Having worked for Council for some 40 years from the late 1950s, I was interested to read the article in the Mercury (Friday, June 17) "Kids' give tick of approval" relating to the council's proposals to install child playground equipment in three of its reserves, one being "Rube Hargrave Park" at Clifton.
It may interest some Mercury readers to learn the late Rube Hargrave was the first ever woman alderman to be elected to council.
She served in this position for many years and was always a very hard worker for the residents of her ward.
She will always be remembered by staff of that period as a charming lady who was so keen to get to know council staff and to make the best effort to fulfil the duties expected of an alderman that after election, she organised a special luncheon for all female staff.
I am sure were Rube Hargrave still alive, she would be delighted at this proposal for the park which bears her name.
Helga Christie-Burnett, Wollongong
The Mercury's 'Labor vote dropped across Cunningham' (June 17) should be a stark warning to Laborites everywhere that all's not well for the future of their party.
Without seeing the percentage swings against Labor in Cunningham printed in black and white, even I would never have believed Labor could lose so many votes in the heart of its heartland.
Sure, the Coalition lost votes this time around, but in spite of how negatively it polled, more Australians voted Coalition than Labor (35.7 per cent - 32.6 per cent) at the election itself.
It will be hard for the Coalition to return to power in 2025, but by then Labor will find it even harder to maintain power.
Both parties have traded away their "product differentiations" in recent years, but Labor has become so dependent upon the Greens it risks becoming the Greens' junior partner - especially now there are so many Teals in the Parliament.
Richard Burnett, Wollongong
We have a massive housing shortage with the poor people suffering the most.
People are living in tents and caravan parks. People are offering extra rent to actually obtain a rental property.
There is a major shortage because of the lack of public housing being constructed over recent years. This shortage is also caused by Airbnb or short-term rentals.
If the government is serious about addressing the shortage of full-time rentals all they have to do is to get the Airbnb back into full-time rental.
This can be achieved easily by taxing short-term rental at a 70 per cent rate.
If the government is serious this will help the poor people have somewhere to sleep.
Ray Jaeger, Coledale
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