IN reply to Eddie Niszczot (Short Takes, 1/11); Uluru has as long as I have lived (76 years) been a religious site for our Indigenous people and certainly much longer than that. Maybe not you, but quite a few Australians have religious sites within Australia or somewhere around the world that are either man-made or just some place they regard as such.
Uluru belongs to our Indigenous people; they and they alone have the right to close off the walk on Uluru. We must allow them to make decisions for themselves, and we must certainly obey these decisions good or bad. Readers, I'm of English/Scottish stock, not indigenous. Personally I just think they should be shown an Aussie fair go or goodonya.
Wal Remington, Mount Hutton
LINKING WITH HIGHER POWER
I CLIMBED Ayers Rock (Uluru) late last century. Physically climbing that rock, I believe, put the experience into a personal national perspective; near the centre of Australia, the island continent, with a nation for one continent and a continent for one nation. No other nation can make that claim.
I made the effort to climb and then stood on top, looking out over the desert from horizon to horizon. It was an emotional and almost spiritual experience. The chain handrail up the first part of the climb is the only really steep part of the climb. It was a pity that John Davies (Letters, 28/10) decided not to climb. Standing on the ground looking up at the rock, it looks much the same as you have seen on TV. People should in my opinion not waste their time visiting the rock just to see it from the ground. Without climbing the rock, I believe it is an emotionally flat experience.
At the time of my climb, I understood local Aboriginal people had no problem with visitors climbing the rock and the local culture was respected. In the Himalaya, Mt Everest (Sagarmatha) is sacred to all Nepalese. Many people have died climbing it, but every year the Nepalese still welcome back hundreds of people to climb it.
I believe Australians should still be allowed to climb Ayers Rock free from religious, tribal and political interference.
Peter Devey, Merewether
TAKE WARNING OUT OF FRAME
SPEED camera warnings have been a standing joke and criticism of the public since they were introduced, and the only ones that complain are the idiots that are caught in spite of them.
Most slow at the warnings and then speed again immediately they are past the camera. The cameras were never meant to "educate drivers" as suggested ('Camera signage could be pulled', Herald 5/11) but rather to remind drivers not to speed. It is disgraceful to note that when you drive within the limit almost all drivers travelling behind will pass you, some at speeds well over the limit.
As drivers we are educated before we get our licence, in my opinion after that it is bad behaviour and sheer stupidity that produces many so-called accidents. It is the hip pocket nerve that hurts most, and it is high time for the law to get serious and hide cameras as well as police, especially in unmarked vehicles, in order to weed out the idiots and make our roads safer for all of us.
Lyall Rissler, Newcastle
NO PRIVATE CONVERSATION
IN relation to concerns about expressions of interest being opened for potential redevelopments of the City's ocean baths ('Mixed view on baths plan', Herald 5/11), I'd like to clarify a few important points.
There are no plans to privatise either the Newcastle or Merewether Ocean Baths. City of Newcastle is the Crown land manager of both pavilion buildings for the Crown Lands Division of the NSW government, so neither site can ever be sold. Parts of the pavilions could, however, be leased for a maximum of 21 years, as is the current situation with the Newcastle Ocean Baths kiosk.
The concept-only designs released for Newcastle Ocean Baths pavilion are the same as those used when the city last sought expressions of interest in 2016. These are for illustrative purposes only and are not indicative of any plans for the site.
Any proposal must specify how the design will interact and preserve the Art Deco facade. Existing swimming facilities will remain publicly accessible and free.
The call for expressions of interest follows community consultation indicating that upgrading the city's ocean baths is a priority amongst ratepayers.
Private businesses leasing city-owned facilities are commonplace. Popular cafes at Merewether, Nobbys, Bar and Newcastle beaches are great examples.
Most importantly, the city's ocean baths will remain community assets.
Adam Vine, City of Newcastle manager property and facilities
LOSS HURTS FOR JETS FANS
AT a time when I fear the Newcastle Jets' commercial viability is again in doubt, Friday night's heavy defeat at the hands of Sydney FC must be the stuff of nightmares for Martin Lee and his management team.
