centre is controlled by traffic lights. On a recent occasion when I was using this exit the traffic on Park Avenue did not stop at all for the red light. For an entire cycle only one car managed to exit the centre, and it did so against the red light.This problem is not caused by a few dangerous drivers. A very high proportion of Newcastle drivers run red lights. Days when I stay at home are the only days when I don’t see this happening.

Ian Roach, New LambtonUNITY REMAINS VALUABLEYES Darryl Tuckwell (Short Takes 14/3),it is disappointing that only onein 10 workers has decided to be part of a union.

The gains of the past as I can remember have only come through the action of unions.Even today the union movement is fighting hard in the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage for those workers they represent.

As Bill Shorten has just stated as I write this, Malcolm Turnbull and his government are not supporting any increase.

Surprise, surprise.

Anecdotal discussions suggest that many workers, especially in cafes and restaurants, are prepared to work for less than the minimum wage, accepting hourly rates of $10 or $15 per hour. Many of these are newly arrived migrants or foreign students.

I have seen an interview with the Fair Work Ombudsman whereshe admits that she does not have enough resources and staff to investigate into workers rights.However to her credit, she stated that they do investigate all complaints related to Fair Work according to our laws.

I emphasise the word law.It seems that we may be heading towards thirdworld working conditions.

Donald Mennie,The EntranceA STITCH IN LIVESSAVES NINEMINISTER for ChildrenDavid Gillespiehas put forward a plan for Aboriginal children at risk to be fostered. This is another ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ solution. Let’s build a fence at the top of the cliff.Firstly, providewell funded and resourced continuing programs that support families. Secondly, intervention before a child has to be removed.Since invasion and colonisation, family support and child welfare have never been adequately funded for white or indigenous families.

In economic terms, this is a foolish decision.Each child deprived can and often does cost the taxpayer millions of dollars through support formental health,addictions, crime and incarceration, or even limited parenting skills as an adult leading to another generation of children needing care.

If governments funded support and intervention services, they could save on the cost of out-of-home care, health care, police, courts and prisons. Makes good sense.

Joan Lambert,AdamstownDON’T GUN FOR OUR LAWSI’M HORRIFIEDPeter Dutton is moving togive pro-gun lobbyists the power to review proposed changes to our firearms laws.

What’s worse is that this seems to be part of a growing pattern: first the Turnbull government did a deal to trade gun laws for a Senate vote, then the day before the state election we learnt of the Tasmanian Liberals’ plan to water down guns laws. Now the man who is charged with keeping ns safe is setting up a ‘firearms advisory council’ to give the gun lobby more clout at the policy table. ’s world-leading gun laws are directly responsible for saving us from the tragedies that we see playing out all too often in America. We should be tightening them up, not watering them down.

Sharon Claydon, federal Newcastle MPLETTER OF THE WEEKTHE pen goes to Gregory Grey, of Maryland, for his letter on Newcastle’s city status.

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