'FREEDOM' protesters in Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne, did you really think through what you were doing?
The only things you can achieve from this weekend protest marches are:
- A superspreader event causing more extended lockdowns and restrictions and COVID deaths and health issues..
- Fines from behaviours that breach public health orders.
- A bad public image through negative media such as the man and the horse.
Given there is nothing to gain from such protests, this action shows these people have no intelligence when it comes to their 'freedumb' marches and are the last people in society that we would want to influence us.
Glen Wilson, Cardiff
Consistency on heritage, please
I AM pleased to see that Cr Declan Clausen has had a "Road to Damascus" experience and has found a need to protect heritage-listed buildings by calling in ICAC to investigate Jeff McCloy's wife's development in Parkway Avenue.
As an owner of a heritage-listed building in Newcastle East, I found that Cr Clausen, along with his Labor councillor mates, were conspicuously missing in action during the three years our building along with other heritage-listed buildings have been seriously damaged by the Supercars track build and race.
Our building suffered both internal and external cracking, with even downlights shaken from their cradles.
The Newcastle City Council along with Cr Clausen have never responded to the detailed professional vibration reports I have provided the council, which show the vibration exceeded the codes for heritage buildings and was likely to cause structural damage.
But with this new found evangelism, perhaps Cr Clausen can refer my reports to ICAC for them to determine why the CoN has failed to investigate serious damage done to Newcastle East End heritage buildings by Supercars.
John Davies, Newcastle East
Bigger issues than uniform
I FOUND it surprising that the Newcastle Herald found a change of uniform at an exclusive local private school worthy of a full page report, ("Stripes causing a stir", Herald, 24/7).
Apparently the division stirred up by this change is causing angst in the school community that, according to the My School website, is in the top five per cent of socio economic advantaged schools in Australia.
Hopefully a full page article can now be written on the challenges of a local public school; perhaps one in the coalfields that educates students from the bottom five per cent of socio economic disadvantage. Reporting on that school would reinforce that Australia is the most inequitable education system in the OECD.
Our public schools educate 80 per cent of all disadvantaged students, 76 per cent of all students with a disability and 84 per cent of all Indigenous students. Sixty-five percent of all Australians are in public education.
Despite this mass inequity and the heavy lifting required to service the needs of the children in public schools, the federal government sends 80 per cent of its taxpayer-funded education budget to the private system.
Giving such importance to a trivial change of uniform in a well funded and resourced private school masks the real educational issues in Australian schools.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
Conflict should be last resort
JOHN Tierney's piece on the war in Afghanistan ("Two decades in Afghanistan: a debriefing", Herald, 21/7) was timely, but ultimately disappointing.
Australia's involvement in the Afghanistan war has been yet another foreign policy disaster from which we are now "cutting and running". Just like Gallipoli, Vietnam, and the second war in Iraq. In each of these failures we have entered a foreign conflict when asked (or in the case of Vietnam we asked to be invited) by the relevant "great and powerful friend" when Australia was not threatened in any way.
Unlike our Kiwi mates we simply aren't learning the patent lesson from these failures: don't get involved unless our security is directly threatened.
This is not to say Australian soldiers should not be involved in foreign peace-keeping exercises. We were one of the first champions of the UN, and UN-sanctioned and genuine peace-keeping operations should always attract our interest.
There is also another lesson to be learnt from the Afghanistan debacle-the ease with which our prime ministers commit us to foreign wars. There's not even a vote in parliament except to endorse actions already taken.
Bob Hawke was too quick to get us involved in the First Gulf War, and the pattern was repeated by John Howard in the Second Gulf War and 2001 in Afghanistan.
We need a law requiring a proper vote in parliament (2/3 of a joint parliamentary sitting?) before we commit so much national wealth, not to say the lives of service men and women, to conflicts far from Australian shores.
That is what the Afghanistan "debriefing" should be all about.
Carl Boyd, Newcastle
Innovative ideas for park
CITIZENS are justly proud of the Foreshore Park, and the riverside walk. Events programmed for the parklands always draw a crowd, and the precinct now stretches from The Station to Nobbys. What a great asset for our city, and one we need to manage with skill, care, and an eye of future expansion.
Many will be upset at the loss of the frog pond. Once just a depression in the sandhills, it has become an iconic play area for thousands of children over many years. The bridge should remain, even if the western end of the pond is shrunk a little to accommodate a larger lawn, the concept should remain. The pond has been much loved, and whatever can be preserved should be.
There is much in the draft proposals that will be very well received. There are innovative ideas, spaces for inclusion, and opportunities to enjoy events and family activities, and there should be consideration given to retaining the pond.
Warren Dean, Newcastle East
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Positive attitudes welcome
HOW encouraging it was to read Kelsey Gray's "Hunter can bridge old and new industries", (Herald, 22/7).
I am way past 22 years of age, but I still recall the hope, enthusiasm and passion of those years.
A youth committee with such ideals as expressed in the article can only be encouraging to those of us who 'failed' to address such issues when we should have.
I read the opinion piece with pleasure. While I may not agree with every point my support is certainly behind such positive attitudes
Go for it kids!
Leigh Allen, Hawks Nest
WOULDN'T it be nice if we could combine both competitions and call it Newcastle Cricket and end this madness. A longer version of the game for the serious and a shorter version for the not so serious. C'mon fellas, let's put our differences aside and do it for the kids. Our game is dying.
Glen Boyd, Belmont
I WAS flabbergasted to bump into a resident of Sydney in our street viewing a property for sale in view of the strict lockdown regulations. Wake up Australia! This was on Saturday 24th of July.
Colin Rowlatt, Merewether
THE sooner the Knights realise they are a second rate team the better, and stop charging their fans top dollar for membership. Maybe when they move to the "Centre of Excellence" at Broadmeadow we will see an improvement. Lol.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
I RECKON the government should stand aside with vaccines and all Aussies should drink Strop's hangover cure! No worries mate, it'll cure anything. Thanks for the laughs Strop. RIP mate.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
RE: "Shots Fired", Herald, 24/7, I thought ex-Labor leader Bill Shorten would be standing at the top of the podium for quite a while, but after reading the article I'd say Bill has been relegated to a silver medal and Declan Clausen now has gold.
Chris Mclauchlan, Lambton
I READ Declan Clausen's letter, ("Proud to be part of Labor team", Letters, 22/7),. Rather than being proud, I think he should be offering an apology, on behalf of the Labor team, to the ratepayers of Newcastle.
Ross Edmonds, Waratah
THE Queensland COVID QR code check-in app automatically checks you out when you leave the area and Service NSW needs to adopt this method quickly.
Alan Hamilton, Hamilton East
THE reason Australia's vaccination program performance is so far behind other developed countries, and indeed behind that of some undeveloped countries, is all down to a simple misunderstanding by Prime Minister Morrison. He thought the experts were saying vacillate.
Reg Howes, Valentine
TO Chris Gavenlock, ("Support for voluntary assisted dying bill", Letters, 24/7). Thank you so much Chris, you very simply put into words the argument for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill to go ahead. Chris, you have made it easier for me to understand things. A dear friend was starved for eight days prior to her death only given painkillers. Nobody deserves such a death. Here's hoping that the Bill passes quickly when taken to the vote.