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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald

How we can solve homelessness in about three years

Alwyn Craig, long known as 'Pete', is perhaps one of Newcastle's best known homeless people. Picture by Simone De Peak

YOUR editorial was spot on. We can end the homelessness crisis in three years if governments fund social housing directly.

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates investor tax breaks on housing cost the federal budget $39 billion in 2022-23, growing to $49 billion by 2029-30.

Reducing those discounts by 50 per cent would generate $20 billion annually, funding tens of thousands of social homes and reducing market rental prices for all.

The National Housing Accord target of 20,000 social housing homes over five years is woefully inadequate, with no up-front capital, putting all the risk on developers and community housing providers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Chris Minns promised audits of government land suitable for housing, with no apparent result so far.

We need to think outside the square; manufactured homes, dual occupancies, and funding institutions with vacant land and buildings.

Housing is a human right. The Homelessness NSW annual conference is to be held in Newcastle from March 19.

This provides an opportunity for state and federal MPs and local mayors to join forces with local developers, investors and community housing providers. Get moving on social housing in the Hunter.

Nation-building starts at home.

Kevin Fell, Cooks Hill

Releasing report a slow process 

THANKS to the Newcastle Herald for chasing up the fate of the Pinnacle Report into CEO Jeremy Bath. The length of time this is taking demonstrates how the Government Information (Public Access), or GIPA Act, designed to give the public greater transparency into the workings of government, works.

The Pinnacle Integrity Report was first issued to Newcastle council on December 7. It was too late for an agenda item in the business papers for the December 12 council meeting.

Instead, it appeared as a fait accompli, a late item on the agenda that simply announced there was no evidence found to implicate any wrongdoing by the CEO in the Scott Neylon letter-writing saga.

Dissatisfied councillors, who were not given the right to see the report, voted to have it released through a GIPA.

This can be a very lengthy process. A GIPA aims to give a decision in 20 working days, making the due date around January 8. However, third parties in the dispute must be consulted, which from my experience can substantially extend the time frame for the decision to be made.

But even this extension of time can be further extended upon the request of the third party.

This seems to be what has happened here, with a decision unlikely to be made until after Saturday's Labor preselection ballot.

Christine Everingham, Newcastle East

Lots of talk, but little relief so far

I BELIEVE this new industrial law on the right to disconnect is just another diversion, to be seen as standing up for the worker, rather than addressing the cost of living. It's just like the Voice.

The highest cost of living is inflation, in my opinion caused by reckless government spending on their renewable energy roll-out which shows no sign of slowing down. I also suspect it's costing more than we are led to believe.

Apart from diversions, this government has delivered on none of their election promises to reduce inflation and the cost of living. Yes, they achieved a surplus, but only because the price of coal and iron ore increased to a level never seen before. I also suspect this surplus has been well and truly spent on you know what by now. Surplus was just another diversion that stopped Australia from technically having a recession. It had nothing to do with government management if you ask me, and was just a matter of good luck.

Our government wants to change our whole way of life with renewable energy, which at present is not travelling well in my view. Maybe it's time they apologised and introduced nuclear energy. Unfortunately, hell will freeze over before they apologise and admit they made a mistake, so expect more diversions coming our way.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

If All-Stars so offensive, give an alternative

WHAT would Greg Lowe like to see as the NRL's first rep game ("All Stars should include everyone", Letters, 12/2)?

Blokes only? Women only? Mixed teams of blokes, women, Indigenous?

Maybe the NRL could be really inclusive by making the first rep game a match between children of mixed races, genders and ages who play sport for fun?

Janet Sutherland, Hillsborough

Is stairway to heaven laid to rest

DEMOLITION in the Newcastle Mall is unveiling a beautiful view of the Cathedral. To City of Newcastle: is the 'Stairway to Heaven' view corridor still showing a heart beat or is it dead?

Alan Hamilton, Hamilton East

Lambton's loss is only the latest

'ANOTHER one bites the dust: The story of Australia's disappearing post offices' by A. Post ("Distress over decision to shutter suburban post office", Herald, 10/2).

Julie Robinson, Cardiff

Fast food comes at high cost

WHEN it comes to the cost of living, a McDonald's cheeseburger costed by the butcher comes to $45/kg ("In the end, we all pay price for fast food", Editorial, 9/2). Now if you get off your backside and make hamburgers at home you could eat like Elvis.

Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay

Double standard for presidents

SO let me get this straight: Joe Biden is still fit to be the leader of the free world, but not fit to face charges over wilfully taking classified documents because of his poor memory. Perhaps if Donald Trump wasn't so smart he could use the same argument to defend his similar 37 charges. I have to agree with Mac Maguire's assessment ("US certainly unique", Letters, 5/2), - only in America.

Greg Hunt, Newcastle West

Climate looms as election casualty

MILLIONS of people around the world, including a great many Australians, will be extremely scared and concerned that Donald Trump, former president of the United States, plans to abolish the climate change policies introduced by Joe Biden, who succeeded him into the White House, should Trump win the US election in November this year. Numerous reports are indicating that it is possible Donald Trump could return to that office; a sobering thought for many.

Brian Measday, Kingswood


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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