I SOBBED for at least an hour when I watched the story about Lewis the koala, who unfortunately had to be put down due to his horrific burns. We salute the wonderful grandmother who ripped her shirt off to cradle him and to cool him down. It just goes to show the genuine Good Samaritan people who live in this sunburned country.
It is reported that approximately 300 koalas perished in the same bushfire. Hats off to all the kind hearted residents, firefighters and koala carers for their efforts to save these iconic Australian animals.
If the story about Lewis, which was shown around the world, didn't move you then you're a lot tougher than me. Look to your phones and find out where and how you can donate to this cause; it will make a difference to many injured koalas who may be given a second chance, unlike poor Lewis.
RIP, little fellow.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
NO HYPOCRISY IN CONCERNS
SCOT MacDonald (Letters, 27/11) damns Newcastle with faint praise. His apparently fond musings about the quaint "mindset" of "many" of the town's inhabitants in my opinion can't mask the impression of a thinly-veiled swipe.
According to Mr MacDonald, Newy is a place where people habitually complain about things while covertly enjoying their benefits. Civic hypocrisy writ large, as it were. No doubt he would prefer we all just got on with being quiet Australians. May that day never come.
I believe the Supercars, along with a litany of other revitalisation projects, are eroding the unique charm and character of our city, and surrendering its future to crass commercialism. Resisting this is not NIMBYism; rather, I believe it's a valiant and honourable attempt to compensate for the massive failure of many of our public officials, including the office of the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, to act in the true, long term public interest of this city.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
IS THE BANG FOR BUCK RIGHT
I'M wondering if a well placed tourism campaign would be a better way to promote our city to the world than the Supercars event.
Much fanfare was made about the tourism benefits this event will bring Newcastle, but in my opinion there are never any figures to fully back this hype up.
The lord mayoral minute this week claimed the event reached 14 million viewers ('Mayor hails race, but not everyone's a fan', Herald 27/11), but the grand total of Sunday Foxtel viewers in the same article was 222,000. That's a pretty big difference.
How can our council be in a situation where they're unsure if they have the right not to renew the five-year contract?
Charlotte McCabe, Tighes Hill
BACK-AND-FORTH A DOWNER
AS an avid reader of the Newcastle Herald for many years, especially the letters page, I find it most annoying the persistent backchat and bickering going on recently by writers complaining and fighting each other over the most mundane incidents. The biggest complaint is their blaming of each different party over the horrific bushfires and the reat loss of life and property that has been sustained.
We lived in Tasmania until moving to this beautiful location, and we were virtually wiped out by the whole state exploding in massive fires in the '60s. The amazing thing was that there were no greenies or do-gooders there blaming coal or government. We just got on to accepting Mother Nature and rebuilding the state.
Mother Nature controls our fate, not coal being mined or failing governments, but the absolutely ridiculous statements coming from the Greens and other so-called knowledgeable well-doers (government included) is just absurd. For heaven's sake, wake up and let's get on to rebuilding what's left of what we have and helping our fellow man. Forget the Supercars; no-one cares and it's over. Let it go.
In my 75 years, I have been there and done that. Many of you can't see the forest for the trees and no, I will not be replying to any knockers.
Kerry Harrison, Gateshead
A POSTCODE IS POINTLESS
SO the old chestnut of proposing to create a suburb called Lake Macquarie with its own postcode hits the headlines again.
This idea has been floated before and in each case has gone down like a lead balloon; hopefully the same happens this time.
Lake Macquarie as we know it is a large body of water and a diverse geographical district consisting of numerous suburbs and localities. To use the argument that people confuse Lake Macquarie with Port Macquarie is, from my experience, not valid. Should this point of view persist, an easy way to fix it would be to describe Lake Macquarie as being between Gosford and Newcastle, end of story.
There are many other area or districts that are similar to ours without a postcode. Just a few examples are the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Hunter Valley, Great Lakes, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and the Blue Mountains. Why are we any different?
