Newcastle Herald letters September 27 2017

NO RESPECT: Reader Roy Duffy has slammed recent spates of vandalism on the Anzac Memorial Walk.

NO RESPECT: Reader Roy Duffy has slammed recent spates of vandalism on the Anzac Memorial Walk.

I CANNOT imagine what pleasure anyone could take in defacing Cooks Hill Surf Club's War Memorial at the foot of the Anzac Walk overlooking Bar Beach.

On Friday night idiots defaced it with obscenities and insults. The men remembered there were everyday blokes who loved their voluntary patrols at the beach where they protected and saved lives. Then they volunteered and surrendered their own lives for freedom.

With the opening of the surf season on Saturday some early risers from the club removed as much as they could, with Newcastle City Council promising to do the rest. It is sad that some desecrate what most of us honour.

It is mindless and cowardly, as is the current spate of egg-throwing at vehicles travelling along Memorial Drive. Heightened police patrols could stop anti-social acts and potentially dangerous traffic incidents.

Roy Duffy, Bar Beach

ENTRENCHED DIVISION

IT is really quite sad that a former prime minister of this country, when confronted with the challenge of providing affordable and reliable electricity, instinctively resorts to seeking division and conflict rather than unity and harmony. 

Tony Abbott is happy to walk away from the renewable energy targets adopted by his government when he was prime minister in order to dig the trenches of division. 

Even sadder is the fact that so many people are willing to join him in the futility of trench warfare. They seem almost constipated by coal although, in my view, quite frankly the whole problem for them goes back to the inability or unwillingness of some / many to genuinely embrace a solution, or our part of the solution, to the existential problem of climate change. Obviously, if you’re unable to see the problem you’re not likely to see the solution. Yet, like all wars there will be no victory until a peace settlement is negotiated. In the meantime the master of simplistic slogans can continue to dismiss and demean renewable energy and sanctimoniously sanitise coal to sainthood status. But as our recent experience of Mr Abbott as party leader and prime minister clearly indicated, he is much better at opposing a solution than proposing one.

John Buckley, Floraville 

SUNK COST A FALLACY 

OUR government wrote Newcastle off too quickly. Look now, we have enormous development: see the East End, Supercars, etc, right near Newcastle Station and someone stole the trains. Stupid. What did one of the biggest cities in the world, London, do? They built more railway lines.

So now we fix it, put the trains back under ground and develop above sympathetically. Old Newcastle Station could have  trams and a loading bay for a first-floor supermarket above. The remainder of the building can then become a multipurpose residential and shopping complex. The top of the building could be flat to allow for future building. This could become a coffee lounge with planter boxes for a large garden.

Then build a huge car parking station over a buried Civic station, with trams between three stations including Wickham in or out of the rail corridor. This would allow Wickham to become a train, tram and trolleybus interchange. The trolleybuses would be for outer areas such the airport.

Yes this will cost money but it will have an income and provide a lot jobs.

Tom Lyford, Neath 

SIZE OF CITY DOES MATTER

ONCE again the myth about Newcastle being our state’s second biggest city has been repeated (Herald 23/9). That claim is absolute rubbish.

Newcastle is not even the Hunter’s biggest city. That title belongs to Lake Macquarie, which with 42,000 more people is clearly the region’s biggest local government area. To further demonstrate, Newcastle is in fact only NSW’s 15th largest city. Lake Macquarie is only the state’s 11th largest. 

The rank stupidity of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle councils opposing a merger between their two local government areas is clear to see when the combined population of 363,766 would have made us this state’s biggest city by LGA. It would also have offered an infinitely more influential voice when dealing with state and federal governments.

With an identical demographic, it is inconceivable to think of any good reason for us to be duplicating and competing for facilities and services.

Unless of course we consider political and bureaucratic self-interest as a valid reason.

Joseph Abraham, Coal Point

NO POWER IN IDLE TALK

IT HAS been an interesting couple of weeks. Tony Abbott states you can’t run a steel plant on renewable energy just as steel baron Sanjeev Gupta and climate change expert Ross Garnaut combine forces to demonstrate you can. 

Barnaby Joyce again suggests we need to continue with coal-fired power stations as we don’t have the technology to use solar and wind to provide 24-hour power.

It’s just as an Australian National University report identifies 22,000 potential sites for pumped hydro storage sites in Australia. 

Pumped hydro is proven technology, with plants operating since the 1920s, designed to provide power when wind and solar can’t.

Then Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg try to convince us that extending the life of Liddell power station is essential if we are to have a reliable and affordable power system into the future. 

This is quickly followed by AGL sensibly and correctly announcing that, even with the best of maintenance, a 50-year-old coal-fired power station is never going to be cheap or reliable as time goes on. 

We have withstood two decades of lost opportunity both in opposition and government and still we have no credible climate or energy policy.

We deserve better.

Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi

DOING A SMALL PART

I WORK in Darby Street and every morning one of our staff members does a safety check, removing any litter, dangerous items and rubbish from the perimeter of our place of business.

I urge all residents, employees, businesses and organisations to take up this habit, removing discarded items that might endanger others or make its way into our waterways to harm sea life.

If everyone does a little bit we can make a difference to our environment. Please.

Jenny Magin, Hamilton East