Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PAIN: With long-term free parking becoming impossible to find close to the CBD, one reader suggests Newcastle should look to other cities for transport inspiration.
PAIN: With long-term free parking becoming impossible to find close to the CBD, one reader suggests Newcastle should look to other cities for transport inspiration.

I AM a regular walker into town and often catch the free bus to either Hamilton or the last free zone area home.

I find the buses are usually quite full on any given time of the day, not only at peak time. Why I would drive to town when there is nowhere to park? And that is not just because of the work that is now in progress. This has been ongoing for years.

Council take up free areas and charge you with meters. If you wish to walk to work in the CBD, where can you leave your car outside this area that has free parking? The council makes sure it is only a one-hour or two-hour park. So that idea is no good. High rises being built take up car parking areas.

If the free shuttle goes, why are we being charged to use a light rail system that doesn't go all over Newcastle? There should be a free bus at the end of the light rail that goes to the beaches and loops back round doing a circuit all day.

If other countries can provide great service and free at that why do we have to be so greedy and charge people within the city area. I am still waiting for a train to go back up to Cessnock, our main tourist attraction?

As for the train service to Sydney, it never ceases to amaze me that you can be on a train for about three hours and cannot obtain a cold drink or coffee – wake up and provide a decent service and please do something about the toilets on the trains, but that is another issue.

I hope after Hamilton station is no longer the last stop (as this is a nightmare). Will the council remove the parking zone limits in the back streets which is causing congestion from people that do not live in this area? Again, they cannot park in the CBD.

Alice Nesbitt, Islington

Some football facts

TOM Ireland’s Letter to the Editor (Letters, 24/6) provides Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) with another opportunity to provide clarification in order to bust some of the myths relating to player registration fees.

Mr Ireland’s claim that “Here in the Hunter, some families are paying over $1500 per season for soccer registration for 12-year-old children...” is simply unfounded. The average player registration fee for a 12-year-old in the Hunter Region this season is $188. Registration fees for 13 to 18 year olds participating in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) averaged out at $870 and no NPL Club charged more than $1100 in 2017.

The fees collected by governing bodies from players is influenced significantly by the amount of revenue sports can generate from assets such as broadcast rights and sponsorship. The scope of the programs and services provided by governing bodies to their affiliates is also a contributing factor. NNSWF’s component of the registration fees paid by 12 to 18 year olds participating in community-based competitions is $34. This fee provides every player with access to a sports injury protection scheme and also provides affiliated clubs with a range of insurances including the mandatory public liability insurance required by clubs to hire facilities from Local Government Authorities. 

NNSWF’s reliance on the revenue generated from player registration fees has halved in the last decade and at the same time the governing body’s capacity to service the nation’s largest club-based participation sport has doubled from 13 to 26 full-time staff. NNSWF remains committed to working with every echelon of the game to ensure that the largest and most popular sport remains affordable. The Active Kids Rebate, announced in the state budget, will be well received by the football community throughout Northern NSW. 

David Eland, CEO, Northern NSW Football        

Praise for Keith

KEITH Parsons is one of the people I admire most in Newcastle. His tireless and passionate work for this city, in many different capacities, has always given me heart that Newcastle can achieve its cultural, environmental and economic potential.

His commitment to the betterment of our lives through conservation of heritage, history, social justice and environmental sustainability deserves the utmost respect from every Novocastrian. If you disagree with his views then put your opposing arguments, with facts to support them. But don't indulge your own shortcomings by making feeble attempts to denigrate the man.

I would like to thank Keith Parsons for his integrity, courage, passion and commitment. We are lucky to have him.

Lillian Reilly, Waratah

Lucky rescue for girls

THERE was a near tragedy straight from an episode of Bondi Rescue on Sunday afternoon at Newcastle beach.

Three young girls were observed swimming just north of South Newcastle beach late Sunday. I watched as all three were dragged out to sea in a strong rip.

By waving my arms in the girls direction I alerted three surf board riders who, after several minutes, made their way to assist the girls. The girls were eventually brought to shore through the rocks at South Newcastle beach, bruised and completely exhausted but otherwise alright.

It surprises me that with ideal swimming conditions over the weekend that the City of Newcastle has no budget for life saving services in the winter season. And yet, the City of Newcastle is able to donate millions in rates to a private company in order to stage a three-day motor race event?

Mark Sampson, Newcastle

Fighting off depression

TO Martin Schlaeger (Letters, 17/5): Unless you don’t have insurance upon your house and car, I suggest you retract your suggestion that submarine money is spent on a fast train. China has a growing military and they are having fun pushing countries around with it.

Currently they are claiming territory behind the “nine-dash line” but in the future, if we are weak enough, they will probably “find” a map with a line that includes us. Indonesia is currently benign but that is not certain to last forever.

The rule of thumb for Australian Defence procurement is that we will get things wrong. The submarine contract is more wrong than usual, but that is because it is being used as a hellishly expensive SA jobs program, not despite the fact.

Any government which avoids committing to a Melbourne to Brisbane fast train is doing us a great service, keeping us two or three years further away from our inevitable (considering our voters) national bankruptcy/depression level austerity.

Sean Farnham, Kurri Kurri