I THANK Sinead Francis-Coan, ('Vibrant city nightlife more than a grog fog', Opinion, 25/1) for her articulate piece highlighting the place live music has in our community. Without a diversity of venues supporting and exhibiting performers our society would be poorer. Music is life and live music is special. When a venue closes part of the identity of a locale dies too. But has live music and a good night out been hijacked by the booze faction?
Regrettably, the residue of someone's good night out, is sometimes bad behaviour, loutish, violent and obscene behaviour. Plenty of it on the streets and you don't have to look far to see it. It's the 'hangover' local residents didn't cause and don't want. Our police deal with the street outcomes; we are grateful and thankful for their diligence - let's at least acknowledge the precursors.
A great deal of evidence suggests that this is due to excessive distribution of alcohol. Regulated but not regulated enough. Lax licensing enforcement, measures to reduce alcohol-induced harm, reviews based on stakeholder input - please address appropriately.
Too many regulatory bodies are simply dismissive of community concerns. Do we need more bars? Longer trading times? Whose side are some of these sectors on, one might ask? I am not against live music, a night out on the town, a drink or so; vibrant and animated and enthusiastic nightlife. Bring it on! Let's have more music, more exuberance. Let's also bring on a hearing for the voice of the broader community.
ADZ Carter (Letters, 22/1) challenged the 'authority' of our local community group to express concerns with Supercars' application for a liquor license (Herald, 19/1).
Supercars' application contained no plans to address obvious COVID and alcohol risks of an estimated crowd of 70,000 consuming alcohol for three days in confined spaces, in mainly residential neighbourhoods. It appears the alcohol regulator exercises no apparent quality control when posting this information deficient application on its public e-noticeboard. Is the objective to further marginalise any informed public objections in a regime boasting a near 100 per cent substantive approval rate?
Mr Carter has become a prolific Herald letter contributor, an apparent expert of all things related to the alcohol industry. So by whose authority does Mr Carter rely upon to express his frequent opinions?
NSW government data reveals non-domestic late night alcohol-fuelled violence in Newcastle for 2021 was over 23 times higher than other NSW major cities. (See table 10 https://livedata.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au/Suburb/3167-Newcastle) Police described the decision to weaken our life saving last drinks laws as "absolute lunacy" (Herald, 3/2). Newcastle recently experienced the county's reported worst COVID super-spreader event from our local nightclubs.
The Herald performs a vital public service by exposing usually government/private sector conflicts of interest inconsistent with the overall public good. We respect the principle of freedom of speech and the important role of the Herald in facilitating intelligent, informed and constructive debate. With every right comes a corresponding obligation. This qualified freedom should be exercised in an honest, responsible and evidence-based manner.
GOOD try Amanda Vanstone in attempting to shore up a failed system in your opinion article ('Independents aren't the answer', Herald, 21/1). First there are not two streams of political thinking in Australia. The two main players you allude to are manifestations of the same ideology.
Speaking of "left" and "right" is laughable. Australia has not been served well by governments for four decades.
Party political decisions are governed by the "biggest stick" and parliamentary members are forced to follow the line. Not too much crossing of the floor is there?
It follows that I would argue more truly independent thinkers are what is needed. The three current federal parliamentary independents appear to be oriented toward people rather than "things", and appear to be genuine and committed to their constituents and Australians generally.
The candidate who represents deconstructing our regressive tax system, a total remediation of a failed industrial relations system, honest reporting of unemployment numbers in terms of real jobs, reintroduction of Australian manufacturing and enforcement of anti-corruption at all levels, gets my vote.
Currently politics has become the objective rather than government.
Bring on a house full of independents for a greater chance of approaching democracy.
THE fish kill in Throsby Creek is nothing new. Having fished, prawned and crabbed in the creek over 65 years ago, whenever a very low tide followed with more than usual rainfall Throsby Creek, a storm water drain, became a freshwater outlet and fish stock perished. As for the mangrove crabs, if still there, they can survive in fresh or saltwater or no water at all.
At Dora Creek, leading up to this fish kill, the lake was the lowest I have seen in a very long time. To suggest a tsunami was the cause is plucking at straws I believe.
More likely, the fish getting trapped in stagnant, low-level, oxygen-depleted water was the cause of death. The flushing of fresh water finished the job and washed them onto the banks into the mangroves.
Catching muddy crabs as a youngster was a good source of pocket money. I would catch off the old wooden Hannell Street bridge then cook and sell for two bob a crab.
Beside the bridge was a public dump, whenever a kapok mattress was dumped, as kids we would use them to raft up the creek on an incoming tide. I heard of one kid who miscalculated the tide and had to be rescued in Newcastle Harbour as he headed out to sea. Back then, Throsby Creek often was a mixture of industrial waste and considered not suitable for eating its seafood, but to my knowledge no one I knew suffered ill health because of the seafood they consumed caught from the creek.
IT makes my blood boil to think we are paying big money to clowns like George Christensen to sprout the rubbish he does, the latest bulldust being to tell parents not to get their kids vaccinated against COVID, which goes against all medical advice and common sense. This man has no medical qualifications, as far as I know, and should not be given any exposure with his dangerous and ill-informed diatribe. The sooner he gets out of parliament and out of sight the better. He is just a pain in the neck. Goodbye and good riddance.
AUSTRALIA Day's days are numbered. Each year, the dwindling number of flags on houses and cars seem to hang more forlornly, as if hoping for a fresh breath of life which never arrives. It's rare to sniff a decent BBQ, and public events are subdued affairs, with people going through the motions without really knowing why. Our hearts just don't seem to be in it anymore. Let's end its misery, and our own, and put it down.
I AGREE with Don Fraser about the habit of some people calling Australia Day "Invasion Day". It's offensive to the descendants of the early British settlers. After all, the British brought civilisation to a continent which was in desperate need of modernisation.
I'M just wondering what Scott Morrison has done to Graceless Tame to deserve the passive aggressive behaviour she displayed on Tuesday. You reverse the whole scenario and imagine the outcry? In hindsight I would say she is the worst Australian of the Year we've had. Learn some grace and manners Ms Tame.
GOOD to see City of Newcastle really practicing gender balance with its award winners. All eight winners were female. No doubt all worthy winners, but I can't help but wonder about all the brouhaha if there had been eight male only winners.
MAYBE Don of Belmont North, (Short Takes, 27/1) should just man up and let women have their own thoughts, opinions and actions.
COULD Mr Jurd please explain exactly what this dreaded "new world order" is, (Short Takes, 24/1)? From where I sit the conspiracists long promised "new world order" looks exactly like the "old world order". Will anyone notice when it finally arrives?
THERE is hardly a day goes by without some criticism in the Herald of Scott Morrison, whether it be through the cartoonists, letter writers or journalists. Nevertheless, if Anthony Albanese is elected as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia this year, I for one, will be astonished.
I HAVE often read and seen articles in the media that say aged care employees are underpaid. Some of these comments come from people who employ them. I wonder if they realise it's not against the law for employers to pay their employees above the union award rate if they really want more staff.
STEVE Barnett, how many, of the 200 or so nations, do you know (Short Takes, 1/25)? South facing Bar Beach becomes an instant, first-class rubbish tip when a southerly blows. Wherever it rates, Australia deserves much better than this.
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