Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, September 23, 2016

POPULAR: The car park at the Stockton ferry terminal is not large enough for patrons, leaving many wondering why the adjacent reserve cannot be used for vehicles.

POPULAR: The car park at the Stockton ferry terminal is not large enough for patrons, leaving many wondering why the adjacent reserve cannot be used for vehicles.

FOR some considerable time the car park adjacent to the Stockton ferry wharf has been unable to provide adequate parking for the ever-increasing demand.

Cars are forced to park in nearby streets, sometimes well away from the ferry wharf. This can be challenging for older members of our community. The problem could be easily overcome by extending the existing car park and/or opening up a section of the adjacent unused council reserve area.

I believe Newcastle City Council has known about this for some time. Instead of helping, the council has chosen to fine people parking on a small, unused council reserve situated to the north of the existing car park. The infringement notice commands a fine of $110.

If the council chooses not to do anything about the existing car park then the least they can do is to allow free parking on the space in question.

Bruce Niblett, Stockton

50 years of uni union

IT is 50 years this month since the University Union was opened. I was the longest serving member of the staff. I started on August 29, 1966. The union was opened the next week. 

I started in the vegetable preparation area. I was a waitress and cooked before becoming a supervisor in 1974 with Freda Bartlett. 

When I was asked for my funniest memory it came from the early ’70s when I looked out the window to see an elephant at the union back door. A group of enthusiastic participants in the Autonomy Day Scavenger Hunt had stolen the animal from a visiting circus. 

I made many friends with the students. I still keep in touch with a student that worked in the kitchen with me who was studying engineering. Our staff get together for lunch; we have some lovely memories. 

I got the job because I lived across the road (no buses those days) and had to wear a small uniform (they only had small sizes). 

I was on the board for many years. I was made a Life Member of the Union.

Ada Staader, Maryland

Swift trains, short visit

IAN Bowrey, in support of a truly city-based international ocean liner terminal, says, "Engineers can solve problems in many creative ways", for the sensational concept of a floating terminal, at Queen's Wharf, (Letters, 21/9). In 2016, engineers most certainly can.

This strongly supports finally making strong commercial use of the full length, of the distance intercity trunk rail corridor. Nationally unrivalled, it teems with abundant business opportunities, of the mainframe wealthy Sydney market, land transportation system.

A strong economic pillar, to ensure a solid year-round economic foundation for desperately needed local jobs and growth, based on a very appealing tourist market, of high turnover, short visits, possible only with swift trains. Port funds can be used to bring the corridor up to standard, built into a thriving CBD, to lift services well above their current, unacceptable, steam-age speeds, a disgraceful fastest 65km/h average. Maximum bang for the buck, efficiency, and strong crowd control.

A people friendly centre, with so much within walking distance. This shows how bad the treatment of the Hunter, by governments, has been for eons.

Graeme Tychsen, Rankin Park

Spreading truth of Islam

IT is not surprising to know that half of the Australian population would like to ban Muslim migration. We live in a world today that is very much influenced by media coverage. We base our opinions on what we are shown. The media is constantly putting Islam down, and instead of showing the good things of this faith, the media only shows the bad: the terror, the horror.

It is unfortunate that radical Muslims and terrorists get more coverage in the media than those hundreds of millions of Muslim men and women who serve humanity as doctors, scientists, charity workers, social workers, human right activists or lawyers. 

Images, texts, headlines and news can just as easily present a false notion as they can present facts. There are so many things that people do not know about, and so many negative and incorrect assumptions are made about Muslims. It is our job to clear up the misconceptions and false accusations against Islam. I urge Muslims to get out of their comfort zone and demystify our peaceful religion and beliefs. 

Usman Mahmood, South Bowenfels

Plebiscite ‘unfair’

MY summary of facts and opinions on the marriage plebiscite:  It will cost taxpayers between $160 and $200 million. The Parliament will then still have to vote on the proposed bill, with politicians not obliged to vote according to the plebiscite result.

The wording of the Marriage Act can (and must be) be changed by parliament – zero cost to taxpayers. The churches pay no tax, but want taxpayers’ money to promote their agenda. The churches have lost their ‘right’ to lecture on morality – paedophilia and subsequent cover ups. Since ‘Marriage’ is a sacrament of the church, what place does our government have to play in this institution, considering we supposedly have separation of church and state?

The wording of the current question substantially favours the ‘No’ campaign.

The question does not cater for all groups in the LGBTI community.

And finally, it is grossly unfair. Why shouldn’t LGBTI people be able to marry and suffer like the rest of us married couples?

Paul Sutcliffe, Fern Bay

I would have left too

STEVE Barnett (Short Takes, 16/9) vilifies the Greens for walking out during Pauline Hanson’s first speech to the Senate.  I would have walked out as soon as she started her racist rant. I know that over half a million people voted for her in the July election, but out of 15,696,874 enrolled voters, that equates to approximately 3.5 per cent of the vote. She would have been placed last on my senate voting paper, had I chosen to fill in the bottom half of the form. 

She espouses everything I find offensive, and she still hasn’t grasped the fact that China owns .06 per cent of agricultural land in Australia (official figures released last week), and continuously rabbits on about that.  And, yes, Dom Slevin (Short Takes, 16/9), I agree with you, there are still a lot of rednecks out there.

Beverly Page, Adamstown Heights

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