WHILE I strongly disagree with the removal of a transport corridor in a growing city such as Newcastle, I applaud the architect’s impression presented in the Newcastle Herald (‘Key workers get dibs on new units’, Herald, 10/4).
The impression showed a design both sympathetic to the neighbouring former Civic railway workshops, now the Newcastle Museum and a materials and colour selection that complements and blends into the overall precinct.
Congratulations to Evolve Housing for not being tempted to construct yet another grey and white building, but rather retaining the earth tones of face brickwork.
Hopefully more developments like this will be undertaken in the closer suburbs of Newcastle on or near major public transport routes as the growth of Newcastle eventually produces more traffic gridlock just like Sydney.
NOVOCASTRIANS know that Newcastle pips Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city but for how much longer? Long commutes and car dependency are the scourge of all our major cities and increasingly so here with the gathering residential and commercial renewal.
Where is the integrated traffic plan to tackle this now before it is too late?
The park and ride at the McDonald Jones Stadium has been a great success, so where is the planning for a necklace of similar sites around the city? And dedicated bus lanes from them to speed users to the CBD? Plus a park and ferry site at the Stockton end of the bridge linking Honeysuckle and the CBD?
All day CBD and neighbourhood parking has to be discouraged by much higher charges and eliminated altogether in our beautiful King Edward and Nobbys reserve, they are they for our enjoyment, not as disfiguring car parks. Painful but necessary.
The light rail will do little except to mitigate very local traffic; to be truly successful funding has to be found to extend this beyond Pacific Park into the suburbs.
Action is needed now.
I THINK the judging of architectural and civic construction design awards must be flawed, and I have thought this for several years.
I do not know why architects and builders of house and office buildings receive awards for designs that are either impractical or are clearly copies of the latest trend in colder, northern hemispheric lands.
For example, a new building for the University of Newcastle in the CBD area with next to no parking space area – just when the public transport link between it and the main campus is cut – what Einstein approved that? But it’s OK because the building received an award for design excellence. It is a beautiful looking building, but I would hate to be reliant on a car or train to get me to it.
Houses with no awnings over windows; tiny eaves; slim, uncovered verandas (if any) that are totally energy dependent – while the venerable colonial and early 20th century designs that needed no electricity for heating or cooling, are forgotten or even denigrated.
Office or commercial buildings that have no windows that open and are totally dependent on air-conditioning, yet are claimed to be energy efficient, receive awards left right and centre.
Are the judges for these design awards from a cloistered community? Just what are the criteria to be chosen to be an architectural, design or construction judge?
Certainly not the users.
REGARDING Mark Porter (Short Takes, 11/4). He asks for the evidence the seal of the confessional is an obstacle to justice. The evidence is there in the royal commission which “heard evidence that perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to re-offend and seek forgiveness again”.
I believe victims of abuse, and I believe the royal commission.
The royal commission recommended removing the seal of the confessional. Ireland already implemented such a law in 2015. It’s time that we did so too. Our children are depending on us.
AS an avid follower of cricket for the past 70 years, as an average player, administrator and spectator, I heartily agree with Vic Levi's article ‘not always what it seams’ (Herald, 7/4). The punishment certainly does not fit the “crime” for which these three players were found guilty. Of more concern to those who administer this great game should be the performances of our batsmen, particularly when “facing up” on foreign shores.
In an era when dressing rooms are crammed with coaches, advisers, etc, what are these experts doing to improve our playing and behavioural standards and to justify their generous salaries?
“FAILING to report child sex abuse must be made a criminal offence without any religious exemptions” says David Shoebridge (‘Government fails the confessional hurdle’, Herald, 9/4)
Meanwhile Joanne McCarthy reports (‘Confessional debate on hold’, Herald, 9/4) that the Berejiklian government will not act on 40 per cent of the recent royal commission’s criminal justice recommendations, including the requirement for priests and ministers to inform the police of any child abuse disclosures in the confessional.
The response by many? "Shock, horror, outrage" …. but there should be no “surprise". I suspect that the government of the day would like to legislate to address this egregious legal and moral anomaly. But that would require them to take on the religious fraternity and, for all our claims to be a secular society, they are clearly nonsense.
This issue is nothing more than a populist response to a serious social issue. Why is there no debate about confessional disclosure of murder, theft, domestic violence or any other legal or moral trespass? This is a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees.
Child abuse is not the issue. Applying a different (lesser?) standard to religious bodies and organisations is the real problem.
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