Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Monday, October 9, 2017

THREAT: Cats kill native wildlife, fight and howl in the street, so why aren't cat owners required to take more responsibility for the whereabouts of their pet?
THREAT: Cats kill native wildlife, fight and howl in the street, so why aren't cat owners required to take more responsibility for the whereabouts of their pet?

WHY are cats allowed to roam the neighbourhood? I have to spend money to fence my yard to keep the dog inside. Yet the local cats mess in my front yard, howl and fight at night and are very efficient predators to the native wildlife.

There are ways to confine a cat to your yard: in fact these methods are less expensive than the fencing option was for me. Yet no one is policing this mess.

Other places have dealt with this by returning caught cats (as they do for stray dogs) if they are chipped with a fine. Too many times and the animal is destroyed.

Information from the federal government discusses the problems of feral cats on our Austalian wildlife, yet when a study was set up in Melbourne a few years ago, 60 per cent of the cats caught at the local tip and in the park were house cats with chips and collars.

Kath Bow,  Wallsend

Roads argument is rubbish

EXCUSE me Ian King (Letters, 5/10), I think your prejudice is showing. Your abhorrence at Newcastle City Council hosting a community event for the “yes vote” is illogical. When you say the council should stick to its core functions of roads, rates and rubbish, this ignores the money council spends on the Mattara Festival each year. The money spent on the community “yes vote” event would be miniscule compared with the money spent on mounting the Mattara Festival.

Perhaps you should write to council demanding they cancel all future festivals so it can devote more funds to roads, rates and rubbish. I wonder how many of the good burghers of Newcastle would howl you down.

Les Field, Wickham

Put energy into future

IT is reassuring to receive news that our PM Malcolm Turnbull has signed off on a gas agreement. This agreement, with our major suppliers, secures for the domestic market, 12 months of gas supply without compromising gas supplies to Australia's export markets.

The concern however, is that 12 months in politics is a relatively short time. Hence, the question must be asked – then what? Energy security, whether it be fossil fuel gas, electricity or more sustainable options such as wind and wave generation, in a first world country is a have must.

Australia's long-term energy security must be planned and guaranteed. Long term strategic planning should underpin all government policies, none more than a secure energy supply.

Kerri Cottrill, New Lambton

Enough of the same

I HAVE yet to see a same-sex marriage letter/article that addresses the whole picture for 100 per cent of the population.

For the most part, they are overly simplistic “it’s all about love” and ”law left no record of unconditional love”. The small selfish minority of same-sex marriage activists refuse to acknowledge that the concerns of heterosexual peoples are based on the reality of what has happened in countries after same-sex marriage has been adopted.

I ask John Gilius how much effort was made to end the existing marriage in the four years and did you both register with Centrelink as a couple (‘Law left no record of 'unconditional love'?’, Herald, 5/10). This legal problem would have happened if John Gilius had been a woman; this article has no bearing on same-sex marriage. Just as wrong is the article from Jason Trethowan using his position as Headspace chief executive to promote his views for same-sex marriage.

He states “they” are 100 per cent behind the ‘yes’ vote and they a history of proof why this vital social measure needs to be taken. Over a period of 11 years Headspace has helped 355,000 young people. “On average 1 in 5 identify as LGBTIQA” or 71,000 and leaving 284,000 or 4 out of 5, not LGBTIQA. So please enlighten me, how will same-sex marriage have helped this huge majority of young people?

Signed “Give it a rest”.

Cheryl Daniel, Thornton

The terrorist problem

I THOUGHT stockpiling nuclear weapons was the height of terrorism. Are we going to lock up American tourists in new lifetime detention? Stop training with American military? During the reign of John Howard, the number of people required to legally make the prime minister “disappear” dropped to three. What is Malcolm Turnbull’s goal?

Two per cent GDP spent on defence, and we are still insecure? For anti-terrorism, try reading Smart Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, and How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.

When Jesus commanded us to “Love your enemies”, he foreshadowed the paradigm “No one need lose". The politician who establishes human resource increase solutions will be worth their salt. The mass shooting in Las Vegas was deplorable. Don’t throw our democratic freedoms out with the bathwater. Lest we forget.

Andrew Spannenberg, Mayfield

Call for transparency

CONGRATULATIONS Jiri Lev ‘Bread, circuses and our disappearing city’, Herald, 5/10). The opening sentence, ‘Witnessing the impact…’ Yes, Jiri, we are.

We are witnessing an act of wanton, willful destruction of one of this country’s most beautiful peninsulas, for a private racing enterprise. A race which should be held on a purpose-built track.

We need to remember though, that this event involves many more places and people than just Newcastle. It has also had profound impact on the lives and the places where it has been held, and mostly, I am sorry to say, negative impact. This event is more than a local nuisance, it is of national and international interest.

Councils in Canberra, Sydney, Queensland, Victoria, and Hamilton New Zealand, are places which have experience of this event, and a perusal of the literature around each of these states involvement, tells me a story of economic loss. This event is an economic conundrum, as ratepayer funding is handed over by councils, to the private company, so that works for this even can be carried out. The sooner transparency is introduced to solve this economic conundrum and the profits and losses are scoped and examined by expert auditors, the better.

Jiri, there will be more revealing stories to come involving this sad episode in Newcastle’s history and over time, bread and circuses will look good when all we are left with is glass, cardboard and tar.

Catherine Whelan, Newcastle