Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Monday, October 30, 2017

ALLURE: Poker machines have been designed to be addictive and should not be referred to as a friendly recreational activity, argues one contrbutor.
ALLURE: Poker machines have been designed to be addictive and should not be referred to as a friendly recreational activity, argues one contrbutor.

ONE of the greatest lies perpetrated by the gambling industry and naive sources is that gambling is a safe recreational activity. It is a truth, the poker machine has been designed with extensive research to be addictive, the dollars tell it all. The harm caused by 'problem gambling' is tragic. So, no, it is not a good relief from boredom or a friendly recreational activity. Violence results from lies and deception, from financial losses, job losses, neglect or parental responsibilities, health issues and suicidal thoughts. Just as damaging is the mental abuse inflicted on families. The 'problem gambler' cannot be trusted. Again, and again, we are having to mention the wrongs of the pokies.

Restrictions and legislation urgently need to be implemented. When you and your family are sorting through the mess that is caused by a gambling addiction, you are advised not to highlight this problem for family access reasons and for job secrecy. Even in bankruptcy, it is a criminal offence.

The actual statistics covering this gambling world and the harms will never be disclosed. Let's deal with a solution instead of patching up the damage.

Janette Hall, Valentine

Painful betrayal

WORKPLACE romances are more common than one thinks. The temptation, particularly when one partner is spending long periods away, is compounded often by a seducer/tress who offers them a more beguiling banquet than they have at home. This kind of betrayal is particularly painful for the partner who has done all the demanding jobs at home. Raising children, washing, ironing, cooking, sport and music runs etc all seem to be negated and the new person walks into the easy and fun moments without having to share the tough stuff. What can you say but sleep easy at night.

Megan Askar, Telarah

Bury toxic soil

I AM sympathetic to the plight of Trudy Field and Martin Robertson who have had to remediate the soil on their property due to the Pasminco pollution in Boolaroo (‘Toxic cost of lead in Boolaroo backyards’, Herald, 25/10). We had the same issue when renovating a house in Speers Point. There is, however, a cheaper solution to the problem, in many situations, which needs to be made more widely known. The toxic soil can be buried on site. After scraping the toxic surface soil and placing it on a cover to stop it re-mixing with the good soil, a hole is dug in a suitable spot, saving the good sub-soil. The toxic soil is then placed in the hole and covered with permeable sheeting. Finally the sub-soil from the hole is used to top up the hole and re-spread over the plot. We did this and got sign-off from the geotechnical consultants at a cost of around $5000. Still an expense homeowners shouldn’t have to bear, not not quite as horrific as the costs Trudi and Martin have had to bear.

Barry Knowles, Speers Point

Suburb needs attention

IN response to Judith Spargo (Letters, 26/10). I live in a single-storey house in Adamstown. There were 10x2-storey townhouses built on the west of me a few years ago. Six months ago a two-storey granny flat was built on my south side. Now I have a DA proposal for a three-storey duplex to be built on the east. These property applications were lodged subject to consultation. I've had to go through the submission process on three different occasions to ensure the privacy of my dwelling. The outcome has not been totally to my satisfaction.

Adamstown is now in the top 10 per cent of house prices in the Newcastle area. Unfortunately with the multi-storey developments happening, it will soon look like a ghetto. The most recently proposed development of 84 units between Date Street and Brunker Road is just outrageous. Vehicular access will be from Date Street which is extremely narrow. Cars are already parked on both sides and it is impassable unless one car pulls over. How can this be allowed to happen? I recently complained to council about the lack of footpaths; especially near me where there are dangerous exposed tree roots. The best council has offered is to throw some soil and turf down as a temporary measure. This won't solve the problem as it will soon wash away. I'd like to know with the amount on new development in the area, "where are the section 94 funds being spent"? Certainly not in Adamstown. 

Dorothy Pinder, Adamstown

Stop your whinging

I KNOW this will not win me any friends but I'm pretty sure that many members of our society will agree when I say: "move on from the Supercars argument!” I do honestly sympathise with the residents of the East End who will be affected by the event but for goodness sake, give it a rest! For a long time now "we have all known" the event will happen no matter how much you whinge about it. So let go of your trees, look forward to having better roads, footpaths and stormwater drainage and all chip in for a bag of concrete and a spoon.

William Henry Hardes, Lakelands

Australia needs direction

ONCE again this leaderless government has brought ridicule and embarrassment on our country, from ridiculously false statements such as from Communications Minister Mitch Fifield “that the NBN service they are delivering will be the envy of the world” right through to Turnbull presuming to outguess the High Court and leave ministers in cabinet who legally should not have been there, making decisions and one even running the country in the absence of the Prime Minister. Has this country ever voluntarily been in a bigger mess?

Allan Earl, Thornton

Wrong place for race

I AGREE with Jennifer O’Donoghue (Letters, 26/10). Supercars take three months to set up and then remove their race structures. Businesses will lose out in October, November and December for the next five years.

Which of them can withstand losing customers in the lead up to Christmas for five years? Race course and  viewing construction has made any trip into the East End exceedingly difficult. Everyone I know is avoiding that area. I also understand East End residents in the race area will be required to wear wristbands to access their homes, and will not be allowed to invite family and friends to their homes during the three days of racing. Why has a private enterprise been given this authority over private citizens in their own homes? The East End is the wrong place for this race.

Joanne Jay, Cooks Hill