Newcastle Herald letters to the editor September 13 2017

DRINK UP: Cathy Morgan argues cigarette price rises affect the poor disproportionately and stand in stark contrast to the inexpensive prices and availability of alcohol.
DRINK UP: Cathy Morgan argues cigarette price rises affect the poor disproportionately and stand in stark contrast to the inexpensive prices and availability of alcohol.

It is time the poor and disadvantaged discovered a voice, there being so many of us in Australia. The latest tobacco price rise won't stop our poorest people smoking due to its level of addiction. To the wealthy politicians puffing away on their cigs, I hope you choke on them. Are there rehab centre's in place for addicts?

No, but Champix has potentially serious side effects and patches just prolong the agony of stopping. I have a major depressive disorder, and if I choose to smoke so be it. I find it interesting that everyone I know who has passed from cancer were non-smokers.

Also interesting is the fact I can buy three casks of wine for the price of a cheap pouch of tobacco. Large amounts of cheap wine can land me in a hospital or police station, with no memory of what, how or why. This is why I don't drink.

Excessive alcohol causes major damage to lives and property, but obviously that is acceptable. Give us a break, or the new dealers in the neighborhood will be selling tobacco instead of illegal drugs.

There is no evidence that making tobacco unaffordable stops people smoking. It’s just another stab at the poor and vulnerable but we will bleed together. Enough is enough.

Cathy Morgan, Marks Point 

DON’T BE DEAF TO CAR RISKS

So Jeff Corbett thinks that this Supercar-thing is just a beat-up by Newcastle East whingers (“Precious in the East End”, Herald 9/9). I have today seen the Supercar Noise Management Plan. I quote from the report some of their recommendations to affected residents: "Keep doors and windows closed;  seal cracks, doors and window frames using commercial or makeshift products.  Basic protection measures may include: adhesive sealing strips for door frames and windows, temporary vent seals, under door strip seals or draught stoppers, fill cracks using commercial foam fillers or silicon;  remain in back rooms;  use hearing protection;  leave property during some or all of the race period (optional)".  

There it is, Jeff, in black and white. Supercars thinks that leaving the safety of your home could be one of the basic protection measures a resident might take to escape the excessive noise. That term, “basic protection measure”, is theirs, not mine.  Usually a householder repairs to their home during inclement weather, or to escape the heat, to rest, or to enjoy the company of their family and friends.  But the organisers of this event suggest that leaving your home might afford  the protection which this event will deprive you of. 

Except for the earthquake, I cannot think of any other event which has been staged in the East End where the organisers have suggested that residents leave their homes for their own safety. 

Les Brennan, Newcastle East

MORE TO HEAR ON NOISE

If the findings of the independent noise auditor, chosen by and paid by Supercars, is 31 houses affected by illegal noise levels, I believe the tally in real terms would be closer to 310 (“Sound advice: Supercars release the results of city noise audit” Herald, 11/9). It reminds me of the Laman Street fig trees issue, where the only arborists that agreed with Council’s allegation that the trees were dangerous were those paid by Council. And separate offers by premier  “O’Farrell and the insurer to pay for a genuine independent third party arborist were rejected without explanation. How about a genuine independent review of Supercars’ noise audit?

How about details of businesses that will have to shut for the three-day race without compensation because of the Workplace Safety Act? How about releasing the opinions of Fire and Safety NSW , who have inspected the exclusion zone, about dealing with fires within the exclusion zone?

And it’s not just about noise: why did 70 local medicos- gerontologists, pediatricians, hearing specialists, GPs, etc, sign a statement of opposition? Perhaps Mr. Warburton knows better than them.

Keith Parsons, Newcastle

PHILOSOPHY FANS OUT

I’m dismayed to hear that classics and philosophy might face the axe at Newcastle university. The idea that studying the humanities doesn’t lead to jobs is a myth. Philosophy and history graduates can be found in all professional walks of life – including as CEOs of some of Silicon Valley’s most successful technology firms. Subjects like these develop critical thinking, reasoning and communication skills – some of the exact “transferable qualities” sought by employers around the world. I benefited enormously – both personally and professionally – from studying the full range of humanities at Newcastle University, and I hope future generations can do the same.

Michael Kachel, Princeton USA

NAMES NEED TO HARDEN UP

There has been a lot of talk in the papers lately about why crowds are so low at soccer matches , or the "world game" as some refer to it. Just for starters, how do you expect supporters of supposedly skilled supreme athletic teams,  to enter an arena in a gladiatorial frame of mind, with banners waving and tribal-like chanting, when they are watching a game between the Jaffas and the Rosebuds? 

Surely you can't be serious. Who would the winner out of this contest play, the Marshmallows or perhaps the Daffodils?

Eddie Niszczot, Thornton

A REBUTTAL ON PUB TRADE

Adz (Short Takes 12/9) missed my point. All residents and families living near a large suburban pub should be extremely concerned about the Delany Hotel’s application to increase last drinks from midnight to 2am on the most violent nights of week.

This will create a dangerous irresistible precedent given the competitive environment for the other suburban pubs to follow suit - delivering to them more profits, surrounding residents big increases in assaults and undue disturbances in these neighbourhoods. The time to prevent this is now!

Tony Brown, Newcastle

SELLER SHOULD BE AWARE

All of NSW Government power stations where sold off by Liberal Governments to boost their budget bottom lines. Now their Federal counterparts are crying foul when the new owners wish to close these obsolete coal-fired power plants.

If the Federal Energy Minister wishes to drag somebody to Canberra and wave a big stick at them, start with the people who sold these plants in the first place.

Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana