AS a Landcare volunteer I wish to alert residents to a feral weed taking over Lake Macquarie.
This new and vile weed is called "Lake Mac" and it threatens to overtake and destroy the pleasant native version, Lake Macquarie. This insidious weed first became evident about five years ago and since then has spread to all corners of our beloved lake.
Back in 2016 I tried to warn lake officials about this menace but was simply told that Lake Mac was under control and contained. The jargon from council stated that it was only evident, "in less formal situations to engage a broader demographic of people" and to "develop consistent branding".
Since the "less formal situations" of 2016, the weed has been allowed to escape into the wild and is now rampant throughout the community. Will our treasured Lake Macquarie be a thing of the past and our young citizens of the future only know of Lake Mac? Will they even be aware of what the original native version was? This weed has already spread to Lake Mac Libraries, Lake Mac Swim Centres, Let's Fish Lake Mac, Lake Mac Carols, and on and on.
A recent council brochure asks residents to share thoughts on the city (Creating Lake Mac 2032) for the next decade. Using the correct name would be a start. Is there another LGA anywhere that officially ditches its correct name for a trendy buzzword?
We all know how hard it is to eradicate undesirable weeds once they take a firm hold and to allow the true native species to thrive and survive. It is up to us to choose the crude and harsh Lake Mac or the pleasant and historical Lake Macquarie. It has survived for over 200 years, and I know which one I would prefer to see thriving in another 10 years' time, but I feel that it is now too late for eradication.
CARL Stevenson argues we are not responsible for emissions from our exported coal (Letters 8/1).
He says "this is like saying auto manufacturers should be responsible for the carbon emission coming from their cars after they export them".
Carl seems to have missed the fact that nearly all car makers are switching to EVs. Still, it is arguable that if other countries burn it, they are responsible. However, this debate is usually preceded by the assertion that Australia's 1.3 per cent of global emissions will make no difference if eliminated. This is wrong. It would clearly make a 1.3 per cent difference, and along with the many other countries with similar emissions, we would all make a major difference.
I call it the 'dog poop' argument - "I walk a small dog so I don't have to pick up its poop".
PETER Devey (Letters, 10/1) questions the energy efficiency of pumped hydro. But the example he gives shows a round trip efficiency of 75 per cent. Compare that to our coal-fired generators which typically achieve around 30 per cent thermal efficiency, or the 40-50 per cent of open cycle gas. This only gets worse when you factor in the mining and transportation of the fuel, and in the case of Bayswater and Liddell the energy cost of pumping water from the river to the reservoir and from the reservoir to the boilers and for cooling. All generation incurs losses, but pumped hydro is one of the most efficient forms of energy we have.
THE National COVID committee comprising the PM, Territory Ministers and Premiers, have totally managed to divide the nation with the haves and have nots with the allocating of RAT kits.
This should not be about who can or can't afford these units, which are grossly overpriced. They just don't get why people are blowing up and here is a simple explanation and solution. They are asking people to use them, and for those not covered by the government, at their own cost and who is it actually for in the end, not them, but to protect others and minimise hospitalisations. They say that it will open the flood gates logistically and be economically unachievable to businesses. Why can't they be allocated to 'everyone' for free and distributed via the same system that they have done with the dine and discover vouchers.
If people want more, then they pay for them, this will stop stockpiling or useless purchasing that happened. By making it freely available to everyone takes away the panic. Such a simple solution and yet the muppets up top can't or refuse to see it.
FRED Whittaker (Letters 7/1), 'We must take path to 21st century') aptly describes the need for immediate remediation of footpaths in and around the Hunter St Mall.
The nearby suburb of Wickham is another example of neglect by the CoN regarding safety accessing footpaths in the area by parents with prams, exercise enthusiasts, mobile wheelchairs, dog walkers etc.
Mr Whittaker also sets out a regime to undertake as a first option toward immediate repair. Les Field (Short Takes 11/11) was generous in his praise of CoN with regards to improvement "installing new kerbs, gutters, footpaths and installation of pram ramps in Wickham St," I would be surprised if the area Les refers to has more foot traffic than the area I am referring to.
The footpaths and walkways around Wickham are disgraceful and dangerous. They need to be replaced before someone ends up in hospital or worse in the cemetery.
WHY isn't Tim Roberts (Letters, 8/1) running our health system? He beautifully described the benefits of exercise in older age.
The ageing of our population and the health care costs associated with older age, are threatening our health and aged care systems. Despite this challenge, we are ignoring the health strategy that is most effective for many of the chronic diseases experienced by older people.
Falls, fragility fractures, muscle wasting, Parkinson's disease, ischaemic heart disease, depression, cancer therapy and stroke rehabilitation are all medical problems of older age for which exercise is an essential therapeutic strategy. Exercise is, by far, the most effective strategy for the prevention of dementia.
Five years ago, we had an extensive range of exercise programs for older people in the Hunter run by Heartmoves and Active over Fifty. Withdrawal of funding has allowed these programs to disappear.
It is time that the health system, government, private health insurance and the fitness industry all started to work together to develop a comprehensive range of accessible exercise programs for older people.
THE Chinese New Year, beginning on February 1, will see in The Year of the Tiger. Most of us will see it as The Year of the RAT!
IN response to the article in the Herald on Saturday, January 8, written by Ian Kirkwood, stating the facts of less cases and deaths from COVID in Monaco omitted to state that Monaco is a much much smaller country than Australia thus not comparing apples with apples as an example.
AS schools return in the face of Omicron, I particularly feel sorry for the casual teachers. After not having a chance to earn a wage since early December, they will be called to replace teachers in schools impacted by COVID, catch Omicron at work and be forced into unpaid isolation for a week. That means, like every other year, casual teachers won't be paid anything between mid-December until March. All for a wage which rarely exceeds $50,000 per annum. Yet, people still wonder why schools can't find casual teachers and students go unsupervised. Really?
I FIND your remarks naive at best and ignorant at worst, Doug Hoepper (Short Takes, 8/1). Both fully and not fully vaccinated people are being infected, the former at greater rates because they were told they could trust vaccines. No one is a 'lost cause'.
IT'S interesting to note a majority of people not checking in with the QR code at Nelson Bay Woolies. We wouldn't want a COVID alert to spoil a holiday would we Botoxville visitors.
CARL Stevenson, (Positive impacts of coal 8/1), a better analogy regards our export of coal is like a major drug baron saying that I only snort a line of coke on my birthday, so I'm not part of the drug problem. It's nice to wear the gold chains and have the Cadillac, but if you care for the global community, you need to be part of the solution, not the problem.
FIRSTLY, I love the entries in the photo competition, such talented people, amazing! As someone who started swimming in the Ocean Baths in 1954, I only have to see a photo of it to make me emotional, (and the Cathedral, and Nobbys) however please keep the bottom sandy!
WHY do drivers think that tailgating is appropriate, safe or indeed legal?
I WOULD like to clarify that the warm water is not a result of a "marine heatwave" off the NSW coast but a natural warm east Australian current that travels from Far North Queensland down the east Australian Coast as far as the NSW far south coast every year since Jesus played halfback for the Jerusalem under sevens rugby league side. The fisherman in Bermagui NSW eagerly await the warm currents every year.
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