Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Tuesday, November 28, 2016

BRAVE: Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson is to be admired for his integrity, says reader Olga Parkes.

BRAVE: Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson is to be admired for his integrity, says reader Olga Parkes.

I WONDER how many people, Anglican or not, feel proud, as I do, of Bishop Greg Thompson.

In particular for his courage and integrity at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?

I believe he is a shining example of honesty and courage. 

Thank you Bishop Greg.

Olga Parkes, New Lambton Heights

Marriage meaning is clear

FOR John Sorensen (‘Searching for the meaning of marriage’, Letters, 25/11), the historical meaning of marriage is outdated and archaic. But even in the ‘updated’ definition of marriage that he quotes, the ‘some jurisdictions’ where marriage specifically means a union between a man and a woman are actually most of the world.

Just over 20 countries out of more than 190 have same-sex ‘marriage’, only one of the 10 most populous countries, only one country in Africa, no country in Asia and, in our part of the world, only New Zealand.

Historically, the word ‘marriage’ sometimes is qualified, as in polygamous marriage or incestuous marriage, but the concept of sexual complementarity has been constant. 

Because ‘marriage’ derives from the Indo-European root word ‘mari’ or young woman, it makes no sense to use the word to describe a relationship between two blokes. 

‘Matrimony’, coming from the Latin ‘mater’ for ‘mother’ and ‘monium’ meaning state or condition, means motherhood and family. It can only be a man-woman thing.

Peter Dolan, Lambton

Message of thanks

I AM writing this letter in response to John Sorensen’s piece (Letters 25/11), that married heterosexual grumpy old man. John, that was a beautifully crafted and thoughtful letter. 

It doesn’t raise any new issues regarding same gender marriage other than that of semantics (as you say). I, like you, found similar definitions of marriage in the dictionaries I perused, and you are right.  The meaning of marriage can be taken various ways depending on the belief of the readers and the culture from which they come. Thank you John.

Les Field, Wickham

Hitting the wrong note

I CAN’T understand why the Reserve Bank feels the need to reassure the Australian public about the new $5 note.

Apart from the fact that vending machines won't accept them, I can't see a problem with them.

So why are they advertising to sell it to us when we don't really have a choice. Seems to me it is another example of a waste of Australian taxpayers’ dollars.

Neil Meyers, Warners Bay

Who’s paying the bill?

ON my regular drive to the beautiful Nelson Bay area, I come across two or three large electronic billboards warning me – “Caution trucks turning left.”

These are located just before and after the Newcastle Airport turn-off and have been in operation for at least six months.

As a result, the dual lane carriageway has been reduced to 60kmh from 80kmh.  As yet, and I travel the road very regularly, I have not yet seen a truck turning left.

I find it surprising that I have to be warned of a truck turning left on such a road. Surely drivers, even those with poor eyesight, can see such a large vehicle? Who is paying for these signs? They can’t be cheap. 

It seems to me that it is a case of using a nuclear bomb to boil water.

Paul Sutcliffe, Fern Bay 

Bad bag decision

A TERRIBLE decision was made last week when the NSW Baird government refused to join South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, ACT and the Northern Territory in banning single-use plastic bags.

About five billion of the these bags are handed out each year, 150 million polluting our environment. About 95 per cent of dead birds' stomachs have been found to contain pieces of plastic. Even third world countries like Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania have banned them.

This is a slap in the face for the hundreds of Lake Macquarie citizens who signed petitions and sent letters to the NSW government to act on this critical issue. I call on all Hunter members of NSW parliament to get the Baird government to reverse its decision and ban single-use plastic bags.

We need also to get Coles and Woolworths to act as Aldi and Bunnings have done.  It is time for customers to bring their own bags or buy a reusable one – we can do the right thing even if Baird can't.

Stephen Noel Dewar, Toronto

Check the clause

VIC Miller is at it again, telling councils how to run meetings (“Counting the votes”, Letters, 25/11) using generic rules that don’t necessarily apply to local government.

Where does the Local Government Act “direct that the mayor votes as mayor, not as a councillor at council meetings”?

He also admits that ”there is nothing in the Local Government Act saying how this (mayoral) vote is to be used”.

Has he read Part M, clause 67 (“Casting Vote”) of Newcastle council’s code meeting practice (which must be compliant with the act)? A mayor is a councillor, is titled councillor and receives a councillor fee as well as a mayoral one.

Keith Parsons, Newcastle

IGNORING THE SIGNS

IT seems that most motorists who frequent the intersections of Glebe Street and Burwood Road in Kahibah don't realise that the ‘Stop’ sign still means exactly that.

The other day whilst attempting to cross (on foot) the aforementioned intersection, I watched as seven vehicles went blissfully east through the signs, and a couple more decided to go through the sign going west.

Taking my life in my hands, I wended my way to a little safety island.

A queue had banked up on the lot going west, not stopping because they had to but waiting for the others going through. I managed to squeeze myself between two cars, raised my hand and smiled as I mounted the footpath.

Perhaps in future I may carry a banner which reads ‘Stop means STOP’, or like the olden days when someone walked in front of a vehicle, waving a red flag.

In all sincerity, I worry that someone won't be quick enough to dodge these thoughtless drivers.

Daphne Hughes, Kahibah

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