Moving the deckchairs ('Oxley Police District resources shuffled to support officers dealing with crime in Gunnedah', NDL April 20) won't stop the ship sinking.
We need our magistrates to enforce the law and when bail is breached offenders lose their freedom. If we are serious about crime and impacts of incarceration perhaps we need to try other methods.
Community tasks (service to community) could be implemented for young offenders where individuals are given a task to complete such as weeding an area, cleaning graffiti in an area etc. Only upon completion of that task does one of the restrictions on bail be lifted. Thus the reward is upon completion of a task not just spending time.
This reduces the need for continual supervision because it is the completion of the task that can be checked off and reward then being achieved as a result of effort. These tasks could be small ones that may be accomplished in a few hours.
By completing more tasks greater freedom ensues. Thus there is an incentive to act responsibly. A further breach of conditions or reoffending would remove already achieved gains.
The argument that increasing welfare payments etc would reduce crime does not seem to apply to car theft as the vehicles are thrashed and often burnt thus the reason is not poverty it is thrill seeking with little risk of loss of liberty.
The police work hard to catch offenders often at great risk of personal harm and must become disillusioned with the judicial system that doesn't seem to support the police or community safety.
The community needs safety!
Graeme Harris, Calala
I read with interest the opinion piece by Barnaby Joyce, Member for New England (NDL on 16 April 2022).
Mr Joyce certainly did produce a shopping list of 'things' that he is claiming as achievements.
However, not many of the 'things' appear to have been achieved in the electorate of New England and certainly do not address the issues that our citizens are telling me they have.
I'm not sure why Mr Joyce is owning the Muswellbrook and Singleton bypass projects. Apart from these towns not being in our electorate those projects were only announced in November 2021 and have not yet started.
From my research, the duplication of the New England Highway at Tamworth has been announced by Kevin Anderson the state member and currently is not funded.
I hear stories every day of the condition of roads in New England, so I applaud Mr Joyce for pursuing the 'Roads of Neglect' initiative. However, I am surprised that the focus was on Danglemah Road and not on some of the roads with a higher traffic rate. I would like to know the process Mr Joyce uses to prioritise the roads to receive the 'Roads of Neglect' funding, and if the voters in New England agree.
In my travels around the electorate the common themes people of all ages share with me are overwhelmingly our failing health system, the lack of affordable childcare, attracting skilled staff for business and industry, ongoing job security and the lack of integrity we currently have in our political system. Not to mention the crisis in aged care.
Like many of you, I would like to know, not what Mr Joyce has done, but what he plans to do about these critical issues if he is elected for another term.
The people of New England deserve a member who is present and wants to engage with them to be a better representative. I will be that member if I am fortunate enough to get your vote.
I am eager to hear feedback from residents of the New England region about what you and your family need to live your best life.
Drop me a line at email@example.com
Laura Hughes, Labor Candidate for New England
Congratulations Mayor Russell Webb, Barry Harley, Max Ellis, and all concerned for finally staging Tamworth's Iconic Festival's 50th Anniversary. As ex Tamworthians now living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, we thoroughly enjoyed the direct viewing of the G G Awards.
Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole were superb Hosts with their personalities plus. (The best Awards Night ever). Our sincere wishes for the makings of many more Festival Memories for all.
Jahn & Barrie Manton, Sunshine Coast
Australia has about 30 million hectares of agricultural land devoted to cropping, almost identical to Ukraine, frequently called the 'Breadbasket of Europe.' According to Vice President of the NSW Farmers Association, Xavier Martin, Australia uses this arable land to feed 75 million people each year. Martin warns that "Once agricultural land is lost it is lost forever ("MP softens position again", 19/4).
Ukraine's capacity to produce food is being weakened daily by the devastating war. Australia's capacity is being seriously challenged by climate change and the extraction of fossil fuels on prime agricultural land. Despite all this, Upper Hunter MP David Layzell has defended the renewal of so-called 'zombie' petroleum exploration licences on the rich Liverpool Plains.
This is further evidence that the National Party has lost its way and is putting self interest ahead of agriculturalists.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic
I read with interest the letter from the CEO of the Smith Family (NDL 19/4/22) thanking people for donating to their Learning For Life Program, to support poor Australian children through school.
I acknowledge the sincere motivations of the organisation and its donors, but I am outraged that here in one of the richest countries on earth, we cannot organise our society to do the job of ensuring that all our children have their basic needs met.
We don't even have to change our system of government, we just need the policies to be more equitable. We need enough housing so that the general level for children is to live in families with secure housing, sufficient family income so that parents can live with dignity and provide for their children, and schools that are actually free and rich in educational experiences for all.
Plus we need a safety-net welfare system that ensures that when tragedy strikes a family (whatever the cause) there is timely and adequate support, so that parents are not looking forward to a decade or more of dependence on 'charity'.
Over the years we've seemingly opted for private affluence, and individual 'wealth creation', and there is a pathetic lack of discussion about taxation reform and moving to a society where none of our children would need 'sponsorship' to get a genuine fair go.
Barbara Finch, Armidale
In committing $480 million of federal money, Barnaby Joyce has stated that as Minister for Infrastructure that the Dungowan Dam proposal is a logical and reasonable business proposition. It is standard practice for any scoping studies to include the costing of construction and operational costs. The minister would be aware of these costings and it is only fair that details of the underlying cost assumptions be made available to the community, as it is we the community that will ultimately pay for this dam.
The business case states that no water will be available as a result of the construction of the new Dungowan dam. It is only logical to conclude that all additional costs resulting from the construction and operation of this dam will be met by existing water users. By promoting the construction of the new Dungowan Dam, Barnaby Joyce is saying that these additional costs are an acceptable burdened for the Peel Valley water users and Tamworth ratepayers.
The 2017 GHD business case identify that operational costs of the new Dungowan pipe line are expected to double. Having a second dam in the Peel valley will increase headwater charges by 50 per cent. The interest bill on the $480 million could well be around $10 million a year. This is without including any return on investment as required by IPART pricing principles. Without accurate information however we are only able to speculate. Please fill this information void Mr Joyce.
Graham Carter, Moore Creek
In April this year, in relation to the climate change crisis, The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres reported " we are firmly on track toward an unliveable world".
Strong words indeed. But he also indicated that if we can urgently take appropriate action on climate change there is still a narrow opportunity for some hope.
On the 21st of May Australia's will have an opportunity to vote in a manner that could have huge ramifications in relation to the words of the UN Secretary General above.
In Particular in relation to Australia's extra large involvement with coal.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank, SA
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