The council needs to take more responsibility over plastic pollution; not add to it. I was encouraged to see the Newcastle Herald's coverage of Newcastle's plastic plague ('Cleaning up the plastic plague', Herald, 7/9). It's worth adding that I've also picked up quite a few cable ties around Newcastle council works, including around council fencing at Nobbys beach, mere metres from the ocean. The council needs to be taking responsibility for their contractors rather than contributing directly to the pollution problem. A walk around the mangroves makes it clear that Hunter Water's "trash racks" are having very little impact. Councils and government agencies need to take responsibility for the environmental damage they are ignoring and even causing as it is their job to protect community interests. Better management of protected areas and plastic pollution is needed. Leaving it to dedicated citizens like Rusty Cherkas and Michael Gormly to do what they can in the face of this overwhelming existential threat is unacceptable.
Eliza Milliken, Mayfield
Case for change heats up
LOOKING at the current fires in Australia reminds me that the Australian bush is an artificial environment which was developed by the regular burning. Now I look at the NPWS attitude within the parks they manage. The original Australians would gather in their groups and all would have their fires and the timber would be collected from the areas around. The NPWS put signs up banning fires and the collecting of ground fall fuel for the use in the belief that the insects and microbes habitat should not be damaged. This helps the build-up of the ground fuel allowing the increased chance of a hot fire which then allows the chance of a crowning fire. If an extremely hot fire goes through it not only destroys the small plants it boils the sap in the trees killing the tree. The heat also causes the annihilation of all, leaving a completely sterile condition, no animals, birds, insects and microbes etc. I believe that their methods and logic are wrong and are doing more damage than good. I then look at the communities who call for more hazard reductions but leave it to a small number of volunteers to donate their own time to try and do all the work in protecting the community. A community should share the load. It's not fair that a few do all the work.
D Andrews, Tarro
Get real with recycling
LAST week I spent five hours at the John Hunter Hospital for a 'procedure'. Although running a little bit late, the system ran well and the staff were wonderful. However, in chatting to staff I discovered the John Hunter Hospital has no recycling program at all. Not for paper, plastic etc ... nothing. The amount of plastic used in a hospital is enormous - plastic is used in theatre and examination rooms just to name a couple. In the baby wards, milk is decanted from glass bottles into 'one use/throw away' plastic bottles. None of the paper is recycled - and I was told some staff print off all their emails to 'read later'. We can and should be doing better. If John Hunter Hospital would like, I can pop on over and organise a recycling program for them ... just call.
Annette Gillies, The Junction
High time to save hill
WHEN in Lake Macquarie recently, I took the opportunity to climb Munibung Hill and was pleasantly surprised, no, amazed at the magnificent panoramic view of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle from this easily accessible spot. I could not help but think, what a significant historical landmark; but it's not on the must-save list. People would have stood there over time and watched the city grow maybe even through the ages watch the lake fill. Don't take my word for it. Take the time and make the climb, enjoy the view and remind your councillors how important it is to save these areas before they are lost forever to urban creep. Councillors, while the opportunity still exists (because once gone, gone forever) leave a legacy of a green belt, historical vista and significant amenity for locals and visitors. Funding is often not about availability but prioritising where it will be spent, move Munibung onto the list. Secure it for the public forever.
Garry Watkins, Parkville
Reconsider your talent
I WOULD like to concur with Alan Kendall (Letters, 7/9) regarding Australia's Got Talent. I have watched both Britain's Got Talent for many years and also Australia's Got Talent. I, like Mr Kendall, cannot understand bringing in guest judges each semi-final and giving them the power to send one out of two into the finals. By all means bring in a guest judge who has some credentials (example Todd McKenney) and leave him or her in for all the semi-finals without the power of the golden buzzer. As for Nicole Scherzinger, if she is a judge next year I will not be watching. Someone should tell her the show is for the contestants and not her. Why she has to stand during every act and scream out is beyond me. Let the artists do their thing without her "lime lighting" for attention.
