I HAVE some Anzac Day tips for the younger generations. Firstly, remember the day. This isn't your boozer, this isn't your 21st birthday, this isn't your bucks' night. Don't rock up to your dawn service in a purple suit, or wearing a skin-tight dress that lets everyone see what you had for breakfast. It's a day of remembrance, whether in honour of our forefathers from all the conflicts before or our brothers who gave their life in the recent conflict. It's a day for them, not us.
Mates don't let mates drink alone. Stay with your mates. Too many times I've seen a digger sitting alone in a gutter all suited up with no friends in sight. That is not on. It's an emotional day for some, and there's no way any of us need to do it alone. You never know how much they might need it. The only person who might be drinking alone is that old digger down at the RSL.
Buy an old digger a beer. Let him talk your ear off, and more than likely he'll want to hear about your life. Talk smack with him, have a few beers. It'll probably make his whole week.
We're all on the same side. Army, Air Force, Navy, old school, junior, we're all on the same team and Anzac Day is about them all. Don't be running your mouth at someone just because their Aussie flag is a different colour. At the end of the day, they all signed the blank cheque.
Have a good time. Enjoy yourself, catch up with a mate who you haven't seen in a while, go to the dawn service and have a gunfire breakfast. Play two-up. Message a mate who you haven't seen in a while. Go out in your best looking Lowes suit. Enjoy all of our traditions, old and new. Enjoy your day, but most of all respect those who have sacrificed their time and lives for us all.
Shannon Kemp, Shortland
GOD, SAVE MY EARS
WITH another Anzac Day looming, I am apprehensive at the prospect of attending and listening to the rendition of the British national anthem God save the Queen at the Nobbys Beach dawn service.
This anachronism is usually followed by a procession of non-military service people in bejewelled and bespoke uniforms who lay wreaths in remembrance of all victims who gave their lives for this country. The majority of these would have died dressed in uniforms that were mostly rags and covered in the mud, filth and blood of the Western Front and Dardanelles and the jungles of Asia. What an irony.
I think I will attend Gregson Park and look forward to the service providing the appropriate respect for fallen Australian men and women with no British anthem.
Michael Carmody, Newcastle West
MIXED SIGNALS OVER DUTTON
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison talked up support for people with disabilities and then stonewalled media questions about the outrageous and insensitive behaviour of a senior Liberal Party minister ('Dutton criticised after saying opponent uses disability as an excuse', NewcastleHerald 13/4). The Liberal minister in question placed his boss in a terrible situation in front of the cameras. No apology was offered to Ali France until the minister was forced into it. One week, Mr Morrison talks up disabilities but a week later he's tacitly defending the indefensible.
At no time did Mr Morrison call out his minister for the horrible things said about Ali France but he tells us he's fair dinkum about supporting people with disabilities. In my opinion it's clear Mr Morrison can only talk the talk but would rather support his precious frontbencher than walk the walk for those with disabilities.
John Butler, Windella Downs
TIME TO START NEW CYCLE
THE 60 Minutes program last week discussed the problems with most Australians doing the right thing (they think) in regard to just what happens to the recycling items they put into their recycling bin. Why oh why haven't all our pollies, both state and federal, started discussing this problem that is going to get larger and larger as time goes on? Germany, Austria, South Korea, Wales and Switzerland are the top five recyclers worldwide. In 2016 Sweden recycled almost 100 per cent of their household waste. How about we as the people who put them there request that Australian pollies start to get fair dinkum about recycling?
Instead of all these frequent flyers shooting off to Germany and elsewhere, how about we invite management of major recycling companies down under to meet with representatives of each Australian parliament at the same time and answer questions about their recycling companies? We need help desperately so the sooner the better. I'm going to write to our NSW representative today, as well as Lake Macquarie City Council. It affects us all so this is needed before our childrens' children drown in crud.
Wal Remington, Mount Hutton
CARS HAVE CRASHED BEFORE
AS A driver of a hybrid electric vehicle for over nine years, I am naturally interested in seeing more electric vehicles on the road.
Bill Shorten wants to establish the manufacturing of electric vehicles in this country, but I think he has either a very short memory or maybe he does not want us to be reminded of some facts that we should never forget.
For many years, when we had the big four motor vehicle manufacturing companies in Australia, we were constantly being reminded by both the vehicle builders and the politicians of both sides that the profitability of the industry was very finely balanced, relying on the combined strength of all four companies to keep the builders and parts suppliers profitable.
They always stated that if one of the four companies closed, then the other three could not survive long-term.
The first company (pillar) to cease manufacturing was Mitsubishi in March 2008, when Bill Shorten was a member of the Rudd Labor government. If Mitsubishi closed, how does Mr Shorten now think he can establish and finance a new electric car manufacturing program in Australia?
The reason given at the time for the closure was the heavy operating losses incurred in spite of major capital investment. The size of the market has not changed in proportion to the world motoring market. Maybe it is now even smaller.
Wages as a proportion also have not changed, so how is Bill Shorten going to prop up an unprofitable industry this time? Will it be any different to his last time on the government benches? So far we have not been given any detailed plans. Will we see any prior to the election?