RECYCLING is a great idea, but unfortunately it is not working well. The bulk of the product that goes to recycling stations is contaminated, often rendering it unusable. The contamination occurs at our yellow wheelie bins before being collected by the waste management contractors.
We, as householders, have a responsibility to ensure that the items we place in the yellow bin are actually categorised or fit for recycling.
I am ignorant as to what can and what cannot be recycled. For example, cardboard coffee cups, the blue caps on milk bottles, plastic milkshake containers. The list goes on. I am certain that I am not alone in not knowing right from wrong. We, the general public, need to be better educated on this issue. Labelling needs to be clearer so that we can be sure the item is actually able to be recycled.
This is not rocket science, and it should be easy to comprehend. If the people in charge of waste management at local, state and federal government levels are reading this, please take positive steps to educate us all so that we can be better recyclers.
Stan Keifer, Arakoon
BANG ON FOR SOLUTIONS
I, LIKE many others, am not concerned at the amount of so-called banging on about climate change, but I believe the conversation has to be had between smart, level-headed people who take notice of the scientists' findings. These people are concerned that if climate change is happening, what can we do and how long do we have to do it before it becomes irreversible?
If it becomes irreversible, then we will be responsible for doing nothing and leaving it for generations to come. Brad Hill's rather poor attempts at jokes make me think he has a business and is interested in what dollars he can make out of coal and those who work in the coal industry.
I worked in a local company for 32 years which relied on manufacturing products for the coal industry, but while I hope that the company continues to be successful I now look at what renewables are doing for Australians and jobs. I believe people for generations to come will have jobs in these renewable industries, so I suggest Mr Hill stop "banging on" and let the informed, level-headed people listen to the scientists and continue discussions, as my book of useless information is just about full.
Wayne Grant, Waratah
ARMCHAIR EXPERTS GRATE
SENSIBLE adults who are aware of circumstances collapsing around them in society and the environment are taking action to find the culprit and hopefully seek a solution. Climate change deniers are having their views well-publicised.
Those of us who accept the science, data and apparent consequences of the damage presently experienced in the environment agree it is due to changes in the weather. We invite the armchair authorities to go back to school and become informed like the children of today. I haven't yet seen an influx of letters, information or rallies denying climate change by school children. They are too smart these days and know where their bread and butter comes from. The word 'coward' comes to mind to describe people who don't have the courage to admit defeat and help fix the problem. The deniers must accept those days are gone and putting their head in the sand won't bring it back.
What I don't find surprising is that the very people, who should be taking action by informing their workplaces, striking and taking time out from their busy lives chasing rainbows are not doing so. They are most likely the largest group contributing to emissions and their children are the ones campaigning.
Pat Garnet, Wickham
HOME WOES TRUMP POTUS
OUR prime minister must be very, very pleased with himself now that his fellow/friend Donald Trump has turned to him, Morrison, of all people for help with the never-ending challenges the President of the United States appears to face ('Trump wanted contact details: PM', Herald 3/10).
I believe I am not alone in hoping Mr Morrison does not go ahead and assist Mr Trump. For one thing, Scott clearly struggles with his own job; and for another I rely on a very old adage: lie down with the dogs, get up with the fleas.
We implore Mr Morrison to leave his friend Trump to his own machinations, and concentrate on those issues that matter to 'ordinary' Australians.
They include climate change, responsible aid to drought-stricken farmers, detention centres offshore where refuge seekers are held in shameful conditions, and decent unemployed people subsisting on Newstart. And so on; the list is long.
Suzanne Russell, Rivett
PENSIONERS NEED RELIEF
WITH interest rates of return now almost zero, it's about time that minimum pension draw-down rates were slashed. While those on a government pension can live with an assured pension payment and have had their deeming rates slashed, increasing their pensions, self-funded retirees receiving no government pensions have to hold significant funds in cash to pay the minimum draw down percentage of up to 14 per cent.
This exposes these retirees to risk, as they can be forced to sell assets and possibly suffer capital losses in order to have enough cash to pay the minimum pension draw-down ranging from 4 to 14 per cent of their total superannuation fund assets.
The thing that riles most about the application of the minimum draw-down is that it was imposed originally to stop people accumulating money in a low taxed environment to provide an inheritance for families. This has seriously changed with the Government capping tax free assets and also imposing a 17 per cent death tax on unused assets that have been concessionally taxed.
John Davies, Newcastle East
NUMBERS ON THE RISE
I AM writing in response to a statement that the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) restricts radiologist numbers ('Shortage sends scans overseas', Herald 2/10). This is incorrect, and in fact the college has worked with much success over recent years to increase trainee numbers.
In the past seven years, there has been a 28 per cent increase in the number of practicing radiologists in Australia. In NSW, there has been a 38 per cent increase in the number of clinical radiology trainees in our training program.
Access to high quality medical imaging is crucial to the delivery of effective healthcare in both our hospitals and our communities. Our radiologists are among the most highly trained in the world, and we will keep working with our training hospitals to ensure that this continues.
Dr Lance Lawler, RANZCR president
IF anybody doubts Newcastle's nightlife is still alive and well they only need to follow the trails of vomit down Hunter Street footpaths on Monday mornings that are still there on Wednesdays. There are still plenty of damaged shop windows too. More please. No, leave the trading hours alone.
Peter Phillis, Merewether
JIM Bell (Short Takes, 3/10), my bet is Greta will be living the high life on the millions she will make from the snake oil she sells. We won't have to wait until 2050 if Greta is to be believed; 2029 is D-day for the true believers. Surely, if the science is correct, my beachfront home will be inundated within a couple of years one would think. How about you come over for New Year's 2025 and see how it's going? Your shout.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
IF the government thinks the recent rate cut will boost the economy, one might ask why the previous ten cuts have not. In theory it should not have required all of these cuts, so something is not working. Maybe they need to look outside of the square. The constant rate cut is taking money out of the pockets of pensioners. These are the people who are more likely to spend money and keep the economy running, especially in the country towns that depend on the grey nomad dollar.
Alan Kendall, Neath
$5 MILLION sounds like a lot of money to me to rearrange the environs of what was the Civic train station ('Civic park opens space to museum', Herald 2/10). It looks very bitsy for that sort of money. And why did they have to put a meandering swathe of concrete through neighbouring Brake Block Park when there was already a footpath past the shops and the little vineyard from and to the same spots? There has actually been a net loss of green space in this part of town.
Ray Dinneen, Newcastle
BARNEY Langford (Letters, 30/9) corrected comments about the Children's Crusade of 1212. But people should be aware that two crusades that year were started by children, Nicholas of Cologne and Stephen of Cloyes. Both included many children and adults just as with the climate strike. The climate strike may well be an expression of a 21st century cult of innocents, a sort of sacrificial rite in which the innocents give themselves up for the fight (on Fridays) to stop climate change. The Joan of Arc analogy was also appropriate. She was betrayed for money by her own people after her religious obsession led her to pursue suicidal defeats. Today, she would be diagnosed as schizophrenic, medicated and working happily.
Peter Devey, Merewether
I BELIEVE we have a government that is sitting on its hands, tinkering around the edges. A parliament of politicians, or should they be called court jesters, name-calling and using distraction tactics to prevent ethical debate on important issues while our country becomes drier by the day. Houses will potentially burn to the ground with not enough water to extinguish the flames (The Land, 2/9); businesses struggling to survive and a Labor party retreating into timidity after its May defeat. Have the brave decision-makers put up the white flag?