TODAY I along with others attempted to attend the Northern NSW Football NPL Grand Final and the No. 2 Sportsground ('Cutting edge', Herald 9/11). I did not pick up on the need to secure tickets online before attending the game.
On arriving at the ground at approximately 2.45pm today the marshal advised us that we needed to pre purchase tickets for COVID-19 social distancing reasons, and the fact that the ground was full under the conditions. So, accepting that we were remiss in not having tickets, we departed for home to watch the game on television. On commencement of the game we were aware that the ground was far from being even half full and the outer grounds were in fact almost devoid of spectators. In the second half by our count the spectators in the outer ground would not have exceeded 100. Social distancing was never an issue due to the small numbers there. Up to another 1000 attendances could have been managed.
Even if a number of presold ticket holders failed to show, this would in my opinion not make up for the scarcity of spectators in the outer ground. A two tiered ticket allocation system under covered and uncovered areas could be an easy solution. If Northern NSW Football wants to attract more spectators and revive interest in the world game at the local level, I believe the approach to the game today needs to be reviewed.
Gary Foster, Adamstown
Duplication must reach crossroads
THE duplication of Nelson Bay Road has been pipe dream and promises for years ('New fork in road plan', Newcastle Herald 3/11). The "new" option has been on the drawing boards for at least four decades, albeit only for two lanes of traffic. This preferred option was resurrected when the RMS was informed by respondents during the previous two options consultation process.
The proposal is by far the best one as it will bypass the busy Paul's Corner and Lemon Tree Passage roundabouts, also removing the need to duplicate a bridge over the start of Tilligerry Creek. These are considerable cost savings. The fact that it can be constructed with little or no interference or hold-ups to motorists is a real bonus.
It has been proven that Nelson Bay Road carries more traffic than the M1 northwards and the heavy sand trucks could avoid most of the dangerous situations at roundabouts when turning. With the NSW Government now offering yet another consultation period, it may stall for yet another year or more.
There will have been at least six state budgets since the road's duplication was promised. Now they will be able to spend more money on tunnels under Sydney in this year's.
Brian Watson-Will, Corlette
Keep track of who else is around
WALKING along the Fernleigh Track on the weekend I was nearly knocked over by two DILS - dopes in lycra - whizzing past two abreast. I was walking far to the left of the left path, too. In contrast I noticed most people in regular clothing (PIRCs) showed great courtesy to others out enjoying exercise and nature on a Saturday morning. The Fernleigh Track is a shared path after all, not just a speed track for DILS.
Others on this wonderful track ranged from two-year-olds to over 80-year-olds walking, running, riding along the path. One dad and his two sons struck me especially. A four-year-old with training wheels on his bike and a two-yearold up on his dad's shoulders, having run out of steam. The dad said he doesn't often come onto the track with his sons due to the DILS. I hope that the four-year-old stays a PIRC and doesn't become an inconsiderate DIL when he grows up. What a wonderful thing all those young families out on the track were doing in building great future life skills for their young children. DILS, if you want to speed use the velodrome.
Adrienne Roberts, Kahibah
It's less a law than a guideline
SO, Peter Dolan (Short Takes, 9/11) cherry picks one sentence from a thoughtful letter from Julie Robinson, where she compares the adoration shown for Donald Trump by his followers to archival film footage from 1930's Germany.
Mr Dolan now invokes Godwin's Law, a term attributed to otherwise unknown American lawyer and author Mike Godwin that declares whoever calls someone else a Nazi loses the argument. However he fails to mention that Mike Godwin himself rejects that proposition.
