AS Gillian Sullivan wrote "why are we paying, in some cases, excessive rates if the representative will not engage with us" ("Say, can you hear our voices?", Letters, 23/4). Is it what the political party wants and not the ratepayer?
I and some others feel like getting some older people together with placards "Older people matter".
The proposed plan of Newcastle Ocean Baths Stage 1, in social media, CoN website, is completely void of reasonable access for the older person with mobility problems and the disabled. The gradual slope entry to the lower level, which was adequate, has been eliminated which means a long walk to the southern end of the pool, as the middle northern end has only steps.
CoN claims accessibility improvements with purpose ramps for people with disability or mobility issues will be easy access. This is not showing on the photo. The gradual slope entry to the pool which also was adequate has been eliminated also, but a very long ramp is to be installed which would be difficult for mobility and also robbing the swimmers who use the southern end for lap swimming, particularly when the southerly wind is strong and the roped off lap part is full and overflowing. This is not only my opinion, but that of other regular year-round swimmers who are not on the internet and therefore unable to give an input. Why alter something which is practical for older people?
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
The cementing of the bottom is obviously, to the majority of regular morning swimmers, not a popular idea. With the unpredictable tides and severity of them recently it could end up being a costly exercise to the ratepayer similar to the Newcastle Beach skate ramp. The ocean baths are the one place that older people, as well as all ages, can enjoy the outdoors and many friendships have been made so with council respect that could remain.
My knowledge of this is because I have been an early morning year-round swimmer for 60 years, a former swimming teacher with the government and the Catholic education system using the ocean pools on many occasions. It is also hoped that when this restoration occurs that the heated pools will remain open in the winter as Merewether Ocean Pool is not disability friendly. It would also be helpful if a disability parking area could be above the ramp at the bar end of Bar Beach.
Pat Wilson, Newcastle
Look, but don't touch?
NEWCASTLE City precinct is becoming a look at me, rather than come and enjoy me. I find it interesting when reading many letters, I can almost guess the age of the writer; with encouragement of cycle ways, the Stairway to Heaven, the Anzac walkway and of course the skate bowls, all requiring what I once had but not any more being youth and stamina.
Considering most youngsters are flat out working, providing for their future with little time to spare, it would be wise to suggest those with time to use these wonders, can only look at them in awe, wishing they were young again.
Come on Newcastle Council, you encourage high rise condensed living, being used by people in retirement, and amenities they can only look at , even their grandchildren who they would like to visit, have nowhere to park their car.
Yes, there are multiple public transport facilities available; which takes me back to my original statement that they have little time to spare. Surely you have asked new residents of retirement age what they want to fill in their days with.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
Green process makes sense
CARL Stevenson ("Common sense should prevail", Letters, 4/6) seems to have a partial understanding of hydrogen production.
There are three processes used to produce hydrogen. All three are energy intensive. The "brown" process uses fossil fuels and generates 10 to 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is about 27 per cent carbon, for each tonne of hydrogen produced. Basically environmental madness. "Blue" hydrogen is produced by the "brown" process, but with carbon capture and storage added, making it somewhat less polluting. "Green" hydrogen is produced using renewable energy (which generates no carbon) to split water into just oxygen and hydrogen through water electrolysis. Not only does the entire green hydrogen process generate no carbon, it is net zero on water use, making complete environmental sense.
Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi
Benefits of hydrogen switch
THE letter or Carl Stevenson ("Common sense should prevail", Letters, 4/6) shows up some of the myths that exist around hydrogen.
We all know hydrogen is made by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen with electricity. There is no mine required, and the water can come from anywhere.
Carl is rightly concerned about production of carbon gases. The good news is when we burn hydrogen all we get is heat and water, there are no carbon gases.
As far as the risk of producing and storing hydrogen, it is no more risky than LPG or natural gas. A hydrogen gas leak is rapidly dissipated in the air, and we know it is there as even small concentrations smell like rotten eggs.
Across the world large amounts of fossil fuel gas is used for heating. As you can imagine, the benefits of switching to hydrogen are enormous.
Bruce Graham, Warners Bay
Setting ourselves up for failure
MERYL Swanson's recent opinion piece on the Kurri gas plant is nothing more than fossil fuel propaganda.
This gas plant will do nothing more than push up power prices, destroy farmland, and worsen the impacts of climate change.
Residents of the Hunter have for too long been forgotten by the state and federal governments as the LNP and ALP have allowed their party donors to reap the land in exchange for expensive dirty energy and a handful of unstable jobs in last century's technology.
Instead of gifting over $610 million of public money to gas corporations, politicians need to support local communities by investing in sustainable manufacturing and renewable energy projects that will triple the amount of jobs currently in the fossil fuel industry.
The government needs to form a plan that supports regional communities and a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry into a market that is up to date with current technology, while the market runs away with its wallet; the government would rather perpetuate the fossil fuel industry and leave workers behind.
Energy experts from the Australian Energy Market Operator have said that we do not need another NSW gas plant and that by forcing homes and businesses to rely on gas as a means of energy, we will simply push up power prices, it is too expensive when compared to renewable energy.
Our message to the government is clear, unless we embrace a renewable future, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Campbell Knox, NSW Maitland Greens
WHAT seems to have been relegated to the fine print in the "Hunter Park" project is the short reference to "housing and a mix of commercial developments". That's a "park"? What it really means is more than 3000 apartments and the whole project is run yet again by a property developer (HCCDC). The same people that spent $650 million to allegedly to improve CBD public transport (it's a dog's breakfast and obscene waste of money). And the Newcastle Show? And the Farmers' Markets? Just collateral damage.
Keith Parsons, Newcastle
GRAEME Kime bangs on about state premiers and how they are handling the pandemic, but before he puts pen to paper he should check his facts. Most of what he is on about is the responsibility of our inept federal government. Read what John Hewson had to say on page 26 of The Herald (4/6) one page before where your opinion was printed.
William Pryce, New Lambton
GRAEME Kime writes feverishly about state premiers, calling them 'fools' and 'dictators' regarding COVID-19 matters such as aged care and quarantine ("Premiers acting like PMs", Letters, 4/6). Is Graeme not aware both are Commonwealth responsibilities, and those fails are squarely down to Scott Morrison? I suggest that before accusing premiers of 'lies and cover-ups' Mr Kime should look beyond LNP talking points and get some facts.
Michael Gormly, Islington
IN reply to Colin Fordham, (Short Takes, 31/5), I'm not an apologist for Israel who can be unfair to Palestinians regarding property and settlement rights in the Israeli state. In fact, you could say that in Israel all citizens are equal though Jewish citizens are a little more equal. But for all of Mr Fordham's laughing outrage he cannot deny that Palestinians have more rights and greater prosperity in Israel than in any other Arab country.
Peter Devey, Merewether
I LOVE George Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language, and Peter Dolan (Short Takes, 4/6) is correct that one of Orwell's rules for writing is to never use a long word where a short one will do. However, Orwell's more fundamental purpose was to say that words should follow intended meaning rather than the reverse. I therefore think he would probably have allowed, or even encouraged an exception for long words when used wryly in the service of irony and satire.
Michael Hinchey, New Lambton
WHAT a wonderful opinion piece from the CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation ("Politicians failing a region at the crossroads", Opinion, 3/6). No "greenie sentimentality": just the scientific and economic facts expressed clearly and succinctly. Well worth everyone reading.