ROGUE Scholar's Adam Hardy, pictured, wants to extend the bar's trading hours from midnight to 3:30am ("Midnight to 3:30am: a bar's plan to open late", Newcastle Herald 27/8)? Well why not? For decades, countless pubs and clubs in Newcastle opened until 3:30am and later, and more often than not this all occurred incident free. I believe it was only for a brief period of Newcastle's nightlife that there was ever a big problem.
It seems very strange and very unnecessary to me that hotels should have to make any extra applications for conditions that have been granted automatically for other venues during Newcastle's new liquor trial. Community representative Dr Anthony Cook states that "The trial is being done because you don't know if there are potentially adverse impacts". Well I agree, nobody knows. Until then, I say stop the stranglehold on such venues, let the results speak for themselves and determine then whether a permanent change is justified or not.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
Sovereignty shines in pandemic
MICHELLE Grattan identifies the testy relationship between state Premiers and the PM, ("As COVID worsens, PM pivots to future" Opinion, 28/8).
Queensland and WA are going it alone with their de facto policy of crushing the virus. They limit entry to vaccinated international travellers and refuse entry to the people of NSW and Victoria. Queensland, sick of waiting for the Commonwealth, is building its own dedicated and more effective quarantine station at Toowoomba. In NSW, the political spin is "we have to learn to live with the virus". Do we? Maybe we do now, since half-hearted lockdown has failed. The virus is now out of control. We no longer hear reports about the number of cases that "were infectious in the community." We have to look hard to find "hotspots" in our area. Track and tracing is so far behind, that it has been largely abandoned. Our hospital ICUs are becoming overwhelmed.
The only good thing coming out of all of this is that the Federation is alive and well. States remain sovereign. The loud-mouthed, bullying, responsibility-avoiding PM is looking more and more irrelevant.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Halcyon days for vocabularies
I HAVE found some interesting words while in lockdown. 1. Halcyon - Remember the time before COVID, bushfires, drought and mice plagues? The peaceful happy days, the halcyon days.
2. Contumacious - There is a great word for those who refuse to do what the authorities request. 3. Furlough - This word was for holiday time off. Now it is used for time off after close contact with COVID. Not quite the same. 4. Vaccination - There is a story here. When smallpox epidemics caused severe scarring of the skin, it was noticed that milkmaids had lovely skin. If the milk maids caught cowpox, they didn't catch smallpox. Being in close contact with the cow (vacca) protected them. Have you had your vaccine?
Dr Catherine Dunlop, Hamilton
Advice is it's not just branding
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro states that some people are playing brand differentiation bypassing the AstraZeneca vaccine. When I checked the TGA website, it attributes seven deaths to complications from the vaccine. So far in Australia there have been no deaths associated with the Pfizer vaccine.
I believe politicians are asking people to ignore TGA advice and advice from their own doctors and get vaccinated with a vaccine that carries a very small risk of serious complications. I am sure the small risk is very little comfort to the families of the people who have lost their lives. When will the region get adequate supply of the safest vaccine for the 16-59 year old people?
Sue Lodge, Ashtonfield
Track upgrades miss the podium
THE survey results from Newcastle Partnerships ("Forget party politics for council: poll", Newcastle Herald 26/8) on issues of importance to voters in and around the city are most interesting. As a long term critic of the Supercars event, it made sense to me that the majority did not believe the event was good for the city.
What was surprising, is that 70 per cent were unhappy with the state of the roads and footpaths. Council spent $8.8 million on the Supercars circuit, which blew out over the course of the civic works by another $14 million. Jeremy Bath was quick to reassure the public that this huge amount of ratepayers money was an investment in the delivery of "planned renewal works in the east end".
It seems from these survey results however, that the millions spent on the Supercars investment did not do the job the public was led to believe.
Christine Everingham, Newcastle East
Party flavours aren't so simple
THE poll asked if party politics should be in councils, and 94 per cent said no. I believe removing party politics should also get rid of voting blocs (parties) under the banner of "Independents". It appears to me that most if not all the 'Independent' candidates in the Newcastle council elections are or were members of the Liberal party.
