Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Thursday, March 16, 2017

OUR GEM: Newcastle City Council is seeking to move the Supercars track away from East End homes but there are calls for the race to avoid Foreshore Park also.

OUR GEM: Newcastle City Council is seeking to move the Supercars track away from East End homes but there are calls for the race to avoid Foreshore Park also.

RECENTLY I watched on television the V8 Supercars race in Adelaide.

I was horrified by aerial views of the pit area which showed the space needed for it to function properly.

It needs to accommodate pit lane, the service spaces, garages and the truck-parking apron out the back, and would virtually swallow up Foreshore Park.

And the garages have to be permanent buildings to ensure they are fireproof, spillproof and electrically neutral.

It appears the council is getting cold feet about sending the cars along Zaara and Scott streets and Nobbys Road (‘Backtrack’, Herald, 15/3). Please get cold feet about Foreshore Park, it is a gem we must not destroy. Please council, show some sense and move the race to somewhere suitable.

Ray Dinneen, Newcastle

Tough time topping up

I AM writing to complain about topping up the Opal card. Stockton and Fern Bay residents have to go over to Newcastle to top up their card. There’s a lot of old people on walkers and in wheelchairs, it makes it very hard for the elderly.

We had a couple of agents in Stockton, but they don’t handle it anymore and no wonder; I understand they only received $9 in every $1000 from the government.

It should be like Sydney, they have top up machines in train stations and ferry wharves.

Betty McInness, Stockton

Moving away from coal

DESPITE Stephen Galilee’s optimism (‘Export data good news’, Herald, 14/3) it is clear that the Hunter is moving away from its dependency on coal for its prosperity (‘Hunter economy on a roll’, Herald, 15/3).

This is fortunate because I understand the coal price has fallen 20 per cent since its peak in November 2016.

The Hunter must plan for its shift away from coal-fired power station and coalmining, rather than shortening the time for new mine approvals.

John Van Der Kallen, Hamilton

Opportunities for gallery

IN a recent article the new NSW Arts Minister, Don Harwin, cites Western Sydney and regional NSW as “high priorities” for allocation of the remaining $250 million from the promised $600 million in cultural infrastructure funding, with an announcement to be made before the June budget (‘Don Harwin's arts start has been a relative breeze’, Sydney Morning Herald, 28/2). 

At the council meeting on Tuesday a Lord Mayoral Minute was passed, reiterating the council’s commitment to the long-awaited redevelopment of the Newcastle Art Gallery and calling on council to arrange a meeting with the Minister for the Arts to discuss funding opportunities.

Council are to be congratulated for pursuing state government investment in our premier cultural facility to help highlight its exemplary collection and enhance its exhibition program. This has the potential to attract people to Newcastle long after the V8 Supercars have been and gone.

Lindy Henderson, The Hill

Search for sense

IF a grout fund has been established with a view to creating more certainty for developers (‘Minister in town with grout news’, Herald, 10/3) then one has to ask, is development on the rail corridor necessary?  

When one considers the number of empty buildings in Hunter Street, I fail to see the logic in putting new buildings on the corridor. One would have thought it would make more sense to keep the rail corridor for rail transport (light or heavy), rebuild or refurbish the buildings in Hunter Street or construct new buildings, as we have seen recently. If new buildings are constructed in the rail corridor, one has to wonder, to what extent such a move will benefit the city if they cannot get anyone to use the existing buildings in Hunter Street.

Again, one has to ask; where is the sense in all of this? 

Peter Sansom, Kahibah

We need the inexperienced

AT every election where things don’t go as wanted, with lower than anticipated results, there normally is a scapegoat to blame.

This time it is One Nation’s fault, where they are said as being not up to the job, by fielding inexperienced, therefore unqualified, people.

Of course they are inexperienced, this is what people want, a shift away from the experienced, that know what's best for us by not by asking, but rather telling, us.

Considering One Nation polled around a 10 per cent primary vote average in places they contested, l would say they were as successful as hoped, and a force to be noticed.

Considering the media are first to pursue fault, l believe One Nation’s “inexperienced members” held their own, and will continue to learn where they can improve. Contrary to some, l believe they are not a spent force, just starting to get a grip on the tricks of politics. Hopefully always at grass roots communication, with the people they represent.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

The rich and the rest

CAPITALISM has failed society. Because of its “Laissez faire” philosophy it has created a super wealthy class and the ”rest”. The wealthy class comprise those in charge of wealth creation and they have arranged to vote themselves huge salary increases. They argue these salaries are needed to recruit talent that will profit their enterprise. This is false and a self-serving argument.

Society has developed a “middle class” more or less satisfied with their lot. But there is an “underclass” that borders on poverty.

The wealthy class display their affluence by building “mcmansions” and buying luxury cars, etc. These consume resources and push up house prices. They are no different from the rest of us except they are in charge of the money that is generated from the efforts of everybody. Why isn’t there a cap on executive income? Some levelling of equality is needed if the people of this nation are to prosper; $5.5 billion for a post office worker. Where is the skill in that? Taxation is the only way to lift those in poverty.

Perhaps an “Australia Card” that gives everyone a liveable wage is the answer, with firms adding a skills supplement. Managing a country’s finances is not rocket science. Citizens should contribute according to their ability. Most Australians are being priced out of their own country. A change is needed before a big protest occurs by way of a huge informal vote at a federal election.

John McLennan, Charlestown