THE editorial in last Tuesday's edition ('Will the ALP hear its prophet of doom', Opinion 19/1) does send a strong message and makes a lot of sense to my mind. When Joel Fitzgibbon took a pay cut and resigned from the front bench last year he gained a lot of respect from me as a politician to stand up for what he believes in.
Labor must move towards more centre ground on a lot of things and, as Joel states, put the "labour'' back into the party if they are to have any hope of being an alternative government. The party has over the years suffered a loss of hard working blue-collar workers, and dwindling union membership doesn't help their cause.
Technology, as clever as it is, has contributed greatly to a loss of jobs in industries and trades. The wheel will eventually turn, but more needs to be done in areas like protecting workers' rights and conditions, reaching a more realistic compromise as to climate change and to stop handy-panding to minority groups would be a good start.
We, in the Hunter, are very fortunate in my opinion to have strong representatives in Joel Fitzgibbon and Meryl Swanson on a federal level while Sonia Hornery is always fighting for the cause on a state level.
Col Parkins, Wallsend
Strategies key to the city's future
THE temporary closure of council's King Street parking station is yet another loss of available parking in the city centre. The council's strategy to replace the lost parking revenue looks to be detailed in their draft parking plan, currently open for community consultation. If implemented, this plan would see parking meters installed where more than 85 per cent of the street parking is occupied. This would see meters in areas used by commuters for all day parking including residential streets in The Hill, Cooks Hill, The Junction and Hamilton as well as near the city's beaches and parks. There may be a need to regulate parking in these areas but I think this can be done with time restrictions rather than meters.
Also on exhibition is their draft cycling plan. This also looks to potentially impact parking. It indicates that on-street parking may be given up in favour of cycleways stating that "hard decisions will need to be made about how the available road width is to be allocated among road user groups and functions". Bike riders, myself included, may support cycleways but most still own a vehicle and many need to park it on the street. Both plans are open for comment until 25 January.
Glenn Burgess, Cooks Hill
The science can speak for itself
RUSSELL Watson (Short Takes, 19/1) in my opinion doesn't do the cause of climate science any good at all by proposing the suppression of the information (assuming it is true) that the Barrington is at present a "raging torrent". Climate research is a science, based on the careful observation of facts past and present. A raging Barrington doesn't deny climate science: this predicts that all weather variations, wet or dry, hot or cold, are more likely to become more extreme and frequent some of the time (not even always) in the future- but enough to get our earth into trouble.
Geoff Hassall, Birmingham Gardens
Big Bash can't beat Test's drama
HOW good is reality television? Live sport that is, in my opinion, the only kind worth watching. The cricket Test series against India has been like a riveting drama from the start. It's such a shame the pure form of the game needs profits from the short-form circus to survive. This version apparently needs raucous noise, not only between overs but between balls to entertain those with short attention spans. Anyway, congratulations to India on a well-deserved series win and maybe now questions need to be asked about some Australian stars that have been fixtures in the team.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
Too much baggage on January 26
JANUARY 26 approaches, a day which can be described in several ways such as White Australia Day, or White Man's Australia Day. Those who fail to understand why Indigenous Australians consider it to be Invasion Day may finally grasp the idea if the Chinese armed forces land here in massed numbers and carry out Invasion II of this continent, largely empty except for endless cow paddocks. Many of us may find out what it's like to be on the wrong side of a massacre.
IN THE NEWS:
I am pleased to hear our Indigenous brothers and sisters will hold services to remember those of their forebears who died fighting to keep their country free of foreign occupation. They fought with spears against guns and fell with their faces to the foe, as do all brave men who love their country. I hope this year to see Indigenous Aussies marching on Anzac Day to commemorate those fallen in the so-called Frontier Wars, or 300+ massacres, though no doubt this might upset our precious rednecks. You might call them 'conservatives' - small-minded, selfish types concerned only with their own rights and privileges and seem to totally lack empathy for others for unexplained reasons.
