THE quarantine station at Howard Springs in the Northern Territory is a bad idea.
Darwin Airport might be capable of landing big jet liners and Howard Springs may be appropriately isolated and purpose built - however Howard Springs is too hot and remote from the metropolitan areas of south east Australia. It will be expensive to run. There are limited local services and supplies. Staffing will be a problem. Qualified staff will need special onsite accommodation and will need to be flown in and flown out. Darwin hospital cannot accommodate any acute COVID cases, and will need to be expanded.
Newcastle and the Hunter have missed out on recent budget allocations, apart from an upgrade of Newcastle Airport at Williamtown. This airport will soon be capable of handling passengers coming in on big jet liners from all over the world.
At Williamtown, a number of landholders have had their health and lives destroyed by the RAAF's PFAS contamination. Commonwealth compensation on offer is piffling. These landholders are stuck with their properties and their health problems.
Here is a suggestion. The Commonwealth could buy these people's contaminated land, rehabilitate it and construct a dedicated quarantine station. NSW passengers could quarantine there. They would be much closer to Sydney and servicing the station would not be a problem.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Loosen the Knights' shackles
It looks like Adam O'Brien has hit rock bottom with the Knights.
It might be time to give them a bit of free reign to play some football with the football rather than barge and bust for 60 minutes.
O'Brien appears to have gone back to early days of the Knights when we had no quality backs and relied on a tough pack to do all the work. It's obvious at times there is some skill in the team, but that is only shown on rare occasions.
O'Brien should have worked it out by now that you have to score points to put pressure on the opposition, to do that you have to back up the ball runner and risk offloading at times in traffic.
You only have to look at the top five sides at the moment and see the amount of ball movement that features in their game.
Allen Small, East Maitland
Work on attracting locals
IT was disappointing to read local industry leaders say that 'young people ...regard hospitality as "beneath them"', that there are no willing apprentices and - surprise, surprise - some employers are having to offer more money to attract staff.
As a consumer and gossiper, hospitality looks like a thankless job. The customers are often rude and impatient, the kitchen staff are stressed and cranky, the job security is poor and the hours of work are unsociable.
I looked at job ads for wait staff on seek.com and of 64 positions only five required no experience and only three offered training.
Maybe instead of complaining about how the young of today don't know how to work hard, and lamenting the absence of backpackers, the industry should be looking at how to attract and retain locals.
Caitlin Raschke, Cooks Hill
Coal still has major role
I REFER to Letters to the Editor, 15/5. In one letter we are told about climate emergency, the urgent need to transition to renewables and unlimited cheap power and another letter, the need to wholeheartedly address global warming and ease the future for those impacted.
With all of this climate alarmism, I was surprised that the word "unprecedented" was not mentioned.
The only reason that solar panels and wind turbines exist, is the renewables industry is propped up by taxpayers who are contributing hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies.
This may be a revelation to some, but coal is needed to manufacture wind turbines.
These unsightly and noisy monstrosities called wind turbines are imported from China and once they are installed, only three employees per farm are required to maintain them. Not only are these monstrosities despoiling the countryside, they have to be buried when they are obsolete, and all this has a detrimental effect on the environment.
Coal-fired power stations produce the cheapest form of electricity, and moreover China has many of them under construction or planned.
In respect of global warming, countries in the northern hemisphere are still freezing in winter. Changes in the Australian climate was explained over 110 years ago by the great Australian poet Dorothea Mackeller who wrote My Country.
John Rumble, Albion Park
VAR a blight on the game
ANOTHER week, another series of VAR debacles. Clearly there are rules for Sydney FC, and rules for all the rest. The penalty against Western United was simply unjustifiable. And not given by the ref on the ground.
The penalty against the Jets was absolutely mystifying. In a game where finishing, yet again, would have secured the prize.
I suppose too much money has been thrown at the VAR to cast it out. It has become a time-wasting joke.
