A CITY of Newcastle spokesperson has said it's possible for the Newcastle 500 to go ahead safely because it's an outdoors event and people can "safely spread out".
Here's the COVID-19 mitigation measures for outdoor events recommended by NSW Health.
Movement around the circuit needs to be limited by 'zoning', the creation of multiple smaller gatherings within 'zones', all with designated entry and exit points, bathroom facilities, food and service venues.
Sufficient staff are needed to frequently clean facilities with a detergent and disinfectant solution and organisers need to encourage people to remain seated.
Organisers will need to consider how the four entry and exit points, the tunnel, bridge and lifts can avoid crowding and queuing.
Medical tents or services will be necessary to ensure adequate space for the isolation of multiple people separately for those falling ill or with symptoms.
Organisers could make it a condition of entry that patrons are fully vaccinated and wear a mask. Even if Supercars accepts this responsibility, how will they enforce it?
The Newcastle circuit is not Mount Panorama. It is a medium density residential neighbourhood. Many spectators will already be inside the circuit, staying in hotels and Airbnbs within the residents zone.
How will the flow of people be policed here, especially those drinking alcohol? Sounds like a logistical nightmare to me.
With caps likely on attendances, how can the millions of dollars of public money and the disruption to our local businesses for eight weeks possibly be justified
Christine Everingham, Newcastle East
It's badness for business
I TWISTED my back whilst connecting the trailer to the car, and could not straighten properly or even sit, and had to cancel the job I was about to do.
I contacted a lady who I have been to many times before for a similar problem. She naturally asked if I was vaccinated, to which I replied yes and informed her I had the booster on 20 December. She informed me that she will certainly not see me because she did not want the badness from the vaccinations transferring to her while she was repairing my back strain.
I know everyone has their own opinion but I would like her to tell everyone how the so called badness is actually transferred, also does she ever venture out to shop etc, knowing that our vaccination rates are over 95 per cent.
She has lost my business and any future recommendations I may give in the future. You know who you are so answer the transfer of badness for me.
John Morgan, Karuah
A very fast end to argument
BEFORE we get too excited about the vision, reality, dream or otherwise of a very fast train between Newcastle and Sydney it is imperative to address the elephant in the room, which is the expense of replacing the multiple gauge tracks for such a proposal (Peter Sansom 'Something for Albo to consider", Letters 7/1).
John Davies (Costs will rise with bullet, Letters 8/1) raises a very important issue stating that "organisations like the Grattan Institute who in May 2020 published a report identifying fast trains as totally un-viable in Australia as it is in Canada and the US".
He stated, "a trip he had in Japan was very expensive, ....and the track required constant maintenance, and the system closed at 10pm every night for maintenance". "A crew of about 3000 is required to keep the trains on track so to speak".
With the current government, coffers close to a trillion dollars in deficit, a runaway pandemic and "the greatest challenge of our time, climate change", Australia has more immediate priorities.
Without labouring further about the cost of this "pipe dream" Stuart King (Short Takes 7/1) reminds us of the exorbitant cost.
Tony Winton (Letters 12/1 'Fast rain nothing but a dream') succinctly sums up why there should be no more time or money spent on the revitalisation of a VFT from Newcastle to Sydney.
We clearly remember the debacle that resulted in a sudden halt to negotiations regarding submarines.
Pat Garnet, Wickham
History on Labor's side
JOHN Tierney's dismissal of Albanese's vision of a VFT omits the fact that Albanese has an excellent track record when it comes to delivering infrastructure for Australians.
When Minister for Infrastructure, under Rudd, he established the independent statutory body 'Infrastructure Australia' and argued successfully for a doubling of the roads budget and tenfold increase in rail investment.
For example, his innovation was responsible for delivering the Hunter Expressway, Melbourne's Regional Rail Link and various projects on the Pacific and Bruce Highways.
