WHEN protesters crowd our streets and disrupt our daily habits, we should look to the government for guidance. It is obvious in Hong Kong that the people have looked to the government for answers and have received threats instead. In Australia protesters get one answer - stop protesting.
What an arrogant, lazy and short-sighted answer this is. Is the government aware they have just a two-seat majority?
They call this their mandate to rule, but they have no mandate to tell us to stop protesting when they clearly have no answers to the issues that confront this country's future.
John Butler, Windella
SOME REALLY DO TAKE CARE
I HAVE listened with interest to the results of the royal commission into aged care. I totally sympathise with any resident (or their family) who have not been cared for properly or shown the respect they deserve.
However, from my own experience with the aged care facility where my husband spent the last seven years of his life, I have nothing but praise for the care that he received. He was not always easy to care for, and that is why he had to reside there.
The facility in question is Uniting Care's Narla Village at Belmont North, and they often went above what I would expect of them. They always kept me in the loop as to his medications and any falls he may have had. I cannot praise enough the way the general manager runs the facility. I have been able to monitor the food quality, attend any meetings they may have had with the residents, and put my opinions forward. I know there are other facilities in this area where such care is available too.
I just felt that, with all the negative things that have been in the media, I would like to have it known that there are many facilities that do care. In my experience it has mainly been the not-for profit-facilities, and I feel that something positive should be said in their defence.
Judith Wilson, Marks Point
ZAP BACK TO REALITY OF CARS
AGNER Sorensen (Letters, 29/10) hopes people look at buying electric cars due to lower running costs. Unfortunately, a lot of ideas such as this sound good but are often not practical.
In this case, I'm told electric cars cost in the region of $10,000 to $15,000 more than petrol models - that's a lot of petrol. Then there's the cost of replacing and disposing of the battery when it's worn out, again likely to be a very expensive exercise.
Apart from the cost factors, I understand electric cars can only travel relatively short distances on a charge which means you potentially couldn't drive from Newcastle to, say, Coffs Harbour or Dubbo without spending time on a recharge, perhaps needing to wait for someone else to complete their recharge, and that's if you could find a charging station when it's needed anyway.
For short-run city use with plenty of charging stations, or using your own electricity, there's probably a market for pollution-conscious buyers who can accept the limited choice of available models and can pay the extra purchase price. For most people in our wide brown land where people travel long distances regularly, though, I believe electric cars are at this time totally impractical for the vast majority of drivers.
Ian King, Warners Bay
SIGNS OF WIDER PROBLEMS
I CAN'T believe the people complaining about the speed camera warning signs being removed (Letters, 5/11). They are not working; just look at the amount of people killed this year. Speeding, drunk driving, drugs and mobile phones: signs don't work on stupid people.
My car is seven years old. It has a speed limiter, cruise control and Bluetooth which are not hard to use. You don't need a sign. I would think you should be looking at the ever increasing white crosses marking where someone has passed away. It's sad to see, and often in the most unlikely places.
Bring in more cameras and bigger fines. Wake up people; it's to save stupid people from themselves, and hopefully save other innocent people as well. The best way to stop this is to do the right thing. It means no revenue for the government and less loved ones lost. Drive safe, home safe.
Phill Payne, Gateshead
SOME LIMITS UNREASONABLE
WELL, here we go again with yet another idea from our state government to reduce our road toll. The intention is to remove speed and red light camera warning signs, both fixed and also stationary vehicle enforcement in respect to speed cameras I assume.
If we all drive safely and stick to the law, I suppose you have to agree that there is some merit to the proposal. However, having worked in this field for many years, I believe there is a very big but.
Whilst we continue to see speed zonings that are completely unreasonable and unworkable due to high-class carriageways with multi-lanes and median division, amongst other issues, the removal of warning signs on top of these "unfair" speed zones is a recipe for disaster; a disaster in that the normal prudent safe driver will eventually fall foul of law enforcement.
