WHY was our attendance at Anzac services restricted and in some instances even cancelled, when yet it seems it was open slather for the football?
Anzac Day along with Good Friday and Christmas Day are the three holiest days in our calendar.
As I said in a previous letter to this page, this government operates under the "golden rules", that is, those with the gold make the rules. After our initial pandemic lockdown, I believe the rules were relaxed far too early just to appease the NRL.
The state government has done it again with its double standards. It doesn't take much to work out just who is calling the shots here. I am the son of a WWll returned man and I am disgusted to say the least.
Bill Snow, Stockton
Recalibrate attendance figures
CROWD estimates for the Nobbys Beach dawn service have increased from 4000 in 2004 to 55,000 in 2019. In 2015 they made a courageous jump from 10,000 to 43,000. As detailed by Ken Fayle, Newcastle RSL Anzac Day Committee Convener, these estimated crowd numbers made the event unviable, post COVID-19.
I believe that this year's interruption provides an opportunity for these crowd estimates to be recalibrated.
I attended the 2019 service and observed the crowd in attendance. It was an impressive gathering with virtually all of the car park at Nobbys Beach occupied. Those near the front were standing close together, but as you moved further back people were standing or sitting further and further apart. Some people were also scattered on the beach and around the edges of Foreshore Park. I estimated the crowd to be less than 12,000. The car park and surrounds at Nobbys Beach take up an area of approximately 20,000 sq m. For this area to accommodate 55,000 people they would have to be packed in at a rate of 2.75 per sq m across the whole area. Organisers can significantly reduce their workload and avoid other unintended consequences by accepting more realistic crowd estimates.
Ron Brown, Islington
Clear rules on assisted dying
PETER Dolan (Letters, 22/4) persists with his argument that allowing assisted dying for those in the end-stages of a terminal illness will inevitably lead to the murders of perfectly healthy old people by greedy, impatient relatives eager to get their hands on their loot. No doubt Mr Dolan can dig up some obscure case where this has occurred, but he continues to evade the point. Assisted dying legislation in the Australian states that have introduced it has clear limitations on when it can be utilised: the person must be in the end stage of a debilitating, painful illness where death is inevitable within a reasonably short time. I believe that Mr Dolan is being disingenuous and that his objection to assisted dying is based solely on his religious beliefs and his slavish willingness to follow "the man in the frock" (with a nod to Banjo Paterson) rather than to come to his own informed, enlightened view.
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Basic principles of chemistry
STEVEN Busch, (Short Takes 24/4) reveals a lack of understanding of basic chemistry which is very prevalent. Firstly, when burning coal to generate energy, the release of carbon dioxide is not a byproduct (which may be mitigated or avoided), rather it is absolutely essential.
Chemists class it as an exothermic reaction between carbon and oxygen. No production of carbon dioxide means no production of energy. If the combustion process were to produce something else, say carbon monoxide (a very toxic gas), it would mean the process is very inefficient and essentially failing.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
- Lest we forget that we're all paying respects
- The George Floyd verdict is only a first step
- Post bonuses got most focus, but perks abound
- Private interest power is stoking public risk
- Democracy can't be canary in the coal mine
- Time for parties to put aside petty politics
- Gross double standard by Prime Minister
- Alternatives industries crucial for miners
Secondly, biological and environmental systems can usually tolerate many substances, such as heavy metals and also carbon dioxide in trace amounts, but these same substances, while beneficial at very low levels become toxic at highly elevated levels. To believe that if a trace amount is fine, then much larger amounts must be so much better is patently false logic, and not part of lived experience.
In thermodynamics there is no free lunch. You cannot substantially reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced while continuing to produce the same amount of energy. This is pure misinformation and spin, from the usual suspects. These two parts of the combustion process are locked together. It has been a fundamental principle of chemistry for two centuries.
