A population milestone may be a millstone

GETTING BIGGER: The Australian population was expected to surpass 25 million this week. Reader Phill Howlette questions the wisdom of modern immigration policy. I SAW Australia’s population was set to hit the 25 million mark this week.

Why do we need so many more people coming here when we have such huge problems facing us? If anyone asks why, they often get tagged as a racist for trying to deny foreigners entry, which of course is what the leaders want so they can push the idea that we have to have more people.

How about a forum to discuss the issue properly? Perhaps we could come up with some rational questions to put to the pollies, financiers, capitalists and anyone else wanting to increase the population.

The reasons put forward by some of those in power just do not make sense to a rational person in the street. We have unemployment, we keep giving away our manufacturing base, and we have high power prices and limited water resources.

What are all these extra millions of people going to do to improve the country we all love? I came here as a migrant in 1972 and worked till I retired just recently. I have seen Australia go from a wonderful, thriving, rich country to a place full of self-serving pollies and greedy capitalists channelling profits to their offshore accounts. Adding more people to the population simply serves those lazy money-makers who just want more people to buy stuff. If we, as a country, poured money into water resources to alleviate drought, re-built our manufacturing base – maybe renewable power generating systems, develop our towns and cities with local manufacturing and service industries – then, maybe, the population could grow. To simply bring more and more migrants in with little chance of a real job will cause us to continue to go backwards as a nation.

Phill Howlette,HolmesvilleDON’T PUNISH THE PARISHESCOUNTRYpeople now find their local churches are to be sold to compensate these children abused by members of the clergy (‘Parishioners praying for a better result’, Newcastle Herald 6/8).

Not for sale, apparently, are the bishops’ million-dollar residences or city assets built up over many years. If someone commits a crimepunish them, strip them of their assets, jail them and all those who buy their silence and helped hide their evil secrets. However, those now being punished through the proposed saleofcountry churches are not guilty of any crime and are also innocent.

These places are where you get married, baptise your children and create a community sense of belonging and worship a loving God free from the evils of some men. We find once again the church hierarchy is making decisions to punish those who are innocent of any crime to compensate those sinned against by people the churchselected and in some casesprotected when their evil was uncovered.

John Reynolds,Mt VincentOFTEN NOSIGN OF WORKERSMONDAY’scover photo supporting your M1 story (‘Speeding up’, Herald 6/8)exposes one of the M1’s greatest scourges: traffic congestion through inactiveroadworks. As Ray Dinneen (Letters 6/8)said, centre-lane hoggers interrupt the free flow of traffic.

That problem is exacerbated by long speed reduced sections for roadwork’s when no workers are in fact working. Most drivers now ignore the roadwork “boy who cried wolf” signs,creating risk if workers areactuallythere. Mr Dinneen is correct in saying increased speed limits would improve traffic flow but thatthere must be three lanes available for itto work.

Like Garry Scow (Letters 6/8)says, a more visible mobile police presence will improve safety, especially if employed booking slowdrivers who fail to keep left.

Instead of quoting death rates per head of population, I think theHeraldshould examine deaths per person travelling. If the price of petrol rises markedly causing a rise in ride sharing, you’d expect that there’d be a spike in the death rateassuming the same number of accidents.

If you were to measure the number of people traveling the M1 annually against the death toll, would that equation give a risk statistic worthy of words like “carnage” or “horror”? Theroad toll can never be reduced to zero but the risks inherent in driving modern cars on our well engineered but poorly regulated M1 are minimal.

Stephen Rayfield,Warners BayA NATION NEEDS UNIONSTHE latest figures show that the Australian economy is still stagnating, with low wages growth a big problem. Without disposable income people stop spending, and this has flow-on effects that hurt many businesses.

There are multiple reasons for the low wages growth, but I think a major one is John Howard’s union-busting campaign of a decade or more ago. Most of his measures are still in place. Howard backed high unemployment and low wages as good for business profits, and saw a way to achieve by wrecking the Labor unions. He was partly right, in that some people profited, but his simplistic analysis did not take collateral damage into account.

Increasing the concentration of wealth byproducing fewer prosperous people and leaving many worse offhas not been good for the country. It hasn’t helped that some of the wealth has been moved offshore. If the present government wants to fix this country’s problems, agood start would be to encourage a growth in union membership. In particular, the many casual workers should be helped out of their poverty trap by showing them how to fight for better conditions.

Peter Moylan,GlendaleTERMINOLOGY ISA BLOWWHILE it may make for an eye-catching headline, I believe Tuesday’s front page headline (‘Campus king-hit’, Herald 7/8)was inaccurate as well as being undesirable.

I am personally disgusted by the use of the term “king-hit” to describe cowardly single punch attacks. However, as I read the article I foundthat the event was not a cowardly single punch attack but part of group assault with criminal intent.

It seems to me that any person wearing a knuckle-duster is intent on causing serious harm to any person they assault.

Acting as a group to stop an unsuspecting person on the ring road is not the action of the usual coward attack, often called a king hit,but a deliberate attempt to rob a student on campus.

I have been particularly disturbed by the recent series of media reports slipping back to the use of this offensive terminology, which I thinkgives a higher status to the offender than they deserve.I wish that the media in general would call it for what it is:a disgusting assault by one person on another.

I ask that your paper show some leadership by banning the use of this term.

Stuart King,TorontoSHARE YOUR OPINIONEmail [email protected]出售老域名.au or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.

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