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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald

Australia Post service lost in the mail

SO, Australia Post is going to reduce mail deliveries from five days a week to just three, and Michelle Rowland, the Communications Minister, tells us that we will continue to receive "the high quality letter service that many Australians rely on".

I doubt that many people would call Australia Post service "high quality". I had an important letter posted to me at Bathurst post office in early July, I still have not received it.

With the cost to post a standard letter increasing by 25 per cent from $1.20 to $1.50 in January, one would think that should entitle us to continue to have the five-day service and that the big profit from parcel delivery could be used to subsidise any loss from letter deliveries.

After all, this is an essential government service, just the same as the loss-making train and bus services are.

Ian King, Warners Bay

Post "an essential service".

Insurance cost spiral

FURTHER to the letter from Brenda Proudfoot ('Insurance cost just the start', Letters, 4/12), upward spiralling cost of insurance premiums is not only caused by relationship between claim payout and premium cost.

When economic circumstances are not so good, the dividend on investment is low and insurance companies find the need to increase premiums. Insurance company income doesn't all come from premium payers. The money collected in this way and then invested is where a big chunk of the funds come from to pay for the high salaries and flash office space that you find insurance companies occupy.

They are also active in the real estate business with investment in many high-rise offices in cities. With occupancy rates being low in these buildings since COVID and other economic reasons, this source of income has taken a hit. So where do they go to try to hold their income level somewhere near the desired level? To the poor old punters who need, and some who are compelled to have, insurance.

It is not only household insurance either. There's travel, car, and health insurance. The costs to be insured are spiralling upwards at an alarming rate, and if you are seen as a likely risk, you will probably be refused insurance or priced out.

Insurance companies will be quick to blame climate change, weather events and higher cost of building materials as reasons for increasing premium costs. But there are other factors at play, and the number of people who are forced to take a punt and go uninsured is growing, so that will be another shortfall that the insured will have to wear.

Fred McInerney, Karuah

Shameful bystanders 

IT would be interesting to know the nameless, faceless, and obviously influential people who are determining how we see the current situation between Israel and the Palestinians.

This group also called a lobby is so powerful they are able to sway governments, the media and even law enforcement in this country. People are wary about speaking about the war in public because of the tension. If they show support for Palestinians they are quickly branded anti-Semitic. A few actors wear keffiyeh scarves at curtain call to show solidarity and all hell breaks loose.

The Palestinians had no choice but to flee south and now they are being bombed to death again by this ruthless right wing Israeli government who seems intent on obliterating as many men, women and children as they can.

The world, including the US and Australia, could be applying certain pressures to Israel but instead they are watching the carnage seemingly unmoved. Shame, shame, shame.

Julie Robinson, Cardiff

Red mark for Linnell 

GARRY Linnell is to be commended for getting almost everything wrong in his rant denouncing private schools ("The inequity of private schooling", Herald, 2/12).

His claim that "Australia is the only OECD country funding private schools and allowing them to charge fees" will come as a surprise to Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Canada, France and others with growing private school sectors receiving both fees and taxpayer funding. The other remarkable corker was the claim that we gave private schools "$14 billion more than universities". Quite an achievement when total funding to private schools is just $17 billion versus $55 billion to public schools. It's amazing that our entire university sector can survive on just $3 billion a year.

In my opinion if Linnell's parents had invested in a private education, he might have more impressive skills in both maths and basic research on this matter.

Scott Hillard, New Lambton


Huge payouts the million-dollar question

ALAN Hamilton ("Higgins payout queried", Letters, 7/12), while I acknowledge your point, I note your reference to a "Federal Labor" payout rather than the Australian government. Let us not forget this mess was generated within the Liberal party. Similarly to you, I wondered why the taxpayer footed the bill following the former Liberal MP Alan Tudge's consensual, extra-marital affair.

Marvyn Smith, Heddon Greta

Higgins' deal queried

SPOT on, Alan Hamilton ("Higgins payout queried", Letters, 7/12), I've been wondering the same thing myself.

Trish McKay, Cooks Hill

Young people are OK

WELL said Mark Bowen ("Don't underestimate young people", Letters, 7/12). There are plenty of smart, young people about. Seems Steve Barnett only believes his own opinion.

Peter Hayes, Rutherford

Cricket players called out

MITCHELL Johnson is only saying what a lot of people are thinking. Usman/Warner are no heroes of mine, and the disgraced Australian cricketer should never have played again. Personally I believe he pressured a junior member of the team to do dirty work. Smith is in the same boat for me, and should never play again. I don't watch cricket any more.

Bruce Cook, Adamstown

High Court outrage

THE federal opposition has been making a lot of noise about the Labor government being unprepared for the unexpected High Court decision to release some detainees. I believe that if the Coalition had been in power, they would not only not have been prepared, they would have been outraged that a High Court would overturn a policy that they put into practice over 20 years ago. After all, they think they are above the law. When thinking of the Coalition a few of D.J. Trump's views on the law come to mind.

Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana


To offer a contribution to this section: please email or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited in any form.

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