Labor has a history of doing things for Australians such as Medicare, NBN, superannuation and NDIS. Mr Tierney is inherently a defender of a do-nothing Coalition. LNP governments have rarely delivered anything of substance to benefit the population as a whole. Unlike the short-term-focused, self-centered Morrison, Albanese, like all Labor leaders before him, has future-oriented ideas of how things can be better for Australians.
It's time for a leader with vision.
John Arnold, Anna Bay
Let's look at better lake name
GREG Powell (Letters, 13/1) laments the use of "Lake Mac" to describe our region and demands that the "original name", Lake Macquarie, be used. Instead of referring to our magnificent lake and its surrounds by the name imposed by the British colonists (after all, Lachlan Macquarie, farmer and politician, had little if anything to do with the area), why don't we revert to its true original Awabakal name, Awaba?
That's nice and short, which will make it easy for the lazy people who struggle with Lake Macquarie and should also satisfy the woke progressives in council. And while we're at it, let's revert Newcastle to Mulubinba. Newcastle was so named, decidedly unimaginatively, after a town in northern England simply because coal was found in this area. Apart from that there is no connection whatsoever to Newcastle-upon-Tyne (except that my mother was born there and died here).
John Ure, Mount Hutton
Macquarie not worthy of honour
SOMEONE is upset that Lake Macquarie is increasingly being called Lake Mac and describes this as an 'undesirable weed' as though it were another introduced species.
Considering that Lachlan Macquarie was one of those arrogant, bigoted, upper-class twits who have cast an evil shadow over our fine land by massacring so many of the original inhabitants and distributing the land they had lived on to fellow toffs; perhaps the changing name is not so bad after all and will go some way towards avoiding future arguments.
Maybe the name should be changed to Lake Mack and Mack could be described as everyone's best mate. Or the name could revert to Awaba instead of being named for a robber.
Peter Ronne, Woodberry
AFTER discussions with the council and state government, Supercars have decided they will go ahead. Once again no consultation with the residents stuck inside the track. Other people have a choice if they wish to attend a football or cricket match and take their chance with COVID-19. For residents inside the track, the council has removed this choice. They have decided to let it rip and we are stuck with it. There is no way the risk can be mitigated. Time to end this debacle.
John Hudson, Newcastle East
CRITICS of Anthony Albanese's high-speed-rail proposal claim it will never happen because the mountainous country and Hawkesbury River are insurmountable (Letters, 12/1). They say correcting the existing twisty route would be too hard. I'm willing to bet, though, that the new route would rely on straight tunnels through the sandstone, and another bridge over the river would be no more difficult than the existing three. The argument about protecting Newy from becoming more of a suburb of Sydney is more persuasive.
Michael Gormly, Islington
WHY don't the 'ball kids' at the tennis have masks and disposable plastic gloves?
Chris Huggins, Newcastle
WELL done Coles and Woollies Green Hills. I just counted nine (yes nine) of your shopping trolleys tossed into the creek in Stronach Avenue outside the centre's car park. Okay, it is school holidays but how hard would it be to install a refundable token/coin system like Aldi? Apologies to the wildlife in the creek on behalf of the human race.
Susan Knight, Ashtonfield
REGARDING the return to school and teaching. Just an idea here, hold classes outside. If you need help organising this, ask your grandparents.
Amanda Johnstone, Mayfield
SO now we are under threat of a $1000 fine if we do not report a positive result of a RAT test, which we would do in the privacy of our own home. Who is going to the police and how? Whoever thought that one up needs to see a brain surgeon with a view to receiving a transplant. I thought I had heard it all but the brainless stupidity of our pollies still never ceases to amaze me. Oops, I forgot, we voted them into office so therefore it must be our fault. How silly of us.
Bill Snow, Stockton
RE: Graham Jones, Warners Bay accommodation costs. Comparing costs when trying to plan a holiday I have to agree. Australian costs are so high in comparison to many overseas destinations that make local travel less desirable. And not just Asia or the usual assumptions. If Australian companies want our business, at least be competitive.