IT was so heartening to read the editorial in the Newcastle Herald supporting nurses in their efforts to claim their pay rise ('Questions over NSW nursing pay 'rise', Herald 16/10). The observation that MPs' foregone salary increases are minimal compared to the losses that nurses would experience, was an argument I think the Safe Work Commission should have considered.
We will see $3 billion lost with those mythic words: "shovel-ready projects".
In my opinion that $3 billion will disappear amongst those close to the money. It's unlikely anyone wielding a shovel will see much of it.
It's a brutal strategy to demonstrate power. If you can declare nurses to be heroes and then, in almost the same breath, deny them decent pay, then you can get away with anything. Public sector pay rises will do more to stimulate the economy than, as the Premier put it at last week's ICAC hearing, "pie-in-the-sky and speculation".
The assistant secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association's Waratah branch, Louise Haskins, pictured, invited the Premier to do a shift with nurses just to see what it was like (''Work 18-hour shift in our shoes: nurses', Herald 16/10). The Premier might benefit from some honest work, on nursing pay. In fact, we would all benefit from that.
Niko Leka, Mayfield
It's time to take back licences
CONGRATULATIONS, Adam Marshall and Kevin Anderson. You appear to have emerged from a catatonic state when it comes to coal seam gas extraction in the North West of NSW.
Recently these MPs have been falling over themselves to reassure voters in the electorates they represent that the petroleum exploration licences (PELs) should be extinguished.
The motion, carried unopposed at the Nationals conference in July 2019, to "extinguish Petroleum Exploration Licences as soon as they expire", has not been acted upon by party MPs.
Fifteen months later it is independent MLC Justin Field who will put up a private member's bill to have expired, unused exploration licences extinguished.
Let's see if our political representatives will put their money where their mouth is and vote in favour of the bill.
There are 12 PELs covering 56,000 square kilometres of northwest NSW. It is cold comfort for the people who warned that approval of Santos' Narrabri Gas project was the Trojan horse for coal seam gas extraction across our region. Moving rapidly after approval was granted to Santos, Comet Ridge has declared they will be looking to actively explore potential gas reserves.
Santos has repeatedly stated that they have no intention of drilling for coal seam gas in areas outside the Pilliga. Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher made the statement before shareholders in 2018. If the company has corporate integrity, I believe Adam Marshall's request that Santos and Comet Ridge relinquish PELs should be complied with.
Robyn King, Newcastle East
Debating different solar systems
WITH regards to Carl Stevenson's worry that renewables cannot be relied upon, my 3.3 kilowatt solar system produces around 4600 kilowatt hours per year of electricity and has done so for 10 years. There is very little difference from year to year, so the solar system is reliable and consistent.
Storing the summer excess power can be done through pumped hydro. Renewables are very capable of 65 per cent powering the grid, as has been shown in South Australia. Increasing the 65 per cent to 100 per cent grid renewables is not far away.
I had the all-electric house on near 100 per cent solar electricity using a battery for 24 hours per day for a week, so that works for this time of year even with cloudy days. With regards to the battery, recently a software update occurred in the inverter and the battery stopped working. I may have to wait a while before it is up and going again.
Agner Sorensen, Teralba
Track what cars cut off, too
SO it's 50-50 for Supercars' Newcastle event to proceed next year ('Supercars 50-50 in '21', Herald 17/10). Take a walk around Newcastle East this spring and notice how the local cafes are buzzing. There are so many people out and about enjoying Newcastle's coastline and parklands. It's a wonderful sight considering the last three years. The barricades and wire fences were going up. Wharf Road had been closed off until mid December to build Supercars pit facilities. People were deterred from coming into the city. Those that persisted found their amenity degraded. COVID should be a wake-up call to the Supercars/Destination NSW partnership.
Put these events on permanent circuits. It's clear invasive events like this don't just bring in tourist dollars. They also leak out tourist dollars. Visitors may stay away because of the disruption and many locals are crowded out, taking their own tourist dollars elsewhere.
