JOEL Fitzgibbon is to be congratulated on his decision to quit the shadow front bench ('Fitz splits', Newcastle Herald 11/11). I really do think that if Labor is to have any chance of winning an election they have to move more towards middle ground with their policy on climate change.
In my opinion, Mr Fitzgibbon is to be admired for these views and I feel he represents the feeling of a lot of working class people in the Hunter.
Col Parkins, Wallsend
Put more energy into our future
BY leaving the Labor shadow cabinet Joel Fitzgibbon has underlined the need to transition away from coal. To protect Hunter workers and promote investment the government must come up with a credible transition plan too. Even having an energy plan would be a start.
John Butler, Windella Downs
It's not so easy going green
YOUR editorial in Tuesday's paper ('New power plan raises big questions', Editorial 10/11) hits it right on the head in regards to the power plans made by NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean. People that are so keen on green have got to come back to their senses and realise that there is no way that their plans of going fully green by 2030 are possible. Just the thought of 2000 square kilometres of solar panels and windmills is enough. Kean is also now pushing for steel and aluminium to be produced in NSW again on green power, as Michael Caton said in the movie The Castle; "he must be dreaming."
Allen Small, East Maitland
Amalgamations relic of old regime
THE emphasis on council amalgamation by then NSW Premier Mike Baird was such that many accepted it as inevitable, embracing the scheme with trepidation. Such was the unease of the then Great Lakes Council that a link with adjacent Gloucester and Taree Councils seemed appropriate. Financially challenged Gloucester and Taree would be relieved by the then fiscally sound Great Lakes standing. Amalgamation meant that proposed Great Lakes maintenance entities would be deferred.
Ensuing months saw Premier Baird leave politics in January 2017 to be replaced by Gladys Berejiklian. The following election saw the formerly safe Nationals seat of Orange lost, a poll seen as a censure to the LNP's mandatory council amalgamation scheme. An opportunity for the new Premier to discard the unpopular fusion was enacted, though united councils were to remain as such. Strike one for Premier Berejiklian: handling of the drought-bushfire disasters was also seen as commendable. The virus issue was a positive; but the crutch of her deemed undoing was her relationship with disgraced Wagga-Wagga representative, Daryl Maguire. The $252 million grant document shredding fiasco unmasked leadership laxity, supported by an analysis assertion that 95 per cent of the Stronger Communities Fund had been directed to councils in Coalition seats leading up to the 2019 election. Inequity still at large, it seemed.
Bob Allen, Hawks Nest
Cracks in global outlook clear now
FREE trade and globalisation were the often-used phrases when we were talking about competitiveness in the early 1980s. There was much just in time but no just in case. Don't stand in the way of free trade and economic balancing, they said. I said then,and I say now, it's crap.
Some economists are not using the correct slide rule. How can you compete with a clever totalitarian state that supports sustenance but lacks economic freedom? How can you compete with a country that regulates its own currency and uses 10 times more than our population of cheap labour to play a game? How can you, with a short-term political view, hope to establish a 30-, 40- or 50-year plan?
It is, as they say, an uneven playing field and now we have lost manufacturing and our best compromise is employing more baristas, tour guides and teachers. I mean no disrespect, believe me, but one wonders how fragile we have become at nation building. Our mantra of dig it up and try to sell it, with royalties to the government, will no doubt leave a big enough hole for us to bury ourselves. And while we are at it, don't forget climate change. We smogged up earlier, so now it's apparently the developing nations' turn. How can you morally say no?
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
High hopes we've heard before
PORT Stephens councillors Giacomo Arnott, Jaimie Abbott and John Nell were applauded for their opposition to 12 storeys for Nelson Bay CBD after 93 per cent of community objectors rejected the staff and councillors' recommendations.
Cr Nell moved the eight-storey increase, from the five-storey at a previous council meeting which quickly became nine storeys for a Yacaaba Street proposal.
