LIKE Julie Robinson (Letters, 8/9) smokers have my sympathy. Women of my age (old) were often advised by their doctors to take up smoking to treat their "nerves". Nicotine is the most addictive drug in our society. I know folk who have given up heroin and alcohol but cannot kick the cigarette habit. Thankfully the measures taken by our government are reducing the number of smokers each year.
Yes, alcohol is the drug that causes the most harm: to the drinker, their family, the welfare system and often innocents accidentally involved. It's a factor in many road accidents and domestic violence. It's a pity our government does not focus more on it than the so-called war on drugs, which can never be won anyway.
Advertising of smoking is banned and advertising of alcohol on television is limited to times when children would not normally be watching. I am at a loss to understand why gambling advertisements are rife at any time of the day. This is another addiction which costs: financially to the gambler and their family and leads to estimated thousands of suicides each year. Yet, those who advocate against it, like Andrew Wilkie, are branded wowsers. Surely this profitable industry should be more rigorously controlled and television advertising banned.
Joan Lambert, Adamstown
Listen to those who stay past play
WHERE have discussion, dialogue and inclusiveness gone to when it's time to consult with our community? Don't answer; it's a rhetorical question. Perhaps it has instead been shunted aside by self-regard and marginalisation.
Evidence of community representation in the recent Newcastle Night Time Strategy operating hours decision is scant, although more apparent recipients were at the forefront of the judgment.
I believe residents of our inner city, enhancement of which suits various stakeholders, would have enjoyed being part of the debate and of the resolution. If we seek to show hospitality to our hoped-for visitors, can we not show respect and consideration for our residents?
John Thacker, Newcastle West
Border frowns are too lenient
IF you are a foreign national and you attempt to smuggle hard drugs like heroin or cocaine into Australia and get apprehended, you can expect to go to jail and face immediate deportation upon the expiry of your sentence. This is as it should be.
On the other hand, if you are a foreign national and you try your luck smuggling prohibited foodstuffs in, lie on your customs declaration, pretend you didn't understand the questions even though they were in your language and get narky as if it's our fault you got caught, then you can expect to be lashed with a wet lettuce fine of approximately $350 for the dangerous act of threatening Australia's and Australians' biosecurity. My understanding is that you will still be let in.
Unbelievable! You'd think immediate visa cancellation would be a better deterrent considering all the fevers, flus and pandemics rife in the world today.
Kevin White, Muswellbrook
We need to make our own luck
GIVEN the substantial impact the hotel quarantine program is having on all our lives, would it not be a good idea to compare best practices between states and indeed abroad? I may be wrong, but the enquiry in Victoria seems a little too localised to offer that insight. I have a suspicion that luck has played a much larger role than perhaps it should have in this whole scenario.
The current discussion about using police or security guards for returned travellers, who I believe were allowed to leave quarantine by themselves for a variety of reasons anyway, seems to be incongruous. Indeed, comparing that approach with the request for the rest of us to self-isolate if tested or found positive seems at odds also.
I can appreciate that returning citizens were deemed more at risk. But were they less at risk than the hundreds of people locked up in the unit blocks around Melbourne? Don't we need to have a clear and logical balance to all of these circumstances? Any one of them could potentially cause more harm.
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
Dogged determination inspires
AT the moment COVID-19 has many of us depressed. Here is a good news story, although at first glance it seems anything but.
In March our dog Belle, a 10-year-old moodle, collapsed. I took her to the emergency vet in Broadmeadow in a critical condition where she was diagnosed with a seven-centimetre tumour on her liver. The tumour was removed and she seemed to be recovering well, but then suffered a stroke with a series of blood clots. The main one was on the junction to her back legs. There was very little blood flow and pulse to one of them. The other leg was very sore and she would bite you if you tried to do anything with it.
We took her home. It was a bit of a struggle, up at all hours toileting her and giving her the medication she needed. Just as she started to improve she developed necrosis in her paw on her bad leg. It was decided to remove the paw.
