Letters to the Editor: Thursday, December 8, 2016

STANDARDS SLIPPING: Reader Leonard Buckland says a loss of local control has eroded the quality of service from his family’s home care provider.

THERE is a festering problem in our care services, and it worries me because I have seen it develop over this past year.I am very concerned about what I have seen and experienced, particularly with the marvellous home care workers. I am not qualified to comment on behalf of these hard-working people, but have become aware of reasons why they are experiencing considerable stress in carrying out their duties.

I have had experience with the NSW service for over 20 years, firstly when my wife suffered a stroke and I cared for her with their assistance from time to time for 18 years. In recent years it is myself, with assistance in the mornings.

I had never had a complaint about the service in all the years whileit was administered by an office in Cardiff. Early this year, the service was taken over and it isan entirely different story with the change of administration. I have had a number of complaints, even writinglettersto the general manager in their Melbourne office.I have never had the courtesy of the acknowledgement of my communication and that’s not just one occasion.

I can’t help butnotice some of the people coming from the service don’t seem to be those bright happy souls any more that I have known in the past.

The privatisation with the change in administration of NSW home care has fiercely eroded the quality of this service.I would now call it home service because the care seems to have been lost by the new owners in the transmission to its administration.

Now with the Christmas and New Year festivities fast approaching, I would urge people to pause for a moment and think about all these people that continue through all the times of festivities carrying out their duties in all the health, caring and disability services regardless of what day of the year it is.

Leonard Buckland,BooragulIt’s all about imageOUR civic leaders appearto have accepted the claims of V8 Supercars that the event planned for Newcastlewill inject more than$50 million into our economy, create many jobs and entice people from all over the world to visit our wonderful, vibrant city.

These claims have not only failed to be substantiated, I believe they are quite the reverse. We know from the Auditor General’s reports into races in Canberra and Homebush, for instance, that the economic rewards of these races fell far short of the mark.

Even James Warburton, the CEO of V8 Supercars, conceded that “the Olympic Park has its limitations around what we can and can’t build in terms of grandstands and various other things we could do”. Imagine what they are planning to do here, in our heritage precinct.

But whether the event is a ‘success’ or not doesn’t matter. It will be hailed a success no matter what, just as all the promoters of mega car races in other cities have done. This is because the economic benefits to the city are not the point.

What matters to our civic leaders is that they are associated with a winner.It is the winning image that matters,not whether it is a real win for the city.So they don’t have to ask whether taxpayer dollars are being well spent, compared sayto a permanent racing facility that could be built in Newcastle.

All their dealings with the race promoters are being kept secret so no one will know anyway.

What we have been sold is a marketing ploy, with Newcastle promoting itself alongside speed, car fumes, insufferable noise and alcohol – with scant regard for the permanent changes made to our beautiful heritage conservation area, and the welfare of residents within the circuit who have never been party to any of these decisions but who will have to bare the brunt of these decisions for 10 stressful weeks every year.

Christine Everingham, Newcastle EastWater affrontI HAVEjust heard of the extensive development that is to occur on the block 151-155 Brighton Avenue, Toronto. We have recently purchased a property that we plan to retire to in The Brighton, 149 Brighton Avenue.

We were attracted to the beautiful park and the village atmosphere Toronto offers. The waterfront along this stretch of Lake Macquarie is beautiful. Having grown up in the area it was always our dream to retire and enjoy the lake.

I am greatly saddened that the council could consider this size and style of development appropriate for this site. I believe it contravenes council regulations but it goes much further than that. It is a very unattractive building that is of such a size that itcannot be anything other than a dominating feature.

People walk along the waterfront and down to the park and it culminates not in a transition area of leafy houses or passive development. It is a huge monolith of housing development style concrete and glass.

Not only does it set a worrying precedent of greed over need, it also gives the future of Toronto a new unappealing semi-commercial intensive character. I think the whole council and every councillorneeds to ask themselves–“Is this what I want to be remembered for?” Please think very carefully before approving this development.

Kate Sommerville,GlenifferMore pain for PortAS if residents of Port Stephens haven’t been punished enough by Defence and government neglect with the poisons being pumped out of Williamtown RAAF Base, in afew months they will be hit by the extreme noise levels from the bucket of bolts that other nations have rejected – the F-35, so-called strike fighter.

That’s if if they can ever get one to fly. It’sa bigger lemon than the Leyland P76 car.

I challenge people to research detailson it, particularly the opinions of defence experts. It is the main reason we have a so-called budget emergency.​

Brian Crooks, SconeJust want the truthMARGARET Priest (‘Hypocrite Hillary’, Letters, 3/12) says Hillary Clinton is hypocritical because she supports a recount of votes in three states, after saying it was “horrifying”that Donald Trump suggested he might not accept the result of the election.

I disagree. Mrs Clinton is not refusing to accept the result, she is supporting the result being correctly arrived at. Maybe in a ‘post-truth’ world there is no longer such a thing as an accurate tally of votes, but let us at least accept that it might be possible.

Michael Jameson, New Lambton

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