Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, July 14, 2017

TALENT: Former Newcastle Knight Jarrod Mullen has received widespread support from fans after a devastating four-year drugs ban. Picture: Marina Neil
TALENT: Former Newcastle Knight Jarrod Mullen has received widespread support from fans after a devastating four-year drugs ban. Picture: Marina Neil

HE’S never been my favourite player and I don't know him personally but the NRL and Knights should be ashamed of their treatment of Jarrod Mullen.

I've been a supporter since ‘88 and I seem to remember Jarrod was going to be the next "Andrew Johns" and was thrown into the State of Origin early in his career. It was what we as fans of Newcastle and NSW needed. It's a credit to Jarrod he survived through this sudden pressure at a young age to be put up with the game’s best. He has been given terrific support from the fans over the years and many times has shown he can change a game when in form, to lead Newcastle to a victory.

But sadly, that has changed in the last couple of years where he has been out for extended periods of injury or playing whilst carrying injury. Now, it seems that Jarrod needs support from his club and the NRL but, as with many employees these days, he’s out on his ear.

I feel for Jarrod in this position at his age of 30 to find you’re suddenly on the scrapheap. I believe Jarrod should receive support from every player in the NRL today, as well as support from every former Knights player since ‘88 to help him get through this difficult period.

I would love to see Knights fans call for a Jarrod Mullen day at a home game before the end of 2017 season.

Good luck in the future Jarrod.   

Wayne Grant, Waratah

Taking cash, leaving chaos

THE NSW government is not governing for the benefit of all the people in the state. It is shameful the way they are treating the people of Newcastle.

Keith Parsons (Letters, 12/7) has set out many items of neglect committed by this government. He is a fighter for Newcastle and before him, Margaret Henry. The government are guilty of taking money for the lease of the Port of Newcastle, royalties for the export of coal and have given nothing for the infrastructure needed in this area. They took advantage of one vote to remove the heavy rail. As shown by world experience, a rail line into Newcastle would be an asset in years to come.

All the letters to the Herald that have pointed out the inadequate treatment of infrastructure like the loss of the heavy rail line, the insult of the light rail substitute, the Glendale interchange, the short-sighted treatment of the bypass access at John Hunter Hospital, the neglect of the art gallery and what appears to be the rejection of professional advice on all these matters. To top it off, the foisting of a Supercars race onto the city which amounts to an insult for the residents of the second city of this state.

The people of Newcastle have a world class university, support indigenous students and developed a world renowned approach to the teaching of medicine. Newcastle people have shown to be innovative and are skilled in ship building and railway stock manufacture, for all of which they get no credit and no support. The trouble is, we are all reacting to what we see happening and reacting mostly in ignorance.

John McLennan, Charlestown

‘Cheap coal fantasy’

THE coal-fired power industry, despite the decades of massive public subsidies, minimal environmental oversight, overwhelming political backing, and exorbitant price increases, has now been overtaken by solar, wind and renewable storage, as the cheapest way to generate our electricity.

I understand a recent ANU study confirmed a cost of $90/MWhr, falling to $75/MWhr by early 2020, for a 100 per cent renewable grid. Coal is currently around $80/MWhr, and any new coal or gas plants will need to charge (at least) $120/MWhr to break even. Several other studies back these findings. And this is without adding a carbon price, or accounting for the costs of massive environmental destruction and, of course, global warming. Or the dire effects on human health. Worldwide, coal-fired power stations are responsible for around half of mercury emissions, while also pumping out colossal amounts of sulfur dioxides, nitrous oxides, and microscopic particles such as PM2.5, which enter deep in to our lung tissue. Yet the Minerals Council of Australia stubbornly continues to push the fantasy of cheap coal.

Unfortunately in Australia, most of our politicians are not leading; they are failing, and we are paying the price. They have blocked newer technologies, while grid power prices surge, global temperatures climb, and our farmlands, reefs and forests continue to suffer the consequences of our addiction to coal. The future is renewable. Cheaper, faster, more reliable, and far kinder to our health and environment. They are now unstoppable. The question is; have we left it too late?

Michael Schien, New Lambton

Tackling waste together

I COULDN’T agree more with the letter "War on waste won't be won with more bins" (Letters, 11/7). Toronto has tackled this issue in many ways.

Firstly, right through the town there are twin bins with recycling available, so much less is sent to the tip. Then, nearly every Toronto coffee shop offers the newer takeaway coffee cups, without the plastic inside, that can be recycled. All allow bring your own cups, some offering a discount. All shops, except the two main supermarkets, are transitioning out of single-use plastic bags. Coles offers scrunchable plastic recycling. Lastly a fast food campaign has seen a reduction of takeaway and drive-through rubbish, although the major fast food outlets need to supply recycling facilities.

This is what can be achieved when the community, business and council work together on cutting down on waste and rubbish, although more needs to be done.

Stephen Dewar, Toronto

Airport ‘discrimination’

IN reply to Doug Andrews regarding the removal of head scarves at airports (Short Takes, 11/7): I would suggest that you are a white Australian male. Of course you are going to be discriminated against. 

My daughter who is a white Australian also had this type of experience several years back when she went up to the airport to pick her husband. She was pulled aside by a female security guard and told that they wanted to check her handbag. When she asked why the reply was “the handbag didn't look like it had enough in it for a woman's handbag". If you are not a white Australian Doug I apologise for dragging you down to our level.

Melville Brauer, Gateshead