THE elephant in the room at Newcastle Airport that doesn't seem to get much attention is the 10pm curfew.
The current situation where flights must be on the ground by 10pm, or request an extension, seems to be extremely ad hoc. Last week at least one flight from Melbourne was not granted a 20-minute extension, causing the flight to be cancelled. A similar situation occurred the week before.
Apart from the considerable expense, inconvenience and flow-on affects to flight schedules, I imagine this situation must be a massive deterrent to airlines considering flying in and out of Newcastle Airport.
I can imagine airline management would be hesitant to risk being subject to what seems to be a very unreasonable situation.
Greg Blue, Warners Bay
HUNTER'S MINERS HAVE A DIG
I AM wondering yet again why the public opinion of so many in and around the Hunter seems to be so negative towards coal mines and in particular coal miners.
I have worked in the industry for 10 years directly and another six years indirectly, with almost all of my friends and families' main income also coming from mining.
I am the youngest of four boys born and raised in the commission home area of Weston. My stepfather was a returned conscripted Vietnam veteran and worked as a delivery driver. Money was scarce, holidays were non-existent, but we had meals every day and and a roof over our heads, don't get me wrong. We just always want more for our kids. All four of us boys escaped the welfare dependence cycle that exists in the low socio-economic social housing.
We have all obtained trades and furthered our careers, and now all work in various roles throughout the mining industry. We all pay income tax; mine alone last year was $57,000. I personally can't believe how lucky I am to be able to work in such a great industry. Maybe some people who dislike miners should understand the real success behind mining is the workforce it employs.
David Harris, Weston
COMMUTERS COP SENTENCE
WE are informed by Supercars that they will be closing Wharf Road from Watt Street to Horseshoe Beach to start construction for the 2019 Newcastle 500 from next Monday. East End residents will again be faced with weeks of heavy trucks transporting concrete and steel, and numerous and noisy cranes blocking our roads. We will be overrun with traffic controllers and their stop/go lollipops instructing us how, when and where we can go. It is interesting to note with the closure of Wharf Road, the car parking is also closed. There are over 200 car parking spaces which, from Monday to Friday, most are taken at a cost of (at least) $8 per day, per vehicle. These car spaces are mainly used by people who reside in outer areas of Newcastle, but work in the East End.
I believe Supercars not only inconvenience East end residents, but they create problems for a lot of others. They tell us this parking will not be available again until December 13, a total of nine weeks. If one does the sums, this is a potential loss of revenue to the council of over $70,000.
This loss of revenue would have gone a long way to paying for some of the expenses required in the council's move to their new administration offices.
John Fear, Newcastle East
HOORAY IF YOU CAN PAY
HEADING for the life of a self funded retiree I don't understand John Davies (Letters, 7/10). If he supports the self-funded being allowed to reduce their minimum income, that's their choice. Remember, you can earn almost $50,000 a year and still receive a part pension.
If the idea is to reduce income to throw themselves on the public purse just to preserve their capital, I don't think so. Many, including those on the $24,250 pension and $37,500 minimum wage, would rightfully object. No amount of disinformation on assets and death taxes would change that.
Colin Fordham, Lambton
QUESTIONS IN THE PLAZA
THE news that a building called Darby Plaza that will be built on part of the rail corridor ('Darby Plaza gets council nod', Herald 18/9) made me ask a few questions.
To what extent will this edifice block views of the harbour? I seem to remember that one of the excuses for closing the railway was that it blocked views of the harbour. Just how that could have been is beyond me.
How will this building affect access from the city centre to the harbour? How many people will live or work here? How will they commute, and will public transport cope once this and other proposed developments are completed and occupied? In my opinion the alleged problems caused by the railway were problems that were perceived by some; they were not real, unlike the problems that people will have to deal with due to the constricted access that is now afflicting the city. How long will it be before the powers that be, both government and corporate, wake up to the fact that closing the railway and putting the light rail in Hunter Street was a bad mistake? What will they do then?
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
DITCH IT AND ACCEPT ERRORS
THE NRL has created its own monster. I suspect that with so much gambling money hanging on getting the results right, the NRL have attempted to create on-field perfection with decision making. We now have two referees, two lines people and who knows how many sitting in the bunker. We can have replays from a multitude of angles in an effort to ensure mistakes are not made. With all of this going on, the expectations of fans and commentators are that we will get perfection. However, mistakes are still being made. With everyone's expectations now raised to a much higher level, the criticism comes thick and fast from all directions.
If the NRL has failed to achieve its desired perfection, why should it not go back to the one referee and two lines people and no bunker? Then everybody watching might appreciate that referees will make mistakes. We will not have perfection, and so expectations will come down to a more reasonable level. Sanity might then be restored.
Daryll Hadfield, Redhead
HEAD COUNT HURTS WORLD
OUR climate problem is caused by population explosion all over the world. The writing is on the wall if we don't contain population growth. While the rate of births exceed the rate of natural demise, then the world is in for human eradication. There simply will not be enough food or infrastructure to support and sustain us. Protest all you like, but it won't change the obvious: regulate and control growth, otherwise your children and existing grandchildren will have no future.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
STEVEN Busch (Short Takes, 8/10): give it a rest mate. Daylight savings started 53 years ago in NSW. Build a bridge and get over it.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
THE sky is falling, the end is nigh ... what a load of hogwash. I believe these demonstrators have a lot to answer for; disrupting the travel of ordinary hard-working Australians, and filling the heads of children with a load of clap-trap about the weather.
Don Fraser, Belmont
ONE of the fun things about global warming is that it is all happening in 2030 or 2050 when the world will come to an end as we know it. Many of us will be dead by then and will never know. Lately, however, the Greens and the lefties are saying 18 months to five years is the time frame. Luckily we may still be alive. I have kept many reports of doom (Tim Flannery's comments and IPCC reports are the best) and look forward to saying "What a load of rubbish".
John Hollingsworth, Hamilton
MALCOLM Turnbull blames government policies for Australians paying near world record power prices (The Australian, 8/10). The Australian responds with the energy minister saying that the Morrison government is why Australians are paying lower power prices (8/10). As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. That being said, my proof is in the figure at the bottom of my power bill and keeps growing ever three months compared to the same time the previous year, so I have a fair idea which of these comments I believe.
Les Baldwin, Pelican
IF Greta Thunberg, barefoot and clad in sackcloth and ashes, walked the highways of the earth to spread her message, no doubt Scott Hilliard (Short Takes, 5/10) would take his lead from Peter Dutton and say she should be arrested for obstructing traffic (SMH 3/10). I think his real issue is with the message, not the messenger. Even if it was delivered by a squadron of angels, I believe Mr Shillard would find a way to dismiss it. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old schoolgirl, is fighting for an inhabitable world. People like Scott Hillard are trying to stop her. Who is truly deserving of our contempt, scorn and ridicule?
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
LIKE the majority, I've been totally disappointed with the free-to-air TV of the last decade (or two). Who hasn't been? Most family and friends have pay TV for greater variety. I was advised of the existence of Sky News on WIN on channel 53 just this week. I re-checked the Newcastle and Sydney TV program guides and found there was not even a mention of this channel whatsoever. It looks like it may be a mid-north coast transmission. I find this newly-found station has a refreshing, alternative interpretation of news items and is in my opinion certainly worth a look.
Allan Searant, Charlestown
CESSNOCK Combined Probus Club, the first new club in the Hunter for more than 20 years, will hold its first meeting at Cessnock Leagues Club on October 22 from 10am. For more information call 1300 630 488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org