THE obvious need for more services than are available now makes the decision for the "back to normal" cuts to services beyond belief ('Subsidised psychology visits to be halved', Newcastle Herald, 12/12).
There is an epidemic of adolescent anorexia, anxiety diagnosed and developmental conditions, including agoraphobia in the Hunter and I believe the rest of the country. This is partly the result of COVID isolation, but was extreme in the past.
Overworked teachers, year advisors and such are telling students with these conditions to "just suck it up", "get over it" and "stop making a fuss". The difficulty in getting in to see a school councillor may be partly to blame, with a wait of often three months to get an urgent session with a first contact councillor. These kids are in families that already contend with the stresses their parents have endured. Economic pressures we all have endured make a $180 visit to a professional out of reach. The alternative is in-patient care.
Two years ago the overflow from the adolescent mental health unit to the children's ward was seven patients with anorexia, and little or no intense psychological care. Health maintenance in the form of tube feeding and self-harm monitoring by staff (already overloaded with other duties).
We have a duty of care to our population and if we treat our young like this, what will the next generation's normal be?
Lyn Rendle, Rankin Park
LIFELINE: 13 11 14
The trees have it
I FAIL to understand why City of Newcastle in the promotion of tree planting within the suburbs is planting various types of deciduous trees that end up blocking drains and gutters, putting more clean-up costs on ratepayers as well as distributing unwanted leaves across neighbours' yards, causing more ongoing maintenance work.
Liquid ambers used to be classified as a weed, it now appears these types of plantations are the main preference of council.
For the sake of our ratepayers a more suitable tree should be pursued, not only in the interest of the environment, but also to maintain and ensure a cleaner and less enforced clean-up by our community. Deciduous plantations within the suburbs or for any location should be firmly rejected.
Peter Mullins, Rankin Park
Not about love for the job
WORKING at the University of Newcastle since 2016, I have seen many changes. Workload is at an all time high, staff have 'adapted and pivoted' with every move of the goal posts - a convenient 'poll' opens on Wednesday for staff (though not all) to have their say. Most staff have left for the year, others are busy representing their respective schools at graduation ceremonies - smiling through the biggest adversity for the sake of their students.
EAP use is at an all time high; WHS concerns seem unchecked - staff retention low, job security tenuous. When will we see change? When will it get better?
Love for the job is not the question, how much more can we take seems pertinent.
Megan Thorn, Seaham
Same old, same old
GOVERNMENTS placing caps on the sale price of domestic coal are the equivalent of nationalisation and will have a catastrophic effect upon future investment in the industry.
This is the rhetorical line being pitched by the coal industry "talking heads."
One such "talking head", interviewed, said "it costs us $125 a tonne to produce, leaving only a profit of $10 a tonne if the cap is as rumoured, $35 a tonne". Ten dollars profit per tonne for a product which is finite, created by nature free of charge and extracted in the millions of tonnes annually is better than "a poke in the eye with a forked stick", I reckon.
Capping the sale price of coal for domestic uses is an emergency measure only. Had nationalisation of coal mining and power generation occurred decades ago, the current problems may well have been ameliorated. Unfortunately, as with many other industries of national importance, Australian governments in their quest to make a quick buck have ignored the intrinsic economic value of our coal, the "sedimentary rock which can be burned."
Barry Swan OAM, Balgownie
WE have been hearing for months that, due to the soaring cost of coal, NSW energy prices are going to go through the roof.
So, when the government came out with a proposal to cap domestic coal prices, Stephen Galilee (of the Minerals Council) said there is no need for that as coal for power stations is locked into long-term contracts, a fraction of the highs of the export contracts.
If this is the case why will the cost of power go through the roof? The price is locked in, there has certainly been significant rises in workers' wages, or transport costs so why would the cost of power go through the roof?
Jan Phillip Trevillian, Fennel Bay
Trump the loser
I EXPECT it's been a tortuous process of acceptance, but at least Greg Hunt (Short Takes, 13/12) concedes that Donald Trump did in fact lose the 2020 presidential election. Even though he would have won if not for an elaborate laptop scam. Not to mention dodgy voting machines, stolen ballots, forged signatures, a communist conspiracy and the US Embassy in Rome using satellites and military technology to remotely switch votes. But credit where credit's due. Better late than never.
However, if I was Mr Hunt, I'd be careful. Word is that Trump has eyes and ears everywhere searching for backsliders.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
The world game
IN reply to Daryl Frost (Short Takes, 9/12), flares and singing (and riots) are a passion in soccer because the on-field play is so boring.
Such a low-scoring game as soccer denies spectators scoring action so prominent in other codes. And so many games decided by a penalty shoot-out or even in-play penalties deny good teams a victory. Just ask England and Brazil.
Penalty shots are a different ball game altogether to the main game. Those countries that are passionate about soccer are invariably 'one-sport' countries. There is usually no other team sport there. Qatar was awarded the World Cup because, it appears, that they bribed better than other countries. Altogether not a good look for an otherwise popular sport.
Peter Devey, Merewether
No more worries
I HAVE figured it out. The rush to be totally reliant on renewables, dams and batteries for our electricity is a cunning plan to reduce our population. With not enough electricity and gas to power our homes, mine money earning minerals, run heavy manufacturing industries, run our electric cars, electric bulldozers and heavy transport, who would want to live here, let alone visit? We will not have to worry about jobs and money because there will be none. Only joking of course.
John Cooper, Charlestown
GOT to agree with John Davies ('Gas charge increases', Letters, 12/12). We too have had these price rises from AGL, but worse than that two of our last four meter readings were false by a $40 overcharge, the last March reading was an $800 over-read. Then tried to talk to someone on the phone and spent 14 minutes listening to recorded messages before some person comes on. Bring back fuel stoves and open fires.
Kevin Miller, Windale
HERE we go again: watch the circus. Let's make another convicted drug smuggler a celebrity in WNBA star Brittney Griner. I bet she ends up on American Survivor.
Mick Porter, Raymond Terrace
I HAVE heard a term recently that horrifies me. It involves assault and it is "choked without consent". I know this practice is simulated by porn stars and it is abhorrent. How could anyone consent to being choked? Watching this trash does nothing to enhance real relationships and is downright dangerous.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
ENERGY Minister Chris Bowen said gas companies had a social responsibility to keep prices low for customers. No they don't. Their responsibility is to profits only - for their billionaire owners and shareholders. If Mr Bowen wants energy companies to have a social responsibility he'll need to nationalise them.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
WHY is the world watching Russia totally destroy Ukraine, killing many innocent people? For Christ's sake, stop them. Who will be next?
Phil Grainger, Lemon Tree Passage
THANKS Mark Creek (Short Takes, 10/12), now I get it. It's for my own protection that Supercars stops me from entering my own home unless I sign up to their accreditation process. Glad you cleared that up.
John Hudson, Newcastle East
In 2014 a large Japanese car manufacturer embarked on a plan that involved the manufacture of future cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This week the company abandoned the plan and will make cars powered by available technologies. The Kurri peaking power plant is also being appraised as to its capability to run on green hydrogen. Looks like the laws of physics and reality have prevailed again.
John Cooper, Charlestown
GEOFF Black, as an honest criminal myself I'm always one step ahead of the government. If you're interested, I've started counterfeiting food stamps like cocaine. At Christmas time one has to be ready for increased demand to be an honest criminal.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WELL done Jets. Let's hope we see more.