Newcastle is a changing city. It has been evolving for a while now, a place that has its roots in working class values but is evolving into a sophisticated city moving away from its traditional blue collar history.
Politically in recent times some of us placed our trust in alternative representatives. We tried an “independent” Liberal in council and gave Liberals a go in the state Parliament. Great trust was given but it was betrayed. So the tide swung back in the state byelections, with the people putting their faith back in what they knew.
Bring on the 2017 Newcastle council elections and the true believers delivered a victory that has not been seen for over 30 years. A team of interested, pragmatic and Newcastle loving people were elected under the banner of Labor.
Some may same the world is good again the people who represent the people are rightly in place. What the last 10 years has shown us is that with great victory comes even greater responsibility. The people of Newcastle will rightfully expect this council to give back to them leadership to repay the trust they have given.
The message is simple. Stay true to the values, remember the light on the hill, stay true to the people and stay true to yourselves.
Marc Knight, Waratah West
In reply to Natalie Cameron (Letters 21/9): as a registered midwife of 30 years I agree and commiserate with Natalie. The literature and research is conclusive that the early attachment between mum and baby is so dependant on the birthing experience and the early days.
It is appalling that the John Hunter Hospital postnatal wards still have four-bed accommodation. If our elected leaders had the fortitude to use the expected $600 million being wasted to rip up Newcastle rail and the money obtained by the sale of the Port for the future of Newcastle families instead of for property developers we could admire their integrity.
Maybe the light rail carriages could be converted as makeshift maternity wards. They will be clean, as private as a four-bed ward and at least they will be getting some use. I believe the Transport Minister Andrew Constance should resign. As in all budgeting one plans, allocates, reviews and then changes plans if the project is flawed or not cost effective. This project was always on the nose, now it just stinks.
M Murphy, Broadmeadow
WHO IS REALLY THE ROGUE
We are told that North Korea is a rogue state, but how many countries has it invaded in the last 50 years? I think the answer is none. On the other had, how many has the United States invaded in the last 50 years? At least a dozen, be it in the name of pro-democracy, anti-communism, anti-expansionism or, of course, pro-oil. Spare a thought for Venezuela, sitting on the world’s largest known reserves of oil and at loggerheads with the United States.
So North Korea is landing rockets in international waters? America has been doing it for at least 40 years. North Korea, as a sovereign state, has the right to nuclear weapons. America has had them for over 70 years and used them on civilian populations.
North Korea has threatened the US mainland. Before that, Trump said he would destroy North Korea. Let us hope that common sense and truth prevail.
Tom Collins, Paterson
NO TRAIN IS A DRAIN
The only argument that has stood the test of time is that the train line should be replaced by real estate development.
This will benefit only a handful of people (440 residentail units) and the benefit will be minuscule compared with the foregone returns from efficient public transport into the heart of Newcastle.
The cost of $210 million to shut the rail represents a $500,000 subsidy to developers for each proposed dwelling on the line.
Claiming that this is somehow revitalising Newcastle does not hold up to scrutiny. All the development refers to has happened despite the rail corridor remaining in place. In Sydney the same government is telling everyone that rail brings development. Something doesn't add up.
Stephen Ticehurst, Newcastle
MIXED MESSAGES ON MODES
Our (I emphasise our, as I thought he was supposed to be there for us) Minister for Transport Andrew Constance continues to prove what a rude person he is with his reply to Yasmin Catley's inquiry in regard to the future of bus routes 349 and 350 from Swansea to Newcastle.
First the state government takes our rail line away to be replaced with the expensive light rail, then rips up inner Newcastle and foreshore for Supercars and privatises public transport.
He tells us to get used to using public transport on one hand and with the other refuses to answer questions regarding bus routes. What does he want us to do, drive to Charlestown and park in already congested streets? Better still, pay to park at Charlestown Square and then hop on one of Keolis Downer's privatised buses? That is, of course, if they show up.
Lorraine Gibson, Jewells
EQUAL RESPECT IS VITAL
I consider myself a swinging voter who can see both sides of the same-sex marriage argument. However I am confused by the reaction of the Australian public.
Where the backlash of homophobic rhetoric has failed to appear, the yes vote has been the one with claims of racism and bigotry against no voters.
My daughter who attends university in Canberra had first hand witness to this at her school, with yes supporters setting up stalls selling food with banners and flags showing their support. A Christian group advocating the no vote also established their own stall.
A group of students then tore down the Christian group’s banners and scattering their food, I am told with no repercussions from the faculty.
All sense of fairness and freedom is lost with this kind of act. For many years the gay community fought against blind bigotry, but to see people who claim to support gay rights use similar tactics to squash any argument that is different to their own is counter-productive and dangerous to all human rights in Australia.
The situation reminds me of the quote "I disagree with all you say but will fight to the death your right to say it".