WHAT a great article by Adam Holmes, ("Lambie blasts One Nation's vax call'', Newcastle Herald 23/11). More to the point, what an inspiring blast it was by Jacqui Lambie to the Senate stating that the freedom to make a choice in abstaining to get vaccinated has a very clear consequence in that it puts other people's lives at risk.
She also states that if people do make the choice to abstain and affect other members of society with COVID, they should be held accountable. "It is that simple'', she said, adding it should not be made out to be an act of discrimination. Finally, a politician that has the guts to say it how it is. Well done, Jacqui.
Col Parkins, Wallsend
It's time to fight for normality
DAVID Pope's picture on Tuesday (Opinion, 23/11) was to me an appalling attempt to discredit anyone who is opposed to vaccine passports, mandatory vaccinations or mask wearing.
As a fully vaccinated person I cannot be an anti-vaxxer, but that certainly doesn't mean I'm all for the current sets of rules put in place by our governments. Under the Doherty report and recommendations we were assured at 80 per cent double dose, let alone 90 per cent, we would be free from restrictions. Yet we are still wearing masks, using QR codes and in many instances having to show a vaccine certificate to enter a business, expecting the small business operator to police the government policy, all at our expense.
As someone who works with the public, what is clear is the wider community is over it on a grand scale. Real people would be happy to tell Mr Pope they are over it and they want their life back. How do I know the wider public is over it? Simple, I listen to them. I talk to them and I watch them struggle with the effects of government policy in managing this pandemic.
So please, support the people. Where are you in fighting for a return to total freedom?
Andrew Hirst, Beresfield
ID rules make votes truly count
I AM very pleased that there are moves to bring in voter identification ('Voter ID requirement changes unnecessary', Herald 22/11), as this is so important. I believe there are a number of irregularities that occur from time to time.
Some decades ago, I recall in one poll I became aware that a number of dead people had voted and so I discussed this with my father. He told me that it was common in his political party in WA to have death notice watches who would arrange for people to vote for deceased persons still on the roll.
I thought he was joking and he assured me, as an organiser of the party, he was not joking. He was surprised that my supporters in NSW were not equally involved in this as it, to him, was common knowledge in his party to set up death notice watches.
Since that time I had to remove my cousin from the electoral roll, as I was the executor of her estate. I found this very difficult and frustrating; yet I endured and had her name removed from the roll.
I am very disappointed that the Labor Party and the Greens have tried to block this useful change that will make the votes cast in Australia the actual wish of the people and not distorted by those who would use a sloppy system to distort the result. In my view not a single point raised by those opposing these changes is worthy of being mentioned. I do hope this much needed reform is eventually approved and implemented to produce a more precise vote expressed by the will of the people.
Milton Caine, Birmingham Gardens
Council didn't sink maritime site
NEWCASTLE council had absolutely nothing to do with closing the Maritime Museum at A Shed ("Collection deserves safe harbour", Letters 24/11). A Shed is a heritage listed building owned by NSW government, administered by Hunter Development Corporation, now HCCDC. A Shed was falling into the harbour so had to be vacated for repair.
My understanding is that the Maritime Museum owed rent and was not able to extend their lease, so had to go somewhere else. The museum could not pay for any storage space so the council stepped in and offered a short-term solution. The conspiracy theory that council closed the Maritime Museum is entirely wrong.
Bill Storer, Charlestown
Voluntary dying will be just that
CONGRATULATIONS must go to Neville Aubrey, (Short Takes, 16/11), and Maureen Dearing, ("Why are we waiting for mercy?", Letters, 18/11) regarding the Assisted Dying Bill issue. Both letters were well thought out and well written, and in my opinion there should be no place for religious beliefs in politics at all. Hearing Dominic Perrottet to say he watched his 90-year-old grandmother dying from cancer, suffering great pain and wishing it was all over and yet still opposing this bill is hard to fathom.
