Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, March 17, 2017

DEBATE: The decision by Nuatali Nelmes to use a child-care allowance she was perfectly entitled to has sparked a debate about gender and ethics in government.
DEBATE: The decision by Nuatali Nelmes to use a child-care allowance she was perfectly entitled to has sparked a debate about gender and ethics in government.

WE wish to address the article by Jacqueline Haines, who has the amazing job title of social entrepreneur with interests in sexual and reproductive health rights, (‘Calling time on 'pub test' and subtle sexism’, Herald, 15/3). We don't have a title at all like that but we are believers in equality regardless of race, sex, religion and social status.

The snout in the trough applies to all, regardless of their gender, and we tire of anyone playing the “sexism card" when it suits their argument.

Women certainly have been disadvantaged in many areas, but crying sexism at every turn does nothing for their cause. In the past, some female politicians have scammed the system alongside the males.

Rarely are important conferences called at short notice and if the timing did not suit our lord mayor, then a councilor could have taken her place. We would like to know what real benefit for Newcastle has come out of this trip. If this is really about sexism then consider what would happen if a male lord mayor with a working wife was placed in the same position.

Take the child but pay for childcare or send a councilor. I understand our former lord mayor saved Newcastle ratepayers in many areas, including a considerable sum by driving himself rather than being driven.

It's not about gender; it's about doing the right thing.

Denise and Heinz Trummel, Mayfield

Calling for compassion

I AM hoping to draw attention to the plight of my father and his friend/carer which has been going on for several years. Both my father, who is in his 80s, and his friend have ongoing health issues.

They both have public housing places, a one-bedroom at Merewether and two-bedroom at Jesmond which unfortunately is up a considerable flight of stairs. They have been trying to swap both properties for a two-bedroom ground floor unit or house. Despite letters from their doctors and specialists confirming their needs they have hit a brick wall with the Housing Department.

Recently they were offered accommodation at Hamilton South, which was inappropriate considering my father’s age and frail health. I am sure there are a lot of similar situations out there. We seem be in a world where the word compassion is omitted from the dictionary, and is replaced by hard and fast rules and regulations.

Karen Starkie, Waratah

Underwhelmed at show

TO those behind the Newcastle show, hang your heads in shame. I think it was an absolute disgrace. The only positive my family could come up with is that, thankfully, you didn’t get your public holiday. That would have been a financial disaster for the region. As a show attendant veteran, that tradition ended on the Friday night after two laps of boredom watching the hard-working side show people trying unsuccessfully to make a living out of a few hundred disgruntled patrons. To the owner of those four chooks, three goats, one donkey and three sheep that kept us entertained for six minutes; I hope you and your animals got home safely, thanks for your input.

I hope the same group is not organising the Supercars event. It will be Newcastle’s swan song.

John Gregory, Redhead

Race through King Edward

SURELY the best route for the Supercars race would be through King Edward Park (where the tired roads need upgrading) along The Terrace, Reserve Road, Ordnance Street, Watt Street, Shortland Esplanade and returning to King Edward Park via the beach road past the old skate ramp along South Newcastle beach? Only a few houses in The Terrace and the eastern extension of Church Street would have to suffer the noise.

To use parklands was the solution in Melbourne for the Formula One race, and I understand King Edward Park has been used for car racing for the past 50 years.

Michael Roberts, South Oakleigh VIC

Spread facts, not fear

WATCHING the NBN News on Wednesday we saw Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes talk about the false information being spread among the community on Supercars. The lord mayor spoke about the false information which is causing widespread confusion and anxiety.

I saw a perfect example of this in the Letter to the Editor (Letters, 16/3) where Ray Dinneen speaks about the effects of Supercars on the foreshore.

Specifically Ray talks about how a large apron will need to be built to accommodate the supercar transporters when they visit Newcastle. He continues on to say how a permanent structure will need to be built on the foreshore to house the pit garages. 

I think this information couldn't be further from the truth. It has been well publicised by Supercars and Newcastle City Council that the car transporters would not be housed at the Newcastle foreshore. Furthermore both Supercars Australia and Newcastle council have confirmed on multiple occasions that a temporary pit structure will be erected, not a permanent one. It will be the same structure used at the Gold Coast 600 and the Sydney 500 last year. 

It is time that people within the community start sticking to the facts instead of trying to create widespread panic and anxiety to those living in the area.

Mitchell Griffin, committee member, Newcastle Supercars Supporters Club

Anxious for a reason

IT was disappointing to hear the lord mayor on television saying the concerning thing for her about the race is people peddling misinformation.

What misinformation is she talking about? The residents are concerned about real issues such as having cars speeding past their homes at 260km/h, noise above accepted safe industrial levels, months of construction, trucks coming in and out of narrow streets, disruption, tree removal and damage to parkland, lost opportunity to build something truly iconic for Newcastle that brings year-round benefit to businesses, lack of consultation and damage to heritage. These issues are real lord mayor.

Anxiety levels are running high because no one from council or Destination NSW has engaged in any meaningful consultation. I think Supercars don't understand the meaning of consultation. And council has to ask Supercars for permission to change the track. Who is running this city? 

No wonder people are anxious. It is an insult to suggest residents don't have real reason to be anxious.

Dominique Ryan, Newcastle East