TIM Crakanthorp, ("Rise in speeding fines 'incredible'", Herald, 7/6), seems surprised at the level of increased speeding fines since warning signs were discontinued. Most people who drive for a living (trucks, taxis, buses, etc) and see the level of recklessness and plain stupidity shown by road users, are astounded that the road toll is so low.
Anyone driving on our roads knows that speeding is the norm, speed signs are regarded as the minimum rather than maximum allowable speeds. Just try this - set cruise control on the speed limit according to your speedometer and you will usually be the slowest car on the road.
The effect of no warning signs will cut in when the habitual speeders get multiple fines and start losing their licences, and you can't realistically expect that to happen in the first year.
I'm surprised that any member of parliament, or political party is appearing to jump to the defence of people who are an ongoing danger to the community.
As far as the increased revenue from speed cameras goes, I sincerely hope that time will prove me correct and result in the level of infringement decreasing. In the meantime I, and no doubt many others, have no problem with the speeders paying up - the more the better - less for the rest of us to pay.
Let the idiots pay.
Doug Hoepper, Garden Suburb
Mixed messages on jab gaps
I HAD my first AstraZeneca jab in early May and my second jab was booked for early August (12 weeks apart).
We have an opportunity to travel to Darwin mid July after previous flights were cancelled, so I rang the medical centre at Charlestown to see if I could get my second jab before we left as Howard Springs and Darwin airport will be a hotspot for returning travellers to go into quarantine (makes sense doesn't it?). The response was a definite no. They said that it has to be 12 weeks or longer, yet when you read up on the suitable period between jabs for this vaccine it states four to 12 weeks is preferred.
If we are to get all Australians immunised ASAP to combat this virus, why the blazes is there such a huge time gap between the vaccines? I see that the Queensland premier had favouritism and was given the Pfizer jab so she can go to Japan, what makes her better than all the rest of us? She is over 60 so she should have had the AstraZeneca jab and then wait like the rest of us for 12 weeks. I bet she'll jump the queue for that as well.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
Land of the double standard
AUSTRALIANS who believe ours is a country of compassion, must surely be shaking their head at the news concerning the Australian-born, Biloela Tamil family children interned for three years on Christmas Island.
The youngest of the Biloela Tamil family Tharnicaa, has been evacuated to Perth suffering from severe sepsis. A condition allegedly worsened because of inadequate medical attention from authorities on Christmas Island.
The harsh treatment imposed upon the Biloela Tamil family stands in stark contrast to other individuals with political influence. Peter Dutton's personal intervention in 2015, had visas approved for "au pair girls' entering Australia to work for the McLachlan family.
Peter Dutton and Gillon McLachlan are friends and the McLachlan family staunch Liberal Party supporters, having donated $200.000 to the Party. An abuse of political power? Well possibly, considering Peter Dutton in 2018 refused a visa being issued to an Afghan Interpreter whose life was threatened in his home country because of his having assisted the Australian military deployed in Afghanistan.
Australia, "Land of the double standard?"
Barry Swan, Balgownie
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Apartment boom since 2008
CHRISTINE Everingham (Short Takes, 5/6), I would argue that the sale of The Cambridge would have a lot to do with the lockout laws, as I believe that these laws have paved the way for the ever increasing number of apartments in the Newcastle CBD. I don't think it's much of a coincidence that the lion's share of apartments in the city have been built after the lockout laws were introduced in 2008.
Foot traffic and overall attendance to pubs and clubs dropped drastically after the implementation of the laws, causing many businesses to shut down and a number to even go into receivership (The Queen's Wharf Hotel, then known as The Queen's Wharf Brewery, is a prime example).
This of course gives developers the perfect opportunity to swoop in and buy up the now vacant lots for the purpose of putting up even more high rise apartments. Then this gives unscrupulous real estate agents the chance to promise supposed "quiet inner city living" (whatever that is), no matter how false this claim may be. This is how it went down in Sydney when the lockout laws caused the closure of at least 270 businesses in the CBD and surrounding areas.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
Take view with pinch of salt
JOHN Hewson continued his criticism of the Morrison government (Hewson's View, 4/6) despite some senior economists suggesting that Australia has been leading the world in dealing with COVID-19 as well as managing economic recovery.
