I BELIEVE most Novocastrians would agree that the Lee Wharf A shed would be the ideal location for a maritime museum. It is close to our present museum and in the Honeysuckle tourist area.
Usually when we visit a new location we like to visit the museum and art gallery to learn the local history and check the art collection. The most important part of Newcastle's history is its maritime past, something we are very proud of. We range from being the second settlement in NSW to now being the biggest coal export port in the world. All this must be all documented and put on display.
Unfortunately, it seems our money hungry state government has decided to install yet another grog shop using our A shed ('Hope's dream', Newcastle Herald 23/7). Our maritime collection is now stuck in a locked shed in Carrington. In October the lease there runs out and I fear the collection will most likely be dispersed.
Our art gallery and present museum are free to enter and run by professionals. For some inexplicable reason the Maritime Museum had to charge an entry fee and run at a profit. Unfortunately this was not possible, so when the lease ran out it closed. A sad day for Newcastle.
Unfortunately we have very little to show anywhere displaying our maritime past or indeed our coal mining history.
Ken Hullick, Wickham
Safety of drivers must come first
IT is with sadness that I read about the alleged Uber driver assault ('Driver stabbed in Uber vehicle', Herald 24/7). My biggest concern when the government undermined the taxi industry and permitted Uber in was the safety and security issues given the different requirements for the company's drivers. They do not require a camera, an emergency voice contact, a back-up security arrangement or specialised training for drivers.
I feel very sorry for this driver. While trying to earn a few dollars on a fare that, if booked correctly, should be locked to a mobile phone and a financial account, he has lost a lot and had a troubling experience that will stay with him for some time.
Is that worth potentially cheaper fares?
Ride-share vehicles don't need to be insured and registered as a commercial vehicle like a taxi, which has safety and security measures that can cost over $5000 and add at least $10,000 to the registration and insurance costs.
In my opinion the decisions of the government that cost taxi drivers several hundred thousands of dollars per taxi plate for a deregulated industry has compromised the safety of ride-share drivers. The big question yet to be answered is, will a vehicle used for Uber that does not have commercial insurance be covered?
Milton Caine, Birmingham Gardens
Take a swipe at an upgrade
WITH the second wave building up, I thought I'd better check whether the COVIDSafe is finally available for my phone. No, it still only supports the bleeding edge, and apparently there are no plans to fix that shortcoming.
We all know that many young people upgrade to a new phone as soon as the ashtrays are full, but not everyone does that. Older people see nothing wrong with continuing to use a seven-year-old phone. Apparently the app developers don't agree. Let's just support young people. The older ones stay at home anyway.
It seems that the app has not yet detected a contact that wasn't already known, yet we are told that there have been six million downloads. Or download attempts, anyway. The important figure, which we haven't been told, is how many people managed to get it working. If it's not producing useful results, then that number is probably far less than six million.
In my opinion the government should ask for its $3.8 million back, and give the contract to a different developer.
Peter Moylan, Glendale
Driving home the consequences
THANK you to the two gentlemen who came to my aid when I was recovering from almost being killed by a driver speeding and cutting the corner through a right hand turn from Boreas Road into Thorn Road at Hamilton North at about 2.45pm on Thursday. I was physically uninjured but very shaken and I appreciated your concern.
To the male driver of the dark grey or black vehicle: you came within a whisker of hitting me as I was crossing Thorn Road on foot. You were obviously distracted as you were in the wrong lane and aiming straight at me until the last second. You knew you were in the wrong, as you wound down the window to yell out "sorry darl" and then sped off again. Off with the pixies? Using your phone? Next time you - or a hapless pedestrian - might not be so lucky.
Christine Bramble, Hamilton North
Better labels are just the tonic
HOW many people, besides myself, have in their medicine cabinet medically prescribed bottles of pills and lotions that they can't remember for what purpose or ailment they were given?
