Letters to the Editor: Saturday, June 25, 2016

WELCOMING: The way small towns in Alaska welcome cruise liners puts Newcastle to shame. These ships are stopped in Skagway, Alaska. Picture: Kris Kelly

I HAVE just returned from Alaska and have seen first hand the wonderful cruise-liner ports, facilities and onshore tours available for up to six cruise liners docked at one time, with 2000 passengers each.

These small towns put Newcastle to shame.

Yes, their harbours are deeper but our cruise-liner terminal is embarrassing and we continue to miss out on showcasing Newcastle and the Hunter.

Surely it is our right to have some of the money from the sale of our port used to bring in big tourist dollars to our region’s economy to perhaps balance the downturn in coal.

The state budget has said $30 million from the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund will be allocated to several large projects including the cruise terminal. It certainly wasn’t obvious how much and when for a new terminal.

What was obvious is that Newcastle continues to be ignored.

Our politicians should be aware that we the voting public in the Hunter are becoming increasingly disillusioned with both major parties. Not long now until the election.

Kris Kelly,MaryvilleHigh price of duplicationI LIKEN the Turnbull Liberal government’s NBN to the fiasco with the Tourle Street bridge.

In the 1970s, a NSW government with vision built a four-lane Stockton bridge.

The old two-lane Tourle Street bridge was replaced with a new two-lane bridge in 2009 instead of a four-lane bridge.

That turned out to be a disaster with traffic congestion.

The NSW government is now back duplicating the Tourle Street bridge at four times the cost.

“Do it once and do it right”I heard someone say last week.

Ron Hancock, StocktonLeaders can changeSO, where is Abbott? What have the Libs promised to keep him so quiet and so out of camera range?

Fascinating to hear Turnbull’s hearty statement that “his governmentwill not privatise Medicare”.

Maybe not, but with Abbott still ghosting around behind the scenes, Libs could be easily de-stabilised, yet again.

Any promises made by Turnbull about what his government would do could vanish in a puff of ecto-plasm.

Patricia Pears, CooranbongFears for MedicareMR Turnbull insists Medicare will “never ever”be privatised. Shades of, there will “never ever”be a GST.

Given the fact of Liberal cuts to hospital funding, attempts at introducing GP co-payments so doctors cannot bulk bill and scrapping of rebates on pathology services, I don’t believe him.

Irrespective of what Mathias Cormann says, I believethe Turnbull government has looked at new ways to deliver payments and believe outsourcing Medicare is the key.

The future of Medicare could be just one election away.Is this the legacy that you want to leave your children?

How can you put trust into hollow words given Mr Turnbull’s previous backtracking on policy.

Make no mistake; Mr Turnbull is simply treading water.

The wrath is yet to come.

If you are a pensioner, an Australian who values your family’s health care, are unemployed, or even if you are employed and value penalty rates because you work unsociable hours, a student, a member of the community concerned about increases to the GST, then you would be wise not to vote Liberal.

We need a government that is compassionate to the majority of Australians and not just a select few.

Think before you number any boxes.

Dennis Petrovic,RutherfordBoat brings back memoriesTHE Labor Party claim that Medicare will be privatised if theCoalition government is returned must be hitting home becauseout of the blue we have an asylum seeker boat sailing over the horizon towards our shores.

It has been threeyears since we havebeen told of such an event. Yes, I saw the footage on the news,but this particular boat did not look any different from one that was turned back three years ago.

Maybe it was the same footage used at that time, replayed over again.

Darryl Tuckwell,EleebanaRemember the circusREARDING Neil Pitt (Short Takes, 22/6):One would assume that you have been in some sort of induced coma over the last nine years.In 2007 when the ALP took over from the Coalition government the official federal budget was in a surplus of $10.8 billion.

At the end of 2013 after the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Gillard circus, the official federal budget was in a deficit of $23.5 billion, a spend-a-thon of some $44.3 billion.

What did they spend all of this on? Failed “Pink Batts” scheme, failed lap-top computers for every school child in Australia, failureto identify the correct installation method for the NBN etc, etc.

I am a person who opens both eyes when looking at the facts and all that I can see was a completed financial disaster during 2007 and 2013.

You may well say that the deficit has slipped even further during 2013-2016, I agree, however you must look at all of the underlying facts that contributed to the decline, starting with the mountainous interest repayments that the Coalition has had to contend with courtesy of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Gillard circus.

Neil Fletcher,West WallsendLETTERS commenting on election issues must bear the writer’s name and full address (only the suburb will be published). Responsibility for election comment in this issue is accepted by the editor, Heath Harrison,28 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle. Writers should disclose any alliance with political or community organisations and include a phone number for verification. Election candidates should declare themselves as such when submitting letters.​

LETTER OF THE WEEKTHE Herald pen goes to Matthew Endacott for his letter about reviving city centres.