LAST week there were a number of articles telling us, in quite ecstatic terms, that our population is increasing at a rate greater than expected; another 10 million people, and the Hunter Valley is to benefit from this fecundity. And this is good news? Why?
Even that word revitalisation was used. It seems that people never seem able to consider the “what ifs”.
We are committed to a culture of affluent lifestyles and economic growth and so it seems also; traffic congestion, increasing social division and dislocation (refugees), longer waiting lists at hospitals, pressure on school places, and unaffordable housing, yet discount the effect on environment, water supply, resource depletion and pollution, let alone an increasing carbon footprint.
Surely having a debate about what is a sustainable population for Australia is a debate worth having rather than simply accepting what we are told: that a population explosion is a good thing – for whom?
John Hendriks, East Maitland
Don’t fund campaign
OUR politicians are discussing how much money to give to religious groups to argue against marriage equality. I argue that these organisations have lost all moral rights to even be part of the discussion.
The royal commission into institutional child abuse here in Newcastle and elsewhere has clearly displayed to the nation that these organisations have protected child abusers, whilst denying rights to others whose only crime was to be attracted to the same sex.
How many of our youth have felt the weight of guilt brought on upon them from these religious groups? These groups used the word of God to silence and shame honest homosexuals in our community.
And now they demand that we pay for them to continue to spread their hateful bile.
The right wing of our nation’s political forces want to have a debate about one particular religion. I suggest we allow and broaden this into a discussion about all religion. The abuse allowed to prosper in all types must be stopped. The hate of each form of belief on each other as well. It's time to stop organised religion from having any influence in our society.
As LGBT people should have the right to marry who they love, persons of faith have as much right to have faith in whatever God they choose. Just not the power to impose it on others.
Tony Walters, Hamilton
Taking neutral stance
THE theocracy that is working silently within the federal government is under threat from the gay community due to the government’s stance on same-sex marriage.
What has the government done to keep their heads above the stormy electoral waters? They have used the plebiscite as a life raft. That way they will not be forced to grapple with either their ideologies or the voters’. A neutral stand is far safer than raising the ire of the electorate.
If the federal government doesn't agree with the question why don't they just vote against it? So much for the courage of your convictions.
Nick Ryder, Booragul
Direct transport vital
THE proposal to build a university campus on the rail corridor may seem like a good idea to some but there is a major flaw. How are people supposed to get into and out of the city?
This government is good at not answering important questions like this. They talk about connectivity with the harbor and revitalisation.
However effective seamless and direct transport from the city to the suburbs is vital to make any proposals for revitalisation work.
The railway was good for this, it did the job very well until it was closed.
It's all very well to talk of integrated transport and a plan, but what is needed is infrastructure. The light rail in Hunter Street has everyone with any sense concerned that it will be a disaster.
The sensible thing to do would be to reinstate the railway or if no one wants to do that put the light rail in the rail corridor and build the university campus and any other developments in the rail corridor so that trains can run under them.
This has been done successfully in other cities in Australia so I fail to see why we can't do this in Newcastle. Those who don't want to know about such possibilities have about as much vision as Mister Magoo.
Peter Sansom, Kahibah
City left wanting
CONGRATULATIONS to the federal and state Liberal voters of Newcastle and the Hunter – you and your team have done it to us again.
No public hospital, no cruise ship terminal. Oh yes, we are getting a hospital, a privately-operated one. The one we help prop up now costs millions a year of taxpayers dollars but what does that Mater (pardon the pun).
The only time the Liberal party knows that Newcastle exists is if a port needs to be sold or a train line is to be removed and to be told like a little child this is where a project is going, no questioned asked.
Ray Davidson, Birmingham Gardens
I RECENTLY received this email from somebody abroad – apparently Pauline Hanson is being lauded by increasing numbers of those disillusioned with immigration and lack of integration.
Isis is being thrashed in Africa and as predicted years ago terrorism will proliferate around the world.
The childish actions of the Green party members in walking out on Hanson’s inaugural speech will serve to show them up as having closed minds and a capacity to ignore the truth – that the vast majority of Australians don’t want immigrants coming into this country.
We should all thank God for somebody like Pauline Hanson – perhaps the Prime Minister will listen to her once in a while.
Tom Edwards, Wangi Wangi
Picking the wrong port
THE preference of Eden over Newcastle for a cruise ship terminal, is a no-brainer.
I would prefer clean deep crystal waters in a historical fishing community over a dirty, often smelly harbor of coal ships.
I believe Newcastle missed the boat by not promoting Port Stephens as a cruise ship terminal, having the same crystal water as Eden but far more tourism engagements.