I WHOLEHEARTEDLY support the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill proposed by Sydney Independent MP, Alex Greenwich and co-sponsored by Lake Macquarie Independent MP, Greg Piper.
Despite the best palliative care available, people are still having horrendous end of life experiences.
Probably more so in remote regional areas.
As we age, we see more cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, more of our friends and family die.
We wonder about our own death.
With a cancer diagnosis, should my suffering become unmanageable and unbearable, I want access to voluntary assisted dying as part of my care plan.
Polls continually demonstrate that the majority of Australians, including those of the Christian faith, overwhelmingly support voluntary assisted dying legislation.
Yet some politicians make decisions according to their own religious beliefs, allowing the well-resourced hierarchy of religious organisations to obstruct VAD legislation.
If they are correct in that god decides when we die, then out of the 4000-odd religions and hundreds, if not thousands, of gods worshipped, which god is the decision-maker in these circumstances?
Why is this minority group allowed to enforce their personal beliefs on others?
It's voluntary assisted dying. It's not compulsory to participate.
Chris Gavenlock, Dora Creek
C'mon, show us the figures
SINCE June 2020, there have been 12 separate requests made to Newcastle Basketball and their developers, Catalyst Construction, for an event management plan for the proposed basketball stadium (DA/872/2020).
The last request was from the Chair of the Public Briefing of the Regional Planning Panel, Allison McCabe four weeks ago where she repeated that a determination cannot be made on the proposal until this is provided.
Perhaps their reluctance to provide a schedule of regular events to be conducted at the facility along with known major events, gala days, peak events, school events and other events such as Starstruck rehearsals for 1000 students signifies that their current estimate on the traffic expected to flood the area around Hillsborough Road has been underestimated. After all, they modelled their traffic study on a comparison with Waverley Basketball Stadium in Victoria which is a six-court suburban stadium.
Victoria's State Basketball Stadium has eight courts, one of which is a show court seating 3200 patrons.
This would have provided a closer model to what is being proposed in Charlestown/Hillsborough.
In response to these requests, Catalyst has provided an event traffic management plan.
This plan only identifies how traffic will be managed during events; it does not show us the numbers, frequency or duration of events.
Marcia Spitzkowsky, Charlestown
Nurses the backbone of field
IN response to Kathy Chapman's letters, ("We nurses cannot remain silent anymore", Letters, 22/7), I would like to point out that silence gives consent.
You don't have to have a PhD in health to know the nurse is the backbone in the field of health, medicine, and the hospital system.
Nurses have been under-rated since the days of Florence.
The nurse today must become more vocal in their quest for respect in their profession. Nurses deserve a wage boost, which may be the vaccine, which seems in short supply to bring love into their daily overworked shifts.
Also the wage rise might get nurses to return back into the profession. Nurses today in hospitals make doctors look good, I will say no more.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
Don't make me breathe smoke
I MUST say I am disappointed in the attitude of Brian Watson-Will ("Domestic fires have little impact", Letters, 21/7) concerning the use of wood burning heaters in suburban areas.
Unless there is a strong wind blowing to disperse the smoke produced, it rises up the chimney and then settles on your close neighbours.
In our house we face a daily stream of smoke that fills our house and leaves behind a foul stink, even with all windows and doors closed.
Do you realise Brian that your smoke contains carcinogens in a high concentration?
And if you happen to burn wood that is treated or is painted the smoke is poisonous?
Cigarette smoking has been banned in public areas because the smoke cannot be contained to the smoker.
The same issue applies to wood burning heaters.
Brian I am sure you would be very unhappy if your neighbours had a party with loud music every night, yet you think it's quite OK to fill their house with your smoke.
I believe very strongly that wood burning heaters, and fire pits, should be banned in suburban areas.
Please, be a responsible neighbour and don't force me to breathe your smoke.
Bruce Graham, Warners Bay
Home truths for our children
SOMETHING for parents to consider discussing with their children who are homeschooling because of COVID restrictions.
As they were during world wars and surviving the Great Depression, the youth of today need a bit of perspective they are not cowering in a London bomb shelter or wondering if dad has been killed in a land far away or eating rations or cabbage soup night after night, let alone being forced into the Hitler youth army and sent to be slaughtered.
Arguing over Netflix or not going to Maccas pales into significance one thinks when it comes to the situation our youth find themselves in today.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
Battery a better fit for Kurri
THE science is in, and energy economists know and keep telling us to move away from gas and other fossil fuels as quickly as possible, in order to slow down the runaway increases in temperature that are causing massive damage to our planet.
For the sake of all our children and grandchildren, please ask your federal and state politicians to work harder in persuading the federal government to give up the folly of the Kurri gas plant, and persuading the NSW Planning Minister and others responsible, to refuse approval for it to be built.
Voters in Newcastle and the Hunter are watching, and will have a legitimate right to punish political candidates and parties in the polls, if the Kurri gas plant proceeds.
A better solution for the Brownfield site at Kurri is to build a big battery.
It is now proven technology that will help transition us to more and more reliable uses of renewable energy
John L Hayes, Mayfield
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
NEWCASTLE City Council will vote shortly on taking out a loan to cover expansion of the Art Gallery. If in the event this is approved by council, Newcastle ratepayers will be burdened with the repayment costs in coming years by way of increased rates, etc. I have never seen any evidence that this facility adds any benefit in boosting the local economy but then again perhaps it's the last chance to repay minority supporters of a Labor-dominated council prior to their envisaged exit in September.
Peter Mullins, Rankin Park
IT'S so obvious. It's appalling that our port has been caught short. Now after years of silent "bashing" from our own state government, our biggest coal port in the world is deemed as "not a credible player in the NSW container market" by our very own expert judiciary. I wonder who she would have put her money on in the David v Goliath battle. How on earth can such a judgement make any sense and what right has she to judge so? Then again pork barrelling has been given the green light by some, why not?
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
COULD somebody please confirm a claim from Darren Nicholson for me? ("City car park could make way for units", Herald, 17/7). Did he seriously say that "demand wasn't great" for parking in Newcastle before COVID? What time of the day is he going into Newcastle trying to get a park? In my experience, it can even be difficult to find a park at night in the CBD, and that's also during COVID. Why more inner city housing is looked upon as a priority over car parks for new residents and visitors is beyond me. Especially after the light rail came at the cost of over 200 car parks.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
FOLLOWING Peter Devey's citing of Stephanie Gray of Our Future ("'Future' may still be a while away", Letters, 22/7), I decided to have a look at what she was on about. The concluding paragraph was as follows: "If Barnaby and his coal-loving colleagues truly stand for regional Australians, they would be better investing in affordable renewable energy and local manufacturing." It does not surprise me that Peter did not reference this.
Lloyd Davies, Stockton
MANY years ago as a boy I entered our family dog in the local annual agricultural shows dog competition. I prepared the dog grooming him and took him along and entered him in his category. He won, and when I got home my family were ecstatic, they were so happy and treated him with extra food and cuddles. Some time later my father asked "how many other dogs were entered in the same category?" I said, "he was the only one". Surely, that story is a bit like Brisbane's bid to host the 2032 Olympics.
John Fear, Newcastle East
OLYMPIC gold is coming home, Down Under, with the Matildas.