THE burning of fossil fuels such as coal is by far the biggest driver of global warming. In NSW, coal accounts for 80 per cent of the value of minerals production. So, if an event is staged to support the NSW mining industry, it is really to support coal.
The days of coal mining being the biggest employer in the Hunter are long gone. Mining now directly employs five per cent of the Hunter region workforce (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020). Globally, the coal industry is in decline. The Hunter is now far more than coal; it is horse studs, agriculture, vineyards, tourism, tech, health services, research, higher education, the arts and much more.
And a final fact - the Knights football team, we are told, represents the entire Hunter Valley community. With these things in mind, an overdue question: why does "our team" continue each year to don hi-vis style jumpers for the Voice for Mining round, and take the field to support the sectional interests of a single industry that is now toxic to the planet's health? Is the NSW Minerals Council paying the Knights for this promotion? If so, how much?
As a Knights member and supporter, I strongly object to the whole concept. I call on the Knights board to show some real community leadership and ditch it. If they wish to replace it with an alternative, why not the health round? After all, health services employ 16 per cent of our workforce, or be truly bold and call it the renewable energy round. The players could wear jumpers emblazoned with suns, windmills, batteries or all three.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
Disrespect can't be the default
"DISRESPECT for women has been around for years. You just have to deal with it." This was comment from a female worker I worked with at a local organisation. This was after a manager showed a video about women knowing their place in a meeting.
There were both men and women at the meeting. It made me cringe. I wanted to leave but the manager was looking right at me during the video. I felt if I left I would have a target on my back. The appropriateness of the video was discussed at lunch, with mixed comments. Some just brushed it. One younger female said she was sickened and wanted to leave. I said I wanted to as well. She said she knew there would be repercussions if she left the room.
Bullying and comments continued, leading to many staff leaving including myself. On speaking to other staff, the consensus was that this behaviour was entrenched in the organisation. That their experiences showed them that by standing up you were targeted.
After I resigned I wrote a letter to HR outlining the issue. I heard nothing back. I later heard the manager was transferred to another department and given accolades for service to the organisation.
This kind of thing is a slap in the face to women. The fact that if they speak up they in my opinion run the risk of being targeted is beyond comprehension. Maybe the person was right who said women just have to deal with it. I for one hope not.
Gina Horn, Cardiff South
Sophisticated arguments missing
HOW dumb does does Victor Dominello think we all are? Oh that's easy; portray Newcastle as a 'smart' city and therefore any opponents to the alcohol lockout changes as obviously dumb. Rely on sports jargon, with all Novocastrians only able to beat to the drum of NRL analogies ('Trial is the best way forward for smart city', Opinion 3/4).
Wake up, Mr Dominello. Let's not revert to more drunks in our city streets at all hours of the night and the adverse impacts this will have to the safety and amenity of our emerging Newcastle night life. Most sane people understand who and what is really dumb in this case.
Peter Campbell, Hamilton
Experts needed to be heeded
I REJECT the politicians' decision to have a second trial with relaxed operating condition for licensed venues in Newcastle. Why have Mark Latham, Victor Dominello, Tim Crakanthorp, and the council ignored the experts who oppose the proposed changes based on current disappointing hard evidence? The experts include the police, medical and health experts, and many community members.
Brian Ladd, Newcastle
Bank on landmark site's appeal
IN mid-1969 as a country relief officer attached to Gosford branch I undertook a one-week relief at the Bank of New South Wales, Bank Corner, Newcastle West branch ("Small bar proposed for historic Bank Corner in Newcastle West", Herald 2/4). I recall the distinctive shape of the building, and with it the striking colour facade. Whilst the main entrance to the banking chamber was on the corner facing into Hunter Street, the side entrance was on Bellevue Street. The bank's cash "car", an armoured van, parked at the kerb and it was my role to stand guard, armed with my trusty Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, as the security detail transferred cash across the footpath to and from the branch. Time marches on and the branch has long been closed. Perhaps the proposal for a small bar will ensure you can still bank on the ales.
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
Time to lose cruel rules
NOW that we're all sophisticated enough to get tanked and still show civic responsibility in public ('Worth a shot', Herald 1/4), how about we also get rid of city speed limits, seatbelt laws and no parking restrictions as unnecessary nanny-state impediments to the newly matured suburbanite? They too are an insult to the modern Novcastrian.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
Tree change a simple solution
RECENTLY the Sydney council announced a Greening Sydney 2030 plan with the aim of planting 700 trees per year in order to help mitigate the heat island effect which could see parts of the city reaching 50 degrees and staying hotter further into the night. This will cost $377 million over a decade, which amounts to very expensive trees even if they all survive. Given the high density in many areas, there just isn't sufficient room for trees.
Surely the best way to have tree cover is not to cut them down, something that is occurring in far greater numbers than those being planted. In a piece of breathtaking hypocrisy the Property Council jumped on to the bandwagon, announcing that it wants to lure people back to cities with what it described as an injection of green and a program to improve the sustainability of existing buildings, meaning perhaps all those faulty towers. It is pleasing that they have recognised the need to go green, especially since it was their developments that created such a terrible environment that residents fled.
Don Owers, Dudley
SHOULD late night lockouts be abolished in Newcastle?
Yes 21%, No 79%
SO the PM has come up with a solution for the man problem in parliament house - a task force of women, ('Rape conviction rate on ministers' agenda', Newcastle Herald 30/3). Now why, I ask you, didn't he come up with a task force of blokes after all it's a male problem he's got down there in Canberra? Seems the PM is hedging yet again. Don't expect miracles, girls.
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
I WAS sorry to hear a 44-year-old male developed blood clots days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Authorities overseas have announced that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any potential risks. The benefits of the vaccine in almost all overseas countries where the are tens of thousands of daily positive COVID-19 cases is warranted, but does that balance of benefit apply to Australia where the incidence of COVID-19 is almost zero? You would have to say it does, maybe, but I'd like to see more Australians receive the Pfizer vaccine that does not have a blood-clotting problem.
Peter Selmeci, Murrays Beach
REGARDING Mark Latham's comments on Monday, the coal era around the world is coming to an end. It's as as simple and as brutal as that. The two big questions are cleaning up these massive holes in the ground as much as possible and new employment for today and tomorrow's workers. So far, no plans on either question. But we have to make a start, and sticking our collective heads in the slag heap while muttering coal is good isn't even the beginnings of the answers.
Roland Inman, Raymond Terrace
I AM totally opposed to any change to the lockout laws. I want a safe, clean, desirable city in which to live. Changing the lockout laws will change my lifestyle. I'm part of the 24-hour residential, rate-paying, voting economy. I demand I be heard.
John Dickenson, Newcastle West
SO my NIB premiums would have just gone up again on April 1. Can they please tell me how much they are going to give us all back from the extra millions they made during lockdown, or are they just going to keep it all and laugh at us?
Bruce Cook, Adamstown
WHY can't Australian power companies follow the lead of dozens of other countries and bury the lines, thereby obviating the need to vandalise the trees in the first place ('Pruning 'leaves' a lot to be desired...', Herald 5/4)? Australia proving once again that we can be far behind the rest of the world on yet another issue.
Tim Bateson, Stockton
I THOUGHT Steve Smith was out of place putting the feelers out about Australian captaincy ('Smith 'interested' in return to captaincy', Herald 29/3). Yes he is one of the world's best batsmen, but he has had his turn as captain and failed.