WELL done to the John Hunter Hospital's COVID-19 clinic. I had my first jab today and found the experience to be highly successful. The process worked well and all of the staff were extremely friendly. I left work at Wallsend at 9:35am and was back at my desk at 11:15am. No complaints from me.
Leeanne Gardener, Woodberry
Don't phone it in on code quandary
WITH QR codes compulsory for all businesses, there has been no thought given to those very many people who do not own a device with the necessary app. I have a mobile phone but it is just that, a phone; one on which I can make and receive telephone calls and messages and nothing more. I do not want nor need anything more as I have a computer, on which I am proficient, at home. I have been made to feel inferior and receive looks of amazement when I explain I am unable to sign in myself. Why has no thought been given to a government-issued card with the required QR code, similar to the Opal Card, for those of us without the necessary device?
Sue Kenny, Lambton
Why we refuse virus testing
MY wife received a diagnosis for Parkinson's Disease in April 2006. She has been in an advancing state with that affliction ever since. I partake of a Coeliac diet and have been since the 1990s. Neither of us can sit for hours and hours in our car in a queue waiting to be tested for the coronavirus. We are certain thousands of other vulnerable people are in the same position.
Our suggestion is that many testing sites be closed immediately and the wonderful testing medical staff be rostered to move from street to street and house to house testing people at home by appointment.
Failing that, can we register to have testers call on people whom GPs and specialists recognise as needing home care?
Ian Stewart, Elermore Vale
First-class response from premiers
FROM time to time there are suggestions that we have too many politicians, and that state governments should be abolished. When we look at the management of the COVID-19 problem, though, the state governments stand out as the competent managers.
NSW is always too slow to respond, I think, but apart from that all state and territory governments have done a good job. When the expensive commonwealth CovidSafe app turned out to be useless, each state came up with its own contact tracing system; one that worked. The state hotel quarantine systems had their problems, it is true, but that was only ever a temporary work-around.
Hotel quarantine was only going to be used until the Commonwealth quarantine facilities could take enough people. In contrast to the states, in my opinion the federal government has been acting like a bunch of bumbling incompetents. It did almost nothing about quarantine until the Victorian government forced its hand. It could have done a much better job of ensuring vaccine supply. Its promotion of a system of insecure casual employment has turned out to be a major infection spreader. Stranded Australians can't come home because the available quarantine capacity is too small. The contrast is especially stark when we look at nursing homes. The public sector nursing homes, run by the states, are well managed and safe, with all staff and residents fully vaccinated.
The nursing homes controlled by the federal government have had high infection rates and high death rates, and it has taken until now to start vaccinating all staff. Perhaps we should keep the state governments and abolish the federal government.
Peter Moylan, Glendale
Hoop dreams may be off target
NEWCASTLE Basketball should be calling their proposed development Charlestown Stadium. Why? Because it is Charlestown where the main entrance and exit is proposed, it is Charlestown where they failed to conduct the crime study, it is Charlestown where they propose to run a large bridge through an identified significant wildlife corridor and riparian zone.
It is Charlestown's endangered powerful owls who live adjacent, it is Charlestown's five-tonne limited road they propose to have up to 60 buses traversing it nearly every second weekend.
It is in Charlestown's streets where up to 4000 punters will be looking for parking because no on-site parking has been allocated during major events, and it is Charlestown and Hillsborough's primary students who will have their school entrance modified to ensure large swathes of traffic can enter and exit with minimum congestion added to Hillsborough road and the roundabout.
Marcia Spitzkowsky, Charlestown
What I loved about old Newcastle
LESLIE Field (Letters, 1/7), accuses Peter Sansom of pining for the Newcastle of 60 years ago. I am pining for the Newcastle of 10 years ago. Here is a short list of things I miss: the ability to drive into the city and park at either David Jones or the King Street parking stations, or being able to catch one of three different buses into Newcastle.
There was one via Stewart Avenue, one via Union Street and one via Darby Street. My only bus now goes via Darby Street, a vast inconvenience if I want to access what we used to call the West End. A bus service that took me close to a train station where I could catch a train to either Maitland or Sydney; bus services that took me directly to John Hunter Hospital, the university, Jesmond, Wallsend and Warners Bay. All gone.
Joan Lambert, Adamstown
Not every suburb's a winner
IN reply to Les Field, (Letters, 1/7), not everybody in Newcastle lives in Wickham and has the opportunities you have. There are many thousands in the suburbs.
Loretta Paolucci, Wallsend
Crowd number made it count
WELL done, Newcastle rugby league fans. Your absence was noted at the Roosters vs Storm game. Stay safe.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
Nuclear power has bombed out
BRUCE Brander (Short Takes, 1/7) selectively used figures to support his argument in support of nuclear energy. Quite true that France derives around 70 per cent of its electricity from nuclear plants, but manyare beyond their working life and around half are scheduled to close within 10 years. There are no plans for their replacement. Germany is planning to shut all their nuclear and coal plants by 2022. Britain is closing all but two of its nuclear plants by 2025. The cost of building a new nuclear plant there has ballooned to the point where it would be cheaper to supply electricity for free than finish the plant. It is not true that Europe is closing coal to go nuclear. They are realising, like the rest of the world, that renewable energy in various forms is way cheaper.
Bruce Graham, Warners Bay
ONCE again we will be under threat from Sydney types who disobey restrictions and flee to the bay, just like when the northern beaches were locked down. The COVID marshal at my local pub turned away people last time so they basically can't enter any premises in the Bay. The COVID marshal simply says leave or explain yourself to the police. Perhaps more than a fine is needed as a deterrent; loss of license or jail perhaps. After all they are threatening the health of people and that could be fatal.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WE in Newcastle have been dealt a cruel blow again by the courts over the container terminal. If we weren't "ripped off" with the secret deals done, I don't understand the meaning of the words. To say that all was ok over this deal is indeed a massive joke in my opinion. Another nail in the coffin for Newcastle.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
MY hope for Honeysuckle is that open space for the general public has priority over waterfront land grabs and views through amber glass.
Susan Macleod, Clovelly
WELL Scotty, it is a race now, we're running third last and the jockey's fallen off.
John Atkins, Hamilton South
THROUGHOUT this pandemic the football codes have been granted far too many concessions at the expense of ordinary people ("COVID restrictions 'inconsistent', Origin bid shows", Newcastle Herald 30/6).
Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook
I TOTALLY support Emily Suvaal's views of nurses, (Letters, 30/6). Having recently spent 3 weeks in F1, Orthopaedic section at John Hunter I cannot speak highly enough of our superstar nurses. Something is seriously wrong when tradesmen and miners are paid substantially more than those dedicated to the healing and saving of lives. 2.5 per cent pay rise? That is surely a bad joke, how about 25 per cent for starters and a well deserved bonus.
Wayne Christie, Belmont
WITH regard to the demolition of the King Street car park the Lord Mayor has stated that no public car parking spaces will be lost. And all will be replaced in the new development. I wonder if this means the spaces will be open to the general public or just to the "public " that buy units in the new development. An answer before the election would be welcome. Ah, watch this space.
Sandy Buchanan, Largs
JOHN Bradford (Short Takes, 30/6) asks why we continue with party politics in local government. Over the years many candidates have been elected as genuine independent representatives, but vote with others as a bloc in order to have motions passed. In my opinion they have formed a cabal and therefore are no longer voting independently.
Robert Tacon, Adamstown Heights
SHOULD Newcastle be named the venue for State of Origin III?