WITH a massive shortage of hospitality workers in Nelson Bay ('Help wanted', Newcastle Herald 15/11) and the impending invasion of the smashed avo on rye brigade, it's going to be a very interesting holiday period. Patience is a virtue, but with reports of people already waiting over an hour for service and lines as long as the Great Depression soup kitchens to get into some local venues I think patience will be tested.
However, after witnessing my mate at my local trying to serve beer, attend tables, clean and check vaccination and QR codes by himself because of short staffing I reckon that the tip jar deserves to be overflowing. It's going to be a real battle the first week of January.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
Long live the healthy system
ON November 19 I fell ill and required the services of the NSW Ambulance and later treatment at the John Hunter Emergency. Richard from Belmont station was the paramedic dispatched to help. He did the preliminary tests in a cool, calm, sensible manner. He was a wonderful, caring, professional and a comforting paramedic who then transported me to the John Hunter Emergency.
On arrival, Richard stayed until the hospital's emergency department took over and I was in the system. This system, from the triage station to the nurses and finally the doctor, were all excellent. When I was freezing they brought me a blanket. When I needed general assistance I was treated with kindness. When hungry I was given food.
During COVID I have embraced the 1990s UK band, Oasis. I am an Oasis tragic. Imagine my excitement when my lovely Scottish doctor was Dr Gallagher. I knew I was going to be ok, and I was.
During my thorough testing I had witnessed a hard-working, professional team who seemed satisfied within their workplace and actually happy with life. Some were even singing. I thought a hospital musical might be in rehearsal.
One nurse, Alana, was delightful. She had a smile, a warmth and made one feel that nothing was a problem while being very professional. At 3am she walked me out. I felt I was leaving a lovely friend.
Thank you, Richard. Thank you, Alana. How lucky the NSW Medical Services are to have you both. Cheers to the NSW Health System. I hope it lives forever.
Suellen Hall, Wallsend
No credit in slowing change
DON'T you just love the oil and gas industry? Woodside's Western Australia Scarborough offshore Gas Field expansion and extension of the onshore Pluto Park processing was reflected in Pope's View cartoon (Opinion 1/12)
The Pluto Park gas facility's greenhouse gas abatement program is promising an interim emissions reduction of 30 per cent by 2030, essentially doubling emissions to 200 per cent and then reducing to 140 per cent by 2030. Hardly sound like a bargain.
In the long term, there is uncertainty on solutions (other than future unknown technology) but promises of 100 per cent abatement by 2050. On one page gas is extolled as the replacement for coal, a source for hydrogen, electrical generation, shipping and transport and on the other page suggests the need for green energy to help meet their own emissions reductions. And the major emissions reductions? By planting trees and acquiring carbon offsets.
Offsets are in my opinion a smoke and mirrors accounting trick based on purchasing carbon credits to cover emissions; akin to dipping into the emissions reduction pot and stealing a bit; thereby slowing down the broader zero-emissions process. It's the emissions reduction to have when you don't have emissions reduction).
An action lodged in the Supreme Court of Western Australia by the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) is asserting that the works approval issued by the head of WA's Department of Water and Environmental Regulation was unlawful as it failed to properly consider the environmental harm generated by greenhouse gas emissions. I believe any large gas expansion is equally suspect.
Paul Duggan, Garden Suburb
We're not so contained, premier
LABOR is dusting off its proposal for a fast interstate rail line. It must be election time.
But the elephant in Sydney's marshalling yard is fast rail freight. Trucks carrying freight into Sydney can be replaced by freight trains. Trucks carrying containers from Port Botany can be replaced by trains from Newcastle.
A new container terminal at the Port of Newcastle provides the base load cargo for a new freight line linking the northern port with outer western Sydney and Port Kembla. All of NSW - Sydney included - will have fast rail access to a container port from strategically-located intermodal terminals.
The impediment is that a Newcastle terminal handling 4 million containers a year over the government's minimal "cap", requires the government to pay NSW Ports $400 million a year.
Premier Perrottet claims this payment is legislated. I believe he is incorrect. Parliament did not expressly authorise the government to pay NSW Ports for any container traffic at the Port of Newcastle. Parliamentary debate to expressly authorise payment is precisely what the government prevented in 2012 by concealing its plan to retain trucking as the primary means of container transportation in NSW for a century.
Greg Cameron, Wamboin
Power must drive transition
THERE is concern that the government does little to help the electric car industry, but maybe it's not that simple. Maybe our existing power stations can't handle the increase in power required, and especially with nothing of similar capacity once they are gone.
Looking at the numbers. A Tesla electric car can require up to 80 kilowatts to fully recharge. Considering just the Sydney area alone could have well over a million electric cars in the very near future, is the existing power allocation for Sydney, or anywhere, up to the task?
If each of every million electric cars requires that charge, my calculations show it means an extra 80,000 megawatts, the same output of four 20 megawatt power stations working at full capacity. This is just Sydney. As far as wind and solar go, their unreliability would require they generate more power and store it for shortfalls; a mission impossible. The electric car's domination is a long way off.
Yes, not every car will require 80 kilowatts to recharge, but when considering most family members will use the electric car rather than a second car because it is cheaper, 80 kilowatts per car should be the benchmark required for sufficient power to be made available before the electric car becomes greater in numbers or thousands of public charging stations are established.
Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek
IS money the only motivation to go to work for you?
Yes 43%, No 57%
MILTON Caine, ("Flooding's a failure to harness heavy rainfall", Letters, 1/12). Well put in regard to harvesting stormwater rain. If we had true leadership, this would already be happening. If you believe the news, there are jobs everywhere; hospitality, food and grape harvesting. Why don't we make the people on the dole fill that gap?
Shane Tull, Dudley
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has scheduled very few days of parliament before the 2022 election. Our PM and his minders, as well as Coalition MPs in general, apparently prefer the scripted, staged appearances of an election campaign which they can control. With sitting days reduced Andrew Wallace, the new speaker, must be laughing. He will rarely face a rowdy questions without notice parliamentary session. Normally, when Wallace appears, he will face an almost empty chamber since most of our MPs will be in their offices or in the parliamentary bar. He will receive $223,000 per year plus allowances. Not bad for his cushy job. The PM only gets $280 000.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
HOW is it that with the new state of the art NBN studio at Honeysuckle, the cameras that are on autofocus and the background is in focus, however the news reader is blurry? Check it out. Am I wrong?
Simon Ruddy, The Hill
FEAR mongering is the order of the day. The media with their repetitive 24-hour (negative) news mantra. Politicians using scare tactics and creating fear just to stay or get into power. How is the country going to move forward with a positive outlook if all this unproductive BS and negativity continues to spread its tentacles?
Alan Harrison, Glendale
MY almost favourite prime minister is at it again. After promising to expose online "bots, bigots and trolls", Scott Morrison has announced another inquiry into popular social media sites, including Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter ('Big tech to be scrutinised in new inquiry', Herald 1/12) . I suppose that puts the federal government integrity enquiry on the back burner/bench? This man may confess to being a god-fearing soul but I think he should take the same path as his mate Porter and give up. There are apparently easier ways to make a quid. Let's hope he finds one.
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
IT seems likely that current events will lead to a Code of Conduct for federal politicians to deal with sexual harassment. Excellent! But wouldn't it be great if the code would also deal with lying? We pay these idiots a fortune but all we see for our investment is lies and spin. A proper commission to deal with all inappropriate behaviour is long overdue.