Recent reports in the Newcastle Herald indicate the Newcastle 500 is finally being moved on. Other cities and communities contemplating hosting this event should heed the lessons from Newcastle.
First, Supercars and governing bodies are clueless when it comes to appreciating the needs of local residents and businesses. One only has to be reminded of their original proposal to build the racetrack through Pacific Park to realise how out of touch they really are. Thankfully, the idea was canned.
Second, events such as this need thorough and meaningful consultation before their confirmation. For Newcastle, there was none. Consultation, as farcical as it was, occurred only after the event was locked in. If Cessnock City Council are serious about hosting Supercars, they would do well to sit down with stakeholders to really understand and quantify its impacts and only confirm the event once fully assessed. No surprises, no cryptic "vroom, vrooms".
Third, the Motor Sports Events Act needs a complete revamp. Amendments allowing compensation to those businesses most impacted by street racing events would be a good start.
Other cities have much to learn from the Newcastle experience. It may turn out that the Wine Country 500 is incredibly successful for the local community and businesses. It could also turn out to be a disaster, as it was in Newcastle. Until thorough consultation and a full evaluation is completed, we'll never know. I wish Cessnock City Council well.
Andrew Myors, Newcastle East
Considerations for Cessnock
Cessnock is apparently interested in procuring a Supercars event.
If it happens, it would certainly mean a much needed upgrade to the horrific roads in Cessnock and Pokolbin.
However, depending on the route Supercars would take, I would urge businesses, vignerons, residents, etc. to think carefully about what they wish for.
It must be emphasised to Cessnock residents and businesses that a Supercars "event" is not just for three days. While I enjoyed the event in Newcastle, I also witnessed the many repercussions it had on the city's East End residents and businesses. These include the effect on business turnover and thus profit, some residents' convenience of entry and exit, some vibration caused building cracks, disruption to services delivery, noise, large truck movements with barriers and scaffolding, damage to green space, parks and grounds, etc.
Therefore, I suggest that Cessnock considers these impacts very carefully before signing up.
Neil Allen, Newcastle
Extremist policies the issue
I am so over apologists for Israel labelling critics as 'anti-Semitic'. Jan Phillip Trevillian ("Anti-Semitism's rife", Letters, 29/11) offers a clumsy analogy comparing the Gaza war with a hypothetical terrorist attack on us from Indonesia.
Just a few discrepancies there - for a start Australia did not drive Indonesians off their land and confine them to a tiny ghetto where they were brutally controlled by rationing resources including water and power. Second, I doubt Australia would have funded the terrorists for years as Israel has secretly funded Hamas, because both sides oppose a two-state solution (look it up). That cynical hypocrisy alone should bring down Netanyahu. Israel hubristically thought the fox terrier would not attack the bull mastiff, but then, oops, the horrendous October 7 attack caught them by surprise. This is not about Jewishness, it's about extreme right politics aggressively feeding the very problem it opposes. You can't bomb your way to peace, and imposing a cruel apartheid regime on Palestinians will only boost the extremists among them.
You may call me anti-Semitic if you like, but you would be wrong.
Michael Gormly, Islington
Wasted energy on many levels
After hearing about the recent Newcastle port blockade I can't help wondering how many protesters arrived in Newcastle by non-electric vehicles?
How did their god, Adam Bandt, get to Newcastle? I guess he didn't camp on the foreshore?
Port Waratah Coal Services probably had a 30-hour maintenance shutdown. These protesters think they have won something but, in reality, the world goes on.
Australia had wool, steel, beef and many more exports over the decades. Now all we have is mainly iron ore and coal. If the rest of the world doesn't buy from us, they will buy from somewhere else.
Maybe after wasting billions on so-called green energy (ask Google how wind turbines and solar panels are made and "recycled") we can export bottled fresh air, but not many countries could afford it.
Ian Bartrop, Birmingham Gardens
US-style sales score zero stars
It's the United States of Australia. Australians love Black Friday sales, which is another sales gimmick from the US. Pity it did not help our black brothers and sisters in the Voice referendum. What next? Elocution lessons in how to speak with an American accent? Our American flag-wavers would love that.
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
Beauty in eye of beholder
Strange world we live in. We are totally accepting of having picturesque prime rural land, such as that around the Thornton-Millers Forest-Morpeth area, turned into massive housing estates, but we have Tamworth farmers protesting in Sydney over power lines supposedly ruining their farming business.
John Gruszynski, New Lambton Heights
Liberal mess hard to hide
Sorry Greg Hunt, I can't agree with you ("Strong leadership lacking", Letters, 29/11). If you think the Coalition has done a good job over the past decade, then I'm missing something completely. A decade of lies, keeping little secrets, (we won't tell the public this one) billions, yes billions more dollars in national debt. Wow, what a great job your Liberal mates have done. The Liberal mess will take years to correct, not a few months.
Graeme Bennett, Warners Bay
Timing questioned on exit
What? Newcastle Labor councillors have scrapped the Newcastle 500? Is there a local government election in the near future and a need to extinguish the associated bad publicity from the race?
John Scott, Kahibah
Jet lag kicking in
Professional sports people use high-altitude training to increase performance. Bizarrely this hasn't worked for Albo.
Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay
Burden on young Australians
It is a great disappointment that young Australians will be left with the burden of climate change. It's also very disappointing that older Australians continue not to play their part in helping young Aussies. We can help by stopping our ongoing hindrance to the roll-out of renewable energy infrastructure. We can also help by realising that the wealth associated with fossil fuels is fostering our demise. Wake up Australia.