As a self-described man of strong faith, to let his religious teachings take precedence over compassion and common sense makes me question his suitability to hold the office of Premier. NSW is the only state yet to approve voluntary assisted dying legislation, and with the vast majority of people in favour of it I say to him act as an open-minded leader should and just get this bill passed.
I should also remind him the word voluntary is crucial, so if he chooses not to utilise this choice should he ever be in a position to have to decide one way or the other that's up to him. Mr Perrottet, please don't try to tell other people what to do because of your religious beliefs.
Ian King, Warners Bay
Line on a fix for Sydney freight
SYDNEY'S growing container freight problem is easily solved. A report undertaken by urban growth specialists Astrolabe said freight is moved from Port Botany out to Western Sydney to intermodal terminals or distribution centres before it makes a return journey back east to customers.
It is faster and cheaper to rail all containers for the Sydney market by constructing a new freight line from the Port of Newcastle direct to new purpose-built intermodal terminals in outer western Sydney.
This new line would link Newcastle with Badgerys Creek and Port Kembla, thereby enabling the entire state to be served by a 100 per cent rail-based container terminal at Newcastle. Capital cost is amortised over the very long term with a legislated minimum return on investment and pricing oversight by the ACCC or IPART.
Land freight entering Sydney would use the new line replacing more trucks. Sydney's existing but inadequate rail freight capacity is more profitably converted to passenger services. Freight is removed from the Newcastle-Sydney and Wollongong-Sydney rail lines to improve passenger services.
The industry super funds that own 80 per cent of NSW Ports and 50 per cent of Port of Newcastle can talk to each other to work out a deal that benefits their members more than the current irresponsible arrangement that purposely doubles the cost of a container shipped through Newcastle compared with Botany.
Greg Cameron, Wamboin
On November 27 1941, 80 years ago the HMAS Parramatta was sunk in the Mediterranean Sea by a German U-Boat. There were 24 survivors and the loss of 138 lives. My uncle Able Seaman Donald Menhenick lost his life. This is to be remembered at the Australian War Memorial with a commemoration service called the Last Post. Our family will participate in the service.
Robert Menhenick, Charlestown
I BELIEVE anti-lockdown protesters marching the streets around Australia are fighting for their freedom. Not only their own freedom, but the freedoms of every resident of Australia. The same protesters who are marching against mandatory vaccination in Australia are fighting for their rights; their constitutional right to freedom, for themselves and all Australians. In my opinion anybody who opposes the thoughts and actions of these judicious members of our society are proving to everyone that they are anti-freedom, pro-lockdown, totalitarian goons of our society.
Craig Helpdew, Westlakes
I HOPE the anti-vaxxers are not allowed to enter the polling booths. Surely you have to have had at least one dose to enter?
Mark Fernie, Wallsend
THE global fishing index claims in a study that Australia is over-fishing by over a third, and then goes on to say there is insufficient data to estimate how healthy Aussie fish stocks are. Makes no sense. This was instigated by Twiggy Forrest who is trying to look good while continuing to mine everything.
Robert Bennett, Medowie
AFTER seeing what I believed to be Scott Morrison's crocodile tears after the departure of the very fair and unbiased House speaker, Tony Smith ('Speaker retires to chorus of high praise', Herald 22/11), I imagine Morrison would love to see another Bronwyn Bishop.
John Bonnyman, Fern Bay
A COALITION should be temporary, due to the conflicting principles inside of it.
Dave Wilson, Bar Beach
JAN Caine (Letters, 24/11), you answered your own question regarding other players' fault. The Newcastle Knights' attack was even more dismal in Mitchell Pearce's absence. Clumsy, mistake-ridden support players can make even the best look bad. Pearce played his heart out, even when carrying an injury. Give the man a break and wish him well in what is likely to be his final rugby league venture. I look with optimism to the 2022 NRL (and Real NRL) season.
Marvyn Smith, Heddon Greta
A NEWCASTLE Herald report (November 25) on the funeral of Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright ("Bishop Bill taken on his final journey") included the wrong date for his death. He died on November 13. The Herald apologises for the error.