Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Tuesday, August 8, 2017

EYESORE: One reader is lamenting the way ratepayers' money is being spent after questioning the state of many facilities in the city's east. Picture: Pat Wilson

EYESORE: One reader is lamenting the way ratepayers' money is being spent after questioning the state of many facilities in the city's east. Picture: Pat Wilson

AT what expense to the ratepayer is this eyesore. Several months have passed and nothing has been done.

It may have been an obnoxious weed but it wasn't doing any harm and certainly looked better than this existing mess.

After listening to the lord mayor on a travel program who was sprouting the benefits of the ocean baths and Newcastle beach and how she loved swimming, I wondered if she has ever used the area at all, otherwise she would have known that the wall is an embarrassment as well as costing the ratepayer money for hire.

Then we have the ocean baths that has been shored up for several years as if the engineers do not know how to resolve the problem, the tar which people have to walk on is all broken, the dressing sheds are open to all elements and when it rains the walls are like waterfalls.

The canoe pool is a disgrace with broken concrete surrounds and yet it is used by so many in the summertime.

With so many visitors supposedly coming to Newcastle isn't it time something is done to rectify the area or are we subject to the area being closed off while this noisy Supercars debacle takes place.

Pat Wilson, Merewether

Jump on board

I AM yet to hear a reasonable reason why someone should not ditch their car – at least for commuting to work – in Newcastle. 

There are that many bus routes and they are that frequent, that public transport should be a no-brainer during the week. 

Paul Scott ('Carmageddon and the grey ghosts of the apocalypse', Herald, 7/8) points out that more than three quarters of respondents to a Herald survey don't want to ride the bus. Why? It does not smell and I have never been concerned for my safety. 

You might get to work a few minutes late, but that is usually due to traffic you would encounter in a car anyway. 

I have written on this before, but am still astonished that so many Novocastrians still refuse to ditch the car now and then. 

When I started catching the bus, I wanted nothing to do with it because of the stigma ('ew, the bus smells'; 'what if I get bashed?'). But I can honestly say that was a fake assumption. 

All my bus trips have been comfortable, cheaper than driving, and you can read the Herald as well.

Gary-Jon Lysaght, Woodrising

Disaster our own doing

CARMAGEDDON appears soon upon us, but like most apocalypse stories this disaster is of our own doing (‘Carmageddon and the grey ghosts of the apocalypse’, Herald, 7/8).

The timer I started last week to keep track of waiting for late buses and trains already marks three hours of knowing eye-contact with my fellow travellers. Undoubtedly, the traffic caused by car use takes part in this vicious cycle, but it’s clear the bus and rail networks were struggling with an infrastructure problem long before this. 

Not to beat the dead horse that is the cutting of the rail line, but, you know.

Similarly, the hackneyed affordances for cyclists would be hilarious if they weren’t so often terrifying.

The cycling route from the city to the University of Newcastle spends roughly half of its duration on high-traffic roads.

Frankly, I don’t feel safe on Turton Road in a car, let alone a pair of cycle shorts. 

Couple this with the “death-trap” cycleways in which cyclists play Russian roulette with opening car doors, reported on by the Herald in 2011, and it’s clear that Newcastle has deep-rooted transport issues that no amount of parking tickets is going to fix.

Nicholas Smit, Waratah

Action ‘hypocritical’

THE Newcastle Herald recently carried an article stating that Joel Fitzgibbon and Labor were taking court action to make the LNP release details of the Coalition agreement with the National Party (‘Crowd cash in Coalition detail chase’, Herald, 4/8).

I think this shows what a mob of hypocrites Labor and Fitzgibbon are. Labor never ever released all the specific details of their agreements with the Greens neither did Julia Gillard release full financial details of her agreement with Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor which enabled her to gain the PM job. I think this is more about a personal issue Mr Fitzgibbon has with Barnaby Joyce.

Anthony Fardell, Tenambit

Marriage debate a waste

THE debate about same sex marriage has to be the biggest waste of time to ever be presented to the Australian people or parliament.

It is a non issue, the fact being a majority of Australians do not care who loves who and who wishes to declare their love in front of somebody who is a representative of God, whoever God is.

As an atheist, I do not wish to have a say in a unity between two people who think that declaring their love for each other in front of a representative of God is going to make their life together more holy than a non believer like myself who has been happily in a relationship for 27 years.

Marriage, as I understand it, is a religious commitment. If you are not religious, why commit to a relationship in which the laws of religion you won’t abide by? Follow me and be happy without committing to anyone but the love of your life.

Steve Barnett, Fingal Bay

Freshening up leadership

CANADA voted in a young prime minister. France voted in a young president. Have a look at their policies  that are in touch with the modern world.

As for America, well they got Trump who thankfully has so far limited himself to rampages on Twitter and failed executive orders.

In Australia we have a Prime Minister who is so scared by the factions in his party he is doing nothing and an Opposition who offers us no program of alternative policies.  

Sadly we don't have a Justin Trudeau or Emmanuel Macron because we are dictated to by a party government system that continues to put old men in positions of power in their safe inner sanctums.

They have no concept of just how hard ordinary Australians are struggling.

They are also in denial about how young Australians want to shape the country that is their future.

Is it too much to ask that multi-property owners with massive tax breaks are removed from the system so young families can afford a home?

Ann Ellis, Merewether

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