This unfortunately did not work and so she had to have her back leg amputated. Dr Julian and Dr Natasha and all the staff were wonderful and caring not only to Belle, but my family as well.
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Dr Julian then advised us to contact Dr Lindy Price for Belle's rehabilitation. We did this via a video link, with Belle sitting on the kitchen table. Dr Lindy was able to show what exercises were needed and how to do them. We also took Belle back to AREC for treatment on their wobble board. The staff looked after her as though she was one of the family.
After discussions about getting a trolley for Belle, Lindy suggested we incorporate swimming into her exercises. We have done this with the help of Cassie and Cheryl from Dog Overboard at Adamstown in the hydrotherapy pool. Again, the staff and management have been tremendous.
Belle has suffered minor setbacks, but with all the wonderful support from everyone we have her back on track. Twice a day I push Belle in her pram around the estate. She is becoming quite a little celebrity. I am often stopped and asked about her progress. The children especially love to give her pats and sometimes I have treats for them to give to her. If you would like to follow Belle's journey, both Lindy and Dog Overboard have shared her progress on social media.
My sincere thanks go to everyone who has helped in Belle's recovery and special thanks to my wife and son. None of this would have been possible of course without Belle's fighting spirit, courage and determination.
If we follow her example we can knock COVID-19 for six. PS: Belle, in her own style, can now hop, skip, jump, walk and run for about 100 metres.
Jim Overton, Garden Suburb
AFTER a visit to the Cowra Lachlan Railway Museum, and the history they have kept of the area it would be great to see the same in Newcastle.
Kim Scott, Blacksmiths
REALLY, Julie Robinson (Letters, 8/9)? "The partner who smokes isn't a problem". While I acknowledge excessive alcohol consumption can be a problem, surely you are aware of the threat passive inhalation of foul, stale smoke can pose to the health of those living with smokers. My letter mainly referred to those inconsiderate individuals who think that no-smoking signs don't apply to them. My local bus stop has had several such signs that have only lasted a few days before being ripped down by these lawbreakers.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
DON Fraser (Short Takes, 7/9): forgetting to mention the many Liberal ex-PMs on massive payouts is simply avoiding the issue. A government wanting to stop the superannuation guarantee increase it said it supported and made as an election promise. It's favouring employers over those who voted for them while at the same time again supporting employers by refusing to criminalise regular superannuation theft.
Colin Fordham, Lambton
IT absolutely amazes me how people such as Julie Robinson (Letters, 8/9) whinge about what other people do with their lives. Smoking and drinking are not illegal. If someone feels like smoking a packet of cigarettes and downs a dozen beers then so be it, they are not breaking any law. By the way, Ms Robinson, there are some nice smelling beverages around now. Maybe try a couple, you may be enlightened.
Brad Hill, Singleton
JULIE Robinson (Letters, 8/9): there are safe guidelines for consumers on alcoholic products, it's the law. Could you inform me what the guidelines are to safe smoking?
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
SPOT on, Tony Morley regarding Jarrod Mullen. There is at least one player in the NRL at the moment that has been convicted of domestic violence. He was in the Roosters' grand final winning team the last two years and is currently playing for Penrith, who are leading the competition. Why does the NRL even bother having violence against women round? Hypocrisy at its best or worst.
Matt Ophir, Charlestown
SCOTT Morrison's assessment of NSW as being the gold standard sounds great except for two words: Ruby Princess.
Robert Green, Georgetown
THANK you to Alan White for his compromise proposal (Letters, 9/9) for the Newcastle Inner Bypass at McCaffrey Drive. A compromise it certainly is, but, as Alan points out, use of Lookout Road is a compromise in itself. Sadly though, like most thoughtful proposals from the general public, it is probably destined for the wastebasket of the "experts".
Geoff Hassall, Birmingham Gardens
DO you think Newcastle's late night lockout laws should be relaxed?