To rename Boolaroo or Cockle Creek as Lake Macquarie is in my opinion nonsensical in the extreme. Can you imagine people visiting what is known as Lake Macquarie for fishing and other recreational activities being directed by their GPS to Boolaroo? It's been a long time since I've heard of such a silly idea. I rest my case.
Ian King, Warners Bay
CONSEQUENCE BEFORE ACTION
AGAIN we hear from the proposer of a sensitive development saying that the discharge of high concentration of saline back into the ocean will not harm the sea life ('Saline waste 'is harmless'', Herald 26/11). I say bull. They go on to say that Lake Macquarie was considered for the discharge, but it was unsuitable. I should think so. Even to consider our overused lake, the lake that I believe teeters on extinction because of neglect and abuse, is beyond belief.
Just because the government authority says that something will have no impact on something, it doesn't mean that it won't.
In my opinion the additional salination of any sea water, even over a short time, will potentially have dramatic and tragic impact on the sea life.
Once it happens, it is too late.
Williamtown residents will tell you that the air force base contamination was supposed to have no effect. I for one can see folly without getting eye strain. If this desalination plant is to be built, it must have no impact on anything forever and I would suggest that if there aren't ironclad guarantees then the proposal is seriously flawed.
Please, no more stuff-ups. This country also belongs to future generations who will be the ones to pay the price of our bad, cut price decisions when it smacks them in the face.
Dennis Crampton, Redhead
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WHEN faced with a desperate need to find out what the cops are doing in the investigation of a little mate, what would Bob Jelly do? Exactly what Scott Morrison did: ring up the cops' head honcho ('PM says nothing wrong in phoning police over Taylor', Herald 28/11) and ever-so-delicately never mention any names or anything in particular, then laugh the whole thing off in public and claim that the head cop is just another little mate. How could anyone ever suspect anything like trying to influence an investigation? What nonsense.
Grant Agnew, Coopers Plains
WHAT a pathetic closing statement made by Brian Hartzer following his removal from the board, that he is sorry Westpac will now have to forego Christmas parties ('Westpac CEO quits, but gets payout', Newcastle Herald 27/11). How do shareholders feel about the $8.5 million that he will now lose from bonuses? I bet that his replacement will probably benefit in part from this grossly exorbitant directors benefit? Also, is it not time for the government to rein in bonus payments from all public companies? I am ashamed of the greed displayed by these directors. I guarantee that dividends recently reduced by Westpac could have been left as is or even lifted were it not for these greedy and undeserved payments.
Ken Doubikin, Tea Gardens
DAVE McTaggart (Letters, 27/11) I think the city private schools and their poorer country cousins would give your response an epic fail. In my opinion you completely failed to reply to a single point Mr Fordham raised, instead employing the straw man and substituting in things he never said. He didn't say farmers weren't hard working or they didn't have a right to spend money how they see fit. Next time, stick with the topic: their failure to support their own communities by regularly transferring out wealth. Personally I have a brother in the Riverina, and all his in-laws are rice farmers or retired ones. Next time, try some valid criticism.
Colin Fordham, Lambton
IN reply to Janice Jordan (Short Takes, 26/11), Supercars have been using Aussie made bio-fuels since 2009. Only the winner of the race "burns the tyres".
Brian Dirou, Cooks Hill
HAVEN'T we had enough of Christine Everingham (Letters, 27/11) and her complaining about every little aspect of the wonderful Supercars event that we have just had the past weekend? The trouble, in my opinion, is that she thinks that she speaks for all of the Newcastle East community. I say enough is enough; let us hear no more.
Mark Creek, Adamstown
I AM delighted to see that scientists at the University of California say that middle age comes to dogs at about two years. This scientific doggie news has rocked the world and one can only wonder as to what the scientists involved will study next. Perhaps these scientists will research the age of pussy cats; I mean, who needs a cure for cancer?
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
WOULD you drink treated sewage water?