THE proposed basketball stadium to be situated at Hillsborough/Charlestown, apart from creating more traffic and parking in narrow local streets, proposes to have a licensed bar area.
Why is this necessary in a basketball stadium apart from creating an income for the basketball association?
If built at the proposed site, it will be situated next to a primary school, a special school and an OOSH. There will also be hundreds of children playing and learning to play basketball.
There is no need for any alcohol to be near children.
What about the surrounding residents who will have to put up with all the noise of alcohol-affected patrons leaving the premises at the 11pm closing time as they return to their vehicles parked in the local streets every evening.
Surely the basketball association can come up with a better way to earn income and use of the area proposed for the bar?
Why not build the stadium where there will be no primary school aged children surrounding it, or any residents surrounding the site?
Wendy Marr, Hillsborough
Domestic fires have little impact
I RESPOND to the Topics column, ("Stop burning wood, get an electric fire", Topics, 16/7). How quickly we forget the apocalyptic conditions of the 2019-20 major bushfires that burnt nearly all coastal and many major inland areas of our state.
The removal of dead and ground fuel for fireplaces to keep us warm during winter speaks for itself after suffering those terrible conditions, with the loss of over 30 lives and over 2000 homes.
Those terrible conditions also caused over 400 hospital admissions due to the thick smoke. On that subject hazard reduction burn-offs also threaten our population with ongoing breathing difficulties.
When we are indoors domestic winter fires are miniscule compared to all of the above.
Burning more black and brown coal is also not the answer for cleaner air during winter where smoke doesn't rise as quickly as in summer.
Brian Watson-Will, Corlette
Vaccine plant worth consideration
I AGREE with Bradley Perret that a missile program would be a "flaming waste" or a "boondoggle", ("Missile program a flaming waste", Herald, 17/7).
In a major military stoush, Australia would probably be cut off from the US, our major military equipment supplier. So, if we really need missiles, including guidance systems, we should develop and produce our own. But this would be extremely expensive. Moreover, instead of deterring war, having more missiles could lead to an arms race, aggressive military posturing, and a greater likelihood of a catastrophic war.
Instead of militarily deterring our impoverished neighbouring states, Australia should lead by example. We should seek to promote peace, health and prosperity amongst them. To do this, the Morrison government would be better off spending our tax dollars on a Pfizer or Moderna plant to mass produce cheap mRNA vaccines for ourselves and our neighbours.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Not such a simple solution
REGARDING Charles Nightingale's "Simple solution to QR trouble" (Letters, 16/7), some people obviously don't understand how QR codes operate.
They are just a printed code on a piece of paper that identifies the premises to a smartphone application (such as Service NSW) to collect your details (i.e. who you are and where and when you visited).
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
The QR code itself does nothing else. I've mused that the Medicare card could have been used like an Opal card but the cost of installing card readers at every location would be astronomical and take forever to implement.
Alternatively, some other way to electronically collect Medicare card details might be investigated by authorities. I suggest Charles, that you consider changing your provider to a pay per use (ALDI has a $15 option) or manually sign in at places you visit.
Zenon Wolosyzn, Rutherford
Outdated maps a concern
I WAS shocked by a map posted on the Federal Parliament website showing the proposed route for the Heavy Freight Trail Bypass.
This map is the same as the one used in 1998 by the Hunter Business Chamber Transport Strategy, with road and street details showing it is around 35 years old.
This ridiculously outdated map shows the rail bypass running through the "middle of the last" natural bushland and wetland edge in western Newcastle that was saved from residential development in 2006, and is now government-owned National Park. This rail route then irrationally continues across the internationally important "Hunter Wetlands National Park''.
Most fortunately this is not Transport for NSW's recommended route but, because Parliament House was the map's source, self-serving business interests and their political facilitators may be dictating the bypass route, but this decision must be made by professional transport planners.
Brian Purdue, Maryland
University's remarkable history
IN all the discussion of appointment of a chancellor to the University of Newcastle, and now the comments by University Administration ("University council's process", Letters, 10/7) there has been no mention of the role of the university in teaching and research, nor consideration of its history, its strong past and of the need for the new chancellor to build from that past into the very uncertain future.
The university houses amongst many centres of research and teaching the Hunter Research Foundation, a unique regional economic research body, set up by Cyril Renwick in 1950s, the Coal Research Centre set up by Professor Ian Stewart from which a wide range of research into coal has evolved, the Wollotuka Institute works in the advancement of Indigenous education; earlier studies of old cultures (Greek, Latin and Ancient History) were stimulated by Professor Godfrey Tanner, Professor Beryl Nashar made substantial contributions to the University, the field of Geology, of women working in science, and to the broader Newcastle community.
These are snippets of the remarkable background and growth of the University of Newcastle.
It has now a very wide range of research studies and it is also a place of learning for thousands of students.
What of this has been understood by the members of the chancellor selection committee or of the candidates it considers?
How does consideration of this history rate against their criteria of corporate governance, regulatory compliance, risk oversight, stakeholder management and networking?
David Stewart, Newcastle East
THERE was one square metre of Beaumont Street in Hamilton that was still worth treasuring. Positioned below the clocktower is a small rotunda which was paved with a large round mosaic of dancing couples by artist Paul Maher. The work referred to the dance rooms which stood, until the earthquake, in that location on the first floor. A work of beauty, refined technique and reassuring permanence. It has withstood the test of time well. What authority decides whether one of this city's cultural assets should be removed or destroyed? I'm curious, has anyone else noticed its removal and ever wondered why?
John Morris, Islington
I BELIEVE last time COVID scares were happening people were much more friendly and co-operative. From my experience, this time around it is the complete opposite, although COVID has not hit the Hunter (yet), in my opinion prevention is better than cure and although annoying having to wear the masks, it's the law. Staff, simply doing their jobs, do not deserve to be abused, have eyes rolled at them or made fun of. If you are unwilling to abide by the law and stay at home, you don't need to be rude and difficult with others when everyone is in the same boat.
Amy Matzanke, Sandgate
REPORT card for our Gladys, Health Minister Hazzard and Dr Chant: 1) Ruby Princess debacle, over 630 COVID-19 cases allowed to arrive and just walk off the ship, March 2020; 2) Arrogance towards other states during their strict lockdowns, 2020-21; 3) This arrogance and "lockdown lite" has now come back to haunt her and her government. In our state we are all suffering in one way or another like never before.
Brian Watson-Will, Corlette
THE NSW "gold standard" is tarnished and Victoria is no longer a second rate state. Even Canberra has rushed to assist in the latest Victorian lockdown. It goes to show what short, sharp lockdowns can achieve.
John Butler, Windella
I ASKED my doctor a few days ago how long he thinks this COVID-19 will last. He responded with: "How should I know, I'm a doctor, not a politician."
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
THANK you Mick Porter, (Short Takes, 19/7), if I might add to your short take Mick, this is the first that I have heard Raymond Terrace called Ray Tay. I think it was done by the dill that christened Newcastle "Newy". Mick, we are surrounded by people who will continue to do things like those two abbreviations.
Walter Remington, Mount Hutton
I WOULD like to think that my birthright came from being born, not created, no matter what some book says, because ashes to dust won't do for.