SCOTT Bevan's report in the Newcastle Herald ('Port building a future for an icon', Newcastle Herald 15/2) makes clear the desperate plight of koalas in the Port Stephens area and the importance of the work of the volunteers at the Koala Rehabilitation Centre. When will we realise the cost of human activity encroaching on bushland?
Just as these volunteers are ready to rise to the challenge of saving an iconic Australian species, all Australians need to consider the impact of their activities on our native species. Too many become roadkill as others are impacted by walkers and mountain bike riders who do not keep to designated trails. Some are killed by dogs and cats that are not kept out of bushland habitats.
The Glenrock State Conservation Area is a pocket of bushland where small mammals and birds have flourished, but sadly they too are threatened by the increasing encroachment of human activity. We can all contribute to their survival by respecting protected areas.
Hilda Hughes, Whitebridge
FIGHTING OVER THE BEACH
STOCKTON is at war, the result of two warring factions more intent with scoring political points than finding a solution to problems that have been evident for over 30 years. Why can't those in power sit down and provide a permanent solution to a suburb ravaged and vandalised by continued lack of action from all sides of politics? We need help. We have lost our childcare centre, our local cafe, parts of our caravan park and our once beautiful and beloved beach yet all we have received thus far is countless and useless consultation reports at a great cost to us all, but no answers.
I always thought that when someone is in trouble as we are in Stockton the Australian way is to lend a helping hand. What is happening to this once-great country where we all pulled together as one envisaged recently by the outpouring support of the recent bushfires? Why is Stockton different? Sadly there is a growing anger and resentment within our community towards both sides of politics, and who can blame us?
Alan Metcalf, Stockton
MISSING TREATY IS A BLIGHT
PETER Dolan (Short Takes, 22/2) seems to think the common law has bestowed quite enough equality and other benefits on Aboriginal Australians.
What benefits does he have in mind? The institutionalised theft of their land and indifference to their murder? Their forced removal onto missions, and their children into "care"? Apartheid in our country towns? Waiting 174 years to get the vote and 220 for an apology? "Bucket loads of extinguishment" in response to the paltry recognition of native title in Mabo?
Or perhaps he finds them in the shameful statistics on their incarceration rates, school retention, unemployment and life expectancy?
I suspect, however, that the sort of equality he means is that imposed on them by hordes of their fellow Australians clambering over Uluru against their wishes for years, culminating in a final stampede to rub some last salt into the wounds of humiliation before it was closed to such desecration. A stampede giving voice to mass indignation that the traditional owners were still around to ask for respect, let alone that it would be finally paid them.
A stifling equality that seeks to tighten the yoke of subjugation rather than remove it.
New Zealand has a treaty with the Maori, and constitutional recognition of them as the original inhabitants of that land. While far from perfect, it strikes me as far more at peace with itself as a nation than Australia, because it has at least attempted to truly face the reality of its origins rather than hide it behind legal lies and pathetic pretences.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
COAL UNDERMINES ECONOMY
IN his opinion piece, Joel Fitzgibbon ('Why zero net emissions will equal net gain', Opinion 22/2), a leading member of the Labor's pro-coal faction called the Otis Group, has now come out with a positive spin claiming we can reduce greenhouse emissions while providing guarantees on jobs and affordable energy.
Mr Fitzgibbon's meaning, one would assume, is through continued coal mining since he goes on to say that "we can take serious action and work with the market without forsaking jobs in traditional industries."
Well, market economics hasn't worked very well for Australia. We have about 2.5 million people either unemployed or underemployed and an economy highly dependent on highly polluting non-renewable resources. The world's best performing economies tend to have innovative and sophisticated manufacturing sectors while third-world nations get hooked on mining.
Australia once had such an economy. In 1970 we manufactured 475,000 cars, the tenth-highest rate in the world. We also made ships, whitegoods, clothing, and just about everything we needed for self sufficiency. But our economic whiz kids knew better, so we ditched manufacturing and lost 218,000 jobs in just five years.
We now have to import the things we once made and pay for them with exports, 45.5 per cent of which is made up of minerals and fuels.
Don Owers, Dudley
SHOW THEM THE LONG GAME
TO the survivors of the Bylong Valley fiasco: please invite all the pro-coal politicians, maybe a few from your neighbouring areas, to visit your beautiful valley along with their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or maybe the kid next door.
You can then explain they are wanting to develop this valley into a coal mine, and maybe next time they see it its road will not be here, the valley floor will not be green, the kolas will have to be move on, the birds will not be here along with all the other native fauna and flora. But your lights will still be on, your mobile phone will still work, your air conditioner will still protect you and there will never be a bushfire threat where there are no trees.
Maybe their kids or passengers will ask why. First have them visit Muswellbrook, Singleton, Jerrys Plains and ask a doctor, a resident, what it is like. Kids please take note; it will soon be your world.
William Teasdale, Mayfield East
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.
JOEL Fitzgibbon ("Why zero net emissions will equal net gain", Opinion 22/2): only the long overdue, yet to be established national think tank (it doesn't have to be government) of the highest order, fully representing our powered world, can guide on climate action. It should be headed by Ross Garnaut.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
I BELIEVE a classic example of the emotion, hyperbole, hypothesis and vagueness in the media is the story on Brunker Road ('State MPs call for lights at fatal crossing', Herald 20/2). Its basis is the accident which resulted in a death in November ('School bus tragedy: woman killed in accident at Adamstown', Herald 6/11). Details of that accident and all the other "notoriously dangerous" occurrences, including Mr Crakanthorp's own accident, should be published so we readers and the public at large can have the full facts enabling us to make a judgement.
Bruce Brown, Marks Point
IT is nice to see the young people giving up their time on Saturday to protest ('Hunter protesters demand climate action', Herald 24/2) but I do feel that they are a little misinformed blaming climate change. Maybe they should ask their teachers about the massive build-up of fuel on the ground in said areas. Why do the Greens and Labor continually resist the burning and mechanical removal of this fuel, and the authorities continually fail to meet their targets in this area?
Bruce Brander, Belmont
OVER 24 million Australians didn't protest about climate change last weekend ('Hunter protesters demand climate action', Herald 24/2). Perhaps a protest tax of $1 per protester should be approved. This would give a true number of how many protesters turn up instead of the usual exaggerated figures. The money could go to feed some of the millions of people who in my opinion will lose their jobs under Labor and the Greens.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
THERE is a simple solution to the Stockton erosion problem ('Lifeline for loved Lexie's', Herald 25/2): just have Stockton declared to be a suburb of Sydney. I suggest the name Northern Beaches.
Peter Moylan, Glendale
WITH the current mosquito infestation in Newcastle ('Mosquito invasion requires repellent', Herald 25/2) I believe it's time to bring out genome editing technology to modify the sex-determining gene and collapse the entire mozzie population.
Alan Hamilton, Hamilton East
PETER Devey (Letters, 25/2) has "no issue with sea level rises of two to three millimetres per year for a century". That's two metres since 1920. I'm not sure that those at Stockton or maybe Blacksmiths would share his indifference.
Greg Archbold, Eleebana
WHY are you so concerned about the Knights, Bill Slicer (Short Takes, 25/2)? You weren't renewing your seats this year remember. Oh that's right you say that every year. You are just another fair-weather supporter that whinges at every loss.