SURELY it's time we ended the continual fight between the local councils and Ausgrid over street trees ('Pruning shocker outrage', Newcastle Herald 17/6). The trees were planted many years ago with good intentions to provide street amenity and shade, but some species are completely wrong for their location under power lines.
How about we develop a city wide program to identify the problem trees and replace them with a species that will not require constant pruning? I expect the opposing entities are trying to avoid taking on the costs involved, but isn't that a false economy? Some of the trees have been pruned I believe to the point of being a danger to passersby, let alone exceedingly ugly. Ratepayers are looking for a bit of rational thinking and forward planning to put this issue to bed, it can't be that difficult to find a solution.
Bruce Graham, Warners Bay
Sunny story from solar front line
WE constantly see letters to the editor regarding the perceived failures of solar or green energy.
My home with a commonly installed solar panel system generated an average 36.32 kilowatt hours per day in 2019 and 32.82 kilowatt hours per day in 2020. A year of bushfires and then constant rain both depleting solar generation.
Even in cloudy weather you can still generate. My power account is zero. I get refunds. An average home uses 16 kilowatts per day. Putting your surplus into the grid or into a battery or charging your battery when the power grid has surplus generation when the power cost is low is a no brainer.
So please talk about solutions to climate change instead of non scientists discussing the science.
Darryl Stevenson, Coal Point
Don't point at performance cars
I FEAR John Fear of Newcastle East (Letters 12/6) needs to lighten up. Drivers of high-end cars are not the people police should be concerned about ("We'll be taking their cars", Herald, 9/6).
After all, many of us have done endless advanced driving courses and knocked out quite a few laps on the track.
The biggest nuisances are drivers who won't go faster after entering a higher-speed zone, barge onto roundabouts when I'm already there, won't indicate left prior to leaving a roundabout, and pull out from the kerb or change lanes without looking.
We could also smarten things up by ceasing to give licences to anybody and everybody who applies for one.
Mr Fear, next time you see a midnight blue Porsche flashing around town, it's probably me. Give us a hoy and I'll let you take me for a ride while I observe with pad and pencil. I'm sure you will finish up with a clean sheet.
But I will be able to point out a myriad of offences committed by drivers of Corollas and Mazdas etc etc which aren't acted upon by police in a position to observe them.
Remember too, Mr Fear, that the police perception of dangerous driving is also based on filling quotas and government coffers. I was recently accused of dangerous driving by a highway patrol officer, who backed down when I gave him my version of the incident. See you soon.
Ray Dinneen, Newcastle
History uncovered at the lake
ACROSS the street from Belmont's Gunyah Hotel is a pleasant park that runs down to Lake Macquarie.
Aboriginal people know this hill as Bahtabah. At the top is a large well maintained war memorial, in the centre a nondescript sandstone monolith. Our guides, Amos and Uncle Noel of Muurung Murai Cultural Tours, told us a plaque once commemorated this as the site of Reverend Threlkeld's Aboriginal mission. The plaque has long since gone.
Families, often from diverse and incompatible tribes, were brought to this place thus hastening cultural destruction.
With extraordinary foresight, Threlkeld and a multilingual Aboriginal man, Biraban, set about recording the Awabakal language. Its preservation, unlike many lost East Coast languages, owes much to these two individuals. The war memorial is impressive, the story of the Belmont Aboriginal Mission equally needs to be commemorated.
Thank you Swansea Community Cottage, it was a great privilege to spend time with Noel and Amos.
Phillip Buckner, Dudley
Trouble starts on the way home
REGARDING Neil Coutts' (Short Takes, 11/6) in conversation with a cab driver about an 11pm finish,"cos that's when all the trouble starts", I would suggest, and it is from personal experience, that the only trouble you do have at that time is getting a bus or cab home. Also the dodging of tumbleweeds in a desolate non-vibrant town and the loud snoring of inner city residents who go to bed with Big Dog can also be another issue. Thank goodness the lockout laws are being relaxed. Maybe it will mean more public transport and cabs being around for those of us who do enjoy a late night out.
Tony Morley, Waratah
Modern memorial to service
SINCE 2018, the Australian War Memorial has engaged in extensive consultation on our Development Project, running our own national program in addition to the consultations connected to three major approval processes. We have reached more than half-a-million Australians in person, through our website and social media, surveys, community forums, focus groups, public notices and media coverage.
A total of 385 consultation activities have taken place, from meetings with community groups, to nationwide surveys and a national roadshow to every State and Territory. We have listened, and more than 50 changes have been made to the project.
One of the most important surveys took place in July 2020 when visitors to the Memorial were provided information on the project and asked if they supported it.
More than 660 people answered this question. Remembering they had just visited existing galleries on Afghanistan and peacekeeping, 85 percent of these visitors said 'yes' the Memorial needs to do more to tell modern service stories and the plans we proposed were appropriate. Only six per cent were opposed.
The expansion of the Memorial's galleries to recognise recent conflicts and operations will allow us to tell the untold stories of our servicemen and servicewomen.
Through this once in a generation project, veterans who served, and those still serving, will soon be able to visit the Memorial to share stories of their service and sacrifice with loved ones, and receive the recognition they so richly deserve.
Matt Anderson, Australian War Memorial director
HOW many times must we call the feral horses destroying the wilderness at Barrington Tops "majestic" ('Barrington braces for more snowfall', Newcastle Herald 15/6)? They are not majestic. They are weedy, wormy, woolly-coated undergrown horses who are destroying the natural environment at Barrington Tops. These horses are not native to the area and destroy the natural habitat of animals which are native. Why support their existence with these uninformed descriptions like "majestic"? Anyone who owns horses know that these pathetic, weedy animals are struggling to survive in this environment.
Leigh Gibbens, Stockrington
FRED McInerney (Letters, 14/6), thanks for answering on behalf of the greens who haven't bothered to reply. My question was how will there be three times as many jobs if we close down fossil fuels? The jobs you pointed out already exist with China being the main beneficiary due to manufacturing panels. Will the truck driver be driving an electric vehicle? How will all of the components be made and disposed of after the use by date? How much environmental damage will be done from mining the materials, lithium storage batteries especially? You see mate, renewable energy is not clean at all.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WELL stone the crows. Steve Barnett put a short take in about global warming, of which I also had a bit of fun with apparently so did Greg Hunt. It was meant as humour, so while I do not want to pick people who do not have a sense of humour, I see Mr John Arnold (Short Takes, 17/6) has had his feelings hurt, but it is apparently ok for Mr Arnold to call us privileged white males. Mr Arnold does not know what colour or race we are. He may have enjoyed privilege. I assure you Mr Arnold, I and my family did not.
Kevin Miller, Windale
WITH regards to the letter by Barry Swan (Letters, 17/6). Flies around a dunny pit reminds me of all the China loving comrades in the Labor Party that used to swarm around the cesspit that is the Chinese Communist Party. I wonder where they all are now. They seem to have disappeared or may be hiding under the bed.
Sandy Buchanan, Largs
CAN someone please explain why the Central Coast gas fired plant is apparently not powered up during peak usage needs? Surely that is better than building another future stranded asset ('Peak pressure', Herald 16/6). Is it political? $600 million would go a long way towards a manufacturing hub for smart Australian ideas.
Elizabeth Watson, Swansea
HOW long until the Beach Hotel is granted a tweaked development approval ('Residents toast council after hotel vote', Herald 17/6)? Anyone wager it's before Newcastle South skate park is completed?
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
WHO would you prefer to live next to? An ambitious politician, a Tamil family or a couple of thoughtless types from Melbourne? I work for Australia. I believe in its values. It deserves better governance than this.