Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Thursday, September 22, 2016

CRITICS: Many have been quick to slam Pauline Hanson's "swamped by" comments, however supporters argue there is much more to her than what is being given air time.

CRITICS: Many have been quick to slam Pauline Hanson's "swamped by" comments, however supporters argue there is much more to her than what is being given air time.

PAULINE Hanson's fear of  being swamped by Asians is frequently regurgitated, but "what I want is equality for all Australians" was part of that same speech. It is never recounted.

At the end of her speech this time around a fleeting glimpse was shown in one TV newscast of the public gallery, all apparently on their feet, applauding her.  

I have seen no mention of this in press or on TV since.

Whatever happened to that old Aussie fair go we used to brag about? 

Ron Elphick, Buff Point

When 10pm isn’t night

I’D like to bring to your readers’ attention conflicting statements in a GRL Rocky Hill Mine newsletter regarding the mine proposed for Gloucester.

In its very first point, under Proposed Hours of Operations, it proudly states no night time activities. Three points down it advises, four years on, that mining will be conducted until 10pm, six days a week.

So the truth of the matter which GRL seems to be unable to put in a straight forward manner is that a number of residents, some living 900 metres away, will have to put up with mining activities until 10pm, six days a week for the remaining 12-year life span of the mine.

This once again highlights the impacts to residents. Which have been brought to the attention of the GRL CCC and government departments for many years. How much longer will residents have to endure the impact this development proposal has on their only asset, their family home?

One would suggest that after an eight-year wait, an EIS submission two years ago that lacked the quality and detail to make a submission in their favour was enough.

Ian Jackson, Gloucester

Not opposed to structure

THERE were two matters in the editorial (‘Government moves on two Newcastle sites’, Herald, 20/9) that need to be addressed.

First, it states that at the bowling club site, public access will be restored to the two former bowling greens and adjacent car park. In fact the club had three bowling greens. Cars were not available in the early 1880s when it started. It was only when the lease passed from the Newcastle City Bowling Club to private operators, almost a hundred years later, that the western green was used as an unofficial car park.

Secondly, it states a “vocal Friends of King Edward Park group” is determined nothing else is built on the site. The park was given to the people in 1863. The bowling club started in 1892, but the site was only excised from the park and leased to the club in 1963. In 2005 after liquidation of the club, the lease was cancelled and the site was, under the Crown Lands Act, protected from sale or lease, and dedicated for public recreation.

There have been two public meetings about the headland reserve and each of these has favoured the option that, because of the vista and historic significance, it should be returned to its origin. However, Friends of King Edward Park are on record as having no objection to a building that complements the park, improves the public amenity and respects the significant heritage value of the site. 

So yes, a structure that fulfils the above criteria, and preferably exhibits the art and culture of the Newcastle people while providing an income for the park would be welcomed by all.

Kim Ostinga, Newcastle

Meaning of ‘independent’ 

WHEN I read Michael McGowan's article (‘New face of the Lake’, Herald, 20/9) my immediate reaction was, what a pity this wasn't published before the recent election.

During the election campaign and on election day, this party was promoting themselves as the new independents in Lake Macquarie, resulting in the independent vote being split and only one true independent now on council.

The other independent group in the election, of which I was one, the Independent Lake Alliance is a group of autonomous people who form a coalition for local government elections in order to meet the Electoral Commission requirement for a group. They are not a political party. Their principle is local government is best served when it is free of, or not dominated by, party politics. Lake Mac Independents cannot claim to be independent when they are a registered political party. Does the fact that political parties can register ‘independent’ in their name, with the advantages that go with it, ring the death knell for true independents in local government?

Cr Wendy Harrison (Independent), Speers Point

Some facts for John

SOME facts and a question for John Gilbert (‘New face of the Lake’, Herald, 20/9): Muslims make up less than 2 per cent of the Australian population, most are law-abiding. 

Extremists of any religion or ideology are dangerous. Christians have caused untold pain during the last 100 years. The first ‘invasion’ of Australia began in 1788 when 12 boatloads from England killed the inhabitants who resisted them. 

Homosexuals are less likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexuals but have faced discrimination since recorded history. The Greens are the best educated party in Australia. They see beyond our society of consumption to the damage to our planet. 

As an anti-abortionist does he advocate for safe, readily available contraception as well as services for the unwanted and/or abused and neglected children? 

Joan Lambert, Adamstown

Tram in whose interests

THE university moving into Honeysuckle is a great idea but not on the rail corridor. It’s a transport corridor. That’s where light rail should run. The article (‘University corridor a win for everyone’, Herald, 7/9) stated “it has pleased just about everyone with an opinion about the corridor”. What’s the basis for that? The government’s Hunter Street tram proposal is not in the best interests of future CBD students.

Before the university’s financial crisis in 2005, the visual arts faculty were looking to move to the Honeysuckle heritage buildings. The Convocation/Alumni were eyeing off the former post office. If Minister Stokes could find funds for its rehabilitation, a university use could still happen there.

Can anyone name another first-world city where a tram is forced onto a main street to allow an adjacent rail corridor to be given over for private development use? Anywhere?

Keith Parsons, Newcastle

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