REGARDING “Mall traffic change to relieve ‘choked’ city” (Herald 28/6): I consider this decision absolute madness. I believe it puts vulnerable road users directly in harm’s way. Routing traffic through a pedestrian mall at those speeds will, without doubt in my mind, result in more frequent and more severe injuries. In addition, those traders who think that business will improve with traffic flying past at 40km/h with nowhere to park are seriously dreaming.
It’s time to state the obvious. Newcastle now requires a significant demotion of the role of the automobile in the area east of Stewart Avenue.
Like many overseas cities, we need a car-free CBD with exceptions for residents, delivery and emergency vehicles only.
As proven in jurisdictions world-wide, exclusive access for public and active transport will improve the environment, productivity and retail outcomes. We in the Newcastle Cycleways Movement will be working assiduously to keep pedestrians, as well as cyclists, safe in the city. Putting a cycleway into the mall (which in Newcastle means a shared path and/or painted lines on the road) alongside a 40km/h road is inadequate and we will hold the planners and council to account.
I THINK the slow response by Hunter Street business owners to join a class action group for compensation regarding a loss of business due to the light rail installation (“Rail fight off to court”, Herald 23/6) may be that many wonder what is the use as Hunter Street has seen its day as a shopping destination.
They may be 100 per cent correct, but I would at least try to get the cost of relocating covered instead of simply shutting shop. I for one would want compensation for loss of goodwill earned, or paid for when the business was originally purchased.
I believe choosing to wait and see will only have council and government saying “give it time” well past the expiry of any class action proceedings, potentially giving authorities a chance to claim you should have taken advantage of a whole new breed of customers by spending big with a refit and promotions. In my opinion it's very easy for people who have never run a business, especially as an owner-operator, to attend business classes and believe everything presented by people who also have also never owned a small business. There is nothing like the real deal to teach you how hard it is, even when everything is going one’s way, but to have everything against you, through no fault of your own means the people responsible should pay compensation with a genuine apology in my view. l can see council and government kicking and screaming all the way, spending not their own money, but hard-working citizens’ funds.
MY HEART goes out to the businesses in and around Hunter Street. I have been in there and it is a mess.
I can't believe that these people are being victimised by our government and council all for the sake of progress. Getting a park in Newcastle is beyond ridiculous. Park and ride is available I hear you say, but when you get off the bus you have to try and navigate the precinct. Don't even let me start on getting a train and then bussing it into the city. I think the council should give the businesses a cut in rates. They should stop the rates until the light rail is finished. Liaise with the businesses that need parking and provide free parking until this is fixed. Park and ride should be for workers. The shoppers should be able to access all the parking in the city.
TIM Roberts ("Renewables must replace coal as energy bedrock", Opinion 25/6) talked of steel-making as a coal driven industry. A photo of a steel furnace headed the story. Professor Roberts insisted we have to replace coal with renewable energy.
How? Without burning hundreds of millions of tonnes of coal annually, steel would become unavailable. Concerns about carbon dioxide from coal-burning causing global warming are well understood. I accept that most people believe that carbon dioxide causes global warming. But I think that's all it is, a belief. That idea still relies almost entirely on assumptions and theoretical modelling. The evidence is still coincidental and, at times, contradictory.
Australia and other countries wish to replace coal-burning with renewable energy, but no country has worked out how to replace conventional generation totally with wind and solar without causing an energy crisis. Renewables are so intermittent that you receive no more than 30 per cent of nameplate capacity. To run our generation totally on wind and solar would require more than three times our current capacity.
I'm afraid you'll have to dream on, Professor Roberts.
MATHIAS Cormann wants hard-working Australians able to compete with cheap offshore workers, and his way of doing it is to reduce the tax paid by employers. Unlike the workers, their productivity and profit is heading in the right direction, but Mr Cormann still wants to bring their tax rate down to compare with overseas rates.
The fact that he gives no consideration to is that in those offshore countries the workers are [only just] surviving on a wage of $50 or $60. If they had to live in Australia, they would not survive. My point is that Australia is burdened with quite a lot of bureaucracy and over-governing that makes it such an expensive country to live in. Get that right and a lot of the other problems will go away.
COUNCIL boss Jeremy Bath is telling the state government and Newcastle drivers that he won't be reducing the size of parking fines for anyone foolish enough to drive into the place (“Fine line”, Herald 28/6). Just a couple of questions for Mr Bath: shouldn't it be a council decision on the matter of fines?
Surely we deserve some kind of explanation on why he has decided to ignore the state treasurer with a decision that will only keep more motorists away from Newcastle?
THE pen goes to Julie Robinson, of Cardiff, for her letter on the focus of feminism.
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