THANKS to Greg Piper for sharing a concept plan for an alternative to the controversial development proposed for Bath Street ('Floating fresh idea for Lake', NewcastleHerald 9/8). What will attract people to Toronto is enhancement of the beautiful natural environment that has attracted people to the Toronto area for more than 100 years. The construction of a multi-level, multi- purpose building in this location is so inappropriate and, in my opinion, will not attract visitors or tourists to our town.
There is no apparent need for a commercial building in this area, with the business centre still largely single storey and having periodic vacancies. Similarly, the need for visitor accommodation is increasing to meet demand but sites are still undeveloped in Brighton Avenue and Victory Parade.
If there was a demand for more holiday accommodation, the Brighton Avenue site seems far more suitable. It has expansive views over the lake and is a very short stroll to restaurants, the foreshore and shopping. The Bath Street site provides a unique opportunity, as shown in this concept plan, to strengthen Toronto's unique appeal and natural location on the lake shore.
Wilton Ainsworth, Kilaben Bay
MAN UP AND BUTT OUT
WHEN are the men in parliament and society in general, going to listen to women regarding their right to choose whether they have an abortion or not? Men, shut up on the issue. If you don't agree with abortion, who cares, you will never need to have one.
Abortion is healthcare, not contraception. The choice is for the woman, not men she doesn't know. Men should be there to support women who decide go through with an abortion. It is hard enough for the woman to make a decision, let alone having middle-class white men ostracising women for their right to choose. Their human right.
To the people against abortion I have a simple message that I heard at a rally in Newcastle a couple of weeks ago; if you don't support abortion, don't have one.
Ryan Adamson, Hamilton South
DON'T FILL PRECIOUS SPACE
THANKS to both State MP Greg Piper and Lake Macquarie councillor Wendy Harrison for your insight in recent Newcastle Herald articles ('Floating fresh idea for Lake', Herald 9/8; "Call for foreshore rethink', Herald 10/8). Both parties' sentiments regarding the proposed six-storey high rise on foreshore land in Toronto are in line with what the local community are advocating. We do not want to lose this precious open space.
Mr Piper put forward an idea of an amphitheatre or space for festivals, and at a weekend workshop discussing the Toronto master plan this idea was overwhelmingly supported. He expressed his concern that if a six-storey development is built on the site, the land would be lost to the community forever, and a "flawed process" is how Ms Harrison described the proposed development. She insisted the council should listen to what the community is telling them.
All references to this proposed six-storey development refer to the parcel of land as council-owned. Please remember that ratepayers are the actual owners, and 5000 of us signed a petition asking for no high rise.
Carole Obre, Toronto
LIP SERVICE IS LACKING
I DON'T believe John Bradford (Short Takes, 10/8) read further than the first paragraph of my letter (Letters, 7/8). That being the case, I have no further comment to make other than to thank people who are trying to evoke conversation and suggestions regarding the cruel slaughter and dehumanisation by the British colonisation after their invasion in 1770, affecting Australia's first people.
They deserve more than lip service and second class recognition. They are human beings from the oldest civilisation on the planet. This issue is as important as climate change and far more important than how the Knights football is faring, the debacle around the outrageous mess caused by the councils train truncation, Supercars, religious validity et al. I am insulted by John Bradford's elucidation that I am whingeing, and he is "sure that someone will agree or disagree with me".
Pat Garnet, Wickham
PARK POSSIBILITY MISSED
I FIND it strange that after 100 years of Newcastle being a dirty, smelly, industrial city and slowly escaping this image as inner Newcastle becomes a heavily-condensed suburb consisting of steel, glass and concrete with little if any trees or green space, people are wishing the only remaining patch of hope for much-needed green space to become an eyesore for thousands of containers serviced by thousands of trucks running day and night.
This is one issue on which the green movement could make a stand that would actually be seen by far more than their usual small percentage of supporters as doing the right thing.
University of Newcastle students, who usually are behind anything said to save the planet, are also failing to recognise and act to save this one chance of putting nature before profit. Surely I am not alone in hoping to give Newcastle something most cities can only dream about: a central, waterside park to offset the growing condensed living Newcastle is becoming. Even Newcastle council appear to have missed this opportunity.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
TRANSFERS ARE NO DRAMA
ROBERT Green (Short Takes, 7/8) what is your obsession with not wanting to change modes of transport at our new interchange? The transfer from the train to tram is seamless.
Let me tell you what my elderly friends did at the other end or their journey. They caught a bus outside their home at Guildford and travelled to Parramatta, where they boarded a train for Strathfield. From there they transferred to another platform to board the train to Newcastle, and all this again for their return journey.
What I was saying in my "gushing" letter was that the light rail trip is far superior to the old heavy rail because it delivered us much closer to where we wanted to go. With my elderly friend in a wheelchair, alighting at the old Civic or Newcastle stations would have been too far from our destinations.
Les Field, Wickham
POKER FACE NOT REQUIRED
I HAVE been as big a fan of Kalyn Ponga as anyone, but in my opinion the sight of him joking with Parramatta players after just losing their sixth game in a row and all but eliminating themselves from the finals ('Six and out', Newcastle Herald 12/8), was disgraceful for long-suffering fans.
David Klemmer's reaction was the one fans want to see from Knights players.