Barrie Wrightson, Wallsend
Lifted during breakdown
ON Friday September 6 at 4.45pm, my car broke down on Industrial Drive. The words "worst place, worst time" spring to mind. I was in the far lane getting ready to turn right onto Tourle Street, when masses of smoke poured from the bonnet and the engine stopped. For the next half hour I stood next to the car with hazard lights flashing, while waiting for help, as commuters had to navigate their way out of my lane. I'm sure it was the last thing drivers needed as they were heading home, and I know it caused lengthy delays. I am very grateful to those who asked if I was OK. Fortunately I was given assistance from Seaton at Roads and Maritime Service. He towed me out of the active lane to a safer spot on the side of the road. He was helpful, cheerful and very supportive. If you were one of the drivers who offered kind words, support and help to the owner of a little blue Fiesta, I thank you. There are lots of good people out there.
Vicki Hughes, Nelson Bay
Hope to heartache
THANKS for the way my team the Newcastle Knights once again buckled at the knees, I now have to enjoy the remarks from my mates who unfortunately follow teams firmly entrenched in the Top Four finals teams. I expected too much and too little was delivered. How could some of those fellows who played on Sunday possibly go on a Mad Monday to celebrate the season? Possibly 6 or 7 should go but the others should be made to mow the grass at No.1 Sportsground as they are not worthy of mowing McDonald Jones Stadium. I'm thoroughly disgusted. I haven't waited since 1999 for this rubbish. Heaven help our new coach.
Wal Remington, Mount Hutton
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
THANK you to Scott Bevan and Rusty Cherkas for drawing attention to the problem of discarded cable ties ('Cleaning up the plastic plague', Newcastle Herald, 7/9). I pick these up when walking too, and bemoan the carelessness of fencers and tradespeople who discard this plastic so thoughtlessly. In the suburbs, another plastic menace is whipper snipper cord. Both are great inventions but need to be disposed of in the right manner. With wonderful recycling services in this region there is no excuse for such littering.
Wendy Webb, Belmont
REGARDING Joanne McCarthy's article 'howling at the moon' (Weekender, 7/9). I laughed and cried all the way through your article Joanne, truly a remarkable testament to the wonderful Lloyd. I have enjoyed over the years reading of Lloyd's adventures and the trials and tribulations therewith. The love of a dog and for a dog is a special and everlasting miracle that cannot be surpassed. I wish you well. Love the photo by the way, and I do hope you have enough love for another dog to change your life.
Amanda Fry, Swansea Heads
THANK you Nathan Brown for your service. Last game no Nathan, who's fault was that? Start fresh next year boys and in the off season see if you can find some pride. I know as a Novocastrian I have heaps.
Darryl Horne, Waratah
THE federal government is boasting about having billions on the table to invest in water infrastructure. I question why this money has not been released to the states enabling new dams to be built sooner. I believe that of 19 new dams built since 2003, 16 have been in Tasmania. We need to act now to provide water for the future and not be complacent. I urge our citizens to speak to their local federal member, and petition also.
Val Scott, Singleton
WHY not drug test all staff at Parliament House too? There's a slope and it's beginning to get slippery.
Samuel Rogers, Redhead
ON September 14 it will be 20 years since the first resident moved into the Essington Apartments in Pacific Street, Newcastle. The former 1960 Irene Hall Nurses Home at Royal Newcastle Hospital, it was named for Essington Lewis 'I Am Work', the enigmatic 1920s manager of the Newcastle BHP. In 1999 it was the largest apartment building in the Newcastle CBD with 79 apartments, and it was the impetus for many other apartment blocks to be built in the area. I have happily lived there for 19 years,
Suzanne Martin, Newcastle
I WATCHED a car race the other day with all electric cars and all you could hear is a whine. So East Enders; hang in there and in a few years we can all enjoy a little whine together. Problem solved.
Mick Miller, Salamander Bay
JACQUI Lambie is arguing we should drug test parliamentarians. While she's at it she should include the ubiquitous staffers that hang around parliamentarians. They are the ones coming up with the wacky ideas and they too are on publicly-funded welfare.