Mati Morel, Thornton
Evidence needed, not 'word salad'
I WISH the Herald article "More than 50 attend protest meeting to discuss government trial of eased lockout laws" had printed the evidence that academic Tony Brown and Doctors Dunlop and Cook presented at the community meetings. They didn't just "say" things - they showed the hard numbers that lead to their conclusions. These hard facts are what make the JHH emergency room doctors, ambulance workers, and police to want the lockout laws to remain. The lockout laws have significantly reduced harm to the community and front-line workers.
This is precisely what the politician-spin-doctors did not do. They've made declarations like "Newcastle is a more sophisticated city than it used to be" as a reason the lockout laws are no longer needed, without defining what "sophistication" means, how "sophistication" is measured, and what impact "more" of it will have on alcohol-fueled violence should the lockout laws be removed. It's a ridiculous lack of evidence, a word-salad on which no community-safety regulation should rest.
The first duty of government is to ensure the safety of its constituents, not the profits of a hotels and hospitality association.
Joanne Jay, Cooks Hill
All should be welcome at 'forum'
JUST as I was 99 per cent certain would happen, I was denied an invitation when I tried to RSVP to last Thursday night's protest meeting about the lockout laws. I was informed via email that "the community forum is only for those who support the retention and strengthening of Newcastle's package of liquor licensing conditions".
The reply then went on to say that "your frequently expressed opinions in the media clearly indicate that you do not support the purpose of the community forum, so you are not invited to the forum and your name will not be placed on the attendance list".
Well, their protest meeting, their rules I guess, but why call the meeting a "community forum" if not all members of the community were welcome?
As a born and bred Novocastrian I am undeniably a member of the Newcastle community. Plus, an actual "forum" is supposed to be an event where all ideas and views on an issue can be exchanged. But it seems that, according to the Newcastle Community Groups Network, the words "community" and "forum" probably have very broad definitions.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
IT was wonderful to see so much recognition paid to Anzac Day by sporting teams across all codes, but disappointing that The Knights had no special jersey, especially being the first game of the round it could have set the stage. You would think a club with the resources it now has could have been a bit better organised. In my mind Anzac Day is more worthy than a bright orange jersey looking after sponsors.
Greg Blue, Warners Bay
THE absolute horror of war must be the defining proof that no gods exist. Why then does religion have such a heavy presence on Anzac Day ceremonies? No imaginary being did anything at these slaughters to protect combatants on any side. Most Anzac ceremonies resemble a church service with real observance to sacrifice thrown in between hymns and religious mumbo jumbo by a local church minister. Gods are imagined. Religion has no place in modern day Anzac ceremonies.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
THE veterans may have been limited at the Anzac Day services, but the politicians certainly were not.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
WE can each play a part in reducing global warming. Don't grab the vacuum cleaner or leaf blower. Revert to the broom and rake. Buy clothes and furniture to last rather than those cheaper and quickly discarded. Recycle. Buy local. Walk when you can. Every bit helps.
Betsy Watson, Swansea
RE: Rick Frost, (Short Takes, 26/4). I agree it is good to see George Christensen leave the Coalition. He may be more suited to the other side.
Bruce Brander, Belmont
BRUCE Brander (Short Takes, 26/4), accept the fact that Labor is not governing and has not been for some years. If the LNP stuff up, deal with it as we all have to and don't try to pretend it would be worse in a "what if"scenario.
Richard Dempsey, New Lambton
THE Knights' defence against Penrith was the best I have seen all season from them, but they are having to do it in their own half which makes it hard. They are unable to get upfield enough to get out of their own territory and Blake Green is not able to kick more than 30 metres which was letting Penrith get back into Knights' territory on the first tackle. Adam O'Brien has got to let the team play a little bit more with the ball in their own territory otherwise it is going to be a very hard grind against the Roosters on Saturday night.
Allen Small, East Maitland
IN reply to Leigh Gibbens on the problem of returning Australians needing government help from overseas (Short Takes, 24/4), as I see it that no Australian can board a flight in Europe or North America without a government guaranteed hotel quarantine room set aside. There are plenty of flights which are almost empty everyday because of this restriction.