I have always stated that 12 storeys will become 14 storeys with amendments from natural ground level, plus 10 per cent over height increases, and also including underground car parks and penthouses.
As a previous Port Stephens councillor always striving to keep a lid on high rise within Port Stephens, to hear two of our councillors stating that things will change in the bay in the next 12 months and that young populations will come to live here is laughable. We who have lived here for decades know full-well most units are holiday units and are vacant for over eight months of the year.
Other concerns are commercial sites within Port Stephens are up for grabs, with local environment plan and development control plan amendments to also likely seek high rise with 12 storeys or more.
Brian Watson-Will, Corlette
Lockouts add to noise troubles
NARELLE Heaney (Letters, 4/11) while I agree that one of the council's choices would be to stop approving unit developments (especially when it can be argued that the city simply doesn't have the infrastructure to sustain so many), I strongly believe that there is another choice the council has to avoid the trouble you spoke of, and that is to abolish the lockout laws.
I also agree that having so many people all out on the road at 3am would be a major issue, but definitely one that could easily be avoided by removing a problematic and counter-productive law that forces everyone out onto the streets all at the same time. This of course causes more dramas, with dozens upon dozens of people all trying to get home at the same time, creating more frustrations and potential chaos in cab lines. It's the same principle as school zones being banked up when school gets out.
Ask any cabbie how things were before the days of the lockouts, and they will tell you that there was a lot less congestion in the cab lines, as everyone would instead leave the pubs and clubs in dribs and drabs throughout the night.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
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I HAVE rejoiced with everyone else at the removal of the worst president in the history of the United States and I hope our two countries will re-establish a friendly and constructive relationship. However, 70 million Americans voted for the narcissistic psychopath in the White House. The Americans still have a gun fetish, and Joe Biden has been advised to "heal" by not pressing for universal health care. We must recognise that they do not share our values and bear that in mind when dealing with them.
Aidan Foy, Mindaribba
A LIST of approved containers suitable for recycling was published by Lake Macquarie City Council which I found astonishing. Rather than say recycled for a better word would be remanufactured. I doubt whether anything these days is actually recycled or reused in its present state as once was, before the world needed saving from ourselves. Recycle is seen as green and clean but remanufactured is industrial and dirty as it requires massive amounts of energy, which is why people should know what really is being recycled and what is being remanufactured. They both paint a different picture, with different outcomes.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
LAST Friday I was reading the item that was printed on the front page of the Herald regarding Newcastle getting the opening round of the V8 Championship series ('Race reset: Supercars eye new date for 2022 return', Newcastle Herald 6/11). I personally was disappointed along with a lot of other people to see the round in Newcastle cancelled due to reasons out of everybody's control. I'd like to submit a suggestion to the state government in regards to stimulating the economy and jobs in Newcastle: how about contributing some funds into the construction of a motor sport complex out at Ringwood? We already have a hill climb out there off Italia Road also there is a motor cross section for the dirt bikes. Come on, Gladys, if you are fair dinkum about stimulating employment in the Hunter region start turning this suggestion into reality.
Philip Carter, Metford
IT'S instructive to see the logical flaws in the letters of Greg Hunt (Short Takes, 10/11). He cited Tim Flannery as evidence that climate science is flawed. When informed that Mr Flannery is not a climate scientist - refuting his argument - he slides over to asking why he was appointed a climate commissioner. I for one don't know, Greg, but it still leaves your original argument refuted. And perhaps it was for the same reason a bunch of gas company executives were appointed as COVID commissioners?
Michael Gormly, Islington
A BIT ungracious, Michael Hinchey (Letters, 6/11), to say Trump apologists have no grace, no courage, no integrity and no principles, and a bit rich from someone ready to call out "cheap shot, ad hominem arguments" (Letters, 2/10). Maybe Trump apologists just see things a bit differently from you. Don't forget, more than 70 million Americans voted for Trump. Many would have held their noses and supported him, like me, as not the perfect but the least flawed option (Short Takes, 21/9).