IF there was an all-time, foot-in-mouth award, then it would be mine.
Being from Melbourne and ensconced in Aussie Rules, I knew little about rugby league even after 10 years living in Newcastle.
Holidaying near Cairns in 1983, I found myself sitting at a campfire next to a rangy fellow with huge hands.
He showed great knowledge of rugby league, so to shore up a sagging group conversation I asked, "so you know a bit about rugby league, do you?"
Norm Provan was kind to me, but the rest of the campers weren't.
Ray Dinneen, Newcastle
Ah, the serenity
GREG Cameron and others have been pushing for a container terminal on the old BHP site. Sorry to disappoint you but the NSW Parliament and Newcastle council are not going to let a once in a lifetime opportunity to establish a magnificent Central Park close to the heart of our city, go by.
No one in their right mind would want container cranes and lots of noisy trucks when they could savour the serenity of leafy glades, botanic gardens, walking trails and family picnic areas reachable by light rail and ferry. Providing places of relaxation for the people in Newcastle is more important than ever, now that the CBD has been devitalised to high rise and citizens' only brush with nature is being able to rub the leaves off their plastic pot plants with leaf shine.
Using the same algorithm used to determine employment opportunities for many new projects, the Central Park project would employ 17 million people during construction and 13 million ongoing.
Disappointment is in store for those pushing the container terminal as I think there is little doubt that the forward thinking NSW government has well advanced, although secret, plans for a magnificent Central Park where the steel plant once stood.
Coincidently the plans for this sorely needed green space which will be the envy of not just Australia but the rest of the world will probably be ready to announce a short time before the next election.
Terry Bryden, Merewether
IN answer to John Bonnyman's criticism of the PM's holiday in Hawaii during the bushfire emergency (Short Takes, 13/10), fire control is a state concern, under the control of their own commissioners, not that of the PM.
May I also inform Mr Bonnyman that Dan Andrews did also take a holiday in Victoria, but did return. The Queensland Premier was on a cruise ship, whilst 45 fires burnt in her state.
Since everyone in high office is contactable by phone or email, the PM would be conversant with the situation. I don't see the PM having some time with his family as a hanging offense.
Can I humbly suggest Mr Bonnyman do his research before giving the PM another barb, whilst omitting the remainder of the complete story.
Ray Cross, Morpeth
I LIVE in the north end of Stockton and when the so-called Supercars event is being held, I can hear the racing cars at my home, a distance of approximately 2km. I can therefore fully sympathise with the residents of Newcastle East who have to put up with the noise right outside their front door, not to mention the 10 weeks or so of inconvenience in the lead-up to and the wrapping up of the event.
As I understand it, councillors are supposedly elected to represent the wishes and well-being of the people of the community. Recent polls have shown that a majority of the overall residents of Newcastle are against the Supercars event.
Therefore I would not consider it unreasonable if the residents of Newcastle East sought a pro-rata reduction in their council rates, say, 10 weeks out of 52 - nearly 20 per cent - as they are surely not being fairly represented.
For the record, I do not like car racing but I appreciate there a lot of people who do, so why can't this event be held somewhere else where it does not interfere with the comfort and well-being of residents?
Perhaps the local government election in December is timely.
Bill Snow, Stockton
How can we reduce emissions?
REGARDING Patrick Conolly's article ('Renewable switch makes sense for council', Herald, 4/10) the Hawkesbury council is aiming to substantially reduce gas usage by replacing gas appliances with electric ones.
According to the opinion piece, this will result in lower running costs as well as being better for the environment.
The NSW government recently increased its 2030 emission reduction target to 50 per cent.
One arrow in the government's quiver to achieve this target would be to reduce natural gas usage in the community as well as in businesses by encouraging the replacement of gas appliances with electric ones.
I understand that emissions would be reduced due to a reduction in methane leakage, the main component of natural gas.
This leakage occurs during storage and distribution of natural gas to homes and commercial sites.
However, an ambitious plan such as this can really only be successful if all levels of government agree to implement it.
It would also require the acquiescence of Jemena, the Hunter's natural gas provider, to be effective.
The ball is in the NSW government's court if it wishes to progress this challenging plan.
Ian Thomas, The Hill
They should not have to suffer
I SUPPORT the voluntary assisted dying legislation, which is currently before the NSW Parliament for debate.
Do you know how demeaning it is to watch your loved one battle through extreme pain, be attached to a pain machine for five months and who begs you to let him go, who can't eat or drink, can't shower themselves?
Well that's what I had to do in 2009 after my husband was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer. No operation or chemotherapy was going to help him. Why should he have had to suffer like that? It was so bad for him as it was for his family who had to watch him suffer like that. We don't allow animals to suffer like that.
If I ever get a diagnosis like that and there is no voluntary assisted dying legislation to allow me to die on my terms, will I be left with no other option than to take my own life? Please I beg you to support this legislation.
Helene Shepherd, Belmont North
- Lifeline: 13 11 14.
GIVEN his track record on climate change, it's quite obvious Morrison is more concerned about the next election result than global warming. Remember his Question Time coal stunt?
John Bonnyman, Fern Bay
FREEDOM is not about those that are vaccinated. Freedom is about having a choice of whether or not you want to be vaccinated without being coerced, bullied or held to ransom.
Steven Busch, Rathmines
I AM extremely disappointed that the federal government is discontinuing contracts to manufacture AstraZeneca. Just because the Australian public was spooked into not taking an Astra shot because of bad government statements and media hype. Our Pacific and Asian neighbours desperately need vaccinations. We should keep producing and delivering until our part of the world is vaccinated. For the record, I had Astra shots.
David Reynolds, Charlestown
PEOPLE lining up at midnight to play poker machines; how bad is this addiction that ruins lives? Each to their own I suppose, but they shouldn't go cap in hand to Centrelink for money. Time to bring in the cashless welfare card perhaps adding an extra 50 bucks a week for people who choose. The card is the way to go; starving kids at home while people get their fix of gambling and drugs is not acceptable.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
IF I can choose when and where I pay my taxes, surely I can choose how and when I die. Any individual who disagrees can do so, willingly, but don't prevent me if that is what I wish. That is me, not you or your religion or your belief. Indeed religion has been and I am sure will be responsible for many more deaths, frequently not requested. Anyone who resents this 'intrusion' should consider just who and what is intruding on whom and why!
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
LET'S share the love. The target audience of the Supercars race is probably bored by now with always the same scenes of Newcastle East heritage houses, beaches, harbour and parks for the past five years. If we/they relocate the race to Stockton with its wide streets, it would be a more exciting race, even cars overtaking and still seeing the harbour and beaches on the TV. Or why not in the vineyards? Cessnock and the surrounding area is lovely and deserves a turn on TV, too. Let's share the love of Supercars!
Kerry Fagan, Newcastle East
PETER Devey ('Political climate won't change it', Letters, 15/10) opines that measurements taken from space show that there has been no global warming trend for the past seven years. Peter, do try to keep up! The satellite data you write of in your letter has been thoroughly debunked by scientists speaking to a US Senate inquiry. I will leave it to you to research the facts of the matter because your inaccurate commentary is just plain boring.
Mike Sargent, Cootamundra
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