AFTER watching Freeman on ABC Sunday night, as usual, the cash-for comment media jump on the bandwagon. Cathy Freeman, pictured, was always the right choice to light the Olympic torch, and she was right to fly the Aboriginal flag.
What did the Union Jack on the Australian flag ever do for the original inhabitants of this land? For the record, the Union Jack was known as the butcher's apron by its victims. Australian rulers are reminded of blacks' existence only when mining corporations blow up sacred sites of what little land blacks hold. I believe Indigenous people should take a more forceful position against these mining terrorists.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
No new entrants into state of play
JOHN Tierney's piece ('Why some state lines border on the absurd', Opinion 9/9) delves into the history, the creation and why now some of the state border lines are having such an impact due to development over the past 50 plus years.
His reference to establishing a seventh state called Capricorn I think is farcical given the current border problems.
What we badly need is less borders and less state government intervention in our lives. As a suggestion, wouldn't it be much simpler to have three states - West Australia, Central Australia, Eastern Australia? In other words, I say KISS - keep it simple, senator (retired).
John Fear, Newcastle East
Put both methods to the test
STEVE Evans' piece ('Why not have an instant COVID test?', Herald 7/9) reported that there are quick tests available, but they are not quite accurate enough.
The main criticism of those "antigen" tests has been that lower levels of viral infection are not detected. But those lower levels of viral infection commonly correspond to little or no symptoms.
The low levels of viral count, not detected by the quick test, usually only exist for the first day of infection. In the following days the viral load increases rapidly. A test repeated on the second or third day would most likely return positive.
The advantages of the quick tests, already available as an indicating-paper or slide test, greatly outweigh the lower test sensitivity. Every hospital, pharmacy, airport, school and even many businesses could be supplied with test-kits.
On the spot tests could quickly identify many infected employees or visitors. The standard tests would still be conducted for the community, but this test takes days or even up to a week in Victoria for a result to be reported. Delays in tracing and reporting are known to have contributed to the serious COVID outbreak there.
Medical people are very conservative about testing but now is not the time for such conservatism. With COVID-19 still out of control around most of the globe, action is required with new technologies to reduce this pandemic to a controllable disease.
Peter Devey, Merewether
Don't let boos block booze reform
WE don't need a trial to relax the liquor laws ('Trial extends closing time', Herald 20/8). I object to the fact that I can't have a cocktail after 10pm.
I consider this is discrimination against women and I should not be under suppressive laws that in my view amount to a miniature prohibition on alcohol.
The controlling lockout laws should finish, and as for the medical groups who support lockout, I presume many have a history of drinking themselves. The police too have had their share of alcohol in their day.
I think we should stop pussy footing around and have a sensible serving of alcohol and open the entertainment business for live music. I believe the politicians making these controlling laws are a religious front who are suffering from pleasure anxiety and never had the chance to swirl with merriment; they are full of holy indoctrination of religious restraints. Australia has secular society and a constitution without religious restraints.
Maureen O'Sullivan Davidson, Swansea
Later trade is a bad idea, bar none
I BELIEVE leaders have been preventing local residents from objecting to changes that I understand will allow small bars to avoid lodging a development application to change their hours ('Liquor trial panel 'belatedly' accepts community representative', Herald 10/9).
Small bars serving alcohol into the wee small hours is a blow to the many residents in and around the ever increasing apartment buildings, hotels and apartments currently being erected in the city and suburbs. It will be a slap in the face to the hard fought for 'Newcastle solution'.
I recall clearly what the residents of the Hunter Street Mall had to put up with. The following is an extract from one of the many letters I wrote to Tim Owen and many Newcastle councillors in 2009 objecting to another establishment in the city opening until 5.30am regularly:
"The nature of the proposed entertainment is detrimental to any future development of residential apartments and student teaching facilities and in complete conflict with the council's and NSW state government's expressed policies for a vibrant, creative, family friendly and safe environment for the Newcastle Centre and Mall.
"The expected aftermath and carnage as previously experienced four years ago i.e. noise, brawling, broken glass, abusive and foul language, intimidation of residents and shop owners, urinating in doorways, defecating and faecal smearing around walls and door handles, vomit, graffiti, damage to nearby property, shops and nearby apartment buildings. This is also a workplace health and safety risk for the council workers and other stakeholders going about their work on a daily basis."
Today, with the proposed relaxation of the lockout laws, how will this type of bad behaviour be prevented? Our drinking habits certainly have changed, but for no other reason than the lockout laws.
I am not against alcohol, but I don't like the abuse, violence or injury that is inflicted on people or the costly damage to property and carnage that drunken behaviour brings upon society. We all know that loading up prior to going to the pub/club or a small bar because it's cheaper is not good for the small bar or hotel and is a precursor to this unacceptable behaviour.
Why is it that our health experts and even the NSW police are against relaxing the lockout laws but the Labor City of Newcastle council and our Labor state MP are hell-bent on allowing such a potentially disastrous idea?
I would be more impressed this energy would be directed to our struggling daytime economy that is hanging by a thread.
Wendy Dickinson, Newcastle
Best is yet to come for Knights
WE are saving our best for last ('Off the pace', Herald 15/9). Go Knights.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email email@example.com or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited and reproduced in any form.
THERE was a time when I believed our country would be better off with female political leaders. I grew up believing women were kinder, more considerate, more humane, better people than us blokes. I believe the heartless actions of the Queensland Premier in the past week have shown how wrong I was, and then to cry bullying when the PM asks for a bit of human decency is an insult to those women (and men) who really are being bullied in their daily lives.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
ALL the speculation is that Supercoach Wayne Bennett's coaching future could be back with the Broncos. He can rest assured of one thing; it won't be here at the Knights.
David Davies, Blackalls Park
WITH Newcastle Airport in dire financial trouble and with job losses, are Nuatali Nelmes and Ryan Palmer still in their positions and on their handsome salaries?
John Bonnyman, Fern Bay
ROBERT Dixon (Short Takes, 11/9), maybe should look at who was in charge when the Port of Darwin in particular was sold and who made the decision. The Country Liberal Party was in power in 2015 when the 99-year lease was approved, not Labor as he asserts. Yes the ALP has taken control since, but the sale was in 2015 when they were still in opposition.
Glenn Jones, Weston
THURSDAY'S page (Letters, 10/9) contained a couple of beauties that made me laugh and deserve comment. Pete Dolan, after the release of the Woodward tapes, do you still believe that the fool in the White House is without fault? As for Greg Hunt's comment about our heating planet, there is none so blind as those that will not see California, Greenland, Iceland, Antarctica and oh yes the rest of the planet.
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
FOR the life of me I can't think of a better person to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize other than Mr Donald Trump; a true champion of the people and always fighting for our freedom and liberties. Well done the Don.
Brad Hill, Singleton
BRENNAN Turnbull (Short Takes, 10/9) while you are enamoured by Benji Marshall's attacking skill you seem to be forgetting one important fact: defence plays a large part in the game and Benji's defence often resembles that of a turnstile!
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
RICHIE Blanch (Letters, 10/9) I feel your pain. Being a Wests Tigers fan (from the Balmain faction) I have experienced so much disappointment for the 40 years I've followed this club. However, I do feel that the performance of a team has as much to do with the spirit in the club as it does with individual player performances. As a club we have been paying too much money for ordinary players with ordinary attitudes. This fault lies purely at the feet of our management. The Knights were also caught up in this spiral for a few years; however they've seemed to come out the other end. It pains me to say this but maybe we can learn something from the blue and reds.