I FEEL sorry for Joel Fitzgibbon, wedged between a coal-heavy electorate and the global climate crisis.
While he acknowledges that the world has changed in the 36 years of his career, he wants Labor to go back to the policies of that time. It's not as if we have a choice though. With our major coal buyers adopting zero carbon targets and China already blocking imports, the writing's on the wall.
Best to move forward and look after displaced workers as best we can with a just transition plan. In the process we get clean air and contribute to fixing the climate problem.
Michael Gormly, Islington
Fitzy must look to future
JOEL Fitzgibbon seems to have forgotten that carbon emissions did reduce under a Labor Gillard government in the last decade, proving Labor can have ambitious climate policies that make a difference.
Today the International energy agency states renewables will overtake coal in just five short years as the number one source of power generation. A Labor Party truly concerned for their "blue collar and regional workers" would be championing a just transition for these workers into the next era and not holding on to jobs of the past.
Helen Cameron, Tamworth
If Germany can do it, so can we
I FEEL we as a nation need a plan to move away from coal as an energy source.
If a nation like Germany can do this and transition to new industries we can as well. Both Japan and China will cease to buy coal in the near future. We need to be smart and not a "Banana republic" as Paul Keating once said. Scott Morrison needs to show leadership and the Labor party also needs to develop a realistic and practical plan for our children's future and our nation.
Grahame Steigler-Peters, Bowral
When old habits die hard
PETER Sansom's letter 'Light on details beyond the rails', Letters, 10/11 paraphrased an item in The Railway Digest, October edition.
I wholeheartedly agree with what the Digest had to say about the light rail in Newcastle. Peter was troubled by the fact that some 280 parking spaces have been removed from the city. To me, it seems a problem for some people to leave their car at home and take public transport. They will not abandon their cars. Old habits die hard. And I agree with the light rail running in Hunter and Scott streets. What is wrong with driving to Adamstown or Waratah train station, parking the car in a nearby street and taking the train to Newcastle Interchange? Then (under the same roof) take the light rail into the city?
Most times, the tram stop will get them closer to where their appointment is than the heavy rail ever did. I have the TripView app. on my phone which lists all the trains, ferries, buses and light rail in NSW. To me, the whole operation is painless. Peter, next time, drive to Adamstown station and take the train.
Les Field, Wickham
Minister's lack of empathy
JUST as we seem to be making a positive move forward regarding closing the gap with the nation's First People an opportunity too important to miss has been quashed.
Cabinet minister Anne Ruston says, "the government believes the Australian national flag is the only appropriate flag to be flown in the Senate chamber".
Minister Ruston and her party need to move into the 21st century where the past practices of punishing these people are obsolete. Now if she doesn't understand the implication of her suggestion, she nor her party deserve the prestigious position of creating a unified country where everybody has a right to be represented under the banner of their heritage.
Pat Garnet, Wickham
People in glass houses ...
SOMETIMES, someone's impatience can boil over and they state a world of truth in a handful of words. My friend Clare, fed up with Aussies laughing at the US state of affairs, pointed to affairs here (not Alan Tudge, not Barnaby Joyce).
She declared "get this through your heads my fellow Australians: we keep people locked inside hotels with no visitors, no place to exercise, no access to needed medical treatment, no right of redress through the legal system, for no legitimate legal reason, indefinitely! And we dare to look down our noses at the US?"
Niko Leka, Mayfield
Why Trump is no Hitler
JOHN Ure (Letters, 11/11), while Mike Godwin does reject the lost argument thesis, he also said, in a lengthy interview published last August by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, that Godwin's law is no longer his, but his adult child with its own autonomy.
Godwin doesn't endorse Trump/Hitler comparisons. He defends the right to compare Trump or any politician to Hitler because he would never say another Hitler is not possible, but he sets the bar high out of respect for the Holocaust. In the Haaretz interview he cautions against invoking comparisons "liberally as a so-called 'trump card' in a public debate." Why? Trump is not Hitler. In the recent election exit polls show a larger proportion of every racial minority group voted for Trump. He won over 30 per cent of the Jewish vote, the best result for any Republican candidate in over 30 years.
Peter Dolan, Lambton
To jab or not, that's the question
WITH a vaccine now being sorted and the supply date seems to be about March, is this injection going to be compulsory or can anti-vacc groups ban its use?
That being the case, if anyone from these groups become infected with COVID-19 or similar by travelling overseas or meeting up with overseas travellers, will they be given health support priority over other medical issues, such as elective surgery, or should all Australians be immunised with this vaccine to prevent any possible recurrence?
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
Massive sacrifices made clear
I AM writing to express my thanks to David Dial and the Newcastle Herald, for the weekly remembrance page to honour the members of Australia's armed forces who served in World War II.
It was very appropriate for the last column to appear on Armistice Day.
Reading between the lines each week, the great sacrifices made by the soldiers and their families in time of war was evident.
The paragraph headings told their stories. "Want News of Son". "Died in POW Camp". "Six Survived Out of 1800". "Brothers Died in Camps". The suburbs they came from, even the street addresses, would be familiar to any long-term Newcastle resident.
I can only imagine the grief and mourning of those left behind. The futility of war was never so evident. Thank you.
Graeme Jameson, New Lambton
JOE Biden is not the US president-elect; that title can only be conferred by the Electoral College or Congress, not the media. So far 148 million votes have been tallied "Poll force: Referendum on Trump shatters turnout records", Herald, 10/11. There have been 71.5 million votes for Trump and 75 million voted against Trump, not for Joe Biden. That does appear to have been the motivation of US voters. Why did so many vote for Trump? Well obviously, they were all racist, sexist, misogynist, uneducated, stupid, ignorant rednecks and should be ignored. And Biden voters? They were 75 million people all suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Now that's what I call a pandemic.
Peter Devey, Merewether
MAY I suggest that Dave McTaggart (Short Takes, 11/11) reads Greg Hunt's letter of 24/10 again. He will find that it contains no mention of the mental health effects of alarmist climate predictions. That came in a later letter. He simply says that science lies in a big way, and gives two examples. All I have said is that neither of the two predictions he cites as big lies was ever made. Mr. Hunt has since stated that I was correct. I agree that statements that are false and alarming should not be made, but I would caution that suppressing things that are true and alarming can be dangerous.
Ian Roach, New Lambton
BEING prepared to support someone so obviously devoid of grace, integrity, courage and principles as Donald Trump must at least call into question the character of those doing the supporting. Pointing that out is not an ad hominem argument, Peter Dolan (Short Takes, 12/11). It's logic. Those who voted for him didn't necessarily have to hold their noses to do so. Perhaps they were simply untroubled by the stench.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
MR Gormly (Short Takes, 12/11) it's instructive that you don't mention other wild predictions that I mentioned, such as those of Prof Hansen, allegedly a climate scientist. Also, you seemed to miss my main point that is the alarming effect on the mental health of young people, or is a miniscule rise in sea levels or the sex lives of polar bears more important?
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
POOR Donald Trump. I remember back in my youth when we led a footy grand final in the early stages but the opposition scored more points than us by full time. They were the winners and we copped it on the chin. Wake up Donald, you're done.
Paul Day, Soldiers Point
WHAT a couple of pathetic figures; Rudd and Turrnbull. Both on our tax funded leftist ABC programs having a whinge about Sky News. Two of the worst PMs in recent history claiming Sky was the reason for their demise. What a pair of hypocrites! They both chased the network for their support when they were clawing to gain power, now saying that Sky were the cause of their own failings. What a couple of losers.
Don Fraser, Belmont
JOEL Fitzgibbon is between a rock and a hard place. He has my sympathies.