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Letters to the Editor: Saturday, September 10, 2016

THE issue of governments purchasing a fleet of new trains from overseas instead offrom local manufacturers needs our attention.

Instead of assuming that the quoted price from overseas will be the real cost to us, wemust consider that to build them will take thousands of man-years of labour that Australians could supply right here.

To build them overseas costs many local jobs.One should therefore take the quoted cost of these trains as imports and add the costof thousands of man-years on the dole, thousands of man-years of lost income tax andthe multiplier effect of all the wages put in the local economy.

If this was done, localmanufacturers would win the contract for these trains hands down. Why was this notdone?

That our politicians and their advisors appear not to understand this doesnothing to support their credibility in my view.

Hank Willems, Merewether ALL ABOARD: Letter writer Hank Willems, of Merewether, says that we shouldn’t underestimate the costs of building trains in other countries.

HEARTY THANKS TO ALLI WAS shoppingwith my 18-month-old daughter, Poppy, at Westfield Kotara the Thursday before last.

My daughter started having an anaphylactic shock to some antibiotic medication she had been put on.

I went in to the Scott Dibben Chemistat first to see why they thought my daughter’s eye was swollen.

The staff in there, in particular Christie, were so helpful.

However it started to get worse and my daughter was getting a rash all over her body.Her lips started swelling rapidly on the way out to my car, so I raced in to the Kotara Family Practice clinic there at the shopping centre.A doctor there, Charlie Piao,was just leaving to go home. He immediately asked his fabulous receptionist, Ash’ey Bunn, to call an ambulance.

Dr Piao then took Poppy and I into the triage section of the clinic where he administered adrenaline and steroids to Poppy as her airways were closing up in front of us!

His quick actions saved Poppy’s life.

We were then taken to the John Hunter Emergency paediatric ward by friendly paramedics Paul and Genevieve.

Poppy was monitored the rest of the night. Prior to arrival, the ambulance even called in to my house where they turned my oven off! Nothing was too much trouble.

I am originally from England and wanted to say that my first dealings with NSW Health was outstanding.

We are so incredibly grateful to all of the staff that helped with our terrifying ordeal and just wanted to publicly acknowledge their fabulous skills.

Louisa Sparke,Adamstown HeightsSUBSIDIES, WHAT SUBSIDIES?MARK Ellis (“Selective subsidies” Letters 8/9)implies that “government assistance”provided tomining companies by G20 countries by way of subsidies is happening here in NSW.

The truth is that the NSW mining industry does not receive any significant government assistance.

In its annual Trade and Assistance Review released in July 2016, the Productivity Commission found the effective rate of government assistance to the mining industry in Australia is “negligible”. This has been the Commission’s finding for many years, and has been echoed by the Commonwealth Treasury.Similarly, the former head of the NSW Treasury, Michael Schur conducted a detailed examination of the level of subsidies claimed to be received by mining from state governments, and found almost all of the subsidies claimed simply did not exist.

However in the last financial year, the mining sector did pay around $1.4 billion in royalties and taxes to the NSW Government, assisting with the cost of providing teachers, nurses and police for the people of NSW.

Stephen GalileeCEO, NSW Minerals CouncilSPREAD THE WORD ON ABUSEI AGREE with Andrew McElroy (“Royal commission needs national spotlight” Letters6/9 ): the Newcastle hearings of theRoyal Commission into childdeserved national spotlight.

The 154 Marist Brothers included on a list of suspected and confirmed abusers presented at the hearings this weekneeds wider coverage.These abusers were often transferred and worked in schools not only in NSW but Queensland, Victoria and the ACT. The indicators suggest that abuse continued after moves and new victims were found for these deviants to prey upon.

The actual individual complaints made from possible victims was not made clear. These abusers rarely had just the one victim. Some had as many as 10, or even more.

The brave disclosures of the Newcastle/Maitland victims and their families may well have encouraged others outside of our region who still suffer in silence to come forward if appropriate coverage occurred.

Louise Turner,Adamstown HeightsGUARDED RESPONSEDESPITE Commissioner Peter Severin’s defence of Corrective Services NSW new policies for education and training (“Educating inmates”,Letters8/7),I find it difficult to accept that the educational outcomes for inmates will improve.

The shift to privatising education in prisons will have serious consequences for the quality of training offered.

The “training organisations” in which he places much hope do not have the same standards for their staff, who do not have to be teachers who can satisfy the requirements for teacher registration in NSW.

Both state and federal governments have discovered that the privatisation of community vocational education, as well as emasculating the TAFE system, has resulted in training being done by businesses that cannot deliver results, and which have squandered millions of taxpayer funds.

Commissioner Severin did not quote the Tasmanian experience that establishment of better support services and more innovative projects have engaged prisoners.

Even a community garden in prison has had positive outcomes in raising inmate self confidence.

According to the CSNSW website, fact sheet number eight states that after sacking all the existing teachers in prisons “roles in the new structure will be a little over half the current number.”How can this “reform” improve the quality of educational outcomes?

Doug Hewitt,HamiltonLETTER OF THE WEEKThe Newcastle Herald pen goes to the grateful Louisa Sparke, of Adamstown Heights, for today’s“Hearty thanks to all”.

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