Sure help’s needed, but downsize the dream

SPACIOUS: While there is widespread support for government assistance for first home buyers, some have argued young people need to lower their expectations.
Nanjing Night Net

THE government is always seeking ways to save money – I would suggest that they start with the first home buyers package.

Very few would disagree with the principle of assisting people,especially young married couples, to purchase their own house, especially if their expectations were not so outrageous.

The package is very generous; one might say it is a pity this bonanza was not available to the older generation – who in all honesty tended to be happy with a home of somewhat lesser grandeur than is expected today.

Australia has the largest homes, on average in the entire world. Itis their expectation – check the internet – instead of using the first home buyers package to buy a modest two bedroom house all too often they use the grant to aim for a massive four bedroom, two-storey home, complete with entertainment room, lavish kitchen etc.

This grant should come with restrictions on size and people should be weaned away from very high expectations.

Tom Edwards, Wangi WangiGood dogs’ delightI CRINGED when I read the letter from Anitra Thomas (Letters, 24/10) and saw the accompanying photo. I strongly agree with her that vicious dogs have no place in our community. To own such a dog and allow it to behave aggressively is irresponsible.

From my experience, council rangers respond very promptly to any complaint and take appropriate action.

A well-trained dog, regardless of size or breed and whose needs for exercise, discipline and affection are met, will not behave in a way that threatens or attacks.

There is evidence that a ‘bad’ dog can be ‘rescued’ by an owner who is prepared to put in the effort and transform the dog into a loved companion.

It is sad that horror stories about dangerous dogs grab the headlines and tarnish the reputations of all dogs and owners.

If you are not lucky enough to have a dog, I encourage you to notice the difference, get to know the dog owners in your neighbourhood, meet the dogs and share the fun.

Allow your children to satisfy their curiosity about dogs and do not rush to phone the ranger when a dog slips its leash at the local park.

Gwen Tonge, Cooks Hill‘Baseless’ scare tacticI HAD to read the editorial of the Herald twice to absorb the message that Labor MP Jodi Harrison has a wish list of infrastructure from the proceeds of the Lease of Ausgrid. The NSW government announced last week a long term lease of 50 per centof Ausgrid that will inject over $16 billion into the state’s balance sheet. It seems to have been the catalyst for Labor MPs to rethink their vitriolic attitude to asset recycling.

The Liberal National government took this policy to the March 2015 state election and paid a heavy price. We lost seats. Party booth workers were abused and intimidated by union thugs. ALP candidates forecasted the end of civilisation. Labor MPs staunchly voted along party lines and against their community’s best interests to try to defeat the transaction legislation in 2015.

Now Jodi Harrison MP and her colleagues want a say in the deployment of the funds. The Liberal Party said before, during and after the election the funds would be directed to paying down Labor debt and investing in new infrastructure. We offered to the people of NSW, not just a infrastructure wish list, but the means to pay for the investment without burdening future generations.

We will honour those commitments. Additionally, infrastructure will be developed where there is a strong case and meets Regional Planning goals and Infrastructure NSW and NSW Treasury guidelines.

Time and again Labor fail the people of the Hunter by indulging in baseless scare campaigns. Including the latest shameless hysteria over the new Maitland hospital.

ScotMacDonaldMLC,Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central CoastWaiting for pensionI READ recently that our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was planning to attend an internationalconference on saving money. There are people like myself that can’t even get an old aged pension.

I turned 65 over two months ago and I am still waiting for my first payment. I would say I am not the only onewaiting. If it was any other business it would be investigated.

Beverley McIntyre, TomagoPlaying politicsITwas with some amusement that I read Karen Howard’sletter (Letters,25/10) claiming Tim Crakanthorp was too busy playing party politics to achieve for Newcastle. The only trouble was I couldn’t work out who the letter was from, Karen Howard the Liberal, the Independent, or the one from Paterson.

She also forgot to mention Tim is working for Newcastle with both hands tied behind his back. After all, as many writers to this page have pointed out, Newcastlewill get nothing from the government, seeing as we didn’t vote the right way.

Mentioning his role in council she also alluded to his role in state parliament, perhaps with a tinge of jealousy.

Karen is so concerned for Newcastle she even ran off to try and represent a different part of the country, while Tim stayed. Perhaps it’s all about self and party after all.

Colin Fordham, LambtonConfidence in TimFOR failed Independent and Liberal candidate Karen Howard to suggest Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp MP – who has won every election he has stood at since 2008, both local and state – to ‘put politics aside’ is hypocritical at best and the behavior of a sore loser at worst (Letters, 25/10).

Karen’s criticism that Crackers has held both positions is an attack on voters who have placed confidence in his abilities to representtheir interests best.Voters clearly see Tim championing many causes Novocastrians care about – our rail corridor, sporting and coastal facilities, local jobs and infrastructure, health and education.

Contrastingly, it’s the Liberals that decided to rip up public transport into a dead-end peninsula, replacing it with rail on an existing road.It’s the Liberals that have actively stalled the Broadmeadow Precinct Master Plan for improved regional sporting facilities whilst pouring over $1.5 billion into Sydney’s sporting venues.It’s the Liberals that decided to have 500 train carriages built in South Korea, adversely impacting Hunter manufacturing jobs.

Karen Howard should focus on increasing her own achievements.

Nick Rippon,Newcastle