Football purists must be shouting at the screen on each and every occasion we spend mulling over a situation. And still manage to get it wrong. I keep turning up to the game hoping someone has sabotaged the replay screen for the good of the sport.
Stephen Willmott, Maitland
We'll pay price for changes
NOVOCASTRIANS have been bombarded by Messrs Latham, Crakanthorp, Ms Nelmes and others about how the 'Newcastle Solution' is no longer necessary and should be scrapped as Newcastle is now 'more sophisticated' than prior to the 'lockout laws' introduction in 2008.
I respectfully ask the question then of these decision makers, if we are 'more sophisticated', why does the King Street McDonald's, advertised worldwide as the family restaurant, need to be 'fortified' like a war zone three nights a week with barricades and bollards to prevent the 'altercations' that happen there on a regular basis. Police say 28 per cent of incidents between 10pm and 5am are attributable to patrons of the King Street Hotel, which even now wishes to increase its capacity, all seemingly with these same decision makers' acceptance?
I also respectfully ask of those that apparently decide the 'sophistication' parameter for Newcastle, why is it that in the past couple of weeks we have had a security employee ambulanced to hospital following an altercation.
Go figure on the conscience of those that have the power and set these parameters that may not necessarily suit the 24/7 ratepayers of the city. There will no doubt be a day of reckoning and then listen to the 'spin' when these same people are held to account, it will be simply deafening.
Neil Allen, Newcastle
SHARE YOUR OPINION
Email email@example.com or send a text message to 0427 154 176 (include name and suburb). Letters should be fewer than 200 words. Short Takes should be fewer than 50 words. Correspondence may be edited in any form.
RICHARD Ryan mentions Australia dancing to US war tom toms, (Short Takes, 15/5). He says and I quote ''Australia hangs off America like dags on a sheep's crutch''. I was born during the Pacific War and had family who fought and were killed there. I will never forget that the US lost 111,600 killed and 258,000 wounded with 21,500 prisoners of war taken in the Pacific with a total of 416,000 killed in WW2. This was when the USA was under no threat of invasion. On this record I will be proud to be a dag and forever grateful.
Sandy Buchanan, Largs
HOPEFULLY all those advocating opening our borders to international travel are vaccinated or in the process of doing so. Also they should be very busy lobbying federal and state governments about building new quarantine centres away from areas of high population density. There are still many Australians with their heads in the sand. COVID is here to stay, as well as other pandemics that will visit our future.
Colin Rowlatt, Merewether
PERHAPS the Knights could come up with a team from the "Real NRL", which would be a lot cheaper and they would show some pride in the town and jersey.
Geoff Pickin, Wallsend
SO, Adam O'Brien says his side is not a one-man band, (Magic Spell, Herald, 14/5). They played like there was only one man in the team. If that's the best pack O'Brien can pick, we are in for a sad end to the season. This result hasn't completely ruined my weekend; I watched my grandson's school team today get into the semi-finals.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
CONCERNING the budget, the government is throwing money around left, right and centre but will those in aged care get better food or care? I doubt it. And what about more refugees and housing for women? All that money and whose pockets will it fill? And isn't Josh Frydenberg pleased with himself?
Julie Robinson, Cardiff
COLIN Fordham, I have enough frequent flyer points for two tickets to the Chinese Republic of the very shaky isles. Do you need a lift to the airport, comrade?
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WITH regard to Don Fraser's letter, (Opposition by name and nature, Letters, 14/5). An old sage told me decades ago, that the job of the opposition was to oppose everything, except parliamentary pay rises. Seems nothing has changed.
Ray Cross, Morpeth
KFC Newcastle West, McDonald's competitor, doesn't trade after 12am on Friday and Saturday, 11pm Sunday. Could it be that KFC has the well-being and security of their staff as a priority? And the impact of the violent anti-social behaviour affecting the liveability and safety of the rapidly expanding residential population. McDonald's doesn't seem to share that view.