In my opinion we have the misuse of the word independents by an organised group functioning as a party, and of course we still have the Liberal Party in Australia that is also misnamed since the majority (at least) of their members hold the ideologies, tenets, found in the definition of conservative parties. They are basically political opposites. Hopefully if we get rid of political party politics in councils we can more clearly know the ideologies of each candidate rather than knowing what political group they will align with. That has always been what I look for while deciding where to place my vote.
Rick Nicholson, Cooks Hill
Keeping baths the same will cost
BRONWYN Agnew (Letters, 28/8), in your letter about the ocean baths I believe you belittle the council's responsibility to the ratepayer for proper management of the maintenance budget and the need to make maintenance easy. Are you really advocating for the resulting increase to rates, and are you really advocating for more disruptions due to higher than required maintenance activities (further frustrating the public's perception of council) instead of minimising disruptions through a new build that results in easier maintenance? If so, I am glad you are not on council.
Glen Yakimoff, Cardiff
Bottom line is we like the rocks
WELL said, Bronwyn Agnew (Letters 28/8). You are not alone in your feelings of outrage, and disempowerment regarding Council of Newcastle (CoN) ignoring the community's wishes regarding Newcastle Baths changes. Data gleaned from the Newcastle Partnerships' community survey reveals 93 per cent of voters felt most strongly about the issue of "heritage restoration of Newcastle Ocean Baths".
Merewether Baths, whilst nice, suffer constantly from a slimy bottom. I would have thought safety notions would deem a slimy bottom a hazard. Leave the sandy rock bottom alone. It is pleasant, safe, and beautiful to look at whilst swimming a kilometre or two. Cheers, and bottoms up. Here's to December 2021's local council elections.
Catherine Whelan, Newcastle
AS a former international current affairs reporter with Radio Australia, I have a question for the Prime Minister. Mr Morrison and Mr Dutton have congratulated themselves on having completed the evacuation of Australians from Kabul and being "wheels up" before the suicide bomb attack. Did the successful evacuees include those Afghans who had been granted electronic visas for Australia but were turned back by ADF personnel because they lacked hard copy visas in their passports?
Margaret Farrell, Adamstown Heights
SMUGLY satisfied, Prime Minister Scott Morrison takes the credit for getting most Australians out of Afghanistan, while not mentioning the hundreds of Afghans who helped our mission there and are left behind. Just as he can't give an acceptable reason for refusing to allow the Sri Lankan family to return to their home in Biloela, where they are wanted.
Brian Roberts, Bolton Point
The end of the regular NRL season's matches have been quite exciting. If the teams played like this from the start it would be an excellent spectator sport. Come on, NRL teams, earn your big bucks every game.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
FOR the last 20 years arms dealers and its shareholders have been making a killing in the war in Afghanistan, vast profits were made in arms deals to various groups, in the Afghan war. Militarism is the backbone of arms deals and capitalism. As Al Capone once said, war is a racket. Capitalism has no principles in war. You won't hear that from the bleeding hearts, and SKY News and the Murdoch press who reap the benefits.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
IF you wish to know how the hospital system is coping during this crisis, do not listen to the Premier; listen to the people at the coal face. Only they will give you the true picture and it is not pretty.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
WE keep getting told it's not about case numbers, and yet Deputy Premier John Barilaro tells us that unless the Newcastle/Hunter area has 14 days of zero cases we won't be coming out of lockdown? We had a clean slate for well over 14 months. Let's not forget, all of this is a direct result of their mismanagement from day one of Delta.
Tony Mansfield, Lambton
IT seems to me that nobody is actually reading the articles by Bradley Perrett. Because if so, there would be more letters to the editor. I can't believe his suggestions for a better future for Newcastle. I guess it's important to know how others think.
Gerda Maeder, Cardiff
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says NSW will "show the way" on how to live with COVID. Well, they showed how to spread it.