SO the State Parole Authority will allow Berwyn Rees to leave prison ('Killer blow', Newcastle Herald, 9/8). For those too young to remember, during a 1977 robbery at a gun shop in Bondi, Rees ordered the shop manager and a customer, Raymond James and Christopher Greenfield, to lay face down on the floor and then shot them both in the back of the head.
These were not your ordinary, everyday murders. They were execution-style. I believe there is a difference.
Three years later, at Mount Sugarloaf, Rees was confronted by Sergeant Keith Haydon, who had been called to investigate shots in the bush. To prevent Sergeant Haydon getting hold of his weapon, Rees shot and executed him.
A short time later in Beresfield, Rees was stopped for a traffic matter by Constable Alex Pietruszka. On alighting from his vehicle he shot Constable Pietruszka, who fortunately survived.
Now, the parole board is ready to release him. It has been proven that Rees killed three men, some doing their jobs and a customer minding his own business, at the drop of a hat. The families of the victims have all been given a life sentence without possibility of parole. Where is the justice in that?
Bill Snow, Stockton
BREXIT MAY BRING CHANGES
I FEAR a side effect of Brexit is that Australia will be sunk into insoluble constitutional crisis.
How do we know who the queen is? She is not named or defined in the Constitution itself. The preamble, however, says that the Commonwealth of Australia is to be under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It also says that the provisions of the Act constituting the Commonwealth of Australia shall extend to Queen Victoria's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, if there is no more United Kingdom after Brexit because Scotland (and maybe Northern Ireland) will have left it, then I believe there can be no more sovereignty of the United Kingdom and therefore no more queen of it. This will apply in exactly the same way that because there is no more Soviet Union there is therefore no more president of it, even though Mikhail Gorbachev himself is still alive. Being queen of just England may not be enough.
Australia would have no monarch, which I believe would mean the Governor-General will represent no-one and nothing more can happen because there will be no font of power for it. If we hurry, we can maintain continuity by having the queen in her remaining days transfer all her powers, rights, duties, privileges, allegiances and so on to the office of Governor-General, the holder of which would then exercise them on behalf of the Australian people. Ditto for each state.
I believe we have to face the fact that if we do nothing, Brexit means that there will be no more mummy's skirt for us to cling to and that we may have complete chaos here as well. The queen will disappear, regardless of us. We have to grow up right now and take full control of our own affairs.
Grant Agnew, Coopers Plains
SANDS MAY SHIFT IN TIME
LAKE Macquarie is doing it again. There's now talk of having Catho's loading jetty protected ('Council yet to support heritage plan for jetty', Herald 10/8), although it was originally built with the understanding that the structure was to be removed at the cessation of mining there.
It's just like Stuff-Up Island just north of Pelican, and now the massive island quickly growing west of the Swansea Bridge. When will they learn that if something is not done to the Swansea channel, there will be no need to build the desperately needed high-level bridge ('Bridging gap as sea rises', Herald /8) because they will be able to just lay a bit of hot mix over the island and we will be able to drive over that instead.
Just like the forecast of sea water inundation in the lower areas of the lake, they need to talk to a few of the old timers who will tell them that council was mooting this stuff 70 years ago.
Just because they have a so-called global warming expert saying these areas are going to disappear because they have a degree, it does not mean that they really know for certain what they are spruiking is fact. Experience does not come from books, it comes from living.
I believe the council would do better to spend their ratepayers' money on things that are important and limit their hairy-fairy ideas that in reality are only an opinion or theory that will only be tested as time goes by. The council has to remember that they are only there because of the ballot box, and the same box can also deliver their exit.
Dennis Crampton, Redhead
GO WEST, STRUNG-OUT MAN
THERE has been a flood of articles about traffic congestion in the major cities, along with a range of suggestions to alleviate the situation, such as more roads, more efficient public transport and addressing the lack of infrastructure ('Hunter view of audit, UK deal', Herald 14/8).
Not once have I seen any mention to the real solution - decentralisation. A few decades ago, it was a hot topic but it seems to have fallen by the wayside. Why? It is time that we gave serious consideration to getting people out of the major cities and into rural and regional areas where they can experience a better lifestyle and spend less time getting to and from work.
Businesses need to be provided with incentives to relocate out of the cities. Such incentives might involve local governments providing parcels of land, rent-free for a decade or two, the federal government providing tax concessions to businesses that relocate and even some other incentives.
Retired people should be encouraged to depart the city for quieter environments in the county. I know, I know you are going to say they need adequate health services, recreational facilities, etc. Well the state government should work towards ensuring that these are established. If old folk moved from the hustle and bustle of the city life, this would free-up housing as well.
Decentralisation is the way to go.
Stan Keifer, Arakoon
CONSIDER RISKS OF GAS PLAN
I DON'T wish to burst the bubble, but that is what can happen when a ship carrying LPG berths, fills and departs from a terminal less than a kilometre from Stockton and a chemical plant ('Gas pump', Herald 14/8). I believe it's no wonder Port Botany doesn't want this risk. Nor should Newcastle.
There has to be places further away from residences that would be a safer option. Having once trained in the use of explosives, I was taught all safety requirements must be considered and carried out before execution of operation, as should be carried out here.