Even current prescriptions become confusing when generic brands are often used in place of recognised brands, claiming brand names don't provide enough profit.
Nothing wrong with more profit provided the user knows what they are taking, especially us oldies who may overdose on the wrong medication, and are too proud to admit we can't remember.
I believe the simplest remedy is to place on the label where the dosage is printed, to also print the ailment being treated. What's wrong in letting people know what they are taking? I can only hope it's not to still sell a product that is already in possession.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
Last week no good for first people
A SYDNEY newspaper reports that the federal government has won a court case against the Gomeroi traditional custodians, who objected to a proposed coal mine at Mt Watermark near Gunnedah. In defending the Chinese state-owned Shenhua Coal company, Prime Minister Scott Morrison's environment minister Sussan Ley argued that she ''considered the expected social and economic benefits of the ... mine to the local community'' and that they ''outweighed the impacts'' ... [which would result in the] ''likely destruction of parts of their Indigenous cultural heritage.''
The court agreed, providing in my opinion yet another example to add to the 232 years of white fellas telling Indigenous people and their communities what's good for them. The death by a thousand cuts continues. Meanwhile, Scott Morrison, oblivious to the big picture of Indigenous disadvantage in this country, throws some red meat to his base by attacking the "appalling" anti-racism protesters on 2GB radio (where else?). The man just doesn't get it. I believe he's a divider, not a uniter.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email email@example.com or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name, suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words and Short Takes fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
IF the Knights administration wished for a favourable draw they could not be more thankful. Going into the weekend, seven of the past ten matches had been held at "home" and only three foreseeable losses have occurred. The better teams play each other, thus they cannot all win. As a result, the Knights should retain their fourth place. Once in the four, anything can happen. In 1997 the Knights defeated minor premiers Manly and again in 2001 against the so-called unbeatable Parramatta side. Again the Knights do not have to play against dangerous teams Penrith, Parramatta, Canberra and South Sydney again this regular season. Like the late Martin Luther King Jr, I have a dream at 19 to one.
Gary Dowling, Hamilton
EARLIER this month I I suggested that if severs erosion damage was to occur at Stockton, Newcastle council should be held directly responsible (Short Takes, 11/7). I believe they have failed to implement any meaningful foreshore protection measures, such as extensive high-quality sandbagging of all areas not covered by the surf club and Mitchell Street seawalls. I call for the sacking of the council and an administrator.
Bruce Niblett, Stockton
I THINK statues of past history are markers of the times, good or bad. In England protestors for the Black Lives Matter movement pulled down a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston and threw it into the Bristol Harbour. In my opinion erasing Edward Colston from history would end up erasing William Wilberforce, MP of the House of Parliament and his bill for the abolition of the slave trade. The bill was finally passed a few days before his death with the help of his associates. It was a heroic struggle, a lifetime achievement, that should never to be forgotten. I believe slavery is always evolving, from whips on our backs, balls and chains to the debt of a cashless society and lost freedom of movement from facial recognition technology. Let's not forget the oldest form of slavery; prostitution.
Maureen O' Sullivan Davidson, Swansea
I CANNOT comprehend how a poor dog so pitifully emaciated could be returned to her owner by the RSPCA ('Concerns over frail dog's care', Herald 20/7). MLC Mark Pearson from the Animal Justice Party is hoping to establish an Independent Office of Animal Protection. I hope this body would have more power to deal appropriately with the ever-increasing cases of animal cruelty.
Julia Riseley, Swansea
THE admission by Dr Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer, that up to 500,000 Australians have been infected with COVID-19 should put paid to any fantasies it is worse than seasonal influenza. With 128 deaths, the survival rate can now be assumed to be 99.97 per cent. That's better than the flu. This is consistent with studies from both New York and Delhi showing infection rates up to 20 times higher than estimated. I believe we have destroyed our economy and ruined millions of lives and livelihoods out of fear of a bogeyman. The politicians and technocrats responsible need to be held accountable.