GREAT to see that the upgrade to No1 Sportsground is nearly complete ('No1 priority is to get top-level sports back', Newcastle Herald, 22/9) and well done to the council for investing in this facility.
Given that next September marks the ground's 100th anniversary, could we perhaps use that occasion to give it a new name?
'Newcastle Number One Sportsground' is, apart from being a mouthful to pronounce, a pretty uninspiring title. I'm sure that in 12 months we can come up with something better.
And, while I have the floor, can we then get the Real NRL grand final moved back home?
So much more atmosphere with a full house in town than a less than half empty stadium at New Lambton.
Tim Casey, Merewether
IN the 1980s, the Taliban was able to defeat the Russians using cheap, shoulder-launched Stinger missiles.
In the end, the Russians refused to send their expensive helicopters, gunships and troop carriers up into the mountains of Afghanistan in pursuit of the Taliban.
My guess is that, within a decade, nuclear-powered subs will be like those Russian military helicopters.
Nuclear-powered attack subs are likely to become expensive and vulnerable white elephants.
Cheap, undersea AI drones using acoustic and heat detection technology will defeat them.
Moreover, these nuclear-powered subs will be far from home, presumably somewhere near China, and easily within range of Chinese antisubmarine weapons.
Probably, in the next decade, Australia will receive ageing hand-me-down nuclear-powered subs as a stopgap replacement for our antiquated fleet of conventionally-powered Collins subs.
We will become more beholden to an unreliable ally, America, for servicing the subs, new and old. It is unlikely that the Americans will give us their latest nuclear propulsion technology.
Australians will rue the day that Morrison stabbed the French in the back and got us into this mess.
Australia is a bit player in the world power game.
We should be diversifying our economic and military alliances, and keeping a low profile, as Singapore does.
In my view, Morrison's purchase of American nuclear attack subs is a desperate attempt to divert the electorate's attention from his government's other failings. It is an expensive election-winning stunt.
I would rather have a tax cut.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Botanical gardens needed
RECENT Newcastle Herald articles brought to light our botanical gardens that we have and acknowledged the wonderful work done by so many volunteers.
Without these volunteers we would have no gardens at all so we now have a wonderful growing asset.
Hopefully all this publicity may prompt many Greater Newcastle residents to visit the gardens they possibly didn't know existed at Heatherbrae, which is not central to public transport or within walking distance for all.
The success of any city's botanical gardens is determined by the use and enjoyment of the gardens by its residents and visitors from outside the city who generate valuable tourist revenues.
By comparison we are failing.
Newcastle City's population in 2016 is stated as 322,578 or 570,000 for Greater Newcastle which equates to 6 per cent to 10.5 per cent of Sydney's population.
Our gardens attract 25,000 to 30,000 annual visits compared to 5,425,120 visitors to Sydney Botanical Gardens, which exceeds the population of Sydney.
We seriously lack visitations which potentially should be over 500,000 annually.
By comparison, Bendigo, a city of about 100,000, has botanical gardens in an area similar to our total National Park, relocating some existing sports facilities.
Bendigo Botanical Gardens' 10-year plan from 2011 anticipated 153,000 visitors annually or 150 per cent of its population and for the attraction to generate direct revenue of $750,000 annually with no admission fees and $1,500,000 towards tourism.
A review of Geelong Botanical Gardens, with similarities, also reveals a stark difference to our figures.
Our gardens generated $223,749 direct revenue in 2016 plus only a miserly $4200 from government grants and a generous $90,874 in donations. I assume the direct revenue includes the $5 admission fees.
I seriously doubt the gardens contributed more than $1000 in tourism revenue.
Clearly our existing garden volunteers should receive substantial government grants and also be supported by the Maitland, Cessnock and Port Stephens city councils, which collectively exceed the population of Bendigo City.
We should seriously consider a second botanical garden for Newcastle or combined with Lake Macquarie councils, three times larger than Bendigo in an easier-to-get-to and central location such as National Park or even possibly Glenrock State Conservation Area.
The gardens being more central and assessable would then be used frequently by many more residents and would generate more tourists revenue
Darryl Stevenson, Coal Point
Prime Minister's trip
HOLD on Don Fraser ('PM's trip was not clandestine', Letters, 15/9), did you say that to get home, the PM had to get the OK from the ACT Chief Minister to enable his return?
Well, this changes everything, all is forgiven! Oh but wait, isn't the ACT Chief Minister outranked by the Australian Prime Minister?
Can you honestly picture any scenario where the ACT Chief Minister would actually refuse a request from the leader of the entire country?
Oh, and no one is even suggesting for one moment that "everyone in Canberra" has to "announce to us when they are heading home", but I put it to you that it's "hogwash" if you actually believe that Scott Morrison didn't try to deceive the public and didn't try to hide his trip.
Otherwise, why did Morrison make no mention of it on his official Instagram account, where, on Father's Day, he posted a photo of himself with his family (taken in January) instead, thus making a strong implication that he wasn't travelling to see his family?
Seems like an attempt at misdirection to me.
Such a shame for Mr Morrison that his travel info leaked so very easily anyway.
Adz Carter, Newcastle
USING COVID as an excuse for extremely slow service at the Newcastle Permanent Building Society, Wallsend, seems a bit rich. A simple transaction on Monday took 30 minutes with at least 15 people waiting outside. Could the reason be the change in trading hours from 43 to 22.5 per week?
Catherine Morgan, Cardiff
KEVIN Rudd is starting to look like Kenny Rogers. If only Kevin knew when to walk away; he didn't know how to hold 'em, certainly knew how to fold 'em. Somebody tell him the dealing's done; Mr Turncoat as well.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
WATCHING and reading all the posturing between different opinions about whether to vax or not to vax. I have traveled to countries that had recognised difficult-to-treat diseases such as malaria, yellow fever etc. We made sure we were covered by taking drugs or getting vaccinations. We are now being subjected to a condition that has transcended all borders and gets on with protecting all. These diseases have now come to us. We did not go to places that had these conditions. Wake up.
Ian Reynolds, Forster
IF you are one of the many NSW sports fans who is yet to be convinced of the joy of Australian Rules football, might I suggest you give this year's grand final a chance to convince you. Two extraordinary teams, highly skilled players and a cross-town rivalry thrown in. Seriously, tune in.
Scott Cooper-Johnston, Newcastle
TODAY (Wednesday) I turned the Herald the other way up to gaze at the face of the child and, to my surprise, what a wonderful smile on one of the little boys. Congratulations, Dion ('Voice of the heart', Herald, 22/9).
Dave Wilson, Bar Beach
I'VE yet to see Bart Simpson driving a car or the Wolverine drinking a beer, but according to manual QR sign-in books at petrol stations and bottle shops, they have usually checked out a minute before me.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
SHUT down small businesses in the Hunter is bleeding at the knees. But don't worry, Costco is allowed to open. Pure lunacy again.
Gary Hayward, Cardiff
YOUR editorial ('Inner Newcastle not only for residents', Opinion, 23/9) makes it clear why Newcastle deserved long overdue fast rail services, not "truncation".