INITIALLY, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian accepted that the Coalition would lose the Upper Hunter by-election. Accordingly, there was to be no pork-barreling ("I think the community see through a cash splash"). Now the Coalition has joined the contest. It has matched Labor's promise on extending the Singleton bypass. It has bought out the unpopular Shenhua coal mining lease on the Liverpool Plains to placate environmentalists. Deputy Premier John Barilaro has guaranteed that the mothballed Dartbrook mine near Aberdeen will be kept underground, whilst holding out the possibility that it will reopen and provide jobs. The Coalition is trying to win the votes of pastoralists, greens and coal miners. Are Upper Hunter voters that daft?
All three major parties in what I consider a three-cornered contest (Coalition, Labor and Hunters and Fishers) have now tried to bribe the voters of the Upper Hunter by making promises. If Labor wins, then the Coalition's promise on the Singleton bypass is unlikely to be delivered. The Dartbrook mine is unlikely to re-open in any guise no matter who wins. But whoever wins the by-election, I expect the residents of the Dungog Shire will still be driving around on their bone-jarring patched up, pot-holed roads.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Costs to not doing green business
WHEN someone tells me that the costs of slowing down climate change are too much to bear, I wonder if they realise the cost of doing nothing? If they don't, they should talk to the grape growers of France, who have lost between 25 and 90 per cent of their 2021 crops, amounting to $3 billion, due to climate change influencing the timing of frosts. Similar losses occurred in 2017, 2019 and now 2021, and these unseasonal frosts have only been occurring in this region since the 1990s. They can say this with confidence as excellent records of frost events and temperatures have been kept for over 700 years in these wine growing regions. In fact, harvests now begin 13 days earlier than they did in the period from the 1300s to 1988. Or maybe they can talk to the engineers of Melbourne's train systems, who are trying to repair rail tracks that were not meant to withstand the types of heatwaves we have seen in this decade. More heatwaves and hotter days mean less services are able to run, and the cost of fixing buckled tracks runs into the millions. Or an economist from SGS Economics in Sydney. The firm quantified the loss of revenue to Sydney's daily economic output due to the bushfires in 2019 to be over $12 million a day. From these three examples alone, it should be obvious that the cost of doing nothing is too high for us to bear.
Alice Milson, Tamworth
Diggers deserved sporting chance
WE have been watching TV most of the day, watching massive crowds at both football code games, and in particular matches in NSW. Now, could someone please explain to us who was responsible for calling off the march in Swansea when it appears they were marching in our capital city, many other towns and places within the state? We contacted our local MP's office, who told us to contact RSL. We rang the RSL and had no joy there either.
So who was responsible, please? If it was the federal government what the hell, if it was the state government then flaming wake up. How are we allowing big numbers to football games and denying veterans their day of memories and paying respects to those who did not come home?
Doug Buchanan, Swansea
Smaller salute was a disservice
ONCE again lawmakers have destroyed ANZAC Day for many who wished to honour those who died and served to protect us. In previous years leaders have poked their noses into RSL affairs, failing to include flags of key nations in previous events. Sunday may have been the last ANZAC Day for some.
The rules allow us to support our beloved Knights, but have denied us this opportunity to support and honour our diggers, sailors, airmen and women who served as nurses, in administration communications, transport, the land army and more.
We should have allowed greater numbers in open spaces with people keeping social distancing and wearing masks; something that I haven't seen at our shopping centres, pubs, clubs and nightclubs. Stop interfering in the RSL's ANZAC Day events.
Stanley Colyvas-Melidonis, Adamstown Heights
Watch for mail of privatisation
I TOTALLY agree with John Ure's comments (Letters, 22/4) and as I mentioned in my letter to the editor back in February 2021, there is far more to the Holgate story than four watches and $20,000. Mr Ure mentioned the NBN bonuses; what about a $27 million overpayment for Badgerys Creek land? Where was Morrison's rage then? How could anyone genuinely think this was ever about four watches?
I believe this fiasco is about the breaking up of Australia Post as was revealed at the Senate hearing earlier this month where it became clear that is exactly what the Boston Consulting Group report recommended, and the government should sell off Australia Post parcels and downgrade mail services. We know what will happen when AusPost is sold in-part or as a whole; thousands of small rural and remote towns will lose their banking facility and post office. No post, no bank, no community. Sure the Morrison government will reassure us all will be OK, they will tell us we only want to sell off the parcel division and not Australia Post, Given parcels help support the rest of AusPost how will the rest of post be sustained?
For those who think AusPost should be privatised, how has electricity privatisation served us? Prices up, service down. We cannot sit by and watch this happen. We need to contact politicians and voice our concerns. We need to write to our local newspaper asking for their support to stop this happening before its too late. This will not go away, we will make sure.
Andrew Hirst, Licensed Post Office Group chair
IN NEWS TODAY:
- Puppy scammer netted more than $10,000, but delivered no dogs
- Sewage testing would be 'unbelievably sensitive' if it picked up just one case of COVID
- Man in critical condition after car rolls over him
- Ranger Mick marks 60,000 shows at the reptile park
- "I took a photo of a storm cloud over Redhead beach, and my friend said, 'That needs to be on a towel."
I HAVE seen hundreds of medical doctors, nurses at various locations and other unknown people drawing up the COVID-19 vaccine from multi dose vials, and injecting these into the upper arm of people. What struck me as most unusual and irregular is that none of them were wearing gloves. I noticed just five nurses wearing gloves and none of the medicoes were wearing gloves. Is there a shortage of gloves?
Srian de Silva, Merewether
I FIND it curious in the article ('Living Connection to Past', NewcastleHerald 22/4) the stated aim of the tree planting is to bring Newcastle's Indigenous history to life, but there is no mention in the article of engaging with local Indigenous communities about this project. Also the photo appears to be of four non-Indigenous people planting a tree. To me it seems like a photo op for Newcastle council and the University of Newcastle about engaging with Indigenous people without actually engaging Indigenous people; a fine example of tokenism.
Mark Quinan, Broadmeadow
OPTOMETRISTS have developed a new set of glasses that will allow NRL referees to have the ability to determine when a ball is passed forward and what constitutes a knock on. Hopefully, with this new innovation, we will be able to have confidence in the results when these new glasses are made available to officials and the bunker.
John Cooper, Charlestown
PETER Devey continues spouting denialist furphies with his claim "there is no evidence of more frequent natural disasters" (Letters, 22/4). When searching online Mr Devey should try a neutral question like, "Are natural disasters becoming more frequent?". He will find numerous credible reports that they are. He might also refer to insurance industry sources who say the same, warning of steep premium rises.
Michael Gormly, Islington
HAVING done a personal reconnoiter of all angles of the Stairway to Heaven concept plan ('Developer backs stairway', Herald 9/4) from Queens Wharf right up to Christ Church Cathedral and back down again, I would consider this a state significant and cannot be left to local council officials and developers to make it work financially. There is absolutely nothing standing in the way of a one in 100 year opportunity for the city.
Alan Hamilton, Hamilton East
THE world needs to unite on climate change policies ('PM defensive as allies boost climate goals', Herald 24/4) so I think total agreement between nations on setting timelines and targets is paramount to achieving reductions in emissions. Let's all follow China and set every country's commitments to that of China. Let China lead the way on renewable energy and reducing emissions. China is our friend and we should follow policies of the Chinese Communist party.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
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