I READ many negative letters regarding the Supercars racing in Newcastle. I would like to see more positive energy in moving Newcastle forward by a more professional group of people involved in tourism of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. I believe there may be a group or groups of people who promote events in Newcastle when they are happening, but not so much before the events happen.
This promotional job needs the right people who will promote and show the great events that come to Newcastle and sell us to the world. A good start would be to get our cruise terminal up and running, but at Lee Wharf. A building that could house our maritime museum, Customs and an information centre at Lee Wharf would be right near Honeysuckle and the Wickham interchange. It would also be an attractive welcome area to greet passengers disembarking or embarking on some of the cruise ships just waiting to come to Newcastle.
Just think of the thousands of people disembarking in Eden at the multi-million dollar cruise terminal in the future. When they get on the wharf, they will wonder where the bloody hell they are.
Newcastle has a lot to offer, we just need to get the message out there a bit better.
OK, so only a couple of hundred thousand people enjoy watching the Supercars race in Newcastle, but while watching the race it is hard to believe this is actually happening in Newcastle. Then, watch the race that has been recorded from Foxtel and hear the commentary rave about our wonderful town. I can't wait for November.
John Freund, Adamstown Heights
THROW THE STONES AWAY
LIKE most Australians I am currently filled with disgust and shame because of the stance taken by our federal government ('PM won't intervene for Tamil family', Newcastle Herald, 3/9). Neither the Minister for Home Affairs nor the Prime Minister displays a scintilla of humanity to me. What a sorry state of affairs when unswerving adherence to policies overrides compassion. What a sorry image of Australia and Australian people for the world.
Look back a couple of thousand years. A woman is about to be stoned to death for adultery. But with the words, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. No one moved, and "they went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last".
I fear that if our current leaders had been there, they would have picked up and hurled that first stone. Just to prevent a flood of women rushing to commit adultery.
Shame, Australia. Where is our compassionate, inclusive society?
Jim Wright, Fassifern
DON'T LET TALENT ROT
WHAT a farce the Seven network is making of the program Australia's Got Talent. In my opinion the two contestants who were moved through to the finals were a joke. The so-called magician would have been entertaining for a six-year-old's birthday party and the woman simply screeched her head off. I believe the golden buzzer should not be used in the semi-finals as it is unfair. All of the contestants should be allowed to perform and then the best two moved through to the finals. Video clips of performances coming up should not be shown. Imagine the effect that would have had on Susan Boyle's performance. The females in the show scream and act like teenagers at a pop concert. I am not the only one being turned off by the way the show has been produced; many of my friends share my opinion.
Alan Kendall, Neath
HYDRO OFFERS AN ANSWER
THERE is no "hype about pumped hydro" suggested by your editorial ('Post-election Labor leans back to coal', Herald, 29/8). It is more the quiet achiever. Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) systems were first commissioned in Europe in the 1920s, and these systems now account for 97 per cent of energy storage systems worldwide. They provide the cheapest form of large energy storage available, and can be readily developed to balance an electricity grid with up to 100 per cent of variable wind and solar renewable. These systems simply require a low level water reservoir, often part of a river system, and a high level water reservoir connected by pipes with a pump and a turbine. Water is pumped uphill when there is an excess of generating capacity and returned downhill to power the turbine when electricity demand exceeds supply.
Reservoirs require modest areas, typically 10 to 100 hectares, and the systems recycle rather than consume water. PHES systems typically deliver maximum power for between five and 24 hours, depending on reservoir capacity. An investigation by the Australian National University (ANU) has identified 22,000 sites across Australia suitable for the installation of PHES systems. The report concludes that Australia needs only 450 gigawatt hours of storage capacity and 20 gigawatts of generation power spread across a few dozen sites to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity system. This could be provided by the best 0.1 per cent of the identified sites, occupying a total area of just 3600 hectares, about 0.005 per cent of Australia's land area.
Fast-tracked development of these sites could see them completed ahead of the planned retirement of ageing coal plants.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
IT'S A MATTER OF REASON
I WONDER if Robert Dillon ('Frustrated fans vote with their feet', Herald, 2/9) would have taken his family to the Knights game last Saturday if they had to stand or sit out in the open all afternoon in those conditions.
In my opinion it's easy to make assumptions about supporters not turning up when you are watching the rain sweeping across the ground from the confines of the press box. The Knights supporters may be loyal, but days like last Saturday test even the best of them. I would say many of those who weren't there on Saturday voted with their heads and not their feet.
Barry Reed, Islington
THE DECISIONS ARE MADE
HEAR hear, Howard Hutchins (Letters, 3/9). At last, somebody who has a grip on the reality of setting a precedent.
When will these bleeding hearts get the message that the people smugglers are sitting waiting and watching for us to fail this test ('Morrison and Dutton defend against boat arrival backlash', Herald, 3/9)?
Come to Australia through the right channels. It has been determined through multiple courts these people are not eligible to stay as refugees.
Bev O'Hara, Hamilton
LETTER OF THE WEEK
THE pen goes to Georgina Woods for her letter on transitioning communities away from coal.