AS a past player and lover of rugby league I cannot believe it has taken this long for someone to mention what I have been telling my sidekicks down at the local for months. Thank you Robert Dilllon, who has finally addressed the elephant in the room by mentioning that it should now be mandatory that rugby league players wear headgear along with upper body protection.
I do applaud the fact that the game is now doing something about head knocks thanks to the advice from medical professionals which studies have proven that concussion and continual head knocks will have a detrimental effect later in life and can cause brain damage.
Back in the 1980s when we played we didn't worry about having families, kids or being a parent if we got knocked out. One, because we didn't have them, or two, we didn't care as it was all about being tough.
With this said, my biggest gripe in regards to concussion in rugby league is the fact a past player is about to have his court case go ahead against the game in blaming them for not having a duty of care. What a cop out, in my view, along with many of his fellow boofhead players throwing their support towards his case. Whatever the outcome, the game of rugby league will never be the same.
I believe that the NRL will therefore have no other option than to make rugby league players wear headgear. This however will not happen as the players will protest. Unfortunately they can't have it both ways. How dare players of the past now say that their "workplace" did not protect them. Who in their right mind would have told a firebrand back in the day that they cannot go back on the field due to concussion?
How dare the players of the past accuse the NRL of neglect when many of you are living off the rewards that the game has given you. Times have changed, along with the medical advice.
So why has the discussion of having to wear headgear never been brought up? Is it due to the boofhead mentality that the players still want to be tough?
Look at American football as an example. Players are made to wear helmets and shoulder pads designed not only to eliminate head injuries but also lawsuits.
The game of rugby league keeps saying that they want to attract kids to the game. Well, what better advertisement than making it compulsory to wear headgear and shoulder pads which will give parents the confidence that the game has the health and welfare of players in their best interests which will give all parents the confidence in allowing their kids to play the game?
Groiden Schammell, Hamilton North
Fines can't beat finesse of tests
MY reaction to the current punitive revenue collection is that education is the only way to reduce the road toll, not punishing drivers with speeding fines for minimal misdemeanors
If Macquarie Street is serious about reducing road deaths, all drivers should have to be tested for their license every 10 years. This keeps us educated about current road rules. With our ageing population, a lot of our drivers had their licenses prior to the advent of roundabouts. Ageing drivers could then be tested for their suitability to hold a license and ability to tow caravans. Unfortunately, we all suffer from decline.
Revenue collection through unnecessary speeding fines is punitive with minimal benefit. We need to see more evidence of road improvements.
Brian Hammond, Fern Bay
Merger fallout wasn't worth costs
NOT much has been said about the forced merger of Great Lakes, Taree and Gloucester councils. In short it was a disaster that was not needed by the ratepayers/residents. It was done by stealth in my opinion, and there was no consultation at any stage. It came as a fait accompli by the Berejiklian government. Whilst the cost to ratepayers wasn't as high as the Central Coast debacle where at one stage they didn't have enough loot to pay staff wages, the cost has been in the many millions after council decided to move to new premises at the former Masters Hardware complex.
Even the appointment of an interim administrator raised eyebrows when the $300,000-a-year position was not advertised and the gig went to John Turner, the former National Party state member for Myall Lakes. Nice work if you can get it.
Ratepayers deserve better but they won't get it under this government.
Peter McKenzie, Wang Wauk
Coal backlash may be premature
AS a proud former graduate, postgraduate, staff member and Council Member of the University of Newcastle, I can only sit back in wonder at the orchestrated mind meld of an uncreative cancellation sub-culture that has ridden the university of its recent short lived chancellor, Mark Vaile. He was a good choice. Yet the McCarthyistic attack on Vaile was as ugly as the old black and white film trials of those USA inquisitions. I haven't seen a faster, more effective, or more vicious witch hunt in years.
