Newcastle Herald letters to the editor September 7 2017

REAL CHOICE: Gerard Prietto of Stockton argues he votes for a candidate, not their allies, and would prefer deals on preferences were clearer for voters. Picture: Marina Neil
REAL CHOICE: Gerard Prietto of Stockton argues he votes for a candidate, not their allies, and would prefer deals on preferences were clearer for voters. Picture: Marina Neil

As another election approaches I once again suggest that we get rid of the preferential system of voting.

Because of that system, I am quite certain that there are many voters who are deciding whom not to vote for rather than trying to select a candidate to support with their vote.

To say that many begin their ballots placing the person they least want to represent them as last preference is probably quite a common choice. It is confusing and it shouldn’t be so.

My feeling is that I prefer to vote only for the candidate of my “choice” – be it the least bad choice, or one in whom I place my trust. Additionally, may we please be given the preference deals made between parties before we vote?

Gerard Prietto, Stockton

UNDERSTANDING KEY TO POLL

A Stephen Galilee column (“HELE a popular power solution”, Herald 05/08) covered Upper Hunter research into “the construction of a new low efficiency coal fired power station in the region”. 

It was hardly surprising that an offer of a new plant in their region resulted in 67 per cent support.

I wonder what information the survey included to ensure an informed opinion. 

Were they made aware that the Australian Energy Council report their members, the major generators, have over the last decade, “shelved plans to develop new coal fired generation” as “the 50-year life of the assets and their relatively high emissions profile made them uninvestable”? 

Or that such plants would only be built with governments (or taxpayers) providing billions in funding to cover the additional financial risks and higher power generation costs? 

Instead all the major electricity generators are directing their new plant funding to renewables which can already produce electricity at cheaper rates than coal; and provide 100 per cent reduction, compared to HELE coal’s 25 per cent, in emissions. 

Perhaps an alternative survey question offering similar capacity renewable plants in their area would have given a similar result. 

Particularly if they understood these emissions from carbon burning, principally coal, are warming our climate and this needs to rapidly reduce if the rate of cost increases to Australian taxpayers from natural disasters, already around $9 billion per annum, are to be slowed.

Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi

NUCLEAR MEANS NO CHOICE

Interesting times ahead — North Korea is reacting to continued provocation by America and its lackeys, continued poking a stick into a bull ants’ nest is going to get a reaction. Our Liberal and Labor leaders are calling on China to do more, which it could but understandably won’t – it has the sense not to want a failed state on its door step. 

China has also suggested a good move would be for America to stop its war games from South Korea.

It is a bit ironic that the one country that has killed more people, even its own allies, with nuclear bombs than any other in the world is wanting to dictate who can and who can’t have these devastating weapons. With the mentality of world leaders today — no one should have them.

Allan Earl, Thornton

PUSHING THE TASTE ENVELOPE

Regarding the “BCFing fun” in a TV ad (“It’s more than idle talk to me”, Letters 6/9), it’s interesting to note that back in the 1800s even the word “damn” was forbidden in stage plays and vaudeville acts. Gilbert and Sullivan stuck their necks out in the operetta Trial by Jury by having the court usher call “Silence!” while the jury is shouting “Sue you for damages, damages…” as the defendant enters, shortening the jury’s third “damages” to “dam”. Back to the "effing" word, I as a Christian strongly object to its use as a middle name for Jesus Christ.   

Peter Newey, Hamilton

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE

Well, the same old, same old. Two things: firstly, it appears the fight this time is between supporters of the car race and those opposed. I have a feeling this is going to go on for some time, even after the race. Maybe could have been avoided with full open consultation in the beginning. 

Secondly, the letters from the usual contributors regarding the same sex marriage debate. I believe quoting what the Bible says or doesn't say is irrelevant. Religious organisations should forfeit any right to have a say in the debate, which is more about equality than anything else, after the disgusting findings of the Royal Commission. This hopeless government can't even have a vote and get it done. The $122 million would be better spent on the Williamtown debacle, but they won’t make any decision on that. It will be kicked out at the next election and Williamtown will be left for the incoming government to sort it out, or maybe the one after that.

Wayne Grant, Waratah 

LATE CHANGE TO BRING FLOOD

It is no coincident that the very large Delany Hotel on Darby Street is the first of likely many suburban pubs to seek approval to trade to 2am (“Delany’s late trading push”, Herald 6/9). It already has liquor license conditions to trade to 2am but requires a big change to its development consent controlled by Newcastle council.

Residents living within the vicinity of popular suburban pubs currently closing at midnight in places like The Junction, Merewether, Hamilton, New Lambton, Mayfield, Broadmeadow whose quiet and good order is already disturbed have much to fear from the success of the Delany application.

It appears beyond doubt that the powerful local liquor lords are supportive of the Delany application intended to set a major precedent of later suburban pub trading. Whilst this may enhance their own profits from increased alcohol consumption it is likely to have a devastating predictable net impact on the levels of alcohol violence and related harms and disturbances once confined to Newcastle’s CBD. This alcohol industry push coincides with the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority’s 100% approval rate for local licenses and the abolition of all local liquor licence inspector positions in 2016.

Convincing independent research indicates for every hour of trading past midnight one can expect around a 20 per cent increase in assaults. Those families and others concerned about extending to 2am closing for suburban pubs should urgently express their opposition to the Delaney precedent to Newcastle Council and police.

Tony Brown, Newcastle