Christine Everingham, Newcastle East
Harbour's sides a long way apart
WHY do we continue to torture the people of Stockton ('Stockton's loss is Nobbys' growth', Herald 17/10)?
You don't need to be an expert to make the connection that build up of sand on the Nobbys side is a direct consequence of the breakwater acting as a barrier.
In my opinion the amount being spent on the Newcastle side of the break water and the spruiking of upgraded amenities is an insult to the other side of the harbour that pretty much has no access to Stockton beach, a band-aided coffee shop and no sand. Meanwhile, the lifeguards on the Newcastle side are in heaven with the facilities they have compared to their Stockton counterparts, who would need to be rock climbers to rescue anyone on the northern part of the beach.
Tony Morley, Waratah
Some who wander are lost to Jets
I BELIEVE Thursday's media performances by the Newcastle Jets CEO and former coach were true reflections of each person's character.
One, obviously fuelled by ambition and greed, was unveiled as the Wanderers coach without first having the decency to thank the Jets for bending over backwards to get him and his family back into the country, and without personally addressing the fans who were beginning to trust in him. He also refused requests from Herald journalists for an interview after his abrupt departure.
Meanwhile, CEO Lawrie McKinna showed again that he cares about the club and the fans and I for one, trust him to appoint a coach with integrity.
Thank you, Lawrie and your staff, for keeping the club afloat. I will be supporting the club again next season while death riding the Wanderers.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
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It is fairly evident that any further deterioration of information emanating from the cutbacks to regional news services will have an impact on our democratic freedoms and our ability to assess and respond to our society's needs. Personally I find my ability to think critically, about both major and minor problems or solutions, those beyond my personal parameters, are enhanced by the many and varied journalists public media provides. Journalists report: my choice to agree, disagree or just ignore, either way at least I get to see it as it is and then take action, if I feel it warranted. If we lose this freedom, we will never get it back.
Ray Milliss, Tingira Heights
NOW that the Welshman has welched on the Jets, why not poach Damian Zane to instill the same backbone and skills that he has imparted to the Edgeworth Eagles? His rapport with the players and tactical nous would, in my opinion, dovetail into what Robinson has started. The Eagles beat a lot of higher ranked teams in the Cup and caused problems with A-League sides including the Jets. He is a Novocastrian and a straight shooter.
Alan Cameron, Eleebana
I JUST want to express my feelings on how well my Newcastle Knights went this year. I'm ever so proud of the boys and their efforts this year and I'm very proud of how my Knights' boys conducted themselves on and off the field. Maybe one day my main man, Joey Johns, will return to the club.
Dean Ward, Stockton
MIKE Sargent, Allan Jones and Donald Trump are popular because they talk facts and do not listen to fools.
Brad Hill, Singleton
THE lack of interest shown by the government to the plight of Julian Assange is shocking. Doesn't this man, who is at risk of being extradited to the United States to an unknown fate, in the very least deserve that our Prime Minister connects directly with Mr Trump and Mr Biden to seek their help for this Australian citizen?
Olga Parkes, New Lambton Heights
GOOD on ya' Twiggy. Keep bringing the icons back; RM Williams will put some 'sole' back in to our great country. This is a giant step in the right direction for our business and manufacturing future.
Alan Harrison, Glendale
A TREASURER'S responsibility is to keep a check on the finances. Maybe Josh Frydenberg should be putting all his efforts into finding out why the government paid $30 million for a parcel of land worth only $3 million instead of sticking his nose into Victorian politics.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
IT gives me great comfort to know that we are in the hands of competent governments and bureaucrats looking after our laws systems and wellbeing. One has only to look at how they have handled hotel quarantine, the Ruby Princess, the land sales at Badgerys Creek, the rorting of visas and now the Trans Tasman bubble. Not to mention the odd clandestine relationship. Again thank goodness we are in good hands.