IT is common knowledge that Australia and the world are presently facing two devastating pandemics. Since 1804 the world's population has accelerated from 1 billion to almost 8 billion today. The planet cannot accommodate or feed many more.
Since January, 2020, the world has faced the coronavirus pandemic killing millions of people world-wide. Meanwhile, Australia's federal and state politicians fail to work together to deal with either pandemic, shamefully preferring to score political points. I challenge every Australian politician to put aside petty politics and work harmoniously for the good of the people they represent and the world in which they live.
Ian Stewart, Elermore Vale
THE climate disciples have been pouring out of the woodwork to ravage coal in the last couple of days, some stating that they have fears for their children and grandchildren. I am sure that coal is not going to cause death like a plague, as they are predicting. Coal has been around for over 200 years, providing power and heat for manufacturing and household needs. Over those years there were never the restraints that are now placed on coal, yet the scaremongers are still pedalling anti-coal hoping that everything involving coal will disappear.
They are being led by scientists who are exaggerating everything. If coal is the major cause of carbon dioxide then why in the hell wasn't it a big problem when everything was powered by it?
Allen Small, East Maitland
Future looks grim
A SUCCESSFUL future is becoming more elusive every day. The media is the dominant resource whereby we are informed about issues relating to local, political and world issues that affect our day-to-day existence. I returned to live in Newcastle about 12 years ago. I am disgusted with the level of ignorance from 'Mary and John Smith'. There can only be one dominant reason for this, which is that their lives have powered along with little to no effort on their part. Governments and big business are aware of this, and communities have taken their 'bait". America is presently demonstrating the cost of racism as part of accepted behaviour. Like it or not, Australians are racist. Thirty years after a Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, few recommendations have been developed. I raise this issue, which is as important a factor as climate change to the prosperity and future of our country. I am throwing down the gauntlet to the media and armchair authorities, requesting their view about how to achieve a more cohesive society, because until respect is assigned to every citizen there will be no future. Resilience is essential during troubled times but there seems little indication of support from that directive.
Pat Garnet, Wickham
I'm more numb than I was before
Someone said recently: "There are 7300 people directly employed in coal mining in the Upper Hunter and an additional 19,000 indirectly". If this is true about the numbers then we should stop stuffing around and sit down quietly, resolve the changes that need to happen and then maybe argue the exact timing. Like all good human beings we can be civilised so long as politicians don't interfere. If the numbers are wrong then we can do the same. Does that say something of our politicians?
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
Court's judgement reserved
PRIVATISATION of public assets is exposing the Liberals' born to rule mentality. It seems that the watch affair was an excuse to sack Ms Christine Holgate because she opposed privatisation of the parcel service. In Newcastle, the NSW Liberal government concealed a decision to make it uneconomic to develop a container terminal at the city's port by applying a secret penalty. Anyone who developed a container terminal had to pay this penalty, except NSW Ports Pty Ltd, which leased Port Botany and Port Kembla from the government. NSW Ports' exemption from the penalty was concealed because the penalty was concealed. Thankfully, the ACCC took action against the government and NSW Ports for allegedly contravening the Competition Act. The Federal Court trial concluded on December 17, 2020, with judgement reserved. The government claimed that the concealed penalty was authorised by the state legislation that authorised the three ports to be privatised.
Greg Cameron, Wamboin
Caution should last
GOODNESS me, we cannot be thinking of opening up our borders to international travel until this pandemic is over, well and truly over. I hear you say "over", this will mean that most of us and the world are vaccinated, countries outside of Australia have almost no new infections and we still have to have the precautions we have today. This does not only mean that COVID-19 is under control, but influenza is also under control and any other future viral pandemic does not happen. This can only happen if overseas travel is very limited for years to come and we watch what we do in public. I know this will hurt economies all over the world, but we can get around this by having a "bubble" economy which some intelligent person or organisations can introduce to make sure these internal economies can survive.
Peter Selmeci, Murrays Beach
Support for humane option
AFTER reading Alex Smith's article (Opinion, SMH, 15/4) I am beginning to believe that it is possible that NSW may join the rest of Australia in having the humane option of voluntary assisted dying for those who are terminally ill. It would seem very clear from the various polls I have seen that there are more than 85 per cent of the population which agree that a dignified and pain-free option should be made available under strict guidelines. We, the 85 per cent of believers, need to make our politicians aware of our feelings, so please join me in either writing, phoning or emailing your local member and signing the online petition being promoted by the Dying with Dignity group.
John Smith, Mount Hutton
City needs multipurpose terminal
SOME years ago I proposed a multipurpose building to serve as both a cruise terminal and other purposes, for example receptions and food or other store purposes so that passengers cruising into Newcastle would find themselves in walkable distances to the city centre and the harbourside. Pop-up information terminals would be there to assist passengers as to the available attractions. As a person who has been on a number of cruises it is always most welcome to be able to walk to the city area rather than having to be transported from a dull industrial port area. I feel that Doug Hoepper has missed the issue that Adam Walton seems to raise. An attractive multipurpose terminal can give us the best chance to get the best use of the harbour, to raise our stakes in the cruise destination and to change the domination of high-rise apartments and offices overtaking the foreshore of the harbour. This way at least a small part of the harbour can be preserved for community use and not private business use.
Milton Caine, Birmingham Gardens
SO! Bill Slicer (Short Takes, 15/4), all of us over 70 who have had our COVID jab and are booked in for our second one are guinea pigs and sacrificial lambs?
Phill Payne, Gateshead
AH Neil Fletcher (Short Takes, 14/4), a wise man once said: "A champion team will always beat a team of champions". Oh, and one more thing - the game is played on grass... not paper. Go the Knights!
Matt Ophir, Charlestown
ACCORDING to Peter Devey (Short Takes, 15/4), Prince Philip spent the last 10 years being "an outspoken climate sceptic and critic", but was also known for "promoting concern for ... climate change". The royal prerogative in action?
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
THE pub test: the enormous amount of time I've spent in pubs, the only test I know of is backing the winner in the last to get out of the poo. However an official position of pub test commissioner should be created. I, for one, feel my qualifications for this role are exemplary and I'm prepared to start yesterday.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
THE cost of the watches was a bit cheap when compared to the bonuses paid to the execs in the NBN rollout. It's pretty obvious Holgate did too good of a job, in so doing she made it harder to privatise Australia Post. What hypocrisy!
Lloyd Miller, Salamander Bay
WHAT'S going on? The light "build-it-and-they-will-come" rail is now hotly pursued by Honeysuckle, ('Lots must be used to 'pull people back', Newcastle Herald, 15/4). Please, keep us posted.
Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park
MR Gardiner and his Wests Group have for years shown they are great at running gambling and entertainment venues. However I believe that running an NRL club successfully is not one of their specialties and requires a whole different skill set, as recent results show they do not possess.
Brian Burgess, Floraville
IS it just me or is it that the whole of Australia should be up in arms about taxpayers' money being used for personal gain and not used by the institution the money was provided for initially? Many millions, if not billions, are being spent in this manner. Come on Australia, let's unite and fight this misuse of taxpayers' money.
Peter Selmeci, Murrays Beach
Peter Sansom (Short Takes, 16/4), there is no profit in parklands.