While last season was a major disappointment, we were largely competitive in every match. Any review of last season would surely have pointed to the simple fact that if you lose by more than two goals a game you are going to finish closer to the bottom than the top of the A-League. When you consider that our playing roster was depleted by the exit of our most committed defender in Daniel Georgievski, one would think that the coaching staff would make the necessary tactical adjustments to ensure that keeping a tight defensive structure would be an absolute priority for the current season.
Clearly, our visit to Sydney was a watershed moment for this early part of the season. We had to go there and compete both physically and tactically. Sadly, in my opinion we did neither. Sydney FC are a good side who deserve every respect, especially on their home turf. Our failure on the tactical side was a manifestation of the performance of our midfield in the game against Adelaide City where James Troisi was allowed enough time on the ball to win two games.
Given what I consider the lack of commitment on Friday night, could it be the players no longer believe the coaching staff has got the right tactical formula?
Eric Burns, Belmont
NO SURPRISE IN TIGHT MATCH
SURPRISINGLY James Tedesco was not man of the match, nor did he score a try, when Australia played Tonga at the weekend. It was surprising, too, when they went down 12-16. It was their first loss apparently to anyone other than England or New Zealand since France, 10-11, in 1978.
There was nothing surprising about the result, though.
Played in the right spirit and well controlled by a single referee, it was a hard-fought and entertaining game won by the better side.
Ron Elphick, Buff Point
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.
I AM a lover of cricket, but those in charge have decided to not show the men's T20 matches on free-to-air TV. Shame on you, Cricket Australia. Initially I was somewhat disappointed, but I am now over it as I have fallen in love with the women's cricket which is on free-to-air. I much prefer the women's cricket because they bowl a little slower and I am able to better follow the ball. Apart from that, the girls are brilliant athletes, play the game in a friendly manner and, most of all, they enjoy what they do. I know this because they smile often, unlike the majority of the cranky, aggressive male cricketers.
Stan Kiefer, Arakoon
HAS the Member for Swansea let the investigation into the alleged comments from a teacher from Swansea High go its due course before she takes only one side ('Students take stand on women's clothing', Newcastle Herald 29/10)? How about fixing Lake Road and Belmont Street before the next tourist season before you jump into the next photo opportunity?
Tony Jones, Swansea
COULD Newcastle council explain how fig trees pose an unacceptable risk to the public, but racing cars at three metres are considered safe?
John Beach, Cooks Hill
IT'S a tough lot for women in modern Australia. If they dress 'provocatively' to beat the heat, they are attacked by sex maniacs and if they dress modestly they are attacked by anti Islamic bigots. Good luck everyone.
Peter Ronne, Woodberry
I AM confident that I speak for many others in lamenting the end of the regular Monday columns contributed over the last six years by the highly respected Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts of the University of Newcastle ('Chronicle captures valley heart and soul', Herald 4/11). Mr Roberts has certainly earned a break from presenting these weekly columns which have covered a wide range of topics, but I and many readers will miss them. I have learned much from these columns, and indeed have clipped out many of them for my files for later reference purposes. I give praise to the Newcastle Herald for publishing them and so enlightening readers to many examples of cutting-edge scientific and environmental issues. On behalf of many readers: thank you Tim, and thank you Newcastle Herald.
Kevin McDonald, East Seaham
A SAD day on Monday now that Emeritus Professor Tim Roberts has decided to take a break from writing his column ('Chronicle captures valley heart and soul', Herald 4/11). Hopefully it's not for too long. I know that many readers found the articles written to be informative, mainly scientifically, but also personally and sometimes politically. He was also aided greatly from some esteemed colleagues over the six-year tenure, too. Dad, now you have more time to practice your golf swing with your number one.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
HOW bad is our world when a CEO of a bank said no to his $1.6 million bonus (SMH 5/11)? Yes, that figure is just his foregone bonus. Sports people are making millions and people in some places starve.