IT has been announced that more jobs will be lost at Newcastle CSIRO ('Newcastle CSIRO jobs on the line', Newcastle Herald 31/7). For this I believe the Coalition should be condemned. Are we doomed to elect politicians who do not follow scientific advice, who can't see the big picture, who have no vision for our future and depend on some magic mumbo jumbo witchcraft or muddled-headed thinking?
We need coherent energy policies so companies can invest and create employment. The government response: lack of coherent policies. We need our brightest people working on new energy sources to power our economy and create employment. Government response: slashed funding to the CSIRO energy division.
We need non-polluting energy sources. Government response: encourage investment in gas when fugitive gas is eight times more polluting than burning coal. We need the media to supply accurate up to date information in times of crisis like bushfires and floods. Government response: slash ABC funding and tell us it has not been slashed. We need job certainty in face of climate change and a fast changing economy. Government response: encourage more fossil fuel industry when companies are rethinking their involvement in thermal coal We need a thorough overhaul of our economy. Government response: they suggest discredited Thatcher/Reagan policies.
We deserve and need politicians who are better than this.
Henry Wellsmore, Carey Bay
Population the problem, not births
TREASURER Josh Frydenberg has expressed disquiet over what he called our declining population growth rate. He even went so far as to tell us that we need to get back to producing more babies, a thought he borrowed from a previous treasurer and one adopted by the rulers in Iran, Turkey and a number of African nations.
It would be presumptuous of me to suggest that a minister is being careless with the facts, but in 2020 the death rate per 1000 head of population was 6.647, down by 28 per cent compared to 2007. However our birth rate for 2019 was 12.72 per 1000 people, a figure that has declined just 1.23 per cent. These figures mean births are almost twice that of deaths, giving us more reason to be alarmed at population growth than its unlikely decline.
Don Owers, Dudley
Head clash leads to top knock
I would like to congratulate 17-year-old Taj Ridley on making his first grade/ tier one competition debut for the Maitland Pumpkin Pickers. Two weeks ago he came off the bench against Cessnock, was only on the field for a few minutes when on his first run of the ball he had a head clash with another player, was concussed and didn't return to the field. Not a great start to his grade debut.
The following week he was named again on the bench against the Butcher Boys. To this kid's credit he was once again brought on early. In his first set on the field in defence he put an absolute bone-rattling tackle on a regular first grader. That was the start of a great game from the boy.
Through the whole game he was actually playing like a bloke that's been playing first grade for years, a great defender and running the ball like Paul 'The Chief' Harragon. Taj played that well he was voted by his team as player's player.
For a 17-year-old kid to go from carried off the week before to player's player shows great determination and confidence. Well done, Taj, your hard work is starting to come to shine. I was very impressed.
Justin Ridley, Berry Park
What happens when we outgrow it
I FINALLY managed to have a look at the new bus interchange at Wickham. It's not very big, even though it is said 300 buses can be accommodated each week. My concern is that there does not seem to be any room for expansion.
Considering the west end is supposed to be the new CBD, one has to ask whether the interchange will cope if the revitalisation that has been spoken of comes to pass. I have often wondered how the transport arrangements will cope when the new developments in the west end, Civic and the East End are fully occupied.
In spite of the number of businesses in Hunter Street that have closed or moved out, some have still expressed optimism that the city will come alive again. Maybe, however, if this does prove the case, can anyone say for sure if the light rail and the transport arrangements at Wickham will cope?
It may be a good time to consider putting the railway back into the city centre. Mind you, I don't know where they will put it. A friend suggested running the line underground from Wickham to a point between Civic and Newcastle and then under the harbour and Stockton where it would resurface and the run the line across to the airport.
Many will scoff at such a proposal because of the cost. However, such a proposal may have merit as the line could bring commuters from Medowie and Port Stephens into the city where many may be working.
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
Second wave can hit hardest
SCOTT Hillard, (Short Takes, 3/8), 100 years ago, the world thought it had a new flu licked. Then the second wave hit and the world got skittled. For two years minimum, you don't know what you are dealing with. The worst has to be assumed. They can dangerously mutate. There's the lesson that binds all. Australia began, getting control fairly right. Do you want our hospitals overrun/overflowing, as happened in New York? The best policy would have been Australia, once getting whiff of one on the loose, going for strict lockdown for 14 days, and then strict quarantining of the nation's border indefinitely. Be thankful our beds weren't filled to overflowing.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
Name games don't change past
I FOR one totally agree with your comments about Cr Mackenzie and the Captain Cook memorial, Colin Geatches (Short Takes, 28/7).
No one, I'm sure, would dispute the relevance of Indigenous peoples' culture and history anywhere in the world; our Indigenous population's heritage is a most important and valuable part of this great country. Unfortunately what happened over 200 years ago can't be changed. Instead of dwelling on the past, should we all not be looking to the future? Things seem to be getting out of hand when a very small percentage of our population can be offended by brand names. Will there be calls to change the names of places such as Black Hill, Black Creek, Black Head, Coonamble, Coonabarrabran etc? Maybe there'll be no more black Jelly Beans, Jubes, Licorice or even black tea or coffee or black beer, the list goes on and on. Time to stop this nonsense once and for all and move on.
Ian King, Warners Bay
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MOST people would have witnessed the devastation caused by the explosion of ammonium nitrate in Beirut ('Could it happen here', Newcastle Herald 6/8). A local company has 3 times that amount of the same material stored at Kooragang Island. Despite pleas from local residents for years to have it removed the company says the material is safely stored under strict regulations. Famous last words. 6000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploding would make the majority of Newcastle disappear.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
IT has been illegal to drive when drunk since 1968, yet many still do. It has been illegal to drive and take drugs since 2003, yet many still do. It has been illegal to handle a mobile phone while driving since 2012, yet many still do. Many refuse to vaccinate their own children. Why be surprised that many take no notice of coronavirus restrictions ('Victorian crackdown on isolation breaches', NewcastleHerald 5/8)? You can't legislate against stupidity.
John Hollingsworth, Hamilton
I SEE the wearing of my mask at this time as a win win. Not only do I get to do a small thing to help my community stay safe, I can also hide my ugly mug; I don't have to shave after a night on the crafties and I can pull faces at those who annoy me.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
IT is lovely to see Lake Macquarie City Council upgrading many of the parks and playgrounds in the area. But could they, perhaps, have a close look at Blackalls Park and maybe upgrade the play area and construct a few items for older and special needs children too? It is a lovely park, but the equipment has not been updated.
John Pritchard, Blackalls Park
BILL Slicer (Short Takes, 4/8) is spot on. Top name for a butcher, by the way. Reduce the retirement age to 60 with a $300 a week tax-free earning from casual work on top of super or pension payments. If we can double the dole for people who have never worked before the pandemic came along, then I believe we can afford to give lifelong workers an opportunity to take it a little bit easier. At least the money will be spent wisely by the recipients.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
I WONDER if Sonny Bill would have been so keen to come back to Australia to play rugby league if they had told him he would have to play for the Broncos or the Titans. I don't think so. He wouldn't get the publicity he is seeking if he went to a struggling team. And surprise, surprise the Roosters once again have room in their salary cap - or should I say sombrero?
Barry Reed, Islington
SO with animals now apparently not immune to coronavirus does this mean that all animals will be locked down and forced to socially distance themselves from other animals and humans? I suppose this will give the silent greenies a legitimate cause, enforcing these measures. I think the animal economy will recover. I'm not so sure however about the actual superior animals' economy. God help our kids.