Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Thursday, August 10, 2017

WAIT, WHY: The federal government's decision to opt for a postal vote on same-sex marriage has caused some confusion, with many questioning the value of the exercise.

WAIT, WHY: The federal government's decision to opt for a postal vote on same-sex marriage has caused some confusion, with many questioning the value of the exercise.

I AM hoping somebody with a lot more savvy than me can help me with my dilemma as I understand the idea is: First, if the postal vote comes back ‘no’ then the pollies do nothing. Second, if the postal vote comes back ‘yes’, then the pollies can have a conscience vote, and vote yea or nay.

If this is right, then a yes vote can still be knocked back by the parliamentarians in a conscience vote , if this is so why the hell am I being put through a postal vote at all and the cost of running a sham vote?

Turnbull was on the news saying ‘I am a tough leader’. Bulldust.

John Matthews, Belmont North

Where is the protest

I AM surprised and disappointed at the lack of protest that should be emanating from every Christian church regarding same-sex marriage. The idea of same-sex marriage is totally contrary to Christian doctrine and probably other religions.

Any politician who attends church and votes in the affirmative for same-sex marriage is a hypocrite, admittedly hypocrisy is not uncommon among politicians. It would appear that the clamour for a conscience vote indicates that the lower house and the senate are dominated by atheists, yet I believe that, judging by the last census, a plebiscite would return a ‘no’ vote on the issue of same-sex marriage. Since when have the politicians listened to the voice of the people? We here in Newcastle and the Hunter are very familiar with this problem. 

Alan Kendall, Neath

It’s about love

KARL Stefanovic's comments on the Today show about the coming gay marriage plebiscite reflect a lot of his viewers' frustration. He mentioned the government has already wasted a lot of money. He talked about political games around the issue. Karl also stated the government was ignoring the wishes of the Australian people.

He said the gay marriage issue was about love – not politics or religion. Instead, old, out of touch politicians were using this to promote themselves, as usual. All they had to do was have a parliamentary vote.

It was amazing to see one man get up and defend the many gays and lesbian couples out there who want a chance to express their love and commitment – not their politics or religion, just their love. In a world so tied up in religious hatred and political grandstanding, Karl argued for an issue which is based purely on love and commitment.

Dylan Tibbits, Raymond Terrace

Race decision off track

HOW fabulous it was to watch the last Supercars round at Queensland Raceway. A purpose-built racetrack in a rural setting 13 kilometres from Ipswich at Willowbank.

A venue where spectators can see the whole track comfortably from one spot. A track which provides real racing opportunities and plenty of runoff room so cars are not smashed up if they leave the track, and only two safety cars over the weekend.

The venue has four tracks to suit dirt bikes, karts, car and bike racing, and a drag strip and is used several times a week. Imagine our own version at Raymond Terrace or similar, instead of dumping a race on East Enders, which will produce narrow dangerous roads with major costly damage to any car that runs into the concrete barriers.

Even though I’m an avid race fan I will not pay big money to stand on a noisy Newcastle street waiting for a two second view of passing cars. The region has missed a great opportunity to create a venue to cater for all racing types, all year. A mega brickbat to the NSW government.

Brian Burgess, Floraville

Danger on Sandgate Road

AFTER living in Birmingham Gardens for 22 years I am nearly classed as a local. After all these years I have seen many changes in Birmingham Gardens and Shortland; the one that has caused me to write to you is traffic along Sandgate Road.

Yes, these two suburbs are growing, all you have to do is look at how many townhouses and units are being built. But the use of this road by heavy vehicles has increased. The state and federal governments poured millions of dollars into completion of the bypass, but this has not decreased the use of this road. Along this road are two primary schools and one school that provides for special need students. The amount of construction along Sandgate Road of units has exploded, with this brings more families, more cars, more pedestrian traffic. I realise our country runs on transport but after the money spent on the bypass why not use it, it will save a child’s life on Sandgate Road.   

Ray Davidson, Birmingham Gardens

Options for The Store

LIKE many others, I would be most disappointed if the facade of the old Store building couldn’t be saved. 

However, claims that it is structurally unsound could well be true. For quite some time after the 1989 earthquake the whole front of the building was propped up by stout metal stanchions that extended onto the roadway. A possible compromise could be to include a replica of the facade in the new high-rise building proposed for the site.

This was successfully done on the site of the former Steggles Produce Store at the junction of Hunter and Tudor streets. An alternative could be to include some of The Store’s architectural features in the facade of the new building. A good example of this is the Boulevard on Beaumont Street that replaced the former Donald’s building that was destroyed in the 1989 earthquake.

Peter Newey, Hamilton

Keeping faith in good

I CAN only think that correspondent Pat Garnet (Letters, 7/8) has misread my letter if it is thought that I have overlooked the crimes of some member of the Catholic Church and almost every other church and group exposed by the royal commission.

However, just as we don’t condemn every member of our favourite footy team when one or two players gets into trouble with drugs, I believe the work done by the various orders of nuns over so many years should not be forgotten or go unrecognised.

I have spent most of my working life working with the disadvantaged and can assure your writer that I have seen many cases of abuse from “respectable” families and it is this scourge on our society that governments must take steps to prevent. To ignore the good of others does not make the suffering of the abused any less but we must look to those, like Sister Santleben, to give us hope that the good will prevail.

Frank Ward, Shoal Bay

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