NOW has to be the ideal time to expand the Stockton ferry network with a new terminal at north Stockton. The loss of car park spaces in Newcastle CBD has prompted the Hunter Business Chamber to call a review of the city's parking strategy ('Dust yet to settle on parking debate', Newcastle Herald 21/2).
Newcastle's car parking problem has impacted Stockton's ferry car park area. It is near to impossible to find a vacant car park space in the ferry car park or in the adjacent streets after 8.30 am on a weekday. Parking at Stockton has become easier than finding a parking space in the Newcastle CBD.
Usually not being one for change, I nevertheless believe something has to be done in this case as the parking problem is not going to disappear. In fact, it will become more of a problem when Defence Housing Australia builds 300 units (Herald 27/7/16). A new ferry terminal could be located near or north of Corroba Oval to lessen the commuter traffic passing through the residential area.
Dick Jenkins, Stockton
LOOK PAST BREAKING WAVES
SAVING Stockton beach and Stockton peninsula will require more than sand-dredging.
State Labor politicians Greg Warren and Tim Crakanthorp, together with Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes have called for offshore sand dredging. The sand from the dredging would be deposited on Stockton beach. They have described this dredging activity as a "long-term solution" to the problem of Stockton's sand erosion ('Stockton icons could wash away; Nelmes', Herald 22/2). In my opinion dredging and depositing sand is only a temporary fix. It is definitely not a long-term solution.
The most conservative predictions of sea level rise say that sea level is set to rise by half a metre by the end of the 21st century. If locals and the state government really wish to save Stockton Peninsular from rising sea levels, sand dredging won't do it.
More permanent sea defences will be needed including land build-up, sea walls, groynes, dykes, drainage canals and pumps. Some parts of the peninsula may be too expensive to defend and may need to be abandoned to rising seas and more energetic waves. Permanent solutions require long-term plans. Plans need to be acted upon with scheduled public works. Public works need to be paid for by those affected, together with taxpayers and ratepayers.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
OUR HISTORY TELLS THE TALE
PETER Dolan (Short Takes, 22/2) rejected Michael Hinchey's well-reasoned call for constitutional recognition for Aboriginal Australians and asks the question "Has English common law conferred no benefits on Aboriginal Australians"? Very few, Mr Dolan, and then only the benefits that suited the British invaders.
If English common law had been followed, a treaty with appropriate compensation would have been struck with Aboriginal people more than two centuries ago. But the British invaders chose to ignore their own common law and responded to Aboriginal resistance to the unlawful seizure of their land with violence and murder. There is a plethora of contemporary evidence from the mouths and pens of lawmakers, administrators and the settlers themselves that clearly shows that the dispossession of the Aboriginal people from their lands, and the resulting abuses and deaths, was undertaken in the full knowledge that what was being done to the Aboriginal people was unlawful.
Mr Dolan has declared himself as a climate change denier and now in my opinion a denier of rights for Aboriginal people. Both align with conservative political thinking. I am curious as to how Mr Dolan reconciles his conservative political beliefs with his professed Christian beliefs.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
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 koalas will have moved 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
WHERE IS THE PLAN?
I WRITE to comment on the article by Meryl Swanson ('Backing miners won't block climate action', Herald, 29/2). After a lot of platitudes and waffle, she ends with "we can look after workers while turning our eyes to the future". My question is how?
Germany has recently stopped mining black coal completely as part of its long-term plan to reduce emissions. No miners have been sacked in that process. But that decision was taken many years ago. Where's the ALP plan?
Richard Edmonds, Balcolyn
A SIGN OF HOPE
I WAS inspired to read in Tuesday's Herald, Craig Carmody (CEO, Port of Newcastle) acknowledging the global push against coal-fired power.
Mr Carmody is rightly pursuing the construction of a container terminal in Newcastle. An infrastructure project of this magnitude would create a huge amount of jobs, constructing the terminal and the associated road and rail transport links. And then there is the ongoing employment arrangement for the movement of the containers. This is a genuine example of transitioning away from coal.
Joel Fitzgibbon, take note and come on board. Create employment opportunities instead of spending all of your efforts protecting the coal industry.
Stan Keifer, Arakoon
HAVE YOUR SAY
WE have council elections coming up and it would be a mistake for any of us to undervalue our vote.
On the contrary, it could make a huge impact. I advise you all to either get along to a council meeting or talk to someone who has. The pre-eminence of a voting bloc on every motion that is discussed in the chamber means that many good and significant proposals do not get a proper hearing or assessment.
How can an approachable council with the potential to vote differently each issue, according to its merits, be a bad thing? The current 'rubber stamp' model leaves many of us without a voice. It is time to be heard.
Dean Briggs, Whitebridge
DARRYL Tuckwell (Letters, 24/2), your Labor Party lost the last election largely because of a lack of trust in Bill Shorten. He is now gone and the party is in much better shape for the next election. A policy that criminalises political corruption would win widespread voter support. I think we both know the reason why they'll never do it.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
IN response to Peter Sansom (Letters, 24/2), I fully agree. I recently visited Wallangarra on the Queensland border, the site of the historic change of railway gauge. This is a hangover of the pre-federation era when the separate colonial states couldn't decide on a uniform track width. Instead they went ahead laying their own versions of railway. As a matter of interest, Queensland only has 151 kilometres of standardised railway from the NSW border to Brisbane. The remaining 7500 kilometres of that state's railway is their old narrow gauge. Obviously the hard-learned lessons of World War II, with the threat to our north then involving unnecessary double handling and delay, have been ignored.
Tony Winton, Wallsend
CITY of Newcastle chief executive Jeremy Bath made a statement to the effect that the 'caravan park plays a significant economic role in the Stockton community' ('Worimi seek order as deadline shifts', Newcastle Herald 24/2). What a load of codswallop. Sure, it does benefit the shop owners, but that is where it ends. All profits from the tourist park go to the council and always have. Has any of that money been returned to the Stockton community? I doubt it. The presence of the tourist park has denied or interfered with access to the southern area of the beach to Stockton residents ever since construction. I believe the council has been interested in expanding the tourist park ever since 2012, thereby increasing revenue, and this appears their perfect opportunity.
Bruce Niblett, Stockton
GET a grip, Mr Bath ('Worimi seek order as deadline shifts', Herald 24/2). He says that the economies of Stockton Caravan Park affect the Stockton community. I would say government indecision and buck passing over recent years has caused the issues. I think with no beach, no surf club activities, no Lexie's and recent road closures has already impacted the local economy. To say what he said in the article is an insult to the people of Stockton and Newcastle. He says Stockton residents need to weigh up what measures are acceptable to protect local roads and homes. Is he for real? The problem hasn't just happened, it has been around for years. Instead of arguing between local and state pollutes, just get it fixed.
Tony Morley, Waratah
IN a previous letter I suggested the call to close Lexie's was a political stunt ahead of upcoming council elections ('Lifeline for loved Lexie's', Herald 25/2). Given reports the council cannot come up with plans by June 30 to fix the erosion problem as requested, I believe having a solution in hand before September 12 will not assist with the re-election chances of some. To me, this seems self-evident.