As recently as 2018 Mr Godwin wrote an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times where he unambiguously rejected the lost argument thesis and reiterated that appropriate application of the rule "should function less as a conversation ender and more as a conversation starter." And in 2015, responding to articles raising Nazi and fascist comparisons with presidential candidate Trump, Godwin stated "If you're thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler when you talk about Trump, or any other politician." It seems to me that this is precisely what Julie Robinson has done.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Trump years had silver linings
JIM Jose ("Troubled times ahead for a divided nation", Opinion 7/11) attempted an analysis of the US election and Trump's presidential term. I believe it was a less than friendly or even objective view of the Trump presidency. Stating that "Trump claimed repeatedly, without evidence, that the election would be rigged because of postal ballots" is looking particularly ironic now that Trump is pursuing lawsuits that the presentation, counting and identity of those ballots has shown up severe irregularities that favoured Biden. The courts will decide who becomes the next president.
Claiming Trump as president of inveterate lying, racial divisiveness, sexism and poor handling of the COVID threat was negative opinion without any supporting evidence quoted. Nobbling of agencies and disregard for conventions of governing - no examples given. Contrary to what Jim Jose stated, the US federal and supreme courts are the same shape and haven't been "stacked". Judges were appointed only as vacancies occurred.
No positive comment was made despite the economy growing strongly until the COVID pandemic, the lowest female and minority unemployment rates for many decades, three major Middle East peace deals with Israel brokered by the US, and the defeat of ISIS. Trump was the first president since the 1970s not to engage in a new overseas war. The US has become a net energy exporter under Trump with his support of energy resources. No mention of any of this or numerous other Trump accomplishments by Mr Jose. It was an opinion piece, so Jim Jose can say whatever he likes, but Mr Jose is a professor of politics at University of Newcastle. In my opinion he should be aware of all the details I listed and feel a public obligation to be balanced in his opinion piece.
Peter Devey, Merewether
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IAN Roach (Letters, 7/11), you may not like what Greg Hunt writes, but in my opinion he has done no more than call out the climate change alarmists. He has stated he is concerned about the effect the alarmists are having on the mental health of our children today; a concern I share. I believe Flannery and Hanson knew how the alarmists would use their claims and how this would advance their demands for immediate climate change action. I choose to believe they did not foresee the damage they were causing.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
AUSTRALIA is being subjected to an increasing number of export restrictions on imports to China. The one area that China hasn't attacked is iron ore, and they won't. China needs our highest-quality iron ore for steelmaking for commercial and military use. Australia should place a tariff on iron ore exports to China, to be collected by the Australian government to offset the losses incurred by China's negative attitude to other existing Australian exports. The Australian government might also consider reducing the present level of iron ore export to China. I am sure Australia could find an alternative eager to import Australian iron ore. Let us stand up to bullying.
Bruce Niblett, Stockton
WELL, it's official; Joe Biden is now the USA's President Elect. What a relief. During the Trump Administration, I felt my finger was constantly being hit by a heavy hammer. Now the pain has gone. At the time of writing, Mr. Trump still hasn't conceded defeat and my guess is that he will not, nor congratulate Mr. Biden on his win. Mr. Biden will be the 46th President of the United States. Even though he is the 46th president, he is only the 45th person to hold this office. Back in the 1850s Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms (from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897) and is counted as the 22nd and 24th presidents. I sincerely hope Mr. Trump doesn't attempt to contest the Presidency again in 2024. I don't think I could stomach another 5 years of Donald Trump.
Les Field, Wickham
VALE 'Bones' Hillman, the ace of bass, the quiet Oil who kept the machine well oiled; a voice smooth as Tennessee whisky, harmonies silky sweet. The song One Country is a haunting, spine tingling, thought provoking masterpiece in which Bones simply walks on water. I've been there from the beginning when Andrew James played bass, then we had Peter Gifford playing bass. Then the Lord sent Bones. I'll always be more of a surfing with a spoon man than a fan of politics, but Oilers will always be Oilers. Rest in peace, Bones Hillman. Too young, too soon, the band was just getting started.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
TRUMP'S trumped-up charges seem in keeping with his extremely deep egotism. He is, after all, a selfish person. "Trumped up" derives from an old English phrase to indicate divisiveness and false accusation. Let's be fair to the man, it seems he is only following his religion: making money and screwing everyone else. If he survives the next four years, then I will be surprised that American Republicans can be that stupid for that long in what was once a democracy.