Newcastle Herald letters to the editor September 29 2017

WAITING: An early-morning express service to Sydney must stop at Cardiff station, says reader John Matthews.
WAITING: An early-morning express service to Sydney must stop at Cardiff station, says reader John Matthews.

WOW, I have just finished reading my Newcastle Herald front page news (“Fast track: early-morning express train slashes 26 minutes off Sydney trip”, Herald, 28/09). This sound fantastic until you start to read the small print.

Then you realise it really is a shocker, especially if you live in the Lake Macquarie area. It might be okay if you live in say Speers Point or Belmont, but you either have to backtrack to Broadmeadow or drive 45 minutes down the road to Morisset. 

POLITICAL FOOTBALL: Robert Crosby argues sporting codes including the NRL have already waded into the political arena before the same-sex marriage debate.

POLITICAL FOOTBALL: Robert Crosby argues sporting codes including the NRL have already waded into the political arena before the same-sex marriage debate.

In that case you might as well drive yourself all the way to Sydney. Surely it is the case to try to get more people on the trains than for them to drive themselves.  

If a closer look at the stops you see that Wyong, Tuggerah, Gosford all are in close proximity to one another, so the question is if this is a trial, why not drop Tuggerah and install either Cardiff or Fassifern?

Both of these stations have long platforms now, and I think patronage would be increased. You cover a broader patronage this way, and it offers a much fairer breakdown of the stops.

John Matthews, Belmont North

TRIAL AND ERROR

HUNTER commuters – two stops. Central Coast –  five stops. Sydney – three stops?

For any commuter residing west or south of Broadmeadow, their only option for the newly announced Newcastle to Sydney fast-train trial is Morisset.

You had might as well just keep driving to Sydney. 

Take a look at Cardiff and Fassifern's car parks on a daily basis, let alone the streets surrounding them. Both are well-used stops for Sydney commuters. I think you call it no idea. 

Michelle Toohey, Barnsley

POLITICAL GAMES

IN the lead-up to the two major grand finals this weekend, the marriage equality postal survey has been an unwanted presence to the dismay of numerous members of the public.

There is a view that sport should be apolitical given its broad appeal and focus on inclusivity.

Now while there is a degree of merit to that argument, in that people use sport to disconnect, the escapist quality of sport as entertainment has frequently engaged in politicised acts.

Take for instance the National Rugby League. Annually the NRL has devoted resources and competition rounds to issues including women, Indigenous Australians, domestic violence, mental health and numerous other political causes. Every aspect of our culture is a reflection of the political climate we exist within; film, television, music, art, fashion and yes, even sport, reflect the politics of the day.

Comments from NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg have indicated the inclusive nature of rugby league as being compatible with the ‘Yes’ campaign. 

On Sunday night, US rapper Macklemore will perform ‘Same Love’ during the pre-match entertainment, a call to arms in favour of the rights and better treatment of LGBTQ people across the world. These are political actions, just as the sport’s work raising awareness of the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians or condemning domestic violence are political actions.

Even the weak responses by major sporting bodies to player misbehaviour reflect the political climate of the day. 

Sport is considered the unifier of society, so it cannot adopt mutually exclusive positions of remaining non-political while advocating for inclusivity and equality.

For too long the view that religion and politics aren’t discussed in public has existed to the detriment of progress.

Sport is particularly ingrained in Australian life, as Australians we espouse the value of a ‘fair go’ for all. If we believe that value to be true, then sport has to take a political stand.  

Robert Crosby, Waratah

SUPPORT LESS THAN LOVING 

SO Frances Abbot votes 'yes' for "fairness, love and family"? Trouble is you have to decide just who gets the "fairness, love and family". Will it be the small percentage of same-sex couples that will actually marry?

Or will it be the rest of us who otherwise would be subjected to restrictions on free speech, indoctrination of our children into certain sexual practices and gender confusion; genderless bathrooms; denial of the natural right of children to both of their biological parents, and freedom from litigation for businesses, educational institutions and not-for-profits who do not wish to promote the LGBQTI agenda?

How much "fairness, love and family" will the rest of us get?

The Canadian experiment has already shown you can't have it both ways.

Jeanette Ball, Carrington 

DISTURBING DIRECTION

GENERATION useless is consuming mankind. Gone are the days of common sense and an eagerness to put in a good day’s work. It's all about entitlements, sickies and what's owed these days. 

We have the do-gooders and the AAP, that being the Anti-Australian Party otherwise known as the Greens, to thank for this generation of useless individuals. Half of them can't even get out of their own way. 

Like I've said before, you wonder where we are heading as a human race.

Brad Hill, Singleton

BAGGING OUT PLASTIC

IN response to Maree Eggleston (Letters, Herald, 26/9) who wrote about "grabbing a big handful" of plastic bags at the checkout to pick up her cat's poo.

For all of us who saw the War on Waste on the ABC a few months ago and are attempting to cut out waste and giving up single use plastic bags, I shuddered at the thought of anyone increasing their supply of bags.

Our household has decreased our waste and only uses the occasional plastic bag now (one per week normally).

Animal poo can be picked up with a rubber glove or shovel and placed in paper or flushed down the toilet.

I do hope that Woolworths and Coles will soon give us a viable alternative in replacement bags and perhaps return to the days of heavy duty paper bags or adopt Aldi's solution and replace single use bags with reusable ones.

Other Australian states have banned the bags and have found solutions. We can do it too.

Denise Lindus Trummel, Mayfield