How the university got itself into this cataclysm without any prior hard thinking is amazing in itself. Its governance has taken a hard blow. We really need coal and its energy generation. When a flood, tornado or explosion bombs out our old fixed infrastructure darlings - power plants - energy supply can go...off. The green, solar, windmill, hydrocarbon, hydrogen, battery, 'friendly gas', haze of alternative energy production and storage is building up. But within a regulatory vacuum or maelstrom, much like RBA pronouncements. We can't swing our civilisation green, not yet.
Philanthropy, research funding, teaching and learning are all part of this great and vigorous university. With geology excellence this university seemingly has no plans to mine coal nor develop carbon fetish courses. But we are no match for the great physical cycles of continual climate flux throughout earth history. Changes in atmospheric carbon link to supercontinent movement, oceanic and atmospheric cascades, meteorite bombardment, volcanism, sedimentation, mountain building, earth life and extinction events.
Dr Diana Day, Oyster Bay
The honest truth, in actual fact
I AGREE with Judith Delbridge ("Word up, language is changing", Letters, 18/6) regarding the use, or misuse, of certain words by some people.
What really gets up my nose is when people say "the honest truth", isn't all truth honest? "Also in actual fact", isn't all fact actual? What about "the exact same", if something is the same there's no need to use the word "exact". Then we have people say "between 10 to 15" which should be between "10 and 15" or "from 10 to 15". The word "gotten" is often used instead of "got". Where "gotten" originates from I have no idea because I can't find it in either of my dictionaries. Anyway, that's my little whinge for the day.
Ian King, Warners Bay
SO 600 metres of road duplication and a set of traffic lights is a "great win" for motorists ('Road relief', Newcastle Herald 23/6). Wow, I can't wait! Will certainly lower travel time.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
IN reply to Barry Collin (Short Takes, 23/6), when I used to display an Aboriginal flag in the window of my house in Sydney, neighbours asked me the very same question you asked about not flying the Australian flag. In my case, flying a flag is a sign of respect and it is disrespectful to fly a flag when you feel no respect.
Rachel King, Kahibah
I'VE been a butcher since the days when we used to climb up bamboo scaffolding to bone out woolly mammoths with sharp rocks. I'm not impressed with the amount of packaging in the meat section of my local supermarket. It's bizarre seeing one scotch fillet steak sealed in plastic which probably weighs more than the steak, and probably tastes better too. Convenience is pure laziness. I'm no greenie, but people should rebel against over-packaging. What about going to see your local butcher in their natural habitat? Who knows, you might even have something called a conversation with this endangered species.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WHAT an embarrassment around the University of China, whoops, Newcastle, with regards to the Mark Vaile appointment ('Jeans remains in top job as Joel slams shrill campaign', Herald 23/6). So much for giving him fair go. Mr Vaile was appointed legally and we will never know now what he could have brought or not to the university. If he took it down the wrong path, then in my opinion that would have been the time to protest. He should have been given a go. Anyone who has resigned or given their awards back, see you later. There would have been people who didn't agree that you deserved it anyway, like any awards in life. I'm only of the opinion of giving someone a go first.
Gregory Grey, Maryland
BARRY Collin (Short Takes, 23/6) wonders why the Wandiyali Aboriginal Centre does not fly the Australian flag. The Union Jack, the symbol on the Australian flag, probably killed more people world wide than the latest virus. The Union Jack, or the butcher's apron as it was called by its victims, was a symbol of pillage, slavery, murder, rape and racism to the original inhabitants of this land. The Union Jack on the Australian flag, a symbol of horror, gives the wrong message to the Aboriginals.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
GIVEN the current COVID outbreaks in various regions of Sydney ('All NSW MPs ordered into isolation after Parliament positive', Herald 24/6), I pose this question: should we be allowing visitors from Sydney to come to Lake Macquarie for their usual school holidays? As we are aware, they love to spend their family holidays here in our idyllic region. Should we not be closing the highway at Brooklyn, turning them around and giving ourselves the best chance of stopping the spread? By the same token, those who live north of Brooklyn bridge should not be travelling to Sydney either.