LOCKDOWN laws need to be nationalised now that Australia has had zero transmission for an extended time and borders are all opening up, except for Western Australia. For the everyday person on the street, what we can't understand is the logic in these premiers' decision making, although they'll always dump it on their health experts as demonstrated in Queensland.
How does one calendar date make any difference opening and closing borders, as demonstrated by the South Australian and Queensland governments? Does the virus have a magical stop and start button?
Australia is now at a place where we have a far better understanding of the virus and what to do. Currently there is no one in hospital with it, so I believe now is the time for all states to adopt the NSW model and deal with individual spot outbreaks as simply as that.
Stop these ridiculous reactive border closures. It is basically killing any form of a controlled economic recovery. Bring on a referendum so we can take away these state border powers and hand them back to the federal government in times of emergencies, which in my opinion is what should have happened when the federation was formed.
Tony Mansfield, Lambton
Gardens are on the wrong track
KEVIN Miller (Letters, 19/11) is right to condemn vandalism and wilful graffiti. As he says, these acts are costly and unsightly. They also demonstrate disrespect for public amenity and the property of others.
I love City of Newcastle's native species planter boxes in Hunter Street and the annuals gardens in Civic Park and Christie Place, so I share the pain that the City's workers must experience when nitwits break off saplings, or walk across the fresh seedling beds, or write lame stuff on walls. These actions devalue the work of people doing good work.
But I believe the corporate disrespect for the city demonstrated by Keolis Downer's continuing weed infestations in its Scott Street and Hunter Street centre-strip gardens is a greater problem. Here are big players setting poor models for impressionable individuals. All that expense to build the light rail, purchase smart, comfortable trams, and run a punctual service only to have Keolis Downer rain on the whole thing with their tired, overgrown, unattended 'gardens'.
I reckon that Keolis Downer should build a garden maintenance program into its budget and so make a contribution to civic pride.
Roland Bannister, Newcastle
Greatness in eye of the beholder
I CAN only surmise that Diane King (Letters, 20/11) takes offence when people compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler because she is a supporter.
For those who have read deeply and watched old film footage of Nazi Germany there are six million plus reasons to be troubled when leaders make certain races or ethnic groups scapegoats.
When Trump became president he shut borders to Muslims because of a San Bernardino shooting. The next group to be attacked were Mexicans, who he labelled rapists, criminals and drug dealers. This is when he began planning a wall.
Black Americans feel threatened by Trump because he refuses to publicly denounce white supremacists.
Trump ran for president by promising to "make America great again". But exactly what period of US history does he see as being great? The time of slavery and segregation, or the heyday of the beauty contest and cheerleading team when women put up and shut up to men like Harvey Weinstein?
Trump has spent the last four years lying, calling his opponents disgusting names and telling people to ingest bleach and disinfectant to combat coronavirus. Good oratory skills? No. Good leadership? Definitely not.
Now he has resisted accepting the vote of the American people and conceding, even when lawyers have said there was no skulduggery.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
Renew the outlook on job prospect
HAVING read Greg Whiteley's opinion piece ('Let's speak truth about power and industry', Opinion 25/11), I suggest for starters he should have had a close read of the BZE Million Jobs report and/or the Grattan Institute Start with Steel report and/or the Clean Energy Council's A Clean Recovery report.
These and many others show the massive opportunities (short, medium and long term) on offer for communities that embrace renewables, while at the same time playing their part in giving future generations a chance of living in a world that is fit for human existence consistent with our current standard of living.
His claim that there are (minimal) jobs in renewables seems incredibly wide of the mark.
The Hunter, particular with its existing grid connectivity, should be embracing renewables as coal continues its inevitable decline. I believe the article does the region's economy and the world's climate a major disservice.
Pete Coughlan, Marmong Point
Terminal issue is lack of vision
MANY years ago I submitted a proposal that a multi-purpose convention and an overseas passenger shipping terminal should be constructed at one of the available sites along Honeysuckle Drive or Wharf Road to give direct access from the harbour area to the city of Newcastle for any alighting passengers.
Such a development would be very beneficial for both visitors and business owners in the city area.
Being a multi-purpose building would make the use of the building very flexible and as the flow and ebb of the tourist industry would be able to fully utilise the site without having millions of dollars tied up in a building that has many months of down time from tourism, so as to return real value to the community.
Some cities do this well around the world.
We have a chance to do so but in my opinion both the council leadership and the state government are far too short sighted and conflicted to see a common sense idea of a worthwhile project to make our city great for both visitors and local people.
Milton Caine, Birmingham Gardens
Ratepayers want transparency
I WISH to applaud the Herald and Donna Page in particular for her efforts in pursuing our council for disclosure of costs involved in moving council headquarters. ('Denied', Herald 21/11)
I believe there should be no place for secrecy in the financial management of our council. The council is owned by the ratepayers of the city who have a right to expect that those in positions of power report openly to their constituents. The recent treatment of Cr Kath Elliott in a censure motion I found disgraceful. I urge her to stay strong.
Joy Conner, Merewether
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 in any form.
WATER is a precious resource and we certainly do require smart and innovative planning from the custodians of our water supply. For our region to thrive into the future we need to trust that Hunter Water can adapt and respond using 21st century research and technology. The Lower Hunter Water Plan Review is the perfect opportunity for Hunter Water to guarantee a long term, adaptable resilient water supply for our region. The smart option for Darren Cleary ('Regional water security: all options on table', Opinion 21/11) is to invest in a climate independent water resource option. Only then can our region be resilient.
Sally Skuse, Upper Chichester
ON walking tracks, and even footpaths, a bloke not only notices ever-increasing numbers of discarded, knotted (at least they do that) plastic doggie-poo bags; but more, and more discarded face-masks. A correlation of ever increasing senselessness and could-not-carelessness perhaps.
Howard Hutchins, Chirnside Park
GOOD on you, Carl Stevenson, for raising the state of muddy lake coming into Dora Creek. I have been driving this road for 30 odd years and have never seen it like this before. I pity the bird and marine life.
Doug Dowton, Toronto
WHILE the French Prime Minister can drivel on as much as he likes about freedom in general and freedom of speech, a little respect for others would not go astray. Bear in mind this is a country that sent their last execution to the guillotine in 1977. While they may be right in defending Charlie Hebdo's right to publish offensive cartoons (and I would state here that I am as horrified by the terrorist response as any one else) I still find it as extremely offensive to the Muslim religion and its people to publish offensive cartoons depicting the Prophet. I was always taught to respect other people's religion. I think the cartoons were a dangerous provocation to the extreme minority and an insult to the general Muslim population.
Sandy Buchanan, Largs
SO Michael Hinchey (Short Takes, 23/11), Trump is the antithesis of Christian and his supporters are of questionable character (Short Takes, 13/11). I would not presume to know Abraham Lincoln's mind about Trump, his fellow Republican, but Lincoln, addressing a Pennsylvania Delegation in 1861, did warn against setting ourselves up, like Pharisees, to be better than other people. He said "we should remember while we exercise our opinion, that others have also rights to the exercise of their opinions, and we should endeavor to allow these rights, and act in such a manner as to create no bad feeling."
Peter Dolan, Lambton
THE way Gladys is going she could poo in the shoes of NSW voters and we would all be happy to run the City 2 Surf.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
HAS anybody noticed that several of our climate change deniers are also Trump supporters? Interesting, isn't it? There's probably some clinical term for this double delusion.