Personally, I'll celebrate my Australia Day on the 25th January, upon which day in 1788 this land theft without Treaty based on the false idea of an unoccupied land had not yet been perpetrated. I'll have a different flag and anthem, not the current colonial relics. They must be subjects of another letter.
Les Hutchinson, Lorn
Medical caution is important
I COULDN'T help but comment on Tony Bennett's letter (Letters, 21/1). I am part of a global cohort of parents who are concerned about the growing number of vulnerable young people who are being put on a pathway to the use of untested medicines and life-changing interventions. We are all too familiar with the accusations of ignorance, trans phobia and bigotry, as well as an intellectual and political climate that is hostile to evidence-based scrutiny of trans-related issues, including the medicalisation of children.
In December 2020, in the case of Bell vs. The Tavistock Gender Clinic in London, the UK High Court found in favour of Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who transitioned as a teenager through the use of puberty blockers, testosterone and a double mastectomy and then regretted it. The English High Court said it was "highly unlikely" that a child could consent to this "experimental" treatment. A recent report by the UK Care Quality Commission into the Tavistock Clinic makes for grim reading. It vindicates the whistle-blowers who raised concerns about the treatment of vulnerable children.
Giving children the right to make life changing decisions at an age when they cannot be expected to understand the consequences of those decisions is contrary to medical practice. Labelling concerned parents ignorant is ignorant in itself. The parents in our cohort are loving, caring, well educated, well researched and are concerned about child safeguarding and the irreversible nature of these procedures.
Judith Hunter, The Junction
THE world breathes a sigh of relief.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
ALL you people whinging about maintenance of roadways, parks, gardens and the council's apparent slackness: have any of you really taken notice of the weather lately? For example, short periods of high humidity and rain on repeat for a number of weeks equals grass and weeds growing at a phenomenal rate, right in front of your eyes. The council would just about have to double its workforce to keep up. I am not a big fan of this council, but on this they need a break.
Tony Morley, Waratah
SCOTT Morrison's silence about the part Donald Trump played in the extremist insurrection in the US parliament speaks loudly. Morrison is clearly held to ransom by the extremists in his own party. Hopefully, our parliament will not suffer the same fate.
John Butler, Windella Downs
AS far as sore losers are concerned, compared to the Democrats, Trump looks like a school boy who has had his marbles taken off him. The Democrats and the mainstream media never let up from the time he was elected until he was unelected. They were the sore losers so much more than Trump.
Steven Busch, Rathmines
IS Newcastle just an opportunity for petrol price gouging? Cessnock prices are 10 to 20 cents cheaper recently.
Martin Burns, Cardiff
HOW about that. When the premiers, prime ministers and presidents of the world make live announcements on television and radio where they appear to grandstand and use extremely tricky language and sleight of mouth, it should be mandatory for them to isolate and quarantine for 14 days so our ears and heads can rest.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
PETER Broelman's cartoon view from the corridor illustrates the folly involved in ever contemplating hotel quarantine for a set of overpaid professional sports people who expect the world (Opinion, 18/1).
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
THANKS must go to Steve Barnett for exposing how an alleged 50,000 unfilled jobs in the bush are actually the fault of Aussie artists - the "jacked up pretenders" from Balmain. Keep sticking it to those bludgers whose industry is only worth a measly $111 billion to Australia. No doubt you'd head off to the bush yourself and exploit those high wage bush jobs if it weren't for the COVID safety of Fingal Bay.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
PLEASE, I return from holidays to find Greg Hunt still banging on about Tim Flannery (Short Takes, 19/1). I have explained to Greg before in these pages that Mr Flannery is not a climate scientist (in fact I learn he is a zoologist) therefore whatever he may or may not have said over a decade ago has no bearing on the reality of global heating. That he was appointed a climate commissioner is also no more relevant than the recent appointment of a bunch of gas company bigwigs as 'COVID Commissioners'.