Why, Maggie Cooper (Letters, 22 Jan) is it the mother who has responsibility for inculcating proper and decent values in her sons?
I should have thought the father has at least an equal if not a greater role to play in that regard.
Paul Cunningham, Frenchs Forest
Consumerism gone mad! Whatever happened to the traditional advice to save for a deposit on a house, or for a rainy day, or for retirement? Thrift used to be a virtue. Buying even more mostly imported “stuff” that we don’t need will hurt balance of payments and household debt, not to mention increasing carbon and pollution. Perhaps government should focus on these criteria instead of solely GDP growth and their GST revenue.
I’m sorry, Mr Skrzynecki, but not awarding points won’t help. The media will easily maintain a league table. If you want them to “play for the love of the game” the answer is not to pay them. The word “amateur” derives from the Latin verb “to love”, after all.
If they’re kept busy doing real jobs Monday to Friday, they won’t have the time or energy to behave badly.
The over-professionalisation of sport in general, as a vehicle for tobacco, then booze, now gambling, has been one of the saddest trends in my lifetime.
Of course the planning approval system is not independent.
The Northern Beaches Hospital is a classic example. NSW Planning allowed the project to be split into four main stages so that by the time the overall impact was seen it was too late. NSW Planning also allowed NSW Health’s false claims for the choice of location to go unchallenged. NSW Planning’s final summary, in approving the project, that there would not be “any long-term adverse or irreversible effects” is simply laughable.
And the multitude of consultants used to provide a veneer of objectivity all know that there won’t be any future work for them if they don’t produce the “right” answer.
One part of government is not going to stop another part of government doing what it wants. They’re all playing for the same team, after all.
Keith Woodward and Denis Suttling (Letters, 21 Nov) both correctly (but perhaps belatedly, I don’t know whether they complained at the appropriate time) point out that the hospital is in the wrong place. It is important to understand how this happened.
NSW Health finalised its Development Options Business Case in late 2005. Its qualitative analysis chose the former Warringah Council Chamber land in Dee Why, with Frenchs Forest a distant third. But in 2006 government decided on Frenchs Forest, based on “risk” (the strength of public opposition anticipated) and cost. The cost was calculated on the basis that the necessary road network improvements would cost a mere $21.3M, whereas the current published figure is $500M, which doesn’t allow for the fact that the roading project is now more than a year behind schedule.
Short-term political and bureaucratic criteria won out over the health professionals’ long-term preference.
When Hazzard, then Planning Minister, signed the 16 Oct 2012 order kick-starting the process for the Frenchs Forest hospital, he did so without reviewing or updating the 2006 decision, despite much of its data being the best part of a decade old. Nor were any new locations considered.
So when Health Infrastructure claimed in the Environmental Impact Statements for the proposed hospital that the choice of location was based on “robust qualitative analysis”, that was untrue.
They also claimed that the Frenchs Forest site was central to the catchment area (which had previously been defined as what is now the Northern Beaches LGA). This is blatantly false geographically. And as regards population distribution, the centre was assessed in the original studies as being Cromer (it would have moved north since then).
Neither of these major falsehoods was challenged by NSW Planning when it approved the hospital, despite having them pointed out in residents’ submissions.
Which highlights the fundamental systemic flaw in approving public projects, ie. if one part of government (in this case Health) says it wants to do something, another part of government (eg Planning) is not going to stop them. They’re both on the same team, after all!
And the pretence of public consultation is an utter sham.
Perhaps it’s time for the Auditor General to look into the matter. Billions of taxpayer dollars are being misspent.
So the Big Bash League is categorised s first class cricket? You're kidding! A contradiction in terms, more like.
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.