THERE is currently a heap of controversy over the border closures. Personally, I do not support the strategy; I believe that outbreaks should be managed in local government areas, rather than state-wide.
I have noted that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has implied that our system of federation is in need of some changes. He is not happy that the state premiers have exercised their powers to control borders.
Sam Reich's letter (Letters, 12/9) is spot on. Our 19th century federation structure is no longer relevant in the 21st.
I am all for working towards the elimination of state governments, giving the federal government the responsibility of providing standardised systems of health, education, policing, public transport, road rules, workplace health and safety, trade and professional licensing, etc. A few years ago we began the process of harmonisation, where state governments adopted similar rules and regulations but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
Of course, local governments would need to muscle-up and be properly funded.
I can hear the calls now that you cannot mess with the constitution, but why not? A process of this magnitude would take many years to prepare and implement and there will be many arguments, especially from State politicians and public servants but we need to ask the question;
Are we united as one country or are we content to remain divided? Thank you Sam Reich for starting the conversation. I look forward to many more letters on this subject.
Stan Keifer, Arakoon
Not all that helps is cutting edge
RAY Peck (Letters, 12/9) wrote that society needs to remove the source of carbon dioxide by accelerating fossil-fuel phase out and embracing renewable energy. I strongly agree with him but would add allowing the regrowth of our native forests, mangroves and sea grass meadows, reducing our consumption of animal products and allowing all for an opportunity for harassment free education and careers.
John Merory, Ivanhoe East
Whack them with harsh penalties
OVER the last week there has been talk in the media about the need for NRL team members to protect their high profile players from being targeted; this includes our own Newcastle Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga (Look after No. 1', NewcastleHerald 10/9).
Unfortunately, the sort of thuggery we are seeing on the NRL field occurs in almost every game. I believe the way to stop this is for the NRL to take steps to completely eliminate head high tackles, shoulder charges, crusher tackles and spear tackles from the game before any more players are seriously injured. If this happened on the street the offender would most likely end up in jail, yet we seem to accept it on the NRL field.
Stiffer penalties should be used as a deterrent. Any player using these types of tackles should be sent from the field and, if found guilty by the NRL judiciary, serve a four to six week suspension with no appeal. We really need to clean up this great game.
Diamond Porter, Blackalls Park
Mull over best course of action
GAVIN Green (Letters, 11/9) hit the nail on the head. Jarrod Mullen is still that same good, decent country boy that he met 11 years ago. Having known the Mullen family for many years, Jarrod has been raised with strong values for respect, dedication and hard work.
Yes, he may have got lost along the way and walked the less desirable path but he has served his time, swallowed his pride and is now asking for a second chance. What message are Newcastle, the Knights and the NRL sending if they don't take him back and allow him to make amends?
League is full of bad boys who get slaps on the wrists and are then allowed back into the fold. Mullen accepted his four-year sentence; he sacrificed and lost everything, friends, money and the game he loved. During the last four years he has started from scratch, leaving his hometown and family, finding himself again. The one thing he never lost was his commitment to his fitness and football. Mullen is back, stronger than ever and wants nothing more than to return to his hometown and his life-long passion. Come on Knights, this young man showed nothing but commitment to your club, now it's time to stand by him.
Renata Pepper, New Lambton
Uninspired effort won't get it done
KNIGHTS coach O'Brien should have given Mitchell Pearce a rest on Saturday, as I thought he was well off his game ('Off the pace', Herald 14/9). If that's any indication of where the Knights are, even the blokes they rested won't make a great deal of difference.
They were ordinary when they had the ball. O'Brien's tactics of playing the forwards one out will not cut it against the sides like Easts and he should know better. He has coached there and should be well aware of their defensive structure. The only way you are going to do anything is by moving the ball around a bit to break them up. I know we didn't go well, but I must add that Easts got some good calls; Tedesco was a yard and half in front of the ball when it was kicked for his try and Friend's pass off the ground was at least a metre forwards. There was no way it could have gone backwards.
Allen Small, East Maitland
Advocacy inequality speaks loudly
IT is puzzling that Scott Morrison advocated for a woman to travel to Queensland for her parent's funeral, but when a couple of months back it was reported a person was refused entry to Tasmania to attend their parent's funeral it doesn't sound like he advocated for that person.
Unfortunately, this gives the impression that his motivation may be political rather than altruistic. It seems like he is promoting dismissing the recommendations of some state chief health officers. This makes his behaviour worrying at a time when people are looking to him to unite the nation.
Susie Johnson, Adamstown
Fine detail focus ignores big issues
IN reply to Robert Dixon (Short Takes, 11/9): the leases for the ports of Newcastle and Darwin were negotiated with the relevant State Governments. However, my point is how could a federal government (Liberal or Labor ) allow this to happen.
It's inconceivable that any government worldwide would approve such leases and being the federal government, they surely would have the power to stop these leases from happening in the first place. Also, the fact that Chinese interests allegedly own 10 per cent of the water rights in the Murray Darling water system says to me the horse has bolted.
Therefore, I stick to my point that our politicians are postulating over a fairly trivial matter because they know they are powerless to do anything about much more serious matters.
Robert Green, Georgetown
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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.
I THINK we all agree that our precious koalas need to be protected; farmers included ('Koalition in crisis', Newcastle Herald 11/9). My understanding is the 123 tree species now protected for koala habitat include exotic oak trees and some noxious weeds. Surely a bit of common sense and compromise is called for here. I believe this is another example of the truth being lost in favour of political gain and headlines.
Ruth Burrell, Merewether
SCOTT Hillard (Letters, 11/9) is correct in saying Dan Andrews has little choice about his lockdown strategy, but not for the reasons he lists. Absent from the national conversation but pretty obvious to me, is that until Victoria gets its numbers down to those seen in neighbouring states, they will not reopen their borders and the economic paralysis will continue. The closures are very popular in those states and will not be lifted until it is safe to do so, no matter how hard the right laments the economic damage from the lockdown.
Michael Gormly, Islington
LES Field (Letters, 1/9), what you state in your letter about being competitive in contracts for train manufacturing is what has sunk this country down the waste pipe, in my opinion. This attitude must change if we are to get back on our feet. Build everything we can here in this country. If it is more expensive, so be it. It stimulates the economy and keeps people employed. Most of the overseas manufacturing for decades has had to be modified, changed, brought up to Australia standards anyway at the taxpayer's expense. So build it here. It is the only way forward.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
MILO Kei (Letters, 12/9) personally I would be a lot less stressed when alarmists finally learn the difference between denying that the planet is heating, which I never have, and denying the need for catastrophising. We have had to put up with so many wild and ridiculous predictions which do nothing but scare children.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
JOAN Lambert (Letters, 14/9) is right about gambling, in that tighter controls on advertising should be in place. Unfortunately, one of the principal advocates against gambling, Andrew Wilkie, is, in my view, one of the most boring and ineffectual politicians in Australia. If they really want to reach problem gamblers, it will take someone slightly more dynamic than Mr Wilkie.
David Stuart, Merewether
I AM continually frustrated by the media referring to all sportsmen and sportswomen as a star. This shows total disrespect to the super achievers who really are a star. The latest disgrace is in referring to the young Sydney Swans player who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend as a football star. Are we serious about violence against women? If he is found guilty there are more appropriate descriptions.
Peter Ryder, Toronto
SHOULD the government have committed to building a gas power plant?