OBVIOUSLY all the holiday and retirement communities are having the same problem as outlined in Monday's article ("Mayors of Airbnb towns fighting for places to live," Newcastle Herald, 28/8). It reported there were about 1605 short-term rentals in Port Stephens, an increase of 12 per cent on last year. A consequence is that in Port Stephens and other such towns the biggest industry is hospitality and aged care, so not having affordable rentals means both these services are very short of workers.
There have been many reports of these problems, as many restaurants don't open most nights and aged-care facilities have to close or restrict care to the residents. When we get our local paper each week it gives all of those with their own home a warm glow. We read of real estate agents boasting about record prices as new seniors move into our great area.
The Intergenerational Report says the problem of care will more than double. Unless workers can find affordable housing, my concern is that Port Stephens and these other holiday areas are going to collapse on themselves as workers remain unavailable.
Frank Ward, Shoal Bay
Credit fees where they're due
I WRITE regarding the transaction charges that are added almost every time I use my credit card at numerous retailers.
I note the major supermarkets and retailers absorb that cost, but smaller traders pass it on. While I understand, and am happy to pay for the actual transaction cost, there is a big discrepancy in the amount being charged. For example, I bought a slice at a bakery in Port Stephens last weekend that cost $5.90. Due to the transaction being less than $10, I had to pay 50 cents or close enough to 10 per cent. I believe this is not uncommon in relation to small amounts, but does the small business operator have to pay the card provider the same amount if the transaction is less than a certain amount, or is the percentage the same regardless of the amount? I would be interested in other readers' experiences.
Gary Fagg, Lakelands
Coaches are the bedrock of sport
JULIE Robinson ("Time to let more women oversee sporting glory," Letters 29/8), in defence of very many hard-working and caring male coaches in women's sport, I feel you are in great need of some serious research. Obviously there are the types that should find another occupation, but the same could be said for some female coaches. To the men coaching both males and females, carry on with your magnificent efforts; sport in general would be at a loss without you.
Fran Chapman, West Wallsend
Cycleways are taking us for a ride
It was interesting to hear Newcastle councillors giving themselves a pat on the back for cycleway improvements in the city and for changes made to improve conditions for cyclists ("Get back on the bike with the help of repair station," Herald 22/8). Let's talk about Maud Street, at Waratah, and planned pedestrian lights on the corner of Vera and Maud streets.
Now let's talk about three sets of traffic lights within 100 metres. Now let's inject morning and afternoon peak-hour traffic. On an always busy road, imagine the bottlenecks. It won't be pretty. Now imagine navigating Maud Street from the Maitland Road end. You start off in two lanes, then you have to merge to one on the railway bridge just before the lights, then back into two lanes just before the lights at Mater hospital.
Are you scared yet? I know I am, and I know what I am talking about. I have lived on this road for 30 years. They had a perfect option to run the cycleway from the university inside the rail corridor to Waratah station, but I guess this was all too hard.
Tony Morley, Waratah
Territory's sad state of affairs
WHATEVER one may say about the 'yes' campaign for the Voice to Parliament, there is one undeniable fact about the 'no' campaign: it has nothing different to offer. It is utterly sterile in its approach. It relies on the tried and true method of convincing just enough voters that no change is ever necessary.
One loud supporter of the 'no' campaign is Indigenous Northern Territory Senator Jacinta Price. She knows that the referendum will succeed only if it is agreed to by a majority of the population and by a majority of states. She also knows that territories don't count for the second bit.
I believe Senator Price is therefore ignoring a situation that keeps herself and all other NT Aboriginal people unequal. It wouldn't be so bad if she would grab the chance to say what we really should be doing first, giving statehood to the territories, for which we don't need a referendum.
Grant Agnew, Coopers Plains
Referendum's chance might not come back
ON October 14 we have the rare opportunity to celebrate and unite all Australians by recognising our Indigenous brothers and sisters in our constitution. We can create a better future for all Australians. The time has come; no more delays, no more negative remarks from ex and current politicians. Australians have one simple word to unite Australia: 'yes'. We may never get another chance.
Gerry Mohan, Shoal Bay
Voice isn't all that absurd
FORMER prime minister John Howard says that signing a treaty with Indigenous people is absurd. Well Mr Howard, this country has done absurd things before, like letting you stay in power for 10 years. I believe that was the most absurd thing the country has ever done.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
It's not talking, it's listening
THE Prime Minister keeps telling us that the Voice is all about listening to Indigenous people. Indigenous people already have a voice, it is called a vote, and we all have one. If past and present governments have not listened to Indigenous people, it is not Indigenous people who need a voice, it is our politicians who need ears. We do not need a referendum for that. All the noise in Australia will not close the gap until all parties agree to positive actions and commit to their implementation.
John Cooper, Charlestown
PM seems to cop the brunt
STEVE Barnett, after reading your letter on drug law ("Law changes often start at top," Letters 30/8) I see your dislikes are usually aimed at politicians and in particular the Prime Minister. Oh well, I guess you didn't make $578,000 a year selling sausages.
Barry Reed, Islington
'Yes' the word of moment
The PR stunt of the moment is the 'yes' word. Yes this and yes that. I vote 'yes' for higher wages because I deserve it. I haven't yet seen any cars driven with a 'vote no' sticker on its rear window.