Garry Scow, Warners Bay
IT'S A LAUGHING MATTER
WELL, Sarah Kendall, you certainly have poked a few bears in daring to write about Newcastle in the 1980s ('Frayed? Thanks Sarah Kendall, it's a hoot', Opinion 4/11). Even though Ms Kendall is an ex Novocastrian and had some idea of the subject matter it appears that we don't like to be portrayed in any humorous manner. So it's okay to have a laugh at others, but not ourselves. Have we forgotten what comedy is?
It is rare to write something that evokes controversy, so in this Ms Kendall has succeeded. She has been able to get people talking, and that is surely an achievement. Newcastle perhaps is like a big family where we observe the rule that it's okay for us to criticise another member of the family but not for outsiders.
Ms Kendall is one of us, so it should have been okay. Love the show or hate it, the desired effect has been reached. We are all talking about it.
There's no criticism from me. I laughed at Kingswood Country, Paul Hogan, Kath and Kim and The Castle.
None of these were all that factual, but there was less swearing and we loved the Aussie humour. Just enjoy the glimpses of our iconic Newcastle landmarks, the beauty of our city, and have a laugh.
Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield
PERIL AT PRIVATISATION
WHO needs Liberals with Newcastle's Labor council? They seem quite anxious to shift public assets into private hands. Perhaps banning commercial-in-confidence would go some ways towards preventing them from inflicting private-public partnerships on ratepayers.
Peter Ronne, Woodberry
PETER Newey and Peter Jones (Short Takes, 6/11) want capital punishment reinstated for the worst kind of crimes. Two wrongs, such as being killed for killing, do not make things right. Also, innocent people have been put to death. Concerning incarceration, it would be good to see something radical like gaols becoming live-in centres for learning and rehab rather than just lock-ups.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
MEDIA coverage on the Uluru ceremony last week told us that ScoMo was not in attendance. He obviously thought that attendance in WA at a netball match was more important. His short explanation as to why not was: "he couldn't be in two places at once". Hasn't he heard of choices? We all have had to do it for much less important issues, and he is quick to tell the unemployed, Newstart recipients, and other disadvantaged groups that they have choices.
Bill Livingstone, New Lambton
ANOTHER great Melbourne Cup day was enjoyed by thousands of normal Aussies. As the saying goes, winners are grinners and the rest can go ... well, we all know the ending to that. Happy punting to all.
Brad Hill, Singleton
I HOPE everyone backed a winner on Tuesday. If not, revenge is sweet every time you feed your beloved fur child.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
RAY Dinneen's weekend drive to Lithgow and Tarana (Letters, 4/11) transported me back 71 years ago when I travelled in a small train from Tarana to Oberon to spend my holidays. I remember the station master at Tarana telling me the train trip to Oberon was so slow you could get out and pick daisies and still get back because of the slow incline. On my return trip back to Tarana we always let the people at the station know what we wanted for lunch and it was ready for us. Steamed pudding and custard was a favourite. Judging by Mr Dinneen's weekend, I would say hospitality hasn't changed.
Daphne Hughes, Kahibah
FOR obvious reasons, Scott Morrison loves Australians who stay quiet. So much so that if we don't, it seems he'll make us. As the country heats, dries and burns, our need for real leadership has never been greater; leadership that combines political courage, wisdom and integrity with scientific understanding and moral depth. Something like a combination of Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein and the Buddha. Instead, in my opinion we're saddled with a smirking hybrid of Donald Trump, Viscount Christopher Monckton and Pat Buchanan ... in a baseball cap.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
MATT Endacott (Short Takes, 6/11), everyone I've talked to at work that lives at Cessnock or Kurri say they loathe the beach and love dirt bikes, four-wheel driving and being known as revhead westies. I mentioned that the Supercars are due to race past Newcastle Beach shortly, and that if one needs an off-road fix all the sand dunes one needs can be found at Redhead beach. Now there are going to be westies and weeds living side by side.