YOUNG boys like digging jumps for their bikes in the bush along walking and mountain bike trails. Often, the jumps are made without parental supervision and may be dangerous for both the jumpers and the public. Bike parks are not the answer, however. Most of the fun that boys have is in building the jumps themselves, even if no-one is brave enough to try them out ('Kids rue loss of bike trails', Herald 25/7).
In my opinion the biggest problem on bush trails is not boys on BMXs or mountain bikes or their jumps; it is unregistered and uninsured trail bikes. These noisy and smelly machines destroy the tranquility of the bush. They are mostly ridden by adolescent boys whose wealthy parents have bought them the bikes. Typically, riders and bikes cannot be identified. I believe hit and runs, although uncommon, do occur.
This problem could easily be solved if all motorbikes, whether used privately or not, were required to be registered. Then the police could confiscate any unregistered motorbikes and fine their users.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Destruction in the eye of beholder
I FOUND it disappointing that the Herald chose to use inflammatory language by describing the National Parks' actions in restoring damaged land as destruction ('Kids rue loss of bike trails', Herald, 25/7).
There is a shortage of recreational areas, especially for kids and councils should be accountable. But the proliferation of bike tracks in bushland has become a threat to our increasingly scarce natural environment and all the life it supports, as well as depriving enjoyment from all the people who love natural areas.
Don Owers, Dudley
Think outside, don't box kids in
THAT'S the final straw. Bureaucracy has gone mad ('Kids rue loss of bike trails', NewcastleHerald 25/7).
In my opinion, whoever that made the decision to clear the bike tracks that were made by kids obviously sat playing video games as a child. In among what we have gone through this year, we are finally getting the kids outside playing on their bikes in the bush and creating their own stories of growing up. That appears to be forgotten by the risk averse. Another story for our nanny state archives. Absolute disgrace for such insignificant risk.
Sean Reeves, Newcastle
New sports club wrong kind of kick
THE situation which has occurred at the Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre ('Sports centre site revealed', Herald 22/7) is a disgrace. The state government has again allowed big business to dictate terms. Surely it is Origin Energy's responsibility to clean up their mess so that the current camp remains. How long has it currently been closed and how long before a new one is completed?
The camp (the setting, the natural and man-made facilities, and the staff) has provided an outstanding venue and opportunity for thousands and thousands of school age children and community groups. I'm sure anybody who has visited this camp, as I have, will tell you what a wonderful place it is and the positive effect it has had on all those who have attended. The government's reasons for closure seem to be convenient for Origin Energy. The onus should be on Origin Energy to fix their problem.
A new camp is an easy and convenient fix for them. Maintaining the current camp would surely have been the quickest and best outcome both environmentally and for the users of the camp. The weak excuses given by the government do not withstand close scrutiny.
Paul Wagner, Floraville
Barmy bad behaviour is going viral
DENNIS Crampton, (Letters, 22/7), I like your style and I couldn't agree more. I work in a supermarket and feel that the majority of folks are doing the right thing by keeping their distance and sanitising.
However, there is a dangerous element out there: those entitled people who feel it is their right to do whatever they choose, blatantly disregarding both restrictions and subsequent repercussions.
Another equally disturbing sector is the radicals who believe the virus is merely a conspiracy, designed by the government, to keep us suppressed. As you would expect, when challenged, they have no explanation as to how millions of people have died globally since the pandemic began.
Denial is a dangerous game when playing with COVID-19.
Julia Riseley, Swansea
Some miner points of clarification
ONE of the strengths of a free society is that we're able to have differing opinions. Despite the jobs and investment mining brings to the Hunter, there will always be those who have an ideological opposition to the industry. However, it's important that even when we disagree, we stick to the facts and evidence.
Margarete Ritchie (Letters, 28/7) claimed the NSW Minerals Council made large donations to political parties.
The NSW Minerals Council makes no political donations to any political parties and has not done so for many years. A simple check of the publicly available donations register will confirm this.
It was also alleged that the Deputy Premier recently announced a coal project for the village of Wollombi, and that I had publicly backed the project. Exploration leases to the north of the Wollombi township have existed for decades but there is no proposal for a coal project at or near Wollombi, and I have made no such comments.
Stephen Galilee, NSW Minerals Council CEO
Privilege outside data's picture
FOR Dr Barney Langford (Letters, 24/7) domestic violence is overwhelmingly a male problem ('male privilege') and just as prevalent in affluent suburbs as in lower socio-economic communities, just not always reported.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) acknowledges reporting difficulties, with incidents frequently occurring behind closed doors and often concealed by, and denied by their perpetrators and sometimes by their victims.
Still, it claims a greater understanding of domestic violence with its range of data from national data collections and surveys, including data on prevalence and attitudes, hospital presentations, social support programs, recorded crime, corrections and specialised family, domestic and sexual violence services.
AIHW does find domestic violence largely, but not wholly, a male problem, although I don't see 'privilege' as having much to do with it. Women are overwhelmingly the victims. The rate of domestic violence is higher in the country than in cities. It increases with financial stress and economic hardship, with those in the lowest socioeconomic areas at greater risk. It also finds Indigenous Australians experience family violence at higher rates than the general population.
Peter Dolan, Lambton
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I BELIEVE it's outrageous that the second-largest city in NSW and the sixth in Australia is still without an art gallery that meets even the most moderate of standards ('More design dollars for gallery work', Newcastle Herald 23/7). I could nominate a dozen regional galleries that are more dynamic and suitable venues for exhibitions that attract high quality touring exhibits and fill their venues with a mixed audience. The contrast with our gallery is in my opinion shameful. Do we have to wait till hell freezes over before we have a gallery of which we can be proud?
Terry Colling, Bonnells Bay
NO "current plans" to level the Wickham School of Arts site as part of Honeysuckle's redevelopment ('Calls to protect old school') Herald 24/7, is not good enough an assurance. The Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation should clearly assure the future restoration and re-purposing of the Wickham School of Arts as a matter of reasonable community urgency.
John Mayo, Islington
IT'S a hard time putting your best mate down, but Chris from Hamilton Veterinary Clinic made it a little easier. You are a great human and a compassionate one at that.
Michael McQuarrie, Merewether
I WOULDN'T like to be Sydney visitors here anytime soon, it might get ugly. The locals are not happy, Jan. It's time to declare a new state north of the Hawkesbury River. We get nothing from all the money generated in the Hunter. Let Sydney rot and starve. How are tourists still allowed in Port Stephens? Gladys has to walk the plank as far as I'm concerned.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
I NOTE that the US State Department has ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. The closure of the consulate is the right thing to do given the amount of spying and hacking the Chinese have been doing. It's not like the yanks would spy on or hack the Chinese; perish the thought!
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
WHETHER your name's Karen, Sharon or Darren, the arrogance of some people opposed to wearing masks is breath-taking.
Brian Markson, Charlestown
PUBLIC money - that is, our taxes at work - should be distributed fairly so we all benefit. That is, unless we have a Coalition government and we live in a Labor seat ('Newcastle club slams 'corrupt' sports fund, Herald 24/7)). It seems the coalition governs only for coalition voters and ignores the rest.
Mac Maguire, Charlestown
I PURCHASED a small air fryer to make smaller meals. It was off the shelf and came without a box or instructions. After a few burnt meals, it is doing what is expected, but I must not use the tin of soup that I put on it to keep the lid down.
Mandy Johnstone, Mayfield
THE Bureau of Meteorology was correct with that forecast for last weekend; it certainly was a rain bomb. ('Four people rescued from flood water', Herald 27/7).