IS anyone else confused about who the Nationals are supposed to represent?
Our dairy industry is in despair, our rivers and waterways have been sold off to the highest bidders and the country is burning while enduring years of devastating drought.
Meanwhile, the leaders who were elected to represent the farmers have sold out to the mining magnates and multinationals.
They are spruiking coal, an industry that guzzles water, while the nation's food bowl, forests, rivers, fish and dams are dying.
The Murray Darling now belongs to the multinationals because most of the smaller farmers can't afford to buy their own water.
It's little wonder the youth of the world are feeling abandoned and fearful of their future. Apparently billions of dollars are much better spent on keeping victims of war on isolated islands rather than putting it into innovation and science to solve the problems we have created. We are being governed by greed and ignorance.
Wendy Brown, Anna Bay
RIGHT TO LAUD GAUDRY
IT'S not often that I agree with Joan Lambert, but her letter praising the late Bryce Gaudry (Letters, 8/10) was appropriate.
Apart from his time in politics, Bryce was active in speaking out against domestic violence and I recall about 10 years ago two brothers telling me that Bryce was the best teacher they ever had during their years at school. I was a little surprised that Ms Lambert also announced that she was a member of the Greens. Anyone who has read this paper over the past few years couldn't have been paying attention if they were not aware.
David Stuart, Merewether
TAKE GOOD WITH THE BAD
DAVID Harris (Letters, 10/10), when an objection to coal mining is made, it is usually due to environmental or pollution based reasons, in my opinion.
I can say that I have a possible alternate view. The common use of the word 'mine' is related to a hole in the ground that allows the extraction of a mineral or product. Usually the impact on the landscape is minimal. The holes in the ground that have had the coal removed through in the Hunter Valley are quarries by the Oxford Dictionary definition, as I understand.
The visual pollution and sterilisation of the surrounding land is contemptible. Why can't coal be extracted by old-style mining rather than quarrying? The direct employees, contractors and labour-hire employees of the Hunter Valley quarries are just as much victims of the mine/quarry owners as are the people who are exposed to this rape and plunder technique carried out by very large global organisations whose only allegiance is to their shareholders.
Coal must, and will, be the way for a long time yet, but alternates will phase in as coal phases out. The lazy politicians who serve us must find ways to satisfy our need for energy, a clean environment and employment for all. Self-serving slogans and a failure to see the future beyond the next election will be eliminated by an educated youth, I hope.
Please fill the voids that the coal quarries have created and return the affected land to an ongoing productive state again.
Stephen Watson, Jewells
CALL TIME ON TOLERANCE
CLIMATE scientists are urging world leaders to take actions to keep mean global atmospheric temperature rise below two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Three million years ago, in the Pliocene era, was the last time this temperature was exceeded, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels exceeded 400 parts per million.
Scientists discovered up to one third of Antarctica' ice shelf melted, and sea levels rose by up to 20 metres. They predict that if we continue our current emission trajectory the median (66 per cent probability) global sea level rise will be 1.2 metres, with two metres (5 per cent probability) a plausible upper limit by the end of this century.
This is within the lifespan of our grandchildren, and it won't stop there, yet our governments and the Minerals Council hope to increase the burning of carbon worldwide, hastening this process.
It is time we all said enough.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
MOVE A WRONG DIRECTION
IN redefining frugality, I believe lord mayor Nelmes' attempts to justify Newcastle Council's move to new rented office space (Herald, 5/10) fail both logical analysis and common sense.
Maitland is spending a lesser amount of money on its new administration building, but that also includes other civic spaces. Crucially, Maitland will own that building outright, a point Ms Nelmes totally ignores.
Newcastle, on the other hand, at the end of a 15-year lease will own no offices and will be in a weakened position when negotiating a new lease, or, worse still, face having to move again, with all the associated costs.
State Labor's position on sell-offs of public assets is clear, but has fallen on deaf Labor ears locally. ALP state conference last year heard then leader Luke Foley commit to no more privatisation.
We now have a Civic light-rail stop with no actual civic centre, a bill for the move and fit-out which council refuses to make entirely public ongoing rental payments and the last-minute addition of a luxurious additional floor.
The move to rented premises came unannounced, ratepayers becoming aware just through the media, and without prior consultation. Despite this, Ms Nelmes claims public approval "absolutely" for this move, yet one senses overwhelming community outrage at the costs involved and the many obstacles to public information. How many of us will have our rates redirected from essential services to pay the rent?
John Beach,Cooks Hill
WHY CAN'T WE JUST WAIT
I FIND it little wonder the younger generation are believers in climate change while the older wiser generation are looking for more conclusive proof.
Considering most of the young ones these days are entranced with digital information, perhaps they believe scientific theories relating to climate change diagnosed by computer analysis have to be correct, because computers don't lie.
The older generation, being worldlier, are more likely to ask how accurate are these theories and should other theories be considered. While climate scientists are using theoretical models to predict the future, I believe the question remains why others are sitting on the fence waiting for more evidence.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
LETTER OF THE WEEK
THE pen goes to David Harris for his letter on the region's coal workers.
MONDAY'S editorial regarding the late Bryce Gaudry ('Former MP leaves legacy of integrity', Opinion 7/10) says it all about Mr Gaudry. He does indeed leave a legacy of integrity, both as former local member of state parliament, and as a caring husband to Barbara. He is also remembered by many others, including myself, as always there to help people and support numerous worthy projects and community initiatives. Mr Gaudry contributed as a politician, a true Labor man, and a respected friend.
Kevin McDonald, East Seaham
ONE wonders if the gentlemen serving community service orders who assisted the wounded constabulary restrain the man at Toronto ('Get tougher', Newcastle Herald 7/10) will be credited for their efforts. I think it would be more than appropriate for their Orders to be cancelled by the authorities. I believe they have served our community.
Paul See, Merewether
WELL said, David Harris (Letters, 10/10). Good on you mate. Maybe we should start a pro-coal or anti climate change action group. But then again, people like you and I are probably too busy working to pay taxes that support the extremists and their hypocritical lifestyles. PS: I love coal.
Matt Ophir, Charlestown
CONGRATULATIONS to the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders on an entertaining and action-packed grand final last Sunday evening ('Been there, won that ... again', Herald 7/10). They are certainly two great sides, but it was such a shame the game was overshadowed by controversial refereeing decisions. I think the Roosters' victory was like the sound made by the banging of an empty: drum: hollow.
Col Parkins, Wallsend
CAN the Bulldogs go back to back and win the infamous off-season drama NRL title that will inevitably unfold over the coming weeks? The Broncos are off to a flyer, but never underestimate any NRL club or player over this exciting period on the NRL calendar. The stakes are high, some of the contestants may ride a high and the price can certainly be very high. Good luck to all.
Brad Hill, Singleton
WHY are we wasting $3 million on cannabis clinical trials (Perth Now, 6/10) when it has been used for many years in Europe and over two decades in the US? Can't we just get copies of their trials emailed down under, is that too hard? More wasting time and money when the answers are available.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
GOOD to see Scott Hillard joining the long queue of know-it-all old blokes telling Greta Thunberg what she should really be doing. Anything except annoying us comfortable, boring old blokes, Greta.
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
WHAT I find amusing about the climate alarmists is the wildly differing opinions. Some tell us that we are all doomed by 2030, but the other day I saw one telling us how high the oceans will be by 2300. It seems they just believe whatever their computer model spits out.