I noted that Dr Hewson suggested the Prime Minister would probably draw on his "personal popularity" to get through the next election. Unfortunately for Hewson, he didn't have the luxury of relying on his popularity when, as leader of the Liberal Party, he lost what was referred to as the "unloseable" election in 1993.
David Stuart, Merewether
A 'massive' disparity exists
LAUGHABLY claiming otherwise Peter Devey (Short Takes, 7/6) is an excellent apologist for Israel, failing to see while there, or inform us of the massive, not little, deliberate disparity between Jewish and Arab citizens.
Originally denying the claim of apartheid, he confused Arab Israelis with Palestinians. Palestinians in other countries are by and large free to go about their lives. Even in dictatorships. They aren't repeatedly forced from their homes and fields with no compensation and nowhere to go. Those homes and livelihoods taken by wealthy settlers.
Colin Fordham, Lambton
Subtle differences of gases
THE letter from Bruce Graham, ("Benefits of hydrogen switch", Letters, 7/6) is only partially correct.
In particular his comments about production and storage are dangerously incorrect; LPG and hydrogen are quite different gases.
In the right concentrations it will self ignite and can be explosive without ignition sources. It has, so far, had very limited usages, this is because it needs to be carefully stored and used. It is odourless and colourless, and its flame emits very little light. The gas he refers to is hydrogen sulphide.
Greg Johnstone, Charlestown
WHAT a short memory NSW Labor has in regards to speed camera fines being up 1100 per cent (Herald, 7/6). We were in lockdown the same time last year and I doubt there was even a third of the volume of traffic as there is now. As they say ... you can make a number say anything.
Steve Andrews, Medowie
YOUR article, ("Caught in the fast lane", Herald, 7/6), with its responses from the Transport for NSW seems to suggest that the removal of signage for speed cameras has resulted in an 1100 per cent increase in speeding and an average reduction of 23 fatalities in those same areas. I can only see one conclusion that can be drawn from such analysis. Of course if we were advised on the individual speed exceedances we could perhaps determine the optimum safe speed, resulting in even fewer casualties and more cash for the government.
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
REGARDING Martin Schlaegers' comments (Short Takes, 1/6), I too am wondering why the PM, at over 50, could get the Pfizer vaccine, but the rest of us over 50 cannot? Please explain, PM.
Sandra Iceton, New Lambton Heights
GOODBYE, Corbo. Thankyou for sharing yourself with us and brightening our Sat'dy morns. Hopefully you will be back but I fear the thin skinned, humourless, "I'm offended" noisy minority will make it a joyless job.
Dave McTaggart, Edgeworth
A BIG thank you to Cecilia for her assistance at Marketown on Sunday morning in doing the complete job of processing photos of my mother's 90th birthday party; photos I had to deliver later that day. Cecilia, another customer, was busy herself but she took the time to happily assist me. I am very grateful.
June Smith, Newcastle West
MAYBE the Stairway to Heaven could be formed as a semi-circle to enable the steps to double as seating overlooking an activity/performance space below.
Geoff Bryan, Newcastle East
CAMPBELL Knox (Letters, 7/6), please elaborate on the three times as many jobs that will be created by shifting away from fossil fuels in the Hunter. This is your opportunity to give us the details, the plan, and how to implement it. Don't let us down, Campbell, please lay it all bare otherwise it looks to me like most Greens you're making up stuff with no element of fact. So mate, give us the policy on how to increase employment threefold in the Hunter.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
AT a local auction on the weekend a couple from Sydney purchased a house in Mayfield East for $1.105 million. The couple is seeking a quieter lifestyle and looking forward to all the various amenities that the great city of Newcastle has to offer.