JODI McKay announcing support for new mines in the Upper Hunter is nothing short of a disgrace.
It is well established that coal mining is a declining industry. One survey of local residents even found the majority of local residents accept this.
Of course the miners who will lose their livelihoods deserve our full support in finding other employment. With the increase in renewable energy which is already upon us, whether we like it or not, alternative employment in related industries must, and I believe can, be found.
One promising area is in the mining of the rarer elements needed in the renewables and electronic industries, which I am told Australia has in relative abundance. Of course not all miners wish, or can, move to these fresh fields, but allied industries, if the government is to be believed, are to be established around Kurri Kurri.
A better course for all major parties would be to accept reality and support connecting the currently-proposed disjointed town bypasses up the valley into a proper extension of the Hunter Expressway from Branxton to the Golden Highway and at least to beyond Scone.
Then an integrated community of the Mid and Upper Hunter could develop involving residential areas, renewable energy establishments and supporting secondary industries. It wouldn't happen overnight, and it wouldn't satisfy everyone, but at least it would salute the future instead of wallowing in the past.
Geoff Hassall, Birmingham Gardens
Positive call by McKay
OPPOSITION Leader Jodi McKay has stated that she does not support a ban on new coal mines in the Upper Hunter.
This is positive news, however I suspect that certain members of her left wing faction will be whinging and whining.
I wish to raise a matter that Mark Latham wrote about this week.
Mark stated that two unions associated with coal workers had formed a Hunter Jobs Alliance with a group named Lean and that the HJA is campaigning to end coal mining.
Mark went on to say that alternative jobs would be in floating windmills off the coast of Newcastle and filling in disused coal pits to create new water-sports tourism in the Hunter. I am of the opinion that this outfit should give an explanation to the miners of the Hunter , what all these "pie in the sky" projects are about. I wonder what Malcolm Turnbull would think of these proposals in view of his previous comical suggestions to the coal miners in the Hunter.
John Rumble, Albion Park
Why should we trust Gladys?
GLADYS Berejiklian told reporters in Singleton, "I think communities see through that big cash splash (pork barrelling), I think communities just want to know can they trust you..." Surely a reporter in attendance should have asked how she expects "trust" when she has previously pork barrelled $250 million in community grants to win an election but will not commit anything to the Hunter on this occasion. After all, as she has said, "it's not illegal".
John Arnold, Anna Bay
Ratepayers' foreshore frustration
IN the words of George Harrison, "isn't it a pity" that Lake Macquarie City Council cannot develop what could and should be a great Toronto Foreshore Park, into something that will attract the community and visitors and therefore, to use their words, "activate the foreshore".
Instead, the current draft plan reduces the amount of parking, eliminates a boat ramp, and includes plans for a council-owned revenue earning cafe/restaurant with its own parking. The one remaining publicly accessible ramp will become unusable because there is no boat trailer parking and combined with reduced car parking and almost negligible public transport, the result will be a deactivated foreshore.
Importantly, it will also have a negative impact on existing Toronto businesses that are already "activating" the foreshore by providing facilities that encourage sizable numbers of the community and visitors to make use of this fabulous foreshore location. Council should be working with local businesses, not against them.
Mel Steiner, Toronto
Hopefully life doesn't imitate art
CONCERNED local residents have been working with council for the past year to get some native shade trees and aesthetic amenity in Jefferson Park, Merewether.
Jefferson Park could be the iconic gateway to the city beaches of Newcastle, but instead it is an austere hillock.
This land was acquired by CoN in the '60s and since then they have commissioned three separate groups of consultants to produce "master plans" which include improvements to Jefferson Park and council will soon commence work on another master plan. Our fear is that five years from now the park may still have no shade or aesthetic but it will have another master plan.
During the recent WSL Surfing event this area was used as a carpark. In the words of Joni Mitchell: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees, and put 'em in a tree museum. And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them."
Life imitate art in Merewether? We sincerely hope not.
Glenis Powell, Merewether
Better options to lead Labor
IT probably comes as no surprise that Christine Holgate lost her job due to the clever, sneaky and "nothing-to-see-here" actions of our Prime Minister. After all, he has form for such things.
What has flown a little under the radar was the spontaneous and populist support provided by the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albenese.
This is exactly why Albo will never lead Labor to victory despite the unpopularity and deeply divisive actions of this current unscrupulous government. He won't, because he is a wishy-washy, float with the breeze professional pollie that appears deeply afraid of saying or doing anything that might offend anyone. As a result of this, he pleases no one.
Let's try and have our cake and eating it too, by changing this "very nice guy" in Albo with someone with charisma, leadership, guts, guile and bravado (Tanya, Richard, Bourkey, Jim, just to name a few), who then might have a chance of getting rid of this immoral and inept government and its morally vacuous leader.
Tony Bennett, Broke
Holgate was harshly treated
THE attack by the Prime Minister on Christine Holgate was because she refused to accept the PM's plan to privatise parcel delivery done by Australia Post.
Under her leadership her team was able to secure the funding by the CBA to improve the banking services provided by Australia Post. The watches were in recognition of this important achievement which safeguards the continuing viability of our postal services.
Privatising parcel delivery will cause many post offices to close, especially in rural areas, which also means they will lose the banking services.
Adam Mikka, Caves Beach
THANK you Elaine Street (Short Takes, 13/4) for standing up for our Knights. You nailed it. Mr Jones couldn't have been more wrong when he described the Jarrod Mullen article as a "sob story". Jarrod has owned his mistakes and worked hard to turn his life around. When Jarrod spoke of how he didn't care whether he lived or died before the birth of his daughter, that gave him a reason to be the best man he could, I know I wasn't the only one thinking "you're not alone there mate." Stay strong, Mullo.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
AFTER approving one only days before, for someone many hadn't heard of, what a heartless act by the NSW government to deny a state funeral for Tommy Raudonikis. He played for and coached our State of Origin team on many occasions with distinction and epitomised the heart and will-to-win needed for a small man to mix it with the bigger boys. He was loved by all who knew him and had time for everybody, regardless of their status. Shame on the decision makers but obviously Tommy wasn't PC enough for them.
Greg Hunt, Newcastle West
IN reply to Greg Piper, l acknowledge that l do have a simple view of politics. My view is that governments should act for the common good. Has the Coalition government done this, or have they been more concerned with keeping themselves in power?
Peter Rees, Whitebridge
THE Broelman's View is certainly not my favourite section of my morning read of the paper, but cartoon 12/4 is an insult to the passing of Prince Philip that it could only be described as offensive.
Robert Parsons, Nelson Bay
CHRISTINE Holgate is a lady, one tough lady with principles. Scott Morrison on the other hand is no Christian gentleman in any sense of the word given his past or present conduct, which I and others find questionable.
Dennis Petrovic, Rutherford
WITH all this talk of what to do with the last parcel of land in Honeysuckle, has anyone thought that more parkland in the city may be a good idea instead of just development?
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
GOOD on City of Newcastle for capping short-term rentals at 180 days (Herald, 13/7). Get your act together Lake Macquarie council and follow suit.
Colin Jones, Blacksmiths
CHANNEL 7 owner, and chairman of the Australian War Memorial, Kerry Stokes, is standing by his man, alleged war crime perpetrator, Ben Roberts-Smith. Surely he is becoming a liability for Stokes. Protest by turning off Dancing with the Stars, Home and Away and Better Homes and Gardens.