I WATCHED, with interest a news item on the dramatic increase in the number of people being fined for speeding by less than 10km/h since the removal of warning signs for speed camera cars. There has been a whopping 1300 per cent increase, it was reported, but there has not been an increase in higher range speeding detections.
Consistent findings over many years have pointed to a greater police presence on the roads and signage as the greatest deterrent for speeding. I believe these recent figures (the 1300 per cent increase) confirm that due to the dramatic increase in fines since the removal of signs. It was interesting to note that recent problems supplying cars for the southern part of NSW reportedly resulted in a reduction in fines for that part of the state. These make the northern section of NSW's figures all the more incredible.
It does not take much of a lapse in concentration to be four kilometres per hour over the limit and incur a fine. This new move by the state government obviously does not work as a deterrent. It will be interesting to see if the government takes notice of these findings and returns to the implementation of warning signs. If not, one could be forgiven for thinking along the revenue raising line.
Michael Stevenson, Warners Bay
Central Park could offer a perk
WHILE Botanic Gardens at Heatherbrae are magnificent, they are out of town. What's wrong with something similar that's closer to town?
Better still, why not a central park in Newcastle, on level ground where cars can get off road, to sporting facilities, picnic areas, even an entertainment centre; rather than King Edward Park where the roadway is usually blocked with cars belonging to people working in the city.
New York is well known for its Central Park, why not "New- Castle"? Newcastle has the opportunity to be just as big and well known, possibly more so.
New York doesn't have a central park alongside a water way with berthing facilities for multiple cruise ships, nor a river that can be used for water sports. Newcastle has all this and more. Forget about Newcastle Council, they want a boring container terminal, the NSW government are the owners, they can make this all happen, and they are the ones to pursue.
So, what's it going to take? Maybe a response from the Greens, but more so the possibility of a swing seat or two and break the tradition of a vote that does nothing.
Why not a poll? A central park with sporting facilities, plus an entertainment centre with a basketball stadium; or a boring container terminal? I know where I would be putting my vote if I lived in Newcastle.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
Social circles not just for kids
I AM a 75-year-old, who has fastidiously observed all the restrictions, and had my two doses of AstraZeneca - yes, AstraZeneca.
I have suffered social isolation, but I have done it knowing how important it is for the population as a whole. I have watched, with increasing anger, various sports being allowed, but not the one I play - the one that I require for exercise and social contact. I can also see that I cannot visit friends, with little evidence that there will be a change soon.
Now, I am livid that you see fit, Ms Premier, to allow children to form a social bubble of three, even though they are not required to be vaccinated. I can only say that I am sick of the 3 Ps - politics, pragmatism, and expediency - and E-word (Economics), in how you seem to be making decisions. I know the job is hard, but it would be nice if there was a more balanced approach.
So why not three people who are isolated and vaccinated able to form a bubble? We need this as much as the kids do.
Rod Woodhouse, East Maitland
Light rail's heavy cost too much
THE recent editorial ("Inner Newcastle not only for residents", Opinion 23/9) makes reference to how the light rail has turned a once tired and dilapidated strip into a modernised, attractive city centre. Today, looking along Hunter Street still with all the empty shops and little foot traffic it is very difficult to agree with this statement.
In a feature by Bradley Perrett, ("Tram plan will struggle roads; but there's a good alternative", Weekender, 18/9), he makes reference to the modern trams being road hogs. Neither writer makes mention of had the light rail been constructed along the then existing train track what effect that would have had today on Hunter St businesses and the Newcastle CBD.
Most weekends there are queues of vehicles heading east along Honeysuckle Drive, Wharf Rd, Shortland Esplanade, Hunter and Scott Streets all heading to the beaches and you will find all parking areas and streets around Newcastle East are full up with these visitors. All this goes on while the trams meander along the 2.6kms of track from Wickham to Telford Street and back every fifteen to thirty minutes with only a handful of people on board (sometimes that number includes the driver and a cleaner). Has light rail over the past two and a half years rejuvenated Newcastle East? If you care to ask the local residents, I'm sure most would answer no it hasn't.
John Fear, Newcastle East
Mail pace cause for concern
A WORD of warning for those thinking of posting a package through a post office. Firstly, ask the person at the counter what route and time frame will be involved before handing over your money.
I boxed up four boxes of treats for my grandchildren on Thursday 9 September and attended the nearby post office. Two of my grandchildren living in Sydney received theirs the following day. It is now Monday 20 September and my other grandchildren in Adamstown Heights are yet to receive theirs. Yes, less than 10 kilometres away and quite frankly, I've forgotten what I sent. So, packages that I could have dropped off within half an hour have taken 11 days thus far and travelled around 350kms to reach their destination within sight lines of my home.
Cartier watches well spent, Australia Post.
Garry Scow, Warners Bay
China's backhanded favour
OUR new united front with best mates Great Britain and the United States, AUKUS, is the first stage of Australia's answer to China shirtfronting us and the rest of the world. So surely stage two should be canceling the 2014 and 2015 sales of huge portions of Newcastle and Darwin ports to our most aggressive foe China? How embarrassingly dumb to sell off such crucial sites. One is the biggest coal port in the world, the other a vital part of our country's defence. Of course such a course brings huge repercussions, but in a way China has done us a backhanded favour: never again should we put all our eggs in one basket. Imagine how galling it could be in 10 years' time to be standing at Nobbys watching a new nuclear submarine entering Newcastle Port. Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly.
Maureen Dearing, Newcastle West
THE state government has announced several parks in Sydney where double-vaccinated adults can meet up and picnic and have an alcoholic drink. Once again, no mention of doing this in regional NSW. What about Newcastle, left out in the cold again by this government?
Debra Forbes, Wickham
WHAT'S the use of being a member of the Labor Party when they don't take any notice of the rank and file?
Col Page, Adamstown
YOU can forget about the free speech argument, George Christensen and his likes need to be thrown out of politics and never be allowed to stand again. Their comments about vaccinations are an affront to every health care worker in this country who are working their backsides of every day trying to save peoples lives. If the leaders of their respective parties do not have the guts to throw them out then they themselves need to be kicked out, bring on the next election.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
THE report on the final parcel of land in Honeysuckle being developed made me wonder about where it is going. It would seem the land to be developed is a car park. Considering more parking in Hunter Street has just given way to cycle lanes, where are people supposed to park? Is taking parking spaces out of the city really going to attract more people to the city, bearing in mind that much public transport has gone as well? The railway now only goes as far as Wickham and most of the buses don't go any further than Wickham as well, so everyone has to change onto the tram. Who will want to establish a business there if customers will find it inconvenient or difficult to get there? Apartments there would be very expensive so who will be able to afford to live there?
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
AS an older citizen, vulnerable to COVID and regular swimmer for health reasons, I must protest regarding the outdoor council pools allowing unvaccinated people to access. This effectively prohibits the elderly and vulnerable from the pools.
Jim Wallwork, Swansea
THE financial impacts of coronavirus have now been around for about 18 months. In that time businesses have received job keeper, business assistance packages and multiple financial products and stimulus totalling around a trillion dollars. In the rural sector, when natural disasters occur, like drought, it's usually 18 months between paychecks. (Sometimes consecutive crops fail, making it 30+ months). The difference between a natural disaster in the rural sector and corona virus in the rest of the economy, the rural sector will only receive government help in the form of low interest loans. Rural workers are left to become unemployed.
Greg Adamson, Griffith
NOW I know I will get howled down but I thought someone should give ScoMo a bit of a leg up. I have been counting the for and against in this masthead and he is far behind. Anyhow ScoMo keep Biden your time and keep sticking it to Xi